“You make your money on the purchase.” Such is the most pertinent advice from Nichole Lewis’ excellent book Property Quadrants, released this year. The era of house ‘flipping’ seems like a fool’s errand with the current media frenzy on the price of housing in Aotearoa New Zealand, but is actually the perfect conditions for savvy investors like Lewis to pick up some bargains that are not emotionally driven decisions.
Real estate is in a precarious position, but it is within that situation that opportunities abound, if you know how to make the most of the conditions. In the book, Lewis explores four quadrants to help newbies appreciate the process of making the move into house renovation / refresh and resell. The first quadrant represents the family home: a largely emotional purchase based upon future visions of entertaining, raising a family and so forth. Often this is not a smart decision, but rather a heart decision, which often doesn’t make for good investment opportunities. Lewis instead gets the reader to consider some probing questions about exactly what the investor wants from their home, and how to achieve this.
The second of the four quadrants is the typical second home purchase, perhaps a small rental property, or a holiday home. It may be an apartment in another city that is required for work. Whatever the situation, Lewis suggests that it is not the cash cow that it could be. These purchases are not ‘bad’ per se, they just should be incorporated later in the piece. The key to this book is to make money, so there needs to be a shift in mentality from the reader. Lewis introduces the next two quadrants to assist with this. Quadrant three introduces the idea of using debt correctly, and the pitfalls to making money, without any money.
Finally, the real gold of this book is found in quadrant four, where the step by step process shows the reader how to make smart, financially sound decisions and then where the value can be created within a house in order to resell easily and with confidence.
Coming from a background where the story is a rags-to-riches and then back to rags and then building back to riches saga, Lewis shares her best kept secrets on the real estate market (in modern times) and allows for events such as the expected drop in demand and prices as a perfect opportunity to get in while the getting is good.
The advice is presented clearly and with a real flair for the subject, one gets the sense that this is a programme that can be replicated easily, and, with a clear objective, those financial dreams of capital growth can be achieved. At no point does she suggest this is a one size fits all model, or that anything in the world of property or personal finance is guaranteed and proper investigation for individual situations should always be undertaken.
What is certain, however, is the strength of the case presented in the book to confidently make those property purchases that can seem to be immensely daunting when you are dealing with banks and significant sums of money on paper.
Reviewer: Chris Reed
Best Seller Publishing