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Episode 344 | Have You Made The Wrong Investment Decision?

“Have I made a mistake?” This is a common question we get from investors who just start listening to our podcast and learn the fundamental principles we teach for the first time.

Sometimes it’s directed to a specific property in their portfolio or is based on an investment decision they were initially considering but are now unsure if it’s a good idea or not.

And today we are answering some of these key questions – one, in fact, where the listener is not entirely “wrong” in their choice, though at face value seems to go against our general rule of thumb. You’ll learn why exactly this is and how to use this information in your own decision making process.

On top of that, we’re unpacking how to tell HOW MUCH a property is worth – including common D.I.Y mistakes folks make when trying to value their property and some simple (but overlooked) tips to assess this yourself and how to recognise when it’s time to bring in an expert.

Plus, if you’ve ever considered if solar panels on an investment property will increase its value and even the amount of rent you receive, then definitely tune into this episode… ‘cos you might be surprised by our answer!

You can suss all the questions we answer below – otherwise simply hit play and enjoy the show!

 

Oh, and, yep – Next week we’re kicking off our NEW WINTER SERIES. It’s kinda like our Summer Series but, umm, in Winter 🤣 So we’ll be interviewing our listeners who’ve had Real Life Financial Transformations! And we gotta admit… these stories are off the charts!

 

 

Free Stuff Mentioned 

 

The Questions

Question from Ricky Comerford on “Getting Solar Systems For Investment Properties

Hi Ben & Bryce and all the team working behind the scenes. I just want to thank you for these podcasts and all the wonderful things that you are doing at Empower Wealth. I have a question today in regards to Solar Energy in a Solar System. Now, we’ve got a strict budget for our primary place of residence that’s currently being built. This house is going to be turned into an Investment Property in 6 years’ time. We’ve been quoted for a solar system and it’s pushing the budget by $3000. Now, the return for investment for this Solar System will be 3-5 years, not taking away the fact that solar power is great for the environment. I just want to know strictly financials What is your opinion on solar systems for an investment property?

Do they increase the value of the home by much and the rental yield? And should we get one installed knowing the situation of this house and our budget and the fact that it’s going to be an investment property? Thanks for your time and yeah, hopefully I get a response.

 

Question from Riley on “Buying New with Grants Instead Of Established”

Hi Bryce and Ben, I’m just wondering with all the government grants that are coming out at the moment, if it’s almost a bit too good to say no to at the moment as a first time buyer. I’ve been looking to get into the market for a while now. And down here in Tasmania, we can access up to $45,000 in grants to build a new place. I know it sort of goes against everything that you’ve taught in your podcast. But I’m just wondering if it’s probably now with these grants a better way maybe to get into the market. I know certainly from my perspective, that’ll help with cashflow as well, given that I’ll probably get an extra, maybe bedroom and bathroom into the house as opposed to buying a smaller townhouse type of property closer to the city. So just wondering what your thoughts would be on that, if it is now possibly a better option to be building a house rather than buying existing? Thank you.

 

Question from Kate on How To Calculate Loan To Valuation Ratio

Love the show. I’ve been listening for a few years now and I’ve done all the episodes and I tell everybody I can about The Property Couch. So my question relates to loan to value ratio.

Obviously, it’s easy to determine what the outstanding loan amount is, but where would you go to determine the best value do the free bank valuations cut it? You know, the ones, I mean, I’ll flick by most of the big banks put the address into the website and they spit out a value, but it is generally so broad that is almost useless. Should I ask the bank where the mortgage is held for evaluation? If so, would there be a fee payable? Should I get a real estate agent thing? I probably want to over the value of the property and use RPM. Isn’t that the same as what the bank is? Please help.

 

Question from Riley on “Have I made a mistake?”

I just want to start off by saying that I absolutely love your podcast along with the books and resources you provide. I have just signed up to your workshop and the Money S.M.A.R.T.S portal, which I am excited to get started on! You’ve probably heard this a lot but I wish I had found The Property Couch sooner!

