How To Start Real Estate (Property) Investing in Australia?

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Students want to know how to invest in real estate and buy an investment property in Australia.

 

Australia continues to be the preferred destination for purchasing investment properties.

 

Its stable property markets allow investors to enhance cash flow, gain tax benefits, build wealth, and secure their financial future.

 

The fact that everyone needs to have a roof over their heads makes property investing an in-demand and lucrative investment strategy to earn money in the future.

 

Read this blog to learn more about real estate and property investing and whether it fits your circumstances. You will learn how to invest in properties for beginners and the best ways to start your investment journey in Australia.

 

 

1. What Is An Investment Property?

 

Buying an investment property is an investment in real estate that helps grow wealth and generate a passive income.

 

The financial return you earn from this investment can be in the form of the following:

 

  • A rental yield is where the owner rents to a business or resident

  • A future gain is when you sell the property for a profit.

 

 

2. Pros And Cons Of Buying An Investment Property In Australia

 

 

Pros

 

  • It helps you gain a steady cash flow from your rental property.

  • You get tax benefits from investing, which makes buying an investment property more accessible. You can claim specific investment property expenditures like maintenance costs, management costs, and other borrowing expenditures as tax deductions. 

  • If your property increases in value, you can use capital gains to build equity without living in it. This will help make it easier to refinance to another loan or buy another property while continuing to rent in the desired location.

 

 

Cons

 

  • You will have to pay capital gains tax on the profits earned on the investment property you choose to sell.

  • First-home buyers can lose access to the First Home Owner Grants and stamp duty concessions when purchasing an investment property. 

  • Considering the property market swings of the past few years, it is evident that property investment isn't immune to risks. Some areas have reported year-on-year losses of over 20% recently, while the average 10-year return on property is 8%,

  • Not all investment property expenses are tax-deductible. You still need to do many admin tasks like plumbing, repairing, fixing broken fittings, etc., on your own. Also, sudden expenditures like property damage from natural causes can be costly.

 

 

3. How Much Deposit Do You Need For an Investment Property In Australia?

 

You will usually require a 20% deposit to purchase an investment property.

 

You can use your equity from your existing home or savings to buy an investment property.

 

If you cannot make a full 20% deposit, you can take out a Lender's Mortgage Insurance. This insurance safeguards the bank if you fail to repay your mortgage.

 

 

4. Can You Afford an Investment Property? 

 

Consider asking yourself a few key questions to assess whether owning an investment suits you:
 

  • Why do you want to buy an investment property?

  • How important is it in my long-term financial plan?

  • What investment property do I look for, one that gives me high rental yields or one that I can sell at a profit in the next 5 or 10 years?

  • Do you seek a property to give it on rent right now or want to renovate it to enhance its value?

  • What property do you want to buy- an apartment or a home?

  • What interest rate do I need to pay on my home mortgage for an investment property?

 

The answers to the above questions will help you determine whether or not you can afford the type of investment estate that aligns with your long-term investment goals. In addition to the above, you must consider the costs of buying real estate.

 

Deposit: You need 20% of the property's price to avoid paying the Lender's Mortgage Insurance fees. 

 

Home Loan: You may also require to pay for other home loan-related expenses such as application fees, legal fees, valuation fees, monthly or annual fees, and setup fees. Read the fine print to learn about the costs before applying for a house loan.

 

Buying Costs: When your loan is approved, you need to look at expenses related to the purchase of the property, such as:

 

  • Stamp duty charges 

  • Attorney fees 

  • Registration costs 

  • Ownership transfer costs 

  • Cost of building inspection 

  • The cost incurred in the title search

  • Property Insurance, maintenance, and management costs

  • Strata fees and Council rates

  • Land tax on the investment property

 

Buyer's Agent Fees: You will need to pay a certain percentage of the buying price of the property (commission) to the buyer's agent to help search for and acquire the right property. 

 

 

5. Steps To Invest In Real Estate In Australia

 

It can be a tough, risky, and challenging experience for beginners to invest in a rental property. It requires elaborate planning, research, knowledge, and the backing of the right professionals to make it a profitable and rewarding venture.

