|February 5, 2018||No Comments|
If you can’t decide whether to buy your first property as your home or as an investment property, here are some issues that may help you make up your mind.
If you’re buying your first property, the first thing you need to do is decide whether to buy it as a home or a rental property. This decision will impact on everything else you do down the line.
It can be a difficult decision to make. On the one hand, you want that security of living in your own home without the hassles of dealing with a landlord. On the other hand, you want to start building your property portfolio to secure your retirement.
There are upsides and downsides to each option. The best way is to assess all of these and see what works best for you over the short and longer term.
The upsides of buying your home first
While there are more restrictions and it is less generous now, the First Home Owner Grant is still available to first home buyers and could help you in a big way if you qualify. This assistance is only given to first-time buyers purchasing their homes.
If you buy your first property as a home and live there for at least 12 months, you won’t have to pay capital gains tax when you sell, no matter how much the value has grown during that time. There are certain taxation rules that you need to meet, but essentially, as long as you’ve lived in this property for the whole time and haven’t earned any income from it, you’re entitled to full exemption. In contrast, you’ll have to pay capital gains tax on your investment property when you sell.
The recent crackdown on investment lending will likely make it more difficult for investors to get a loan, especially those who are just starting out. In contrast, lenders are often more willing to lend to borrowers who are buying their homes. There also could be scope to get a lower interest rate as a first home buyer, depending on your lender.
The upsides of buying an investment property first
You could earn regular income that will help you better manage your cash flow. Essentially, your tenants are paying your mortgage repayments, provided you buy a property that’s earning enough to cover the interest payments.
Lenders often allow you to pay just the interest on your mortgage for a number of years. This can make it easier to hold your property and will likely put less strain on your budget. In contrast, you’re more likely to be obliged to pay principal and interest repayments for your owner-occupied loan.
You can potentially get more money from the banks, thanks to the rental income you’ll be getting from your investment property. While lenders will apply different criteria, generally they take about 60% of the rental income as a proportion and use this in their calculation of your borrowing capacity. Having this extra 60% added to your personal income could make a huge difference to your loan approval and serviceability.
There are a range of expenses that you can claim as tax deductions in relation to your rental property. For example, in most cases you can claim interest payments, maintenance costs, and rates, among others. In contrast, you won’t be able to claim any of these if you buy your property as an owner-occupier.
Negative gearing means your investment property is earning less than the cost of holding it. You cover the shortfall in the hope that in the future your property will grow in value so you can recoup these losses. You can then claim these losses as tax deductions against your taxable income. So now that you have known these facts it is left to make your decision based on what suite you most.