My wife and I are settling on our first investment property in Vasse, WA next week.  I only found your podcast 4 weeks ago and have a lot of catching up to do! I have a couple of questions if you guys have the time to go over them.

Little bit of background:

We are 34 and 30. Bought our first home together almost 8 yrs ago in Padbury, WA and still living in it now. Had the expensive wedding, bought the dream car (for my wife who has expensive taste) and now we are just about to settle on the first investment property.

Together we earn $203,500 before tax but we are hoping to start a family asap so we will drop down to one wage of approx $104,000 (self-employed and pay myself $2k p/week before tax) in approx 6month – 18months.

The house is a 6yr old 4×2 in Vasse on 570m2, great spot (I think) between the high school and primary school in a fast-growing area (they predict the population of the South West will quadruple in the next 20yrs) and rentals are very scarce. We paid $416,000 and it is currently rented out for $480 p/week on a 18month lease. We signed up on a very low rate 2yr interest only loan and I have worked out that after expenses (mortgage, prop manager fees, insurance, rates and 1.5% maintenance) we will have approx. $10,240 left over making this property positively geared.

In my view (prior to discovering your podcast) I thought it would be great to have it positively geared straight away as we can put that surplus towards the deposit for the next property and/or renos for the Padbury house (want to make it into a 4×2, currently a 3×1

and already have plans drawn up) but from everything I have heard is that when you first acquire a investment property it starts off negatively geared and may take 5-10yrs to become positive.

 

So to the questions:

  1. Have we done something wrong?
  2. Do you recommend that we put all that surplus into the Padbury house (PPOR) offset until we are ready for the next deposit or would you put it into the investment house offset?
  3. Do we make it negatively geared for the short term to pay less tax? (we have surplus cash that I’d love to put towards our next property asap even though we are paying lots of tax)
  4. After the 2 yr period would you switch to a P&I loan or keep it on a IO loan?

 

I know there are a lot of factors at play, and I hope I have given you guys enough information to comment on our situation and we would love to hear your views. Sorry if this has been covered in your podcast but I am still only up to episode 40, I need to do some more long drives as that is the only chance I get to listen 🙂. Again, thanks to both of you for your time and knowledge, you make me excited about property investing and I can’t wait to learn more and more as I go through TPC free resources.

 

 

 

Episode 342 | From $250K to $2M Properties: How To Invest No Matter What Your Budget Is!

Have you ever wondered how to invest in property with YOUR specific budget?

Like, what if you DON’T have a big budget to spend…?

Or, on the contrary… what if your budget’s actually quite healthy – but you’re not sure if a $1 million – $2 Million property is really a premium investment (Should you buy two cheaper investment properties instead?)…

Folks, they’ll be something for you in this Q & A episode… ‘cos we’re covering A LOT of ground here – how to invest no matter what your budget, age or strategy is!

We’ve got everything from…

  • Investing at 21… and 60!
  • Buying $250K or $2M Properties
  • Getting the “Big Rock in the Jar” at every life stage
  • Selling an investment to buy a dream PPOR
  • Understanding The Donut Ring concept
  • Unpacking new ATO data that reveals current investment trends
  • Helping kids get on the ladder
  • Why Rentvesting is mathematically a better idea, BUT….

Let’s just say: you’re in for a solid treat.

Listen now and find out how to successfully invest at any stage of life or budget 🕺▶

 

 

Free Stuff Mentioned

 


The Questions We Answer…

 Question from Sharon on Buying Higher Priced Properties

Hi Guys, Thanks for having such a great podcast. I’ve recently got very addicted to it and I’m really enjoying it. I do have a question though around the value of properties that we should buy. I hear you talk a lot about your asset selection but I never heard you talk about higher priced properties, so like when you’re well over the $1 million mark. We live in Melbourne in the North, so we’re looking $1.5 to $2M for our next purchase and I’m wondering if you consider that a best investment or what you think about high priced properties ‘cos obviously that’s still just like a very average 3 bedroom house in the North. So I am just wondering if you don’t talk about it for any reason, or if there’s some reason you should avoid that price point.