 

The below section will help simplify real estate investing for beginners and navigate you on the path to becoming a landlord:

 

 

Step 1: Assess Your Cash Flow And Budget

 

This is the first step to starting your journey in property investment.

 

List your expenses and assets, including savings and income, to figure out how much you have for a deposit and how much you need to save.

 

 

Step 2: Make an Investment Plan

 

Once you know your financials, the next step is determining what property you should invest in.

 

Here is a short questionnaire that will help you gain clarity on the right property for investment:

 

  • What kind of estate am I looking to purchase- housing (house, units, or apartments) or commercial?

  • How much do I need to spend?

  • What locations suit my investor profile?

  • What will be the ongoing expenses for properties in a specific area?

  • How much capital growth, rental returns, and vacancy rates can I expect at a given location?

  • Are any benefits attracting people to live and work in this location? 

  • What cash flow or income can I expect?

  • Are there any risks involved?

 

 

Step 3: Contact Your Mortgage Broker or Bank and Get a Pre-Approval

 

You should seek a home loan if you need more cash to make property payments.

 

Most lenders would want you to make an upfront lumpsum payment of 20% of the current property value as a deposit. You can take out a lender's mortgage insurance if you don't have adequate cash. 

 

Compare different lenders, and apply for a loan with the best lender. Contact them to find out how much they will lend you and at what interest rate.

 

Getting the loan pre-approved is suggested to get certainty on how much money you can spend on a property.

 

 

Step 4: Consider The Loan Structure

 

Based on the economic environment and advice from the professionals, decide on the following:

 

  • Whether to go for an interest-only or principal-and-interest loan

  • Should you lock the loan interest rates on a variable, fixed, or split term? 

 

 

Step 5: Set Your Investment Goals

 

Determine what you want to achieve and your investment timeframe.

 

Do you want to invest in a property for consistent rental income to secure your retirement or to sell it at a profit and earn a capital gain?

 

 

Step 6: Talk To Professionals

 

Consider taking the help of a financial advisor and accountant to get you more clarity on your investment goals, verify your budget, and understand the tax implications and benefits of an investment property purchase.

 

You can also consult them to advise you on the best investment strategy to generate the best returns.

 

Consult a lawyer or a conveyancer who is a qualified expert familiar with legal documents and legislation related to property purchase and sale. Their assistance during complex documentation and settlement will make it relatively easy.

 

 

Step 7: Create a Property Assessment Model  

 

Before you search for properties, decide on a few parameters on which you will assess a property to find whether it is the right one for you:

 

  • Location 

  • Access to public amenities and employment opportunities that make it in high demand among the public

  • General Vibes

  • Property type – (Unit, a townhouse, a freestanding house)

  • Exterior and interior of the investment

  • New or established

  • Potential for capital growth and rental income

  • Ongoing property expenses

 

 

Step 8: Find A Local Property Agent to Start Your Property Search

 

In addition to researching the location, and local property market, find a real estate agent who can show you properties based on your criteria. 

 

You can also consider online real estate portals like realestate.com.au, ljhooker.com.au, and domain.com.au to find properties that are up for sale.

 

 

Step 9: Decide On The Property Management Strategy

 

After buying an investment property, decide how you will manage it.

 

You can do it yourself (DIY) or take the services of a property manager. Though the property manager charges approx. 7 to 10% of your total rental income, the level of expertise and the benefits they offer outweigh the cost. 

 

They will provide you with regular and detailed property evaluation reports and copies of critical documents. They will also periodically review the local market and overall rent rates to help you get the best outcome.

 

 

6. Investment Property Tips For Beginners In Australia

 

Are you a beginner with no experience in real estate investment?

 

Here are some concise investment property tips to boost your confidence and guide your property investment decisions:

 

  • Formulate a plan - Identify your end goals and what you wish to achieve, then form investment decisions accordingly.

  • Figure out how much you can afford to borrow with a home mortgage.

  • Decide who will manage the property.

  • Decide how you want to invest in a property- physical property, REITs, properties on the ASX, REIG, etc.

