Why invest in property?
Investment properties have many benefits when building long-term wealth. If you take the time and select your investment properties well – for example, to meet the demands and lifestyle expectations of the changing demographic – property can deliver good returns for long-term investors.
There are few differences between what you need to do to borrow for a property you’ll live in and for one you’ll rent out. Some lenders charge a higher interest rate for investment properties because their risk may be higher. But this may not necessarily be the case.
If you have owned your own home for a few years, you could have built up quite a bit of equity in your property.
Equity is the value of an asset not subject to any lender’s interest. For example, a property worth $500,000 with a mortgage loan of $150,000 has equity of $350,000. Instead of finding a cash deposit to buy an investment property, you can use this equity as the deposit.
When you buy a property, there will be costs such as establishment fees, solicitor fees and stamp duty. Instead of trying to find cash to pay these fees, take them into account in your borrowings. That means you don’t need thousands upon thousands of dollars in savings to get started.
What’s negative gearing?
A property is negatively geared when the costs of owning it – interest on the loan, bank charges, maintenance, repairs and capital depreciation – exceeds the income it produces. Simply put, your investment must make a loss before you can claim a tax benefit.
You can also positively gear a property. This occurs when the investment income exceeds your interest expense (and other possible deductions). Note that you may be subject to additional tax on any income derived from a positively geared investment.