Houses versus apartments: Which is better?

If you're the type of person who has trouble choosing which toppings to put on your pizza, buying investment property in New Zealand is going to leave you in shock.

Putting money into residential investment property comes with a wealth of options – everything from whether you want to rent out a home to tenants to what kind of area you'll buy in.

Of course, some decisions fall a little closer to home – literally. One of the first, and biggest, is whether to invest in a house or apartment.

What are you in it for?

Figuring out which type of property makes for the better investment comes down to what your goals are.

If you're looking for rental yields, units are probably your best bet. However, if capital gains are more your thing, a detached house will likely have more to offer.

Is your objective to increase your regular cash flow, or do you want an asset that will appreciate with age. Property investment requires planning, and your strategy will ultimately determine what kind of property works best for you.

What kind of tenants do you want?

If you plan on renting out a home, you need to think about what types of tenants the property you choose will attract.

For example, a growing family will likely be in the market for a house. Meanwhile, a young professional could be happier with a small apartment in the heart of the city.

How much work are you prepared for?

Each type of property requires different levels of maintenance.

If you're in the market for a more hands-off approach, units will be more your style. On the other hand, while detached houses may require more maintenance and attention on your part, they can also be far more valuable.