  • Specify a realistic budget that you can set aside for property investment without scarifying your lifestyle. When making the budget, keep in mind that lenders usually ask for at least 10% to 20% of the property price as an upfront payment. You would also need to pay for other fees related to buying, such as stamp duty, insurance, maintenance, interest on borrowings, and legal and conveyancing fees.

 

You also need to consider minor ongoing property costs/expenses, such as council rates, strata fees, repairs and maintenance, and water rates. Property management fees, projected vacancy costs, including loss of rent and advertising, landlords' insurance, land tax, and renovation cost.

 

  • Research the property market in your area to find the property's potential for capital growth, ongoing costs, and rental income to arrive at the correct property, location, and investment buying price.

  • Compare the different lenders to find the one that is reputable and offers a competitive interest rate with no hidden charges.

  • Check your credit score and history to ensure no discrepancies in the credit report. This is important before you start to inspect properties.

  • Consider whether you require taking landlord's insurance to protect its content from unexpected events. 

  • If you are stuck, feel free to seek expert assistance with your property investing goals. 

 

This includes seeking independent and unbiased professional advice from experienced accountants, conveyancers, buyer's agents, property experts, financial planners, mortgage brokers, and local real estate agents. 

 

They can guide you on the right property types to help you reach your financial goals and boost your chances of success.

 

 

7. How Do Beginners Make Money In Real Estate?

 

Real estate investing offers lucrative opportunities to diversify your portfolio and generate additional income.

 

For beginners, it's advisable to start by exploring various property investment options. Consider investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), which allow you to invest in real estate without owning physical properties.

 

These REITs often own commercial real estate and offer attractive dividends. You can also reinvest your dividend income to further grow your capital.

 

 

  • Option 1: One way to invest in real estate is to use an online real estate investing platform that connects real estate developers to investors who look for investors wish to finance their projects via equity or debt. In return, the developers pay monthly or quarterly distributions to their investors.

 

  • Option 2: If you relate yourself to the type of person who wants to own rental real estate but doesn't want the hassles of running it, then investing in REITs can be worth considering. It is a small mutual fund that invests in real estate.

 

  • Option 3: Another option is to buy and rent out an investment property. Find one that gives you more money in rent than the expenses you incur.

 

  • Option 4: If you are comfortable taking risks, consider flipping investment properties. Here, you buy an undervalued property, refurbish it at a low cost, and then sell it at a higher price. It may sound easy, but it requires good math skills and anticipation of probable repairs that you might need to make it presentable for sale.

 

  • Option 5: If you have an extra room in your property, consider renting it to people and making some money. By allowing people to stay in a part of your house, you don't just earn rental income but also benefit from the property price appreciation over time.

 

 

8. How To Buy an Investment Property With Equity?

 

Equity is the difference between the present property value and the amount you owe against it.

 

Buying an investment property with equity is a great way to build a solid property portfolio

 

You can consider using equity to buy an investment property in the following ways:

 

  • Use it as a deposit against an investment loan. You can borrow up to 80% of the property value with adequate equity without investing your cash.

  • If you are buying off-the-plan for 1-to 2 years, you can use equity as a deposit bond or guarantee to generate interest for the time it stays in the bank while it gets settled.

  • You can take out a line of credit and combine it with an offset account to lower the interest on your home loan.

  • Those who need adequate equity to buy an investment property can use it to renovate their existing property. This is, again, an excellent way to start your investment journey.

 

Some of the ways that can significantly boost your equity are:

 

  • Do cosmetic renovations to build your equity.

  • Paint your home, or construct a new kitchen or bathroom, as they can dramatically increase your property price. 

  • Make additional repayments to lessen your home mortgage. The repayments you make, the more equity you can use for your property.

 

 

9. What Are The Tax Benefits of an Investment Property?

 

Investing in real estate is undeniably a great way to achieve financial freedom through tax benefits. A landlord's tax deductions help them reduce their yearly tax bill. 

 

According to the Australian Taxation Office, if you are an Australian resident and have owned a property for 12 months or more, you may be eligible to obtain a 50% rebate on tax on the capital gain.

