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First time investing can be stressful — make sure you do your research first. Meighan Hetherington — licensee at Property Pursuit Ms Hetherington said a budget limit of $500,000 provides plenty of opportunity for those considering a townhouse as their first investment holding.“Townhouses are on group titles so there is a body corporate and associated levies, but the rental income is often better than on older houses and potential for growth is stronger than a unit in Brisbane.”More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home6 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor6 hours agoMs Hetherington said buyers should look for the right property fundamentals.“Three good-size bedrooms, a good-size living area and courtyard, toilet on the living level as well as two other bathrooms,” she said.Ms Hetherington said to look for small complexes of 12 or less townhouses and body corporate levies below $3000 per year.She also advises buying in suburbs with a lot of character housing such as Kedron, Gordon Park, Holland Park, Holland Park West and Greenslopes. Brisbane is riding high on investor radars as the antidote for fever pitched Sydney and Melbourne property values.Our city is, however, huge so there are lots of options for first timers looking to become a Brisbane landlord.To help sort the real estate diamonds from the cubic zirconias, we’ve asked some of the city’s most impressive property brains where they believe first-time investors should be buying. Click here to get all the latest The Courier-Mail real estate news direct to your inbox Karen Young — principal at Property Zest Ms Young said most of her first-time clients have between $400,000 and $700,000 to invest and are keen on set-and-forget real estate.“This is a good approach to start with for the first-time investor.“With increasing experience and confidence you can then look at more active investment strategies down the track, such as renovation or development.”She advises the demographic to stick with a sub-$500,000 budget and look for a 4.5 to five per cent gross yield from their holding. RENTS expected to drop “Consideration here may include areas around the 15-kilometre to 25-kilometres mark from Brisbane and include Bray Park, Strathpine, Bracken Ridge on the north side, Tingalpa in the east or Springwood and Underwood on the south,” she said. 24 North Aston Court, Bracken Ridge is listed for offers over $439,000 and has four-bedroom, two-bathroom accommodation.Ms Young said if buyers can stretch their budget to $700,000, they should stay within the 15-kilometre ring and consider addresses such as Keperra, Stafford, and Chermside West on the north, or Mount Gravatt East, Holland Park West and Moorooka in the south. This three-bedroom townhouse at51 Steele St, Holland Park is looking for offers over $495,000 — just moments from great retail and transport facilities too. Scott McGeever from Property Searchers. Scott McGeever — managing partner at Property Searchers Mr McGeever was the third expert to promote the sub-$500,000 budget as a reasonable kick off for first-time investors, but he thinks moving a bit further from the city and looking for a detached home would prove a winning strategy.“The best type of investment would be a house on the Redcliffe Peninsula area or Sandgate/Brighton/Deagon.“These areas have seen growth over the years in housing but I think will see further sustained growth as the area comes of age more with gentrification and people realising the public transport access to the city.”Mr McGeever said to look for at least three-bedrooms and to always choose improvable property so as to immediately increase rental return and capital value.“For a first time investor this can be as easy as fresh paint, new floor coverings or an update (of what is there) in the kitchen and bathroom without spending thousands,” he said.If you’re fortunate enough to have between $500,000 and $1 million to invest, stay within six kilometres of the city, said Mr McGeever.“Character two and three-bedroom houses will always see good growth and within five years it will be almost impossible to buy these types of properties under $1 million.“One of these given a makeover in a great location can be a very lucrative Air BnB,” he said.