 

Question from Steve on Selling An Investment Property for A PPOR Or Buy Cheaper

Hey Gents, absolutely love the podcasts and I’ve been a listener for many years now. I’m 30 years old with a fiancé and we have an investment property fully paid off worth about $600,000. We’re currently renting very cheaply in order to save for our principal place of residence, so we were originally looking around the Ringwood area to spend about $900,000, but due to such limited opportunities I feel, and really average properties that don’t have scope to expend, we are considering selling the investment property off and plunging pretty much all of our net worth into a property that will allow us to get us into something more like around the $1.2 or $1.3 Million mark. In saying that, we’ll still probably only need to take on a loan of about $600,000 between the two of us, which is quite achievable, however just wanting to sort of get some advice from you.

Do you think it’s worth trying to buy our dream home — something that we’re gonna be happy for a very long time — and selling off the other investment, or whether we should be holding onto the investment and obviously sacrificing our lifestyle for the short term and turn to getting into something a bit cheaper?

Really interested to hear your thoughts. I am very, very confused at the moment. Thanks guys.

 

Question from Julia on Sell or Hold An Architectural Apartment in Inner Sydney

Hi Fellas, I feel really strange talking to my computer asking a question but I love your show, really had a great time listening to it. So my situation is I am in my early 60s and I’ve been working on super and all that stuff and I own my own home, but I bought an investment property in the heart of the city of Sydney. It was actually in a designer’s building – it’s got about 51 apartments there. Anyway, COVID came and of course the tenancy situation really changed in the heart of Sydney.

So, I did have to reduce my rent from $650 for a one-bedder down to $520 a week so that was a massive drop for me, but really my question is about – over the last 5 years since I’ve owned the property it’s only gone up about $20,000 ‘cos I think I’ve paid at the top of the Market.

My question is, Should I cut my losses being in my early 60s or should I hang in there and hope for better days?

My original plan is to keep this property well into my 80s and I’m just feeling the jitters because the rent has dropped so much and the value just hasn’t increased over the last 5 years so any input would be appreciated.

 

Question from Gabby on Buying A $250,000 Property

Hi! My name is Gabby and I’m a 21-year-old from West Australia. I love your Podcast, but I feel as though I belong to a bucket that you haven’t talked about much. I’ve been boarding and renting my whole life, but wish to or have to move out of home eventually and hopefully soon especially with low interest rates. I want to buy an old unit with 2 bedrooms in a small block priced between $250,000 and $300,000 and then rent out a room to a friend.

It’ll be in the East Fremantle area hopefully, which is on the premium side of first home buyer suburbs, but it could be out of my grasp if I sit on it for too long. The problem is that I don’t actually have the money needed and my parents are happy to invest as long as it makes sense. I’m thinking that repayments could be roughly $260 a week and the room could be rented out for $120 at least a week. This basically makes almost cheaper than renting but me getting the lifestyle and the property at the end.

Do I get them to go Guarantor or use the complete trust we have with them instead taking on the loan as an investment, but me paying it off behind closed doors and essentially taking it over by the end.

 

 

Episode 341 | How To Pivot Your Investment Strategy When Affordability Changes

Folks, it’s no secret that property prices have seen a significant uptick – so what does this mean for your investment strategy if you can no longer afford to buy investment grade locations that are close to the city?

See, if you’ve read our book The Armchair Guide To Property Investing, or heard any of our earlier episodes, you might have heard us quote particular price points that now seem, well, a bit ridiculous.

You might’ve thought, “A $650,000 property in inner city Melbourne… what? They’re now over a mill, guys…?”

Or, “Where on earth can I buy a property for $450,000 in this market!?!”

 Or, “You said to aim for inner city properties with owner-occupier appeal, but now you’re talking about regional markets… what’s the deal?”

We hear you. And we get it.

That’s why today we’re doing a deep dive on how to pivot your investment strategy when affordability changes!

