Residential properties that guarantee an ROI

Being selective about what you invest in, whether it’s commercial or residential properties, is a blessing. You invest wisely and earn enough to make your next purchase. When you’re shopping around, you already know the type of tenant you want to target.

Student accommodation

University and international students either live on-campus or in suburban properties close to their school. Residential properties like this need to be monitored closely so that nobody skips rent or causes damage. But in spite of the horror stories, the tenants are normally very well behaved.

You can rent out your properties as student accomodation

Student accommodation can take many forms. It can be a block of units, a single family home or even a townhouse. The home is ideal if it’s close to any given university or college campus and public transport.

Retirement living

These residential properties are often built by specialists and handled by a company with specialist experience (Aveo is an example). But on Real Estate, there’s some properties marketed as ‘retirement living’, geared towards investors.

Retirement homes are marketed to those who are over sixty but are by no means invalid. Residential properties on the market have high-end amenities and appliances included in the apartment or home. ‘Old’ doesn’t equal ‘dated’.

Mansion on the outside, retirement living inside

Retirees are good tenants because they respect their home and maintain it to the best of their ability. If they can’t, they’ll have a nurse or family member help them. If you’re looking at residential properties for retirees, it’s worth looking into these medical/nursing services and market them as optional amenities.

Single family homes

Small families will rent before they can afford their first home. Single family dwellings that are close to schools and shops are absolutely worth the investment and the fight that comes with trying to purchase one. Competition is fierce because other investors know there’s money to be made in this area of the market.

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  1. The great debate | Buy old property or build new?
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Rentvesting: a forgotten way to own and rent at once

You’re serious about getting into the investment game even though you don’t have a home in your own name. Fortunately, this isn’t an obstacle. Investing in property whilst renting at the same time, or ‘rentvesting’, made a splash early last year. It’s still going strong, despite getting less coverage in the headlines.

Why is rentvesting so popular?

There’s a number of things that make renting a more viable option among investors and people house-hunting in general.

Freedom: The word ‘mortgage’ scares the skin off lots of people and they can’t face the idea of juggling multiple home loans at once. It’s easier to sink their money and effort into their investment. Investors can give their full attention to the investment properties they own, like organising renovations, speaking with property managers, and organising depreciation inspections.

Postcode envy: So you can’t afford to own a home in that ‘happening’ and ‘ritzy’ suburb. But there’s enough in your budget to rent. You can rent where you want to live and then buy property in outlying suburbs. You can rent that fancy inner-city apartment but rent out a three-bedroom house to a family a few suburbs over.

Affording to live in the CBD area is enviable

Money: Investors who live in a rental home don’t have double the amount of taxes and duties that come with  owning an investment property and their own home. And there’s plenty of benefits that come with renting out a property for investment purposes. Tax deductions cover real estate advertising, some legal costs, and general maintenance. The amount of money earned back in tax depreciation will increase the longer the investor owns a property.

As a rentvestor you have more financial freedom

Rentvesting is a way for first-time investors to get on that first rung of the property ladder. Prices are increasing on the market but living the rental life has eliminated this affordability problem for some. Those who rentvest get the freedom, the bragging rights, and the money back that other property owners miss out on.

Need more advice? Read on…

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property manager

6 signs of an amazing property manager

When you purchase an investment property you can’t shoulder the burden of managing it yourself. Investors regularly pass this duty on to their property managers. Of course there’s a few ‘unreputable’ characters out there, but the professionals are worth their weight in gold (or rental profits!).

When you’re comparing agencies and individuals, make sure you’re noting down these five points:

Their vacancy rates
As in, they’re minimal. Good property management equals low vacancy rates. Your property won’t lack for tenants because the manager has done their job properly.

Senior management aren’t afraid to be hand-on with the work and that’s another reason why some firms are so successful. The more experienced people are still in the game, doing their best for their clients.

They have a network of services
Yes, the manager’s main job is to MAINTAIN your properties and make sure the rent is getting paid. But they should offer more than just this basic service. A good firm will also check the market to make sure rent is fair. They’ll calculate invoices for you. There’s a network of trades on speed-dial when something has to get repaired. In short, you don’t have to lift a finger, because your property manager should be taking on most of the responsibility.

Got a property problem? They have someone to fix it.

The door’s always open
Irregular communication is a red flag. Property managers must call their clients regularly with updates about the homes and spaces they’re responsible for. It doesn’t matter if the news is bad. Transparency is key. Plus, when the client calls, they’ll always answer unless there’s an emergency.

