KNOWLEDGE of the market and the community's needs is vital when it comes to investing in properties, said self-made millionaire Azizi Ali.
The property wizard has purchased six prime properties in a span of eight years.
This includes bungalows, several double-storey terrace houses and apartments valued at RM100,000 to RM1mil based on current market prices.
Not bad for a 'kampung' boy from Perlis who has made somewhat of a name for himself in the industry, impressing even many reputable property experts in the country.
Moreover, the 41-year-old chartered financial consultant is a commercial pilot and author of two bestsellers - Millionaires are From a Different Planet! and The Millionaire in Me.
On the secret to his success, Azizi said: Understanding the community's housing needs is probably the most critical component to being a successful property investor.
For example, if you are a bachelor, you would want a property close to your office.
However, for a family man, a house with a school nearby is a priority when deciding to invest in an asset, he told StarBiz in an interview in Kuala Lumpur.
Azizi said property investors should also consider other factors, such as locations and infrastructure, that could add value to the properties they were planning to buy.
He said the Malaysian property investing public should liase with industry experts such as real estate agents, property developers, quantity surveyors and valuers to gather critical information relating to the property they intended to acquire.
He said it was important for investors to have an exit strategy so that they could dispose of a property when the price was right.
He said many investors became emotionally attached to the property and were unwilling to sell even though the price had appreciated significantly.
To become a serious property investor, you must stay focus on the wealth creation process, he said.
He added that once a property was sold at a lucrative price, the money could be used to substantially reduce the loans on the other properties owned.
Azizi said it was always a good time to buy property, more so when interest rates were at an all-time low and the equity market was soft.
If you look back in history, people who became wealthy created their wealth by investing in property and this is still true until today.
It's a buyers' market now. However, there are always good property bargains at any time - even when the property market is on the upswing, he said.
He added that patience was another virtue required to become a successful property investor.
Azizi advised novice property investors to buy only one property at a time. This is until they are able to understand the complexities of the market and the financial exposure concerned.
Once they are able to derive positive cash flow, capital gains and tax deduction; and can build up equity base, they will be more confident to invest in other properties, he said.
A serious investor must be prepared to do research. He must also seek opinions from various sources, especially from property experts before making any buying decision, he said.
On his next target, Azizi said he would like to achieve RM10mil in net asset worth in 10 years.
Its no longer the money that drives my goal.
I can afford to retire now if I want to. It is more of the challenge to see if I can achieve this wealth, he said.
Azizi conducts monthly seminars on property investment.
He was also one of the guest speakers at the Malaysian Annual Real Estate Convention 2003, which was held over the weekend.
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