Make no mistake – the fundamentals DON’T change… but you need to be both smart AND realistic about the locations that are available to you, whatever your price point may be.

This is a Q&A episode you don’t want to miss – we tick off A LOT of key property investment questions that we’re confident will allow you to find success no matter what your price point is! Plus, we’ve got some new frameworks on how to navigate land tax, learn when it’s time to SELL (yep) and best practices to manage your money without dedicating your life to managing a spreadsheet….

Tune in now – and let us know what you think!

 

P.S. Yes, Ben is actually in his CAR when we’re recording this episode… find out why in the first five minutes 🤣

 

Free Stuff Mentioned

 

The Questions

Question From Valarie on Tips For Money Management

I bought a course and really love I’m also through the Make Money Simple Again book. I have one question: How do you apply the Money SMARTS system to a couple? At the moment we have separate accounts, something like 12 accounts between the 2 of us. How do you change that to fit into the system? Do you go with one family account and 2 debit cards account and 2 credit cards account or is there another configuration that you recommend? Many thanks in advance for your feedback Tips and Have a Great weekend. Thank you!

 

Question from Kiran on Land Tax and Different Entities

Good day Bryce, Ben, Stiggy and the team. My name is Kiran, I’m from Melbourne. I was listening to your podcast a week or two ago and you spoke about an active, investor Bruce in this episode who had land tax issues because he was investing in the same state. All investments are in the same state. I understand the active investor issues but from what I understand, all these investments were possibly in his personal name. What if Bruce was able to invest in different entities for examples companies or trusts? Each entity would then be completely separate and hence reset the amount of land tax he had to pay. Can you unpack the issues as to whether this is a worthwhile strategy and other differences with finance? I understand that commercial finance is required for companies which results in less favourable LVRs. Are there any further issues that someone looking to invest using companies or trusts to reduce their land tax bill may encounter?

 

Question From Mathew Monty on How To Buy Assets Closer In On Combined $100k Income

Hi Guys, I love the Podcasts. I just got a couple of questions regarding investment grade/investment stock – more for people like me that don’t earn that much money. Can you buy with an income of $100,000? So I’ve got a property that’s got good equity and we went out and we bought another property for investment, probably just investment stock in Truganina. So 20-something kilometres from the city, I know it’s not investment grade like you just talked about. However, I wonder how people on say $100,000 a year in combined income could afford to get into those inner-city areas? I don’t know if that’s possible. Given our situation that we’ve bought a new investment stock property, where do we go from here?

 

Question from Dimitra on The 6-Part Framework That Reveals It’s Time To SELL!

Hi guys, Love your podcast. I listen regularly on the drive to and from work, and recently purchased your audio book which has been super informative. You always share a lot of knowledge when it comes to finding and purchasing an investment, but would love more information on what to do if you’ve bought a lemon! Most of the things you tell us to avoid applies to my investment property. The apartment was purchased off the plan in an area where supply exceeds demand and the property price hasn’t increased since it was purchased back in 2017. And to make matters worse, since Covid and the bad publicity new apartments have been getting, the property has gone down in value. There are tenants in the property currently and I have to contribute an extra $50 per week towards the mortgage (principle and interest)

The positive is that the property is in Sydney, 12km from the CBD and a 10 minute walk to public transport. This purchase obviously happened before I discovered your podcast, but what should I do?

Should I hold the property in the hope that it will eventually increase in value, or is there no other option but to sell and cop a loss?

Any advice you can give would be much appreciated. Many thanks.

 

 

 

 

Episode 333 | Are We Property Spruikers?

Right. Let’s have the uncomfortable conversation – is The Property Couch just a platform for another couple of Spruikers to push property on you!?!

Look, we get it… this is a fair question to ask. One we recently received recently from a listener! And, who knows, maybe it might even be something weighing on the back of your mind as well.

So… Are we Property Spruikers?

Listen now, and you’ll hear our answer… we’ll leave it in your court to decide what you believe to be true.