They come highly recommended
If an investor is happy with their team, of course they’ll spread the word and recommend them. Investors reach out to each other regularly for advice about who to hire and what market actions to take.

If you know an investor with a good portfolio who seems to be sailing along with a big smile on their face, ask them who manages their properties. Alternatively, you can do a Google search and look at recent My Business reviews.

Everyone’s happy
If people in the property management firm look like they’d rather be somewhere else, it’s best to walk right out the door again and not take the meeting. If staff are happy and content in their job, they’re going to do their best for YOU too.

Genuinely happy staff will care more about your investments

The firm is a well-oiled machine
Your property manager should have a regimented schedule that encompasses everything they do. Inspections are a regular occurrence alongside rent payments and client meetings.

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property market

4 articles that give investors a reality check about the property market, worldwide

The property market is competitive, no doubt about that. Internationally and locally, investors are getting priced out of one market and moving onto another, before the same cycle repeats itself. Australia’s had a ‘golden age’ of affordability, but in recent months that rosy period has come to a screeching halt.

Sydney and Melbourne’s property markets are slowly outpricing potential investors thanks to rapid employment growth, among other reasons. While prices in these cities have risen over 10%, Brisbane’s growth remains in the single figures. But is it too good to last?

The UK has one of the priciest property markets in the world, and the younger demographic is certainly feeling the pinch. This is all thanks to changing work conditions, the drama of Brexit, and the ‘silver generation’ using their experience to snap up hot real estate.

This is an opinion piece, but the context is relevant. This debate was sparked by investment professional Tim Gurner’s scathing observation about millennials and their lack of potential to crack the property market. Why? Because they love $4 coffee and avo smash everyday. Even though the debate has raged back and forth, it’s put the way we work, save, and spend in the spotlight and there’s no sign of it slowing down.

There’s a glut of apartments in Brisbane, and developers are so desperate to sell them they’re offering incentives to buyers. This comes as a result of  oversupply and minimal demand. ‘Offers’ include the likes of free rent (for a period), vehicles and free avo toast everyday for a year. That’s probably another house deposit…or a new couch.

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ptoperty investment

Don’t make these 6 mistakes if you want the best property investment possible

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding the ‘best’ property investment available. Ideally though, you want it to make you money through rent paid by tenants. It doesn’t matter if the property is residential or commercial, a house or an apartment. To make sure you find the best property investment for YOU and your portfolio, we compiled these five tips.

  • You don’t have professional help

You need unbiased professionals to help you handle the financial aspects of property investment. Mortgage brokers help investors daily, giving them advice about home loans and ownership structures. You’ll also need your accountant on your side. Find one that specialises in property accounting so they can lay out a plan and a budget based on your income and credit.

  • You don’t have an end game

Nobody invests in property just for the heck of it. There’s always a plan in place for each property in the portfolio. There should be a backup plan, too.

Some get into property investment to boost their retirement savings or retire early. Others want to get out of their day job after earning income through buying, renovating, and selling homes. Don’t walk into the property investment game with short-term goals.

  • Your properties are all in one place

Yes, you’re more comfortable buying ‘close to home’ because it’s familiar territory. But this means other investors are buying you out of the locations that really make the big bucks.

Less than 20% of investors have two properties or more in their portfolio. Less than 1% own six. This means 99% of investors are playing it safe and are missing out as a result. There’s no reason why you can’t have a property in Tasmania or another in Perth. Get out of town when it comes to looking for the best property investment.

  • You haven’t looked at trends

Get familiar with complicated terms like ‘yield’, ‘median price’, and ‘cash flow’. Trends like these will guide you in making great purchases.

  • …or done your homework

Have you done any research into the area you want to buy? Did you check if there’s any upcoming developments like shopping centres? What about schools and access to public transport?

If you don’t do your homework, you’ll end up with a property investment located in an area saturated with others. You’ll leak money instead of save. This is why it’s important to look at trends and branch out from your ‘home base’.

  • You can ‘manage on your own’

If you can, good on you. But the task of picking tenants as well as monitoring them, setting rents, and the like takes time you don’t have. Plus, you’ll get emotionally invested. Hiring a property management team is a better option.

tax return australia

Tying your depreciation schedule to your tax return in Australia

Your depreciation and tax return in Australia is your best asset for putting money away into your bank account. It doesn’t matter if you live and work overseas. Your Australian revenue is guaranteed when you have investment properties and professionals taking care of them.