 

In addition to it, you get tax deductions in the following areas:

 

  • Holding costs

  • Loan costs: Loan establishment fees, mortgage insurance fees, mortgage registration, account management fees, mortgage broker fees, loan interest, and stamp duty on the loan.

  • Depreciation of the building and fittings (towards the general wear and tear of the property)

  • Rental Expenses: Rental Advertising costs (for tenants), Council rates, Land taxes, Water rates, Gardening, Pest control, Cleaning, Corporate charges, Insurance, Property repairs and maintenance, Property agent fees and commissions, Strata fees, Travel expenses incurred for property evaluation, and rent collection.

 

 

10. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

 

How can You Invest $1000 in Real Estate?

 

While real estate investment can be costly, there are numerous options to invest in properties without the need for a substantial upfront payment, typically 20% of the property's current value.

 

In this list, we've highlighted various real estate investments that require minimal capital, allowing you to begin with as little as $1000.

 

  • Buy fractional stocks of individual properties.

  • Buy stocks of real estate investment trusts via their regular brokerage account.

  • Consider real estate crowdfunding, where money from various investors comes together to invest a large sum in a real estate company or property. This way, an investor can become a real estate property or company shareholder.

  • Do Real Estate wholesaling wherein wholesalers put properties under the agreement. They don't purchase them but flip the deal to other investors to make a profit.

  • Consider buying parcels of land for as little as $100.

 

 

How Can You Invest In Property With No Money In Australia?

 

Here, we've compiled a set of strategies to enable you to purchase an investment property without having to invest any upfront money:

 

  • Option 1: You can use the equity in your existing home/investment property as a deposit to buy an investment property. Most lenders will allow you to borrow up to 95% Loan-to-Value Ratio on your home and 90% on your investment property. Though this method gives you full authority and control over your purchase, you must note that equity depends on property price and may fluctuate based on the market situation.  

 

  • Option 2: The second way to invest in real estate with no money is to get a guarantor loan. This is beneficial when you need help using your home's equity to invest in your new investment property. Find family members with adequate equity that can provide a limited or family guarantee. By choosing this method, you can avoid paying Lender's Mortgage Insurance

 

  • Option 3: Entering into a partnership or a joint venture is another way to buy an investment property.  

 

  • Option 4: Buy a property off-the-plan wherein lenders will lend you money based on the valuation in place of the buying price. This will, in turn, reduce your contribution.

 

 

How To Invest In Real Estate In Australia With Little Money?

 

One of the best ways is to apply for an investment property mortgage.

 

The proper structure to borrow is essential when beginning your investment journey. You need to get the right loan in the correct name and amount to maximise your financial and tax benefits.

 

Here are some tips that will help you understand how to invest in property with little money:

 

  • Identify your borrowing capacity before you begin comparing different home loans. Use the borrowing power calculator to determine how much you can afford.

  • Compare and find a suitable investment property mortgage with a competitive interest rate and low fees. Refer to the below list of finance options to compare and find the right one for your needs.  

  • Check your credit score before you approach a lender.

  • Get a pre-approval home loan to know the price range you can afford before looking at different investments and properties.

 

 

What Are The Different Types of Real Estate?

 

Are you searching for an ideal property for investment? You can find various real estate investments in the property market to choose from:

 

  • Townhouses: They are a popular style of accommodation for a broad array of demographic

 

  • Freestanding House: It serves as a home for tenants looking to raise a family.

 

  • A House with a Backyard: It will be more pleasing to tenants in a family-friendly suburb

 

  • A Moderate-sized Family Home in The Suburb: This type of property delivers consistent capital growth, which is why it is in robust demand among owner-occupiers and commands a high price in the rental market.

 

  • Villas, Blocks of Modern Apartments, Student accommodation, and Serviced Apartments: They may see higher rental demand among students, singles, couples, young professionals, and retirees as it best suits their busy lifestyles.

 

  • A Holiday Home: They are in high demand during the holiday season, and their values often change based on the general economic cycle.

 

  • Commercial and Industrial Real Estate: They are sound investments for sophisticated investors who own a significant residential property portfolio.

 

Making the right property choice requires understanding the market for each investment property above. It is also worth seeking investment advice from a buyer's estate agent and market updates from a property agent.

