Love and Property.

My recent articles have focused more on property investment than ownership and today is no exception. Today I look at the cost of education, or is that ed-ud-kashion? In love as in property, the cost of education can be extremely painful and even downright expensive. Wouldn't it be great if someone produced a handbook and laid out the rules of both? It would save a lot of heartache, soul-searching and spent tears if we could only read a manual and learn all there is to learn about both these topics.

In property investing you need to do your homework and set up the right structures to prevent a tax, financial and estate nightmare. It doesn't help that you go out there all gung-ho and start looking at properties that the bank won't finance. Or worse still, they will finance and you find yourself stuck in a situation of debilitating negative cashflow and something that you can't easily, or cheaply, extricate yourself from.

So here's my advice. Spend the money; make the effort; buy those books; go on those seminars. Preferably do all of this before you embark on building your property empire. Now that I've said that, property is normally a forgiving investment. Time heals most mistakes. So as long as you can weather the storm, you should be ok.

In that way property is similar to love. Time heals all wounds. Love, however, unlike property normally doesn't forgive mistakes and then it is the work of Father Time to soothe the hurt. There's a property that I bought in 1990 and eventually sold in 2000 for a measly 70% profit. I could have done much better to follow Erwin Rode's advice and invested elsewhere over this period. But, in the greater scheme of things, a 70% growth doesn't hurt too much. Not like those moments where lost loves have walked away.

In property, as in love, hindsight is perfect and it is easy after the fact to dissect and analyse, fix and repair. But it is the school of life that teaches us the most and sometimes it takes experience to learn life's most valuable lessons.

Let's return to education. There are numerous books and a fair selection of seminars to help educate us in the ways of property investment. Two seminars that I have recently attended is the Schalk Meintjies 'Nothing Down' seminar and Coert Coetzee's Property Investment Seminar. It will all be money well spent if you are interested in property investing and want to do your homework. They have different styles and focus on different aspects of the market, but both will be extremely educational and I found them immensely entertaining too. Learn to form your own opinion about property matters and these courses will help you think about things previously unthought of and change your property paradigm. Both will prove to be a good investment in education.

Now where is my copy of Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus?

Article by: Dave Welmans - (www.thepropertygame.co.za)