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How to survive investing in property

Investing in property is a path many choose to grow their wealth. Experienced investors, like those who take mentorship roles in Property Club, have a couple of dozen properties around Australia. Others are content with having just two or three in their portfolio. First-timers wonder, though: how do these experienced investors survive the game?

 

One aspect is knowing what could go wrong, and taking measures to prevent it. Investing in property isn’t a matter of ‘I’ll buy a place and hope for the best’. It’s a strategic game, and there’s every chance of losing. Dodgy tenants, bad property managers, natural disasters, and debt,  are just some of what can go wrong.

 

It’s important for investors to do their homework, and those who’ve played the game a while don’t even have to think about it. Seasoned investors look at property condition, the potential for capital gains tax, the ideal tenant for the place, and how much competition (other investors) there is in the surrounding area.

 

When you’re investing in property, you’ll also need a team of professionals on your side to handle the things you can’t. The same way you’d call a plumber to fix the pipes, you need a depreciation professional to make your depreciation schedule. Deppro’s quantity surveyors do their best work after the deal on the property is settled and they can inspect it in the condition you bought it. If you want to continue investing in property, having a depreciation schedule in hand will get you there faster.

 

To survive investing in property it’s important to know the risks, accept them, and do whatever you can to prevent them. You also need to do your homework on the house, apartment, or whatever else you want to add to your portfolio. To have a chance in the game, call on professionals like Deppro to get the ‘official business’ around your tax depreciation sorted.

The tax calculator; an essential tool for good business

Deppro’s tax calculator, depreciation services, and expert advice give investors around Australia the boost their efforts deserve. It’s not just property investors who take advantage of these services. Real estate agents and tax professionals partner with Deppro for reliable depreciation. Business owners with one commercial property (or several) will find that the online tools will make life easier to manage.

The tax calculator

Run as a free service through Deppro’s website, it requires this data to work:

  • Purchase price
  • Property type
  • Location
  • Date of settlement
  • Area in meters squared, and
  • Year of construction

The result is generated within seconds. The ‘report’ you’re given is an overview of what the comprehensive report will look like. Here’s an example:

tax calculator estimate

This report assumes no capital works are scheduled for the building, hence the nil values in that column. But even without this category in depreciation, your building will add over six thousands dollars to your returns in three years.

The property depreciation tax calculator gives Deppro customers an idea of what their depreciation schedule will look like. After using it, the customers call Deppro for a quote and set up an appointment with one of their quantity surveyors to inspect their property. Inspections are recommended as soon as the settlement with the agent is complete. Quantity surveyors perform better work when they see everything first hand in its original condition at purchase.

The depreciation schedule and the tax calculator are useful for your accountant, too. Because of tax laws and different areas of study, accountants can’t write depreciation schedules themselves. They use the report to create a detailed return, instead. Depreciation schedules are ATO compliant only when written by a quantity surveyor. The accountant is the next link in the chain for customers to claim the maximum amount on their return.

It’s said that as many as 80% of property investors don’t know they can claim depreciation, a lot of them are missing out on this extra income that could help them expand. It’s common practice to use the money for paying off debts. Investors even use it to put down initial payments on a new property. The tax calculator, an ATO-compliant depreciation schedule and a skilled accountant are tools that you can’t go without if you want to do good business.

What everybody ought to know about tax depreciation

There’s experts out there, like Deppro, who efficiently handle tax depreciation so their clients can get the best possible return. Seasoned property investors know about tax depreciation and how to claim deductions every year. This article is for the first-time investors wanting to get in the market, but not quite able to wrap their head around depreciation.

 

  • It’s a claimable expense

Tax depreciation is deductible from your income, giving you a greater tax return.

 

  • You need a depreciation schedule

This is absolutely necessary so investors and business owners can claim the maximum amount over time. Depreciation schedules begin from the settlement date and estimate the value of taxable items over their useful lifetime.