 

Owning an investment-grade property that suits the central demographic in that location and performing the above analysis will help you outperform the general market and achieve real estate investment success.

 

 

How To Make Money Through Property Investments?

 

Knowing how to invest is key to making money in the property market. There are four ways in which you can make a profit from real estate: 

 

  • Capital Growth – When the value of your investment property appreciates over the term. This comes from solid demand from owner-occupiers who push up property prices and occupants who help you pay your home loan.

 

  • Cash Flow – This is when you gain rent on your property investment. The rental income is a steady source of income to meet your financial needs.

 

  • Tax Benefits - A good tax strategy helps you manage your cash flow, reduce your tax obligations and increase your revenue generation

 

  • Accelerated Growth – When you buy an undervalued property at a low price, renovate it, and sell it at a higher price. This is an excellent way to manufacture capital growth.

 

 

Do Investment Properties Make Money?

 

With a low vacancy rate of below 2%, low-interest rates, and fast population growth over recent years, there is a massive demand for housing in Australia. Thus, property market investing ensures both capital and rental growth for investors.

 

Can real estate get you rich? There is consistent growth in the property market in Australia. Real estate investments offer immense opportunities to profit if you have a long-term investment horizon.

 

Compared to a permanent house, an investment property can produce income from rents over time, along with the potential for capital gains. 

 

However, if you expect some severe gains from property investment over the short or long term, you must have a laser focus to yield a profit. All your decisions should depend on metrics and sound analytical research, not emotions.

 

Here are the most typical investment strategies to grow your money with property investments:

 

  • Buy a portion of land

  • Buy a house or an apartment

  • Buy with someone else

  • Flip properties

  • Invest in a real estate investment fund

  • Invest in a real estate-focused ETF

 

 

Is Property A Good Investment In Australia?

 

Yes. Investment in residential real estate is a high-growth and comparatively low-yield investment.

 

To get the best returns out of your investment, you must know what factors dictate the property's price and performance. Around 80% of your property's performance depends on its location, and the remaining 20% is related to purchasing the right property. 

 

Other key drivers of capital growth include infrastructure, demand and supply, liveability, and amenities.

 

The below points will help to choose the best investment property:

 

  • Look for better-performing and wealthy demographic regional sites or specific suburbs with a high probability of outperforming the averages concerning capital growth over the long term.

 

  • Your chosen location should have strong economic growth that will lead to wage and population growth.

 

  • It should have the necessary amenities, such as recreational and sporting resources, business services, local schools, parks, education, shopping, and community facilities, within 20 minutes' reach. People would be ready to pay a premium to live and work in such locations, and that will, in turn, benefit you in terms of capital appreciation and rental income. 

 

 

What To Look For In an Investment Property?

 

How do you ensure your property investment proves to be a good one? Here are the key factors you must consider when buying an investment property in Australia. 

 

  • Location of Property: Look for areas with high capital growth, low vacancy rates, and higher rental demand and yield.

 

  • Type of Property: Your budget will largely determine whether to invest in a unit or house. Where houses can be costlier to purchase and insure and need more maintenance, they can realize higher capital growth and higher rents on average. On the other hand, units are available at a lower price and require less maintenance but can have additional costs like strata fees.

 

  • When deciding on a property, it is essential to understand the site's demographics and choose accordingly. Look for the neighbourhood's safety, general vibe, property features like a second bathroom, a car garage, access to shops, schools, transport, and big infrastructure projects like local jobs that may increase the attractiveness of the property's location and its value. 

 

  • Probable Ongoing Maintenance Costs and Expenses: Consider the cost of maintenance based on property age, type, and features.

 

 

Is It Harder To Get a Mortgage for an Investment Property?

 

Yes. Getting an investment property loan is more complex and expensive than getting an owner-occupied home.

 

Many lenders assess your loan worthiness on factors such as high credit scores and substantial documentation (tax returns, pay slips, W2s, and pay stubs) that confirms you have held the same job for two years.

 

 

Do You Have To Put 20% Down on an Investment Property?

