The great debate | Buy old property or build new?

Are you holding out for a heritage home? Or would you rather build a house that pays homage to era’s past with heritage ‘features’? We’ve gathered articles around the web that compare the pros and cons of buying vs. building for investment purposes.

 

Buying a house vs. building a house by CanStar

property

Banking, insurance, and investing are all part of CanStar’s services. It’s natural they’d write something about property investment and the associated costs. They look at both sides equally, listing the pros and cons of each. This is frustrating to those who want a simple ‘yes or no’ answer but their advice is not to be taken for granted

Building your home vs. buying: What to know before you decide by Domain

Domain interviewed several experts in the property field about this topic. A buyer’s agent, realtor, builder, and lecturer all have their say. Ultimately though? It depends on  the investor and their priorities.

 

Building your own Investment Property from Scratch by Your Investment Property

This article is written by Lindy Lear, a successful investor who built a portfolio of eight properties in three years. She takes readers through the process of building a home for investment purposes. This starts with choosing a property and ends with the amount of the (many) tax benefits the reader can claim if they follow through on their plans.

 

The big match up: buying old or buying new by Your Investment Property

Your Investment Property pits an investment strategist against a new homes developer in the debate. Both sides have valid points, some of which you mightn’t have thought of.

 

Is Buying A House or Building a Home a Better Investment? By Home Together

 

Home Together asks the questions the investor’s need to answer so they can decide what’s best for them. There’s even a downloadable checklist included!

 

Need more advice? Read on…

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  3. What NOT to do before and after getting your property report

What $500,000 can buy you in the 2017 property market

Thanks to constant news coverage about rising population numbers, employment, and therefore housing affordability, the property market seems less accessible than ever. Investors are asking themselves what they can buy for half a million, so we’ve compiled a short list. One home for each state around Australia.

 

  • Queensland

14 Macquarie Street, Teneriffe

Offers over $450,000

2 bed, 2 bath, 1 garage

This apartment is in the trendy suburb of Teneriffe. It comes with river views, easy access to the city, and a host of gyms, shops, and restaurants. Similar properties are around the same price, going up to as high as $2 million.

 

  • New South Wales

74 Tucklan Street, Dunedoo

$195,000

4 bed, 2 bath

This home is in the rural village of Dunedoo, 100kms from Dubbo. It’s on the market as a ‘recently renovated property’ though new owners can modernise it as they like. This is a steal in today’s property market, and has the potential to be a home for holiday tenants.

 

  • Victoria

59A Vale Street, Alfredton

3 bed, 2 bath, double garage

$349,000

Not bad for a Ballarat townhouse. This home, only three years old, is good for those investors looking at homes for empty-nesters and downsizers. There’s a small backyard area and spacious bedrooms inside. The townhouse is close to shops and schools for small families.

 

 

  • Tasmania

5-7 Doric Court, Zeehan

3 bed, 1 bath, single car

$125,000

Investors looking for a small family home on the property market would snap this up for a minimal amount. Zeehan is a small town of less than 800 and the house is down the road from the local school. It’s marketed as having a double block of land, new external Colorbond, and a rumpus. The interior is quite dated, making it a prime candidate for renovation.

 

  • South Australia

503 Fullarton Road, Highgate

2 bed, 2 bath, garage

$495,000

Just within the $500k budget, this stunning house is a rarity. On the outside, it looks like a grand home, a mansion, even. When really, it was renovated to work as an apartment block with three units. The exterior keeps its Mediterranean style character from when it was built in the 1930s, but the interior is totally modern, complete with an elevator. This is definitely a steal in the 2017 property market.

 

  • Western Australia

26 Collins Street, Kalgoorlie

3 bed, 2 bath, garage

$265,000

You can spend just over half your budget and get a lot back in return in WA. This cottage was built in 1927 and leaves investors some room to redecorate, so you can claim depreciation on any new fixtures you install. There’s a large amount of exterior space, perfect for tenants with pets and children.