Just a heads up – this is a Q&A episode, folks! So, while we definitely strip down to the bare bones on whether or not we are Spruikers, we’ve also got a couple of other themes in store for you…

 

 

Free Stuff Mentioned

 

The questions we answer…

Question about “Are WE Property Spruikers?” from Daniel/RIPPAA

Massive fan of your show, which leads me to my questions regarding in particular Episode 325 – How to buy on a hot property market.

Listening to your show for quite a while, I’ve found that you guys always seem to advocate for property being an effective means of investing. However, sure you’ve got to be in a point in time where that is not the case. Investing in shares & stocks, generally speaking was probably not the best idea, what about property? You guys have done episodes on warning against spruikers and so I’ve been having concerns about, “What about The Property Couch then – does it fall under that category?”

However, until you guys did this recent episode 325, which to be honest was very refreshing to hear that acknowledgement of you guys just really giving that message of warning of cautioning I should say against buying at this point in time which I really appreciate,

that message of you guys caring about the community really came through. So my question is when do you guys see, at least a minimum point in time, until which the market is gonna change and sort of calm down a bit?

 

Question about Land Tax from Bruce Adkins

Hi Bryce and Ben. My question is about land tax. After starting out with a passive ‘buy any hold’ strategy, and then moving on to some renovations. I have finally landed on a strategy 3 or 4 years ago of buying splitter blocks, knocking down the existing house, subdividing into 2 or 3 lots, and then building new homes on each lot. When I can afford to, I keep the new houses and rent them out I do. Occasionally I need to sell one or more of the houses to assist with cashflow, or to help fund the next project. All my properties are in Brisbane and surrounding areas as I feel the need to touch and feel the sites and keep an eye on construction, etc. Early in my property investing journey I did invest in a location distant from my home. After a little bit of research and a quick flight to inspect, I purchased the property and the whole experience was a disaster, made worse by not being around when things went wrong. This experience convinced me that I need to invest in my own backyard, and my current, more active investment strategy reinforces the need to invest locally.

My current portfolio is now more than a dozen properties with an unimproved land value of around $8 million, and the annual land tax bill is really starting to hurt.

Apart from investing in different States (which I will find hard to get my head around), Do you have any other strategies for minimising the land tax impact of a large and growing portfolio?

I love your podcasts and would love any ideas you have for easing the sting of land tax.

 

 

Question on Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) from  Francis Rivero

Not really a question but I would like to hear your thoughts on the following:

My wife and I bought a PPR in November 2018.

  • Purchase price – $345,000
  • LVR – 90%
  • LMI – $9700

Through making extra repayments and recovering a strong valuation result yesterday ($420,000) we are now sitting at 72% LVR just 2 years later. I realise this is just the way it is but I can’t help feeling like $9700 is a huge amount of money to pay in order to protect the bank for such a short time. Fair enough if we are still 5 years off getting down below 80% but I’m sure this happens to lots of people who buy well and are diligent with their money. Like I said, no specific question but would love to get your take on this.

 

Question on Being Gazumped from Matt Rose

Hi Ben, Bryce and the great Stig. I’m looking for some advice as my wife and I have been left disillusioned by the property system while trying to buy our 2nd investment property, this time in Melbourne.

The sequence of events went like this – we put in an offer on contract and put down 5% deposit, the agent phoned to say the owner has accepted, the agent then proceeded to shop our offer around telling everyone our exact price, the agent then entered into some sort of silent blind auction and sold it to someone else last night without coming back to us on the new price even though they told everyone else our price. Is this illegal or unethical and if not, how do we as a community vote to put better rules in place to protect the consumer?

 

 

 

 

Episode 312 | Don’t Push Your X-ing Luck: Investing In Properties Close To Train Lines & Tips For Divorcees

Investing close to train lines. Buying Grandma’s house. ‘Til divorce do us part.

And then this… Should You Buy “The Worst House In The Worst Street”… IF It’s In The BEST Suburb?!