When you purchase investment properties, whether commercial or residential, you must always declare the income they bring you. Returns are minor in the beginning thanks to negative gearing. This happens when the overall expense of maintaining the property costs more than your rental income. But you’ll get your money back over time thanks to depreciation and claiming other items on tax.

As your property, and the items in it, depreciate over time, it equals more money in your bank account. You’ll receive the maximum benefit when you get a depreciation schedule from a professional. We have a lot of clients asking about this process and how it works. This is what we tell them:

  • Buy the property and finalise the settlement
  • Call Deppro and schedule a visit
  • The quantity surveyor visits the property, takes pictures, and makes notes
  • Answer any questions the surveyor has and provide the necessary documents
  • Your depreciation schedule arrives

When you receive your depreciation report, hand it over to your accountant who manages your tax return in Australia. They’ll amend past returns and use the report to get you the best amount back on future ones.

It’s easier than you might think to tie your depreciation schedule to your tax return in Australia. Of course you’ll be affected by negative gearing (unless you snapped up an amazing property), but depreciation and other tax deductions over time will earn your money back. Once the quantity surveyor has done their job and the report is yours, hand it over to your accountant. They’ll make sure your investment pays off.

property investment

5 ways to find the best property investment

The idea of property investment is exciting. Whether you’re looking to expand your business or you’re an investor wanting to add another portfolio, the anticipation outweighs the dread…most of the time. People who are new to the property game often find themselves disappointed and reaching too far outside their budget. How do you avoid this yourself?

  • Be realistic

You have dreams, but reality will give you a rude awakening if you’re not careful. Working towards a goal slowly and steadily ensures stable growth. If you peak too high, too fast it will all come crashing down. Not meeting payments, having bad tenants, or finding faults with the property after purchase are all possibilities if you rush into buying.

  • Hunt everywhere

Even though most people still look for their next property investment online, the newspaper listings are still a valuable resource.

When we say hunt everywhere, we also mean broaden your search radius. Seasoned property investors and business owners have places all around Australia. Search online for the best growth suburbs in Australia, you’re bound to see something that ticks the boxes. Which leads us to the next point.

  • Write a list

This will keep you on track, and honest. Whether you call it a purchase plan, a property checklist, or something else, make sure it’s on hand when you’re looking at places. If you’re concerned about depreciation, add these to the list:

  • Has any renovation work been done recently?
  • Are the fixtures in good condition?
  • Will this still give me income X years from now?
  • What’s the area in meters squared?
  • Turn off your emotions

This step is crucial. Letting your emotions get into the mix leads to burnout and heartache. When things don’t turn out the way you hope (you lose the bid, offer rejected, etc) of course it’s disappointing. But you keep your chin up and carry on. The best property investment for you is out there; you just have to look a little harder.

This point ties into point number one about realism. If you’re an investor looking for rental properties, don’t think about the hunt as looking for your dream home. Not even if it’s ten years down the track. You’re looking for a place that will attract tenants and generate income for you. The best property investment for you might be a home or an apartment that doesn’t  suit your tastes, but will be perfect for someone who rents it from you.

  • Get the professionals on your side

As soon as the property is settled, call Deppro to have a quantity surveyor inspect the property. You’ll receive the best, most accurate depreciation schedule if they see the place in its original condition.

Also invest in a property manager to find tenants (again, avoiding emotional investment). They’ll manage the bulk of caring for your portfolio. After you receive your tax depreciation report, hand it over to your accountant. They’ll make sure you get the maximum refund every year, contributing to your coffers so you can keep growing.

property investor

5 types of property investor

There’s a common perception that a property investor lives the high life. Their portfolio rakes in hundreds of thousands of dollars that funds an extravagant lifestyle others can only dream of. This is true, but only for a small number of them. One type of property investor likes to boast about their success, others prefer to keep it quiet. Do any of these traits look familiar?

The dreamer: This type of property investor has big visions of wealth, owning a large portfolio, and making it in the ‘big leagues’. You’ll find them constantly looking at property listings and researching suburbs with good growth. It’s good that this investor does their homework, but their dream might cost them if they put down a deposit they can’t afford. In property, you must spend money before you can make it, something that this type forgets.

The renovator: This property investor looks at the old and outdated, sometimes the crumbling, and sees something beautiful: potential. Occasionally they’ll buy the home for the sake of the land because it’s in a good location, and demolish the house. They’ll build it up again into a property that will attract tenants and give them a better return. This type of property investor, though, has sometimes  watched too many renovation shows and has visions of doing everything themselves. That’ll turn the investment property into a money pit rather than an asset.