 

  • Northern Territory

9 Dowling Street, Katherine

2 bed, 2 bath, garage, pool

$340,000

Getting a home with a pool for less than $500,000 is a miracle, but it can be done if you’re looking at the property market in the Northern Territory. This home recently underwent a massive renovation that included the installation of the pool. Located in Katherine South, the home is close to the library, the public hot springs, and national parkland, making it good for family/tourist tenants.

 

We wrote these too, if you want more:

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The great debate: 5 articles about smashed avo vs property investment

On May 16th 2017, property guru Tim Gurner appeared on 60 Minutes to talk about the property market and he didn’t hold back. What he didn’t expect, though, was to set off a chain reaction of jokes, puns, and a genuine debate about breakfast.

His comments that young people can’t afford to get into the market thanks to meals out and their daily coffee hit received a lot of backlash, but also changed the way we looked at Australian property investment. We collected some of the best articles about the issue from around the web so you can make your own judgement.

 

 

 

‘There was no discussions around, could I go out for breakfast, could I go out for dinner. I just worked.’  – Tim Gurner

A quote from the original interview that sparked an uproar. Tim Gurner, property investment advisor and developer speaks candidly about his struggles when he entered the property market…and why the new generation has no chance of getting their foot in the door.

 

 

 

Travel, smashed avo, or that avocado farm in rural WA? Mark Campbell, writer for the Sydney Morning Herald, looks at the ‘lazy’ millennial generation and their prospects for entering the property market. Are they really in trouble when they’re spending money on trips to South America and $15 smashed avo with a sprinkling of dukkah?

 

 

 

The debate made its way over to the USA, where a savvy Twitter user did some maths and shared the results.

 

 

How many serves of avo smash a day equals the profit your investment property brings you in capital? This tongue-in-cheek piece from Real Estate has some unexpected figures.

 

 

What if it’s not the breakfasts’, or millennial’s, fault? Nick Evershed from The Guardian helpfully points out that markets and general affordability, or lack thereof, are putting young people out of the running.

This article even comes with a fun ‘luxuries’ calculator that equates the amount of ‘fun stuff’ people can do, eat, and more with the equivalent of a property investment deposit.

 

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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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Behave like a 1% property investor with these tips

You say you’re a property investor. You spend the weekend looking at open houses and you read the real estate section. Domain.com.au or realestate.com.au is permanently open in your menu bar. But did you know less than 1% of property investors successfully build a portfolio?

 

In a previous article, we spoke more about these statistics. The most common type of property investor only owns one home, apartment, or commercial building (72%). Less than 20% own two. First time investors often fail to truly build their best portfolio thanks to a trail of mistakes that prevents them from growing.

 

So how do you behave like a 1% property investor? Well for one, you must understand risk and have a high tolerance for it. Property is a business, a game to be respected. Treating it like a side gig or a hobby, or just not taking it seriously, will come back to bite you when something goes wrong.

The 1% are patient and have clear game plans for what they want to achieve. Property isn’t a ‘get rich quick’ scheme by any means. There’s loans to take out, home-hunting to do, and meetings to attend with professional advisors. The general consensus with entering the market is to make money. Investors in the 1% will have 6 or more properties in their portfolio. They make hundreds of thousands, right up to the millions, every year, and that’s only from rental income.

 

If you aspire to grow your portfolio like the 1%, learn from your mistakes and from those that others have made. Friends and family, though they mean well, aren’t the best place to look for advice. Rather, join an investment group, like a  property club, that has a network of professionals. Communities like this are great for accessing financial advisors, meeting fellow investors, and even making new friends.

 

Don’t just act like the 1% do think like them. This is one of the best ways you can grow your portfolio and your bank balance. Change your mindset to something more clinical and business-like. You’re a property investor, a business person. Not ‘player one’ in the property game.

 

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Depreciation assistance for real estate professionals

To make a sale, real estate agents need to rely on cold hard facts. Their clients need assurances that the property they’re seeing is the best investment for them. It doesn’t matter if the property is a commercial building or a home; if there’s benefits available, it’s music to anyone’s ears.