 

Home mortgage insurance does not cover investment properties, so you will have to put a minimum of 20 per cent down to secure conventional financing from a lender.

 

 

Can You Get a 30-Year Loan on an Investment Property?

 

Yes. It is possible to obtain a 30-year real estate investment property loan. 30-year mortgages are the most typical forms of loan for second homes.

 

In addition to it, you can also find mortgage insurance with 10, 15, 20, or 25-year terms based on your buying price, monthly budget, and interest rate.

 

 

What Is The 2% Rule In Real Estate?

 

According to this rule, the rental amount should equal 2% of the property's purchase price. Going by this calculation, if you buy a house for $100,000, the monthly rent will be $2,000.

 

 

Is It Worth Investing In Real Estate In Australia?

 

Many real estate investors have this question - Is it worth buying an investment property in Australia? This requires understanding the pros and cons of property investment and how well it serves your financial needs and goals.

 

Pros:

 

  • As people will always need housing, properties in central, well-located suburbs will always stay in demand. It is a comparatively safer and more reliable long-term investment option than other investment markets like stock exchanges. 

  • Investment in real estate is a great way to diversify your investment portfolio (including stocksMutual Fundsbonds, etc.) and lower your risk.

  • As the property is a tangible investment, it is relatively less volatile than other investment instruments.

  • Several financial institutions, including banks, offer property investing loans and have a standard lending process to approve the loan.

  • Australian laws have a very liberal tax deduction policy where the income tax can counterbalance most expenses incurred during the buying period. This, in turn, helps landlords to minimize their yearly costs to a reasonable extent.

  • Property investment is lucrative for those with a long-term investment horizon. The Australian property market has a consistent average ROI of around 7% per annum. Furthermore, the property markets in Australia have fewer years of decline compared to other global property markets. For more than a century, investment properties in Australia have shown a steady rise in the capital.

  • You could sell it and earn capital gains.

  • Besides, property price appreciation can also benefit from rental income before selling it for a profit. You can use it to pay for loan payments and other costs.

  • Your rental return can generate a good cash flow.

  • The low volatility of the Australian real estate market makes it a desirable choice over other property markets worldwide.

  • The ease of investing is another good reason to invest in the Australian real estate market. The country doesn't have stringent foreign investment laws in this regard. It has robust consumer protection legislation, i.e., the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009, in place, making it a convenient haven for investors to buy investment properties in Australia. 

  • The Australian investment property market could be one of the best options for long-term wealth-building commitments for people in the country and overseas. Most Australian banks provide financial products like pay-off loans with interest to support overseas investment and lending.

 

 

Cons

 

  • There are risks that the rental income won't meet your expectations or the value of your property will decline. 

  • A property is an illiquid investment. This means your money may get blocked if you invest in a property. The difficulty in accessing the money when you need it is another risk related to property investment. There is less liquidity. 

  • The overall market interest rates impact the property market. Your interest rate might increase, and you will have to pay more money back to the bank.

  • If you need urgent money, you may need to sell it at a low price during a 'down' phase. This is called distressed selling. 

  • Issues arising with legal beneficiaries, co-owners, etc., can make your property disputed. Gaining a bad reputation can make it harder for you to sell your property, and you risk losing money if it sells.

  • If the property market performs poorly, the property price may go down, and you may need to wait until the market recovers to make a profit.

 

 

11. Conclusion

 

Many investors choose Australian property to enjoy a stable passive rental income and the possibility of capital growth.

 

However, to make the most of this lucrative investment opportunity, it's essential to have a well-thought-out investment plan, strong research and analytical skills, and thorough due diligence.


By adopting this approach, your chances of achieving success as a property investor are significantly improved.

 

 

The advice and information on OzStudies.com is in general nature and should not be seen as a replacement for independent financial advice. We strongly encourage readers to consult with financial experts regarding their own financial decisions and investments.


Please note that the information presented on OzStudies.com is solely for educational purposes. Every individual's financial situation is unique, and the products and services we mention may not suit everyone. We do not provide financial advice, advisory, or brokerage services nor endorse buying or selling specific stocks or securities. It's essential to know that information might have changed since publication and past performance does not guarantee future results.

 

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