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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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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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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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8 amazing home builds and overhauls from around the web to inspire your investment property renovation

Are you looking at the type of investment property you can ‘fix-up’ and flip for a profit? Or even turn into a rental? There’s hundreds of thousands of design pages, and just as many websites and blogs,  it’s difficult to filter out the noise. We’ve compiled some of the best ideas.

 

Curb appeal

Bringing Elements Together

This new home in Geelong brings different materials together to create a stunning facade. When you’re renovating your investment property, or building from scratch, look at the curb appeal of the other homes in the neighbourhood and see what you elements  can mimic…if not do better.

Lounge

Living Room Inspiration by HiPages

The lounge/living area is where your tenants will end up at the end of a long work day. They’ll kick up their feet, put on the Foxtel and spend the night in with a movie. Wood and concrete are hardy materials, though carpeting and rugs are more comfortable to walk on. You can change the finishes depending on the lifestyle and type of tenant you’re marketing to.

Dining/Kitchen

Galley kitchen designs to inspire a kitchen makeover

The heart of the home. Family members and visitors spend most of their time in this space. It’s also the most highly judged of the rooms in the investment property. Don’t scrimp on the paint or finishes. The space is meant to be functional, but also make it warm and welcoming, like this galley-style kitchen. Many modern kitchens have an island bench and an open-plan design that flows seamlessly to the dining area.

Master Bed

5 incredible house design ideas & images from Real Estate

Prospective buyers look at kitchens and bathrooms for value. Bedrooms, though, should never be overlooked. Master bedrooms are meant to serve as a sanctuary, preferably with an ensuite like this one above in Flinders House, Victoria. You can claim depreciation on the new fixtures when you renovate the investment property.

Bathrooms

Bathroom Ideas – Bathroom Designs and Photos by Real Estate

Rainfall shower heads, deep bathtubs and heated towel-racks? Tenants have high expectations and they’ll look right over your investment property if it doesn’t stack up.

 

Second Bedroom

Create an inviting guest bedroom

The more bedrooms, the higher the rental income! Your investment property might cater for roommates, couples, or a three-person family. But make the bedroom styling neutral. This way you can appeal to the maximum amount of buyers. Jo Carmichael from HomeLife has some useful tips in this article.

 

Study

Before & After: A Whole New Look for a Home Office

Simple, yet functional. If your investment property has an extra room, turn it into a home office. This is great for working parents and people who need an area to work on homework and projects.

Outdoor living

Affordable Sydney Patios by Houzz

A patio, balcony or a backyard is part of the australian way of life. If you have outdoor real estate, use it. Spruce it up with some new lawn, paint the fence and design it in a way so that it flows from the kitchen/dining area. INDESIGNS from Sydney has managed to pull this off in a Scandinavian-style cottage, complete with a kids cubby house. You might not put one in for your tenants, but it certainly adds character.

Garage

How to declutter your garage by Real Estate

Even this part of the house needs some attention. You mightn’t need to renovate it, but it’ll need a good clearing out. The tenants in your investment property most likely drive and the garage needs to have room to fit at least one large vehicle. This area also doubles as a storage space and adding shelves with help with functionality. Don’t forget about curb appeal; the exterior of the garage is always visible from the street.

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Avoid emotional fallout when investing in property with these tips

There’s never one, simple reason for investing in property. Buyers might want to add to an existing  portfolio, start a renovation project, or have a home to rent out for holidays. Humans are only, well, human and emotions sometimes run high when it comes to property.

 

Avoiding emotions is difficult; you can’t shut them off completely. When you get something you want it’s natural to feel happiness, even elation. But the opposite is sadness and downright devastation. First-time investors and buyers are most susceptible to this because they lack experience in the area. The emotional burnout of hunting for properties and attempting to invest, only to get rejected, is severe.

 

Seasoned investors have gone through the initial roller-coaster of emotion and know that they’re investing in property for their potential tenants, not themselves. Investors have the experience to analyse properties with a near ‘clinical’ eye. They categorise the positives and the negatives of the home, whether it fits the profile of their ideal tenant, and if it will generate any income.

 

One way to deal with the emotions, and all the highs and lows that come with them, is developing  a business mindset. Take the personal bias out of the equation and ask yourself: “what would an investor do?” Don’t go about investing in property because you hope to move into it  one day or it fits the mould of your dream house. Your tastes, great as they are, don’t suit everyone.

 

Another way is to get the professionals on your side. The buyers agents and property specialists at your bank are unbiased and will honestly say if a particular home is a smart buy. When you’re looking at property for investment, you want to buy a place that generates income. It’s not pleasant when a depreciation specialist comes back with a report saying you basically purchased a money pit.

 

Emotions are fine, but emotional fall out is not. Avoid making irrational decisions by changing your mindset and getting the professionals on your side.

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).

How to get on top of property depreciation

Property depreciation is a crucial part of managing your taxes and rental property. If you don’t do it, you’re missing out on cash – lots of it. So how does one get on top of their tax depreciation?

 

First thing’s first: get an expert. Companies like Deppro prepare depreciation reports/schedules that are ATO compliant. Their staff evaluate items for their lifetime value and prepare the report, detailing how they will decrease in value over time. Things in and around the home fall into two categories: plant and equipment, or capital works

 

Second, get the expert to come as soon as you settle with the real estate agent. Quantity surveyors work best when they see the items in the condition you bought them. If the previous owner has done renovations, you can claim deductions on their work! The ATO will only accept a property depreciation report created by a quantity surveyor, not an accountant. This is because they’re the most qualified to do it. You wouldn’t expect someone who estimates material costs for a living to write your tax return.

 

That said, the third step is to get your accountant on your side. They help you with your tax return every year, making sure you’re not missing anything you’re eligible to claim. The accountant will treat the property and depreciable items as another asset to claim. They’ll need the property depreciation schedule to properly write out the returns over the years.

 

Another helpful way to get on top of property depreciation is to make  sure you’re buying a property that will pay for itself over the years. A house or apartment that’s recently renovated and meets the criteria to generate high rental income is ideal.

 

Property depreciation is difficult to wrap your head around. To get on top of it, it’s absolutely necessary to call in experts like Deppro not long after your settlement. When you’ve got the depreciation schedule in hand, you’re set for life, or at least the next forty years.