What is the difference between a home loan and an investment loan?

Most of the same types of loans and features are available for both investors and owner occupiers. However, some lenders may charge higher rates for investment properties if the associated risks are higher.

Can I use the equity from my current home as a deposit for investment properties?

Banks will usually accept equity in a property as collateral against which they may be prepared to lend; in fact, many investors started out this way. You could potentially borrow the full purchase price of your property – plus whatever amount you’ll need to pay additional fees (e.g. stamp duty) – without actually having to contribute a deposit. There is a risk that both the investment property and your home are at risk in the event you cannot fund your new mortgage.

What is negative gearing?

Negative gearing is when the annual cost of owning your investment property – through interest repayments, strata fees, maintenance etc (see “additional fees” for a full run down) is more than the income you make from that property. This loss can be used to reduce your income tax bill.

What is a self-managed superannuation fund loan?

A self-managed super fund loan is when you withdraw money from your super fund to invest in a property. There are a few rules and restrictions around this, so it’s a good idea to consider getting financial, tax and legal advice before considering this type of loan.

How much can I borrow?

There are a number of factors that will determine the amount you can borrow, including (but not limited to) your current income and the purchase price of the property, so it’s best to chat through your options with your mortgage broker.

How do I choose which loan is right for me?

To find out more about the different types of home loans, head over to our loan types guide where we break down each loan, including the advantages and disadvantages of each.

How much do I need for a deposit?

You will need a minimum of between 5 – 10% of the value of the property for your deposit, although this will vary between lenders. Your mortgage broker will be able to give you more information about this.

How often will I need to make repayments on my loan?

Most lenders will let you choose your repayment cycle, although if possible, it is a good idea to think about aiming for fortnightly payments rather than monthly, as you will make more repayments over the year which will shorten the length of your loan.

What types of fees & costs can be expected when buying an investment property?

There are a few fees and costs that you may need to budget for. Some of these include:

  1. Lender costs. These costs include administration fees as well as the lender’s own valuation. These costs will generally be between $600 – $800.
  2. Legal and conveyancing fees. Generally between $1,000 – $1,500.
  3. Mortgage insurance costs. Lenders mortgage insurance is applied to loans that are more than 80% of the purchase price.
  4. Building inspection and report. This should be done before you purchase the property and should always be completed by a qualified expert. The contract of sale should take into consideration the building inspection, giving you the option to withdraw the offer without significant penalty. A building inspection and report will cost about $1,000 depending on the size of your property.
  5. Pest inspection. Again, this should be done before you purchase the property to make sure the property you are buying is problem-free when it comes to pests. The contract of sale should also take into consideration the pest inspection, giving you the opportunity to withdraw (without incurring any major costs) if pests are found to be a problem. A pest inspection will cost around $500 depending on the size of your property.
  6. Stamp duty. Stamp duty rates are dependent on the value price of the property and are set by each state and territory. There may also be a stamp duty on the mortgage.
  7. Ongoing costs. When applying for your home loan, it is a good idea to also start looking at home and contents insurance. Some lenders require a minimum-sum insurance policy, which will cover the building should anything go wrong. However it is a generally advisable to insure for more than the minimum sum to cover the costs should you be required to rebuild. This also applies for contents insurance, ensuring you are covered if you need to replace your belongings should the unexpected happen.

Once you have settled into your property, you will also need to budget for council and water costs along with your regular loan repayments

What is landlord’s insurance?

Landlord’s insurance (or investment insurance) will cover your property against damage or theft caused by the tenant, events such as weather and fire, as well as outstanding rent should the tenant not be up to date. It will also cover you for any liability should a tradesperson be injured while working on your property.

Why should I invest in property?

There are many reasons why investment property is a worthwhile consideration:

Capital growth

This is the increase in the value of the property over time – the long term average growth rate for Australian residential property is currently at around 9% per year.

Rental income

This is the income you receive by renting out your investment property and is often referred to as yield. You can work out the yield on your property by dividing the annual rent by the total purchase price and multiplying by 100, to get a yield percentage. Generally speaking, a more expensive property would generate a lower yield and will more likely result in a higher capital growth over time.

Tax benefits

If the cost of owning your property, including interest repayments, strata fees, maintenance etc (see “additional fees” for a full run down) is more than you receive in rental payments, the Federal Government will allow you to offset this loss against your taxable income.

Leverage

Leverage is when you use the equity from your current home or property to assist with the purchase of another property.

Information current as of 2015-09-29

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