The silent assassin: You’ve seen agents and reps on the phone at auctions communicating with their clients and making bids. This type of property investor has the experience to know what they want. They’ll trust a rep to inspect the property on their behalf and put down money at the auction.

Another side to this investor is they’ve often got a full or part-time job that keeps them busy. They don’t boast about their property prowess. When they turn up at the auction they’ll wear sunglasses and stand at the back of the crowd. They look like a silent observer…until the bidding begins.

The wise: This property investor isn’t necessarily older, but they’ve got experience in the property market. They were born into it, had an early interest, or just educated themselves. The wise property investor does their research, knows the best growth suburbs, and has their property manager on speed dial.

The one-home ponies: This type is probably your parents, or someone else’s. After the children leave the nest, their parents move into a smaller home. Some will sell the family house, others will renovate it and lease it out to tenants. They’re an ‘accidental’ investor, and don’t think of hiring a property manager or getting a depreciation report until someone else suggests it.

property report

What NOT to do before and after getting your property report

One of the great successes you can make as an investor is getting your property report done and dusted to accurately list all claimable tax depreciation items. By having a tax depreciation schedule, you’re getting more money in your tax returns and that can take you to your financial goals faster. But if you make mistakes like these, it’ll end up costing you instead.

Maintenance

Ideally, you want to have purchased a property that’s recently undergone renovations. It’s fixtures are relatively new and you can claim depreciation on work the previous owner has done.

If you did your homework before signing on the dotted line, then there’s not much cause for concern. But a crumbling, ‘project’ property will drain the money faster than you can earn it back because you’re spending it on new fittings and appliances.

Tenants

When you submit your property report to your accountant, the next step is to hire a property manager to look for tenants. Don’t do this job yourself; it makes the hard stuff more complicated down the road. For example, what happens after you get friendly and the tenants do something that would normally get them evicted? Are you prepared to look them in the eye and ask them to move out?

Letting a property manager choose the tenants will save you an emotional and financial headache. A good tenant won’t cost you money because they treat your property with respect and follow the rules.  

Investment Strategy

Like any business owner, you’re hiring professionals like depreciation specialists to take care of your property report. You’re paying property managers to handle your asset so you can focus on expanding your portfolio. All of this is part of an investment strategy. Don’t treat the property game like a hobby; it’s a business.

Having success in property investment means having a level head and doing the right things. By not buying old, crumbling buildings and by letting someone else screen tenants, you’re on your way to becoming a successful businessperson. Tax depreciation, property reports, and other formal matters are hard tasks, but worthwhile when you’re creating a successful brand. Having the professionals, like Deppro, on your side makes it easier.

depreciation schedule

A beginner’s guide to a depreciation schedule

A depreciation schedule is a necessary tool that every property investor or business owner must have if they want to pay less tax and recover debt faster. It has been said that in some circles up to 80% of investors don’t know that they can depreciate their investment property, some don’t even understand what depreciation is.

Claiming the property and the items inside it on your tax return will give you a higher return, but not straight away. Items depreciate over time, and their depreciation costs will increase the longer an investor owns them because they’re given a ‘lifespan’ for their usefulness. Any item, from the fire alarm in the ceiling to the carpet on the floor, depreciates in value. Items under $300 are instant write-offs.

The depreciation schedule

It always contains two categories: capital works, and plant and equipment. Capital works are part of the property itself and any renovations done to the structure. Work done to the kitchen, the carpets, and even the patio gets included in capital works depreciation.

The plant and equipment category is comprised of items that can easily be moved out of the home or commercial premises. Whitegoods, furniture, electricals, and even rubbish bins are included. This is the category that some investors have trouble with because they don’t know they can even claim rubbish bins as an instant write-off.

The depreciation calculations, though, rarely get done by the investor who owns the property; this is a job for a quantity surveyor. After the property settlement, the new owners must get a surveyor in as soon as possible so they can make an accurate assessment. They’re the ones who write up the depreciation schedule. They calculate the value of the items in the home and how they’ll decline in value over time. Depreciation schedules last forty years, starting from the settlement date.

Investors don’t have to worry about working the depreciation schedule into their tax return, either. Once the quantity surveyor has completed their assessment, the investor’s accountant can handle the rest. They use the schedule as a guide to assist in making an accurate return. They’ll do their best to make sure their client pays as little tax, and gets the best refund, possible.

Business owners without a depreciation schedule are missing out hundreds of thousands of dollars over the time they own a property. Contractors like Deppro come to assess what their clients can claim, and work hard to ensure they get the maximum amount back.