While there is plenty to be said in favour of the old adage ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’, and plenty of evidence to show that small-scale savings and investments eventually reap big-scale rewards, anyone looking to improve their financial situation would do well to look at the bigger picture too. If you’re lucky enough to own your own home, it’s time to start thinking about how you can make it work for you.
Many people are intimidated by the idea of property investment, and assume that making money through buying and selling properties is something that only experts can pull off. However there are plenty of ways in which the average home-owner can make money from their home. First, consider whether downsizing might be an option for you. Whether you have children who have grown up and left home or your domestic situation has changed, it’s surprising how many people struggle for money while living in properties that are much too big for them. If your house has more space then you need, don’t hesitate to move on. With all the money you can free up by moving to a smaller home or flat, you’ll wonder why you didn’t take the leap years before!
Another way to make money from the property market without having to downsize is to look into buying a home abroad in a country where house prices are lower and you get more for your money. For example, Homesales.com.au has three bedroom homes in rural Australia from just $100,000 AUD, while many parts of Europe offer cheap housing, bargain land and relaxed planning laws. Swapping your existing home for a far cheaper one of an equivalent or higher standard will free up plenty of money for you to play with – and you’ll also enjoy all the fun and adventure of moving somewhere new.
You can also make money from the property market by investing in properties that you will then sell on for a higher price. One way to do this is to look for properties in areas that are likely to be developed. Study the local housing market to work out trends, and look at areas bordering those that have already been subject to gentrification. Places near colleges and universities are always good bets, as are any areas with an up-and-coming arts and entertainment scene. You can also make a profit by buying a cheap, run-down property, doing it up and then selling it on. While it’s a good idea to have someone practical on hand to take care of any important structural jobs, you’ll be amazed at how much value you can add to a property just by having a keen eye for interior design.
Your home is the biggest asset you will ever own, but many people overlook its potential to be a source of income for you and your family. But by thinking big, and not being afraid to make drastic changes, home-owners can enjoy huge pay-offs from their properties that will keep them financially happy for years to come.