My property valentine

For those true believers in love, today is the most romantic day of them all – V Day. It’s the one particularly-special day of the year when it’s perfectly sensible to get all lovey-dovey with your significant other without losing any shred of your masculinity or street cred. And it’s the one day of the year when it’s not considered creepy to tell someone for the very first time that you love them – whether they happen to know who you are or not.

The closest thing I will have to a romantic night is probably cooking vegetarian nachos for one and watching an episode of Games of Thrones – which is, let’s face it, not a TV series that resembles a rom-com one iota. I also won’t be expecting any flowers today or declarations of love, well maybe from my bank manager and/or credit card issuer, but I do think I just might be in love with an inanimate object.

You see this time last year, my V Day escapades were similarly non-conformist, apart from one very important aspect.  At this same moment in time in 2012, I signed on the dotted line to purchase my second investment property.

Over the past 12 months, I am rather bashful to admit, that my love for this investment has grown as each floor has been poured and as the construction completion date has drawn nearer. It’s like waiting a very long time to go on a blind date. But at the time of buying this property valentine of mine last year, my feelings towards it could be considered the opposite of love. In fact, I felt the fear.

The fear that – because I was buying in an uncertain market – there was the possibility the Brisbane market might worsen by the time it needed to be financed, which would be very bad indeed. The fear that for the first time in my life I was buying something sight-unseen and was so popular that the developers never needed to construct a display apartment. And the fear that as a single professional woman, I was heading into relatively uncharted financial waters after I looked around, and talked incessantly to, my circle of mostly married friends. Thankfully all of these fears, I now know, were unfounded.

I have learned that it is natural to have a certain level of fear (or stress which sounds much nicer) when you put yourself in unusual or pressurised situations. It is being able to cope with that anxiety, believe that you know what you’re doing, and push forward nonetheless that is the most important factor. And I now recognise that maybe my fear was actually me falling in love… with a property.

Buying real estate  will always be one of the most stressful experiences in your life. You can certainly put it up there with telling someone you love them for the first time, or asking them to marry you. But with both of these experiences, in my opinion, the fear can be minimised by making sure you have done your research, which I admit is a bit easier to do with property than it is with love. In the end, once you have your heart set on something (or someone) you just have to roll the dice and believe that the end result may offer rewards you could never have dreamed of.

Nicola McDougall is the REIQ’s Executive Manager Corporate Affairs

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