In this Q&A episode we’re giving you the answers to the property investment questions that keep you up at night. (Quite literally. One listener was pondering LMI at 3am!)

We’ve got everything from how to invest in property as a divorcee, using loan redraws, whether or not you should purchase your grandparents’ property for investment purposes, ways to release equity, tips if you’ve only got fifteen years of working life left, what impact train lines have on the value of property… the works!

Suss out the exact questions we answer below.

Otherwise hit play and learn how NOT to push your “CROSS”-ing luck! 😉

 

 

Question About Buying Grandparents House From Lucy

Hi Bryce and Ben, Long time listener of the show. Wanted to reach out to get your opinion and views on a couple of things related to investing in my grandparents’ home in Brisbane and whether or not it is a good idea to:

  1. a) buy your grandparents house as an investment property and
  2. b) investing in Brisbane (suburb, Stafford).

My grandfather built the house 60 years ago. He recently passed and my grandmother is moving to a retirement home. I have an opportunity to buy this property and have always wanted to. I know you shouldn’t invest for emotional purposes, but it’s not just that. This property is right by the brook, at the end of a cul-de-sac and is inner city Brisbane (less than 10km from the city). I’m from New Zealand and have seen the suburb and city change so much over my 30 years of visiting them there. The house is on a large piece of land. I think over the next few years the prices are only going to continue to rise and desirability in that area is only growing so I see great capital growth potential. The house is an odd configuration and built in the 60s. It really needs to go at some point sadly, and if sold, I know a developer will bulldoze and rebuilt 3 townhouses on there as they are doing in the surrounding area. My current plan would be to rent it out as is for a few years, and eventually replace it with a nice family home to have as a rental to a family. The house is estimated to be around $660k from research and houses on that street are getting up to $1m in some cases. I have one investment property in New Zealand that has been a great asset to build equity in. I see my grandparents’ house as a low yield, high capital gains opportunity to buy, hold, renovate. Would love to hear your thoughts Thanks, Lucy.

 

Question About Tips For Divorcees From Cathie

I have recently separated from a 25y marriage and about to begin the property settlement process. I’m hoping to keep the family home and then begin my property portfolio. Where should my first stop be to make sure I set my finance and PPOR correctly? What tips or suggestions would you have for someone who may have 15 years of working life until retirement? I have just started your Money S. M. A. R. T.S and Start and Build program and am working my way through your podcasts(loving then ALL!) I would like to have my PPOR paid off and generate enough passive income of about $1000/W. I want to get this right from the beginning. This is a new stage in my life and I want to be able to feel comfortable in my financial choices and also be able to provide and be a role model to my children. Thanks Guys!

 

Question About Investing In Properties Close to Train Lines from Yannick

Hey guys, 2 questions:

  1. Just wondering, how does a train line across the road or backing onto the backyard affect the property value?
  2. Also we’ve all heard the saying, worst house in the best street, does this hold true for the worst house in the worst street of the best suburb?

I’m looking in Ballarat so being a regional area I’m not sure if all these factors are the same as in Melbourne. Thanks very much in advance!

 

Question about Using Funds in Redraw from Andrew

Hello, My wife and I have owed our first home for 2 yrs. Currently we have a redraw on our mortgage and have paid off an extra $100,000 (available for redraw) after a bit of research and listing to your tips, I am in the process of organising an offset account instead. Now, how can I use the current available funds in our redraw? We want to buy our second home in the next 6 months. This 2nd home will become our primary residence and we will start to rent out the first house. Can I simply move the available cash over to the offset once set up and then use it later on to purchase the second house?

 

Question about  Why Does LMI Even Exist from Mark

If LMI is an insurance that protects the bank in the event you can’t pay, why would the lender need to charge it if the buyer/investor can prove they have income protection and could always pay their mortgage? Just a thought I had at 3am this morning. Lol.

Also, can you use equity in your PPOR to purchase an investment without actually withdrawing it? A bit similar to a parent being a guarantor. Thanks guys keep up the good work.

 

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