 

There’s two classes in a depreciation schedule: capital works, and plant & equipment. Capital works are things the ATO considers permanently fixed to the building (bricks, mortar, wiring etc). Plant and equipment is a different matter. Items in this category are things that can easily be removed from the building such as carpet, furniture, and even the smoke alarms. Thanks to age and general wear, the items in both categories will lose value over time. This creates an amount that can get claimed on a tax return every year.

 

Having access to ATO-approved depreciation schedules almost on-demand is a great asset for real estate agents and property managers. They can present tangible tax benefits to their clients during a sit-down meeting or even during a property inspection.

 

Real estate agents know that their clients are looking for the best deal. Presenting the depreciation schedule is a huge advantage in helping them close a sale. Depreciation is essentially the same as savings, or money back from a PAYG statement. It shows the property’s earning potential and can be the difference between a negative-geared asset and turning a profit every week.

 

Property managers will also benefit from professional depreciation assistance. If their client is unsure of the tax breaks their property can provide, managers can look up a deprecation report just as easily as a real estate agent. Oftentimes the investor doesn’t know they can order the depreciation report themselves and turns to their manager for help.

 

The benefits that real estate agents and property managers can reap from depreciation assistance are numerous. They don’t just build trust with their client by providing the basis for sound advice. They’ll net a sale and gain a reputation for handling properties with amazing tax benefits.

FAQs on capital gains tax

Capital gains tax is one of the complicated terms in the investment world. It’s essential, though, to understand it when it’s time to sell your investment property. We break down some of the frequently asked questions about capital gains tax here.

 

  • What does it mean?

Capital gain means you sell your asset for a profit. This includes investment properties and shares. Selling an asset for a capital loss is when you lose money on that asset come sale time.

 

  • What’s excluded from CGT?

Capital gains tax only applies to your assets, not your personal property. Your personal home, car, and collectables are excluded from taxation. According to the ATO website, depreciating items don’t count in calculating capital gains tax. This is usually plant & equipment in your rental property portfolio. Also excluded are:

  • Injury compensation
  • Personal assets like boats and furniture
  • Anything bought before September 20th, 1985 (pre-CGT)
  • Winnings or losses from gambling

 

  • Do rates vary?

That depends if you’re an individual or a business. The rate paid to you is the same as that of your income tax rate the year of your return. The way capital gains tax is calculated remains the same. The most common method is subtracting your cost base from the sale price of your property.

 

The cost base is how much you bought the property for, plus any associated expenses. This includes stamp duty, plus legal and incidental costs. You also must subtract depreciating items. Finder.com visualising the calculations like this:
capital gains tax

 

  • Can I get a discount on my capital gains tax?

Yes, you can get a discount on your tax, but only if you’ve held the asset for more than 12 months. You can also claim a discount for the amount of time the asset was used for personal reasons.

 

If you’re not sure about your capital gains tax, there’s free calculators available from investment websites like Your Investment Property.

This is how to get your best tax return yet

Tax-time isn’t something to fear if you have your affairs in order. At the end of it you get something even better: a tax refund! The ease of filing your your tax return depends on you and how you handle your affairs. The amount you get back depends on what you know you can claim. We have some advice to help you handle both.

 

Deppro handles property depreciation reports, not tax, but we know a thing or two about the latter. ‘Tax depreciation’ is the same thing as property depreciation. It’s part of your annual taxable income.

 

The cost of a depreciation schedule is actually fully deductible, along with whatever depreciation amount you can claim that year. That’s more money going back into your bank account!

 

Investment property is a source of income, and you must list it on your tax return. Depreciation is the ‘extra’ essential that can push you further to your goal. Imagine paying off your loan or now having the potential to buy another property. Depreciation earns investors tens of thousands of dollars over the time they hold the assets in their portfolio. That’s just for one property. Imagine being in the 1% club and having six or more.

 

To get your best-ever tax return, you need your accountant on your side. You would’ve handed over your tax depreciation report to them, anyway. It’s their job to file a return that gets you the best amount back possible.