Getting a depreciation schedule takes the guesswork out of evaluating items in your property as the years pass. Quantity assessors, like those who work for Deppro, will do an inspection. The depreciation company uses these to write a report and a depreciation schedule. These are delivered to the client within the month. This often overlooked information helps investors significantly boost their returns.

 

  • You can buy more properties

The money earned back from tax depreciation lessens the debt investors take on when they buy property. It’s common for them to use the extra funds to expand their portfolio. Once they do, they repeat the process of getting a depreciation assessment.

 

  • The report isn’t an annual thing

The quantity surveyor will only need to visit the property once. They’ll take pictures and make notes before heading back to the office and drawing up the report, outlining the values of the items they see. If you do renovations on the home, though, you will need to update this report for an accurate schedule. You’ll get in trouble with the ATO if you make a claim with false information.

 

  • ATO approval

The depreciation schedule must come from a registered tax agent so that it complies with guidelines from the ATO.  Deppro’s quantity surveyors are educated, accredited, and take pride in providing accurate reports.

Buying an investment property for under $500,000

By Paul Bennion, Managing Director of DEPPRO

 

In most capital cities of Australia, apart from Melbourne and Sydney, there are still a plentiful supply of properties priced for sale under $500,000. This includes Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart. Major regional centres such as the Gold Coast in Queensland and Bunbury in Western Australia have this abundance of properties as well. In Perth, for example, it’s now an investors paradise. There’s many properties currently listed for sale under $500,000 located within a 20 kilometre radius of the CBD.

 

$500,000 is around half the median house price of Sydney. Properties in theses competitively priced capital cities offer a low risk entry into the property market. There’s added potential for capital growth moving forward. Yet, it’s important that first time investors take a cautious approach to their first property investment purchase. Realistically, they should focus on buying an investment property for under $500,000.

 

It’s an unfortunate fact that too many first-time investors financially over expose themselves. They buy an expensive investment property that limits their ability to purchase more in the future. This is especially the case if they purchase an expensive property in the wrong location. That could result in a financial nightmare. In contrast, buying a lower priced property that’s got the potential for strong capital growth is an important building block to creating a successful property portfolio.

 

Lower priced properties tend to have higher rental returns. This is important in a climate of rising interest rates, with the major banks increasing rates for investors over recent months.

 

Issues you should consider when buying a lower priced property include:

 

  • Spend time researching all aspects of property market before even looking for an investment property. First time property investors need to consider factors like negative or positive gearing, rental returns and depreciation.

 

  • Past trends in property values will generally indicate future trends. Therefore, it’s wise to examine the long-term capital growth rates of the suburb.

 

  • Take a broad approach to buying an investment property. Most first-time property investors buy a property in their local neighbourhood because they’re familiar with the area. By taking a narrow approach to the location of the investment property, first time investors severely limit their options.

 

  • Target suburbs in lower priced areas that have a higher number of properties for sale. A simple tip is to check the internet and weekend papers. This helps investors discover areas with a larger number of property ads.

 

  • When you have selected a suburb, don’t make an emotional decision when choosing a specific home. Most first-time investors purchase a property they’d like to live in. It’s important to remember that the investment property must appeal to a tenant who’ll be paying the rent.

 

  • Check out any planning changes proposed for the suburb. Many local governments are undertaking reviews of zoning that potentially have a major impact on property values. For example, a property that was purchased for a single residential use and then rezoned by the local council, as a triplex site. The property in turn notably increases in value.  The planning department of a local government can inform first time investors of any proposed zoning changes.

 

  • Check out any planned infrastructure changes in an area you’re interested in buying. For example, an upgrade of a local shopping centre or a new railway station will make a major impact on local property values.

 

  • Make sure that there are tenants prepared to rent your property. Rental income is a key factor in serving the loan. If you can’t find a tenant, then you’ll have problems keeping the investment property over the longer term.

 

  • Check your finances before you consider buying anything. If you have pre-approval finance it will allow you to move more quickly to secure the right investment property.