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Episode 352 | Healthy Houses: Is This The New Way For Property Investors? – Chat with Amelia Lee & Raphael Siket

Is your property HEALTHY? Look, this question probably isn’t what property investors commonly ask themselves… but after listening to this episode, we reckon’ you’ll start thinking completely differently about the health of your home & your investments!!

Full disclosure: our minds were blown! Sure, we all spend a significant amount of time in our homes, which has obviously increased since the great ‘work from home experiment’… but once you learn exactly how your property affects your physical and mental health… well, wow. This will TOTALLY shift your thinking!)

Here’s the deal: Today’s topic is largely around ‘healthy’ homes – with a unique spin on what’s called ‘passive houses’– that is, ultra-low energy buildings that are truly energy efficient, comfortable, affordable and ecological at the same time…

And ‘cos this is such a special episode, we have a guest co-host joining Bryce today…. PLUS, a very, very special guest!

Co-hosting today’s podcast as part of our AweGuest series is Amelia Lee, the architect behind Undercover Architect, an award-winning online resource to teach folks how to design, build or renovate their homes. To give you an idea, she’s been in the industry for over 25 years and has solid personal experience in the trenches as a “serial renovator” and has worked on more than 250 projects and counting.

And here with an interview that you won’t ever forget is Raphael Siket – Director of Ecolibria – a leading building biology service in Australia. He is a qualified building biologist and has completed the most comprehensive course of study currently in his field with an Advanced Diploma in Building Biology, a Bachelor of Commerce and – wait for it – is a Certified Mould Testing Technician (ACES) and past president of the Australasian Society of Building Biologists.

And, here’s where it gets EVEN MORE interesting……

… Let’s just say some guy called Bryce Holdaway first met Raph Siket under personal circumstances he’d rather not have been in…. and, yep, it had to do with the HEALTH (or rather ‘unhealth) of his home.

Oh, and get this… Raph has PERSONALLY built his own passive house… from a once- volume-built home. Yep.

Are you ready to see things COMPLETELY differently?

Tune in now for one heck of an episode – let us know what you think 😉

 

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Here’s What We Cover…

  • 00:50 – Meet Amelia Lee…
  • 02:01 – 12 years of living in construction sites!?!
  • 03:21 – Amelia’s Mindset Minute!
  • 04:48 – What was money like growing up for Amelia?
  • 07:47 – Overcoming a scarcity mindset…
  • 10:48 – Is ‘the hustle’ all it’s cracked up to be?
  • 13:01 – Meet Raphael Siket…
  • 14:32 – Money beginnings in South Africa…
  • 16:36 – What does Raph teach his own kids about money?
  • 17:00 – How Bryce met Raph! :- /
  • 18:34 – The M Word: Where unhealthy houses start…
  • 21:22 – How does Raph keep himself safe?
  • 22:53 – How many buildings are impacted by condensation?
  • 22:36 – Confronting property conversations…
  • 24:22 – Can mould exposure cause depression?
  • 22:50 – Remediation: Steps to remove mould from your home!
  • 28:49 – Be aware of the quick paint job!!!
  • 30:42 – Bryce’s BIG issue in the Alphington property…
  • 27:26 –  … What to do for properties in a humid environment!
  • 34:43 – The massive clean-up!
  • 36:35 – What is a Passive House?
  • 38:42 – An overlooked pleasant surprise of passive houses!
  • 40:50 – What’s an AVERAGE energy star-rating for homes?
  • 42:00 – Average air changes per hour: Normal vs Passive House
  • 43:32 – 5 Basic Principles Of A Passive House!
  • 44:37 – WHY did Raph turn his home into a passive house??
  • 46:35 — …They FILMED the whole thing!?!
  • 47:01 – How many…!?! (oh dear!)
  • 49:46 – What does a passive house feel like?
  • 53:13 – How has living in a passive home affected Raph’s life??
  • 54:13 – EMF electrical circuit: What’s the deal?
  • 57:46 – … Umm, NO Wi-Fi in the house!?!
  • And…
  • 1:00:45 – How much does all this cost!?!
  • 1:03:47 – How to source the on-demand light switches
  • 1:08:39 – Paint choices for good health…
  • 1:10:36 – The glue in your floorboards… (!)
  • 1:14:47 – GAH! Don’t put your meter box here!!!!!!
  • 1:18:18 – Do EMF Curtains work on meter boxes?
  • 1:20:49 – Geeking out on the numbers!
  • 1:21:48 – Solar Panels – are they worth the cost!?!
  • 1:28:06 – Buying With The Sun – the best thing you can do!
  • 1:29:17 – Amelia’s Life Hack!
  • 1:31:11 – Changes coming for construction on condensation!

 

 

Episode 351 | Why The Cost Of A Brick Can Get You More Cash Back! – Chat with Bradley Beer

Did you know that the BRICKS on your investment property actually influence the amount of tax depreciation you can claim?

… Wait, what!?!

Yep. Here to unfold the tax secrets only Quantity Surveyors know about is none other than Bradley Beer, CEO of BMT Tax, the largest and most trusted quantity surveying firm in the country.

Basically, Brad is going to walk you through the little-known legalities of depreciation – and how much you can really claim when the totality (and history!) of your investment property is considered. Handy hint: a LOT of investors are leaving money on the table when it comes to this!

Co-hosting today’s episode as part of our AweGuest Series, Brad Beer is THE expert you want to hear from when it comes to tax depreciation claims – to give you an idea, his company has completed almost 750,000 depreciation schedules for property investors… so let’s just say he knows more than the “ins and outs” of how to maximise the cash you can get back while still staying on the right side of the law!

