If you're looking to make a property investment with the hopes of benefiting from capital gains, it's wise to purchase in a suburb that has yet to 'take off'. This means you can experience the biggest benefits when the prices do launch, allowing you to retire comfortably.

Unfortunately, you may have to remove your rose-tinted glasses, as it's not that easy. For instance, how do you know where to buy, when to buy and what to buy? Identifying these 'hotspots' takes hard research, planning and property investment advice you can trust.

In spite of this, the last 18 months have been a profitable time for almost all Auckland homeowners and investors alike. Figures from the QV House Price Index reveal that Auckland values are up a whopping 22.6 per cent in the year to September 2015, but in recent months there have been subtle signs that it might be slowing down.

Essentially, a cooling market will mean that those considering residential investment property in Auckland will have to be more savvy with their purchases. Here are a few tips on how to find a suburb before it takes off:

Buy in areas that are close to the city centre

It's not called the Central Business District for nothing. Many people travel to and from the city every day, and owning an investment property that is within a reasonable commute will help you to cater to the masses.

You should also keep an eye out for areas that aren't as close, but have improved transport links (new roads, train station or bus lanes, for example) that will make it much easier to get into the city.

Look for suburbs that are much cheaper than their neighbours

If an area is experiencing a boom and prices are going through the roof, what are buyers going to do? Most often, they will browse the surrounding suburbs to find a nearby location that is more affordable.

Some of Auckland's most sought-after suburbs were once undervalued and disregarded

Some of Auckland's most sought-after suburbs were once undervalued and disregarded – for instance, look at Ponsonby. Purchasing in a relatively cheap area compared to its neighbours could help you to get in before the boom and experience significant gains.

Talk to a financial adviser

The Commission for Financial Capability recommends seeking property investment advice to help you make an informed decision. A competent financial adviser will often have access to exclusive information regarding the property investment market, helping you on your way towards a secure retirement.

Here's to your financial independence!

Daniel Carney
Authorised Financial Adviser / Investment Property Expert

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