Purchasing and owning property is a promising investment, but it’s no walk in the park. Luckily, here is an easy checklist to refer to that can help you make the huge and exciting decision.

First, fully assess your finances. Ask yourself the following questions: How much debt do you have? How much are you planning to spend? Do you need to borrow? If so, how much? The important thing is you have the money not only to buy property, but you’re still able to set aside funds for for cash flow. Your money will also go to the deposit, stamp duty, legal fees, and, just in case, a buffer. To be clear on your borrowing capacity, speak to a mortgage broker or your bank.

Second, put together a serious and thorough plan. Before committing to an investment, do all the research you need. There are plenty of sources available online as well as books focused on property investment. You can also get straight to the source by consulting with an accountant, a financial planner, a builder, a mortgage broker, and a property manager, to name a few.

Third, don’t wait around. When investing in property, it’s not about the market being active, but more about your preparedness. Don’t be too busy finding the “perfect property,” because it simply doesn’t exist. Focus on equipping yourself with enough knowledge along with a back-up plan.

Finally, expect the worst and hope for the best. There are a number of things that can go wrong just as there are many that can go right. Ensure you’re finances aren’t stretched and that you have a buffer in case interest rates rise. Prepare for some occasions when there’s a vacancy throughout your tenancy and set aside money for renovations and unexpected, urgent maintenance.