 

Before you meet with them, it’s possible to estimate how much you’ll get back. The ATO releases a new edition of their tax return estimator every year, and it’s free to use. You need:

  • Your PAYG statement (for gross income and tax withheld)
  • A list of your tax offsets and what you can claim
  • Calculation of your Medicare levy
  • To know your residency

If your numbers are accurate and you have the correct information, what you get from your accountant won’t be much different. If at all.

 

To get your best-ever tax return, you must be organised. When the end of financial year comes, you need these tools in order to claim:

  • Your accountant
  • PAYG statement
  • Depreciation report
  • List of tax offsets

Not all tools are free, but they pay for themselves in the end thanks to that amazing tax refund!

4 common rental property depreciation questions

We answer rental property depreciation questions on a daily basis here at Deppro, and some have popped up more than others. If you’re new to the tax depreciation world, or just need a refresher to jog your memory, read on.

 

 

  • What’s the difference between ongoing and capital expenses?

 

When you hire a property manager, pay for advertising and cleaning, alongside various fees and rates for council and the like, they’re ongoing expenses.

Capital expenses contribute directly to your rental property depreciation. Capital works like the rendering of the building, any electrical work or appliances installed are eligible.

 

 

  • How can I measure depreciation potential?

 

You can go the old fashioned route and crunch the numbers yourself, but what’s the point if you don’t have to? Deppro has a free online depreciation estimate tool that’s trusted by investors, tax agents, and real estate professionals. You’ll need the following information:

  • Date of construction
  • Purchase price
  • Floor area
  • Location
  • Type of structure

 

 

  • Can I claim depreciation on previous renovations?

 

Yes you can! The beauty of rental property depreciation is you can claim existing works on any structure built after 1987, regardless of who completed them. You own the building after settlement, so the plant & equipment and capital works depreciation are yours.

 

 

  • What can I deduct at tax time?

 

This is one of the rental property depreciation questions we can’t answer. If you’re looking to claim deductions for your tax return, it’s better to ask your accountant. They’ll have your existing portfolio, previous tax history, and the other information they need to give you a better answer.

What you can depreciate is another matter. For example, if a tenant has caused damage to the property and you need to conduct capital works to fix them. You’ll have to make adjustments to the depreciation schedule, but you can claim depreciation on the works for as long as you own the property.

 

Customers rely on Deppro to answer their rental property depreciation questions before and after adding to their portfolios. Our blog has extensive advice on a range of topics and we’re available anytime over phone, or at our offices in capital cities around Australia.

Depreciation on investment property makes life easier

Investors and business owners order depreciation on investment property so they can efficiently handle expenses. Many investors, though, don’t know about depreciation and how it can make their lives easier. It absolutely pays off financially, and there’s other perks as well.

Most people don’t think about taxes everyday, but the professionals do. Ordering a depreciation report on investment property removes a lot of guesswork and takes the pressure off their minds. Thanks to the experts, they can make accurate deductions for the time they own the properties in their portfolios. Deppro’s reports last forty years, long enough to hold the property and sell it on.

Access to a depreciation schedule is easy for any investor, whether they’re just starting out or played the game for a while. Companies like Deppro exist to help people at any stage of their investment game. They’ll explain how the report works, how items are categorised, and what to do after the clients get the depreciation schedule in their hands. This makes life easier, especially for newcomers, because the experts are taking care of everything.

When you ask the experts for help with depreciation for investment property, you’re also getting an education. Deppro guides their clients through the process of ordering the report and how to use it to maximise deductions. You’ll also learn what a quantity surveyor does, and what items will fall under ‘capital works’ if you ever renovate your property.

When you get expert help for depreciation on investment property you’re making less work for yourself. You get a depreciation schedule that lasts for decades and saves you worrying about accurate numbers. The report, and the expert help that comes with it, is accessible to anyone at any stage of building a portfolio. You’ll also learn a few things along the way, like how to use the report for taxes, and whether you can claim the new carpet for the office as a deductible expense (yes, you can).