A bit more about today’s co-host: Aside from working with BMT Tax Depreciation since 1998, Bradley Beer is also a member of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Auctioneers and Valuers Association of Australia, which means he contributes to the latest information within the quantity surveying and the property industry in Australia. His knowledge as both a quantity surveyor AND property investor means he is a highly sought-after speaker and regularly features in national events, conferences and the media to share his knowledge with the wider property investment community.

 

So. WHY can the cost of a brick get you more cash back???

Tune in now to find out, folks!

 

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Hust a quick update on our NEW TAX SERVICE as well folks, the response rate had been really good! So Bryce has asked our Tax Accountants to free up their calendar and move things around so that we can help more of The Property Couch Community! So if you are on the hunt for a specialised property tax accountant, simple fill in the form below and we’ll get in touch with you very soon. 😉

  • Please select your type of Tax Return

  • If you've engaged our services before, tick the checkbox below:

 

10 Mission-Critical Answers You’ll Get…

  1. WHAT is property tax depreciation?
  2. WHY is it important for investors?
  3. WHO is a quantity surveyor and why do they get involved in providing depreciation schedules?
  4. … But doesn’t an accountant look after depreciation!?!
  5. Is it worth getting a depreciation schedule for OLDER properties?
  6. HOW does depreciation work when renovating?
  7. WHEN should an investor be thinking about property depreciation?
  8. What can an investor do if they have been missing out on depreciation deductions?
    • Can they go back and get and missed deductions?
  9. How can an investor find out if getting a depreciation schedule completed will be WORTH IT?
  10. What is involved in preparing a tax depreciation schedule?

 

 

The Listener Questions We Answer

Question from Sharon Paterson on “Improvement or Repair” For A Leaking Hot Water Service

Hi Bryce and Ben, my name is Sharon, and I’ve been listening to your podcasts now for quite a few years and I love listening to them every week. My question is probably for Julia or for Brad –it’s in relation to replacing a hot water service. It was leaking so it had to be replaced, it wasn’t an improvement, and because the cost was nearly $1800, I am just wondering if that can be written off against my tax or do I have to depreciate it?

 

Question from Mick on “Improvement or Repair” For Replacing Cracked Tiles On Roof

Hi Brad, just a quick tax depreciation question from me. We have an investment property that’s getting on age a little bit now and has a concrete tile roof. Some of the tiles on this roof are cracked and need to be replaced, charge for facing is they are beyond repair and

we’re finding it difficult to source tiles to replace them with. Say the recommendation from our builder is to reroof the house with Colorbond… can we claim this as capital works or can we claim it as a repair? We’re hoping we can claim this as a repair because we’ve been told that the roof is not replaceable. Any advice would be appreciated. Cheers!

 

 

Question from Leonard on How To Choose A Quantity Surveyor

Hi my name is Leonard and I’ve got a question for Brad Beer. Hi Brad, how should investors go about choosing a quantity surveyor to work with? What can a good quantity surveyor do that a not so good one can’t? And if depreciation values are determined by a set of rules, isn’t the outcome going to be the same anyway regardless of who we work with? Is it just a matter of picking who provides the best price? Thank you very much and looking forward to your response.

 

 

Question from Leonard on Turning PPR Into A Rental

Hello everyone, my name is Leonard and I have a depreciation question for Brad here. We have a PPR which we have lived in for three years. We are the first occupiers as we

bought it new. Next year, on the 4th year, we will move out and turn our PPR into a rental property. I have 2 questions.

First, how many years of depreciation deductions do we have remaining on the property? Will it be 40 years starting from the time it became a rental? Or 37 years as the depreciation had already commenced when we lived in the property but it was just not claimable as a tax deduction?

Second question: will we still able to claim depreciation on the fixtures and fittings because the property is rented out for the first time?

Thank you.

 

Question from Kim on Overcapitalising?

Hi this is a question for Bradley Beer. Bradley, I wanna know, I often hear people overcapitalising on their investment or even their home property— is there a general rule you think clients should stay with for insuring that they don’t fall into this trap of overcapitalising? Thank you!

 

 

 

Episode 349 | How To Avoid Paying Tax Without Going To Prison! – Chat with Julia Hartman

Update: Hi all, just a quick update on this episode. At the 18 minute mark, we talked about Buyers Agency fees in Canberra and if it’s tax-deductible. We weren’t certain during the recording but we can now confirm that Buyers Agent Fees is not tax-deductible in Canberra.

Tax Time! The question is: what can (and can’t) property investors claim? And how can you get MORE tax back and avoid paying a cent more than you must WITHOUT breaking the law and ending up behind prison bars!?!

(The latter quite important for obvious reasons.)

Folks, we get that you want to claim as much as legally possible this tax season and keep as much in your “back pocket” (AKA offset or savings account 😉) as you can.

So, here to help property investors MAXIMISE their tax deductions on their investment properties is none other than THE #1 Property Tax Expert in AustraliaJulia Hartman!!!

Julia is the Founder of BAN TACS, a co-operative of Accountants that has been helping thousands of Australians navigate the world of tax since 1992. (yep… since 1992… says quite a bit about her industry experience, right?). She has a Bachelor of Business and is a Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Registered Tax Agent.

And when it comes to Property Tax… Julia is ALL over it!

Not only is she CO-HOSTING this episode with Bryce and kicking off our AweGuest series while Ben’s relaxing in the north of Western Australia, but also Julia is a total JET when it comes to understanding the intricacies and often grey areas of tax… in a way that won’t make your eyes glaze over! (Phew!)

 

We’ve broken this episode into a 3-part framework for you:

  • 1 – What Everyone Needs To Know About Property Tax!
    • CAN’T Claim Deductions
    • CAN Claim Deductions in the income year you incur the expense
    • CAN Claim Deductions over a number of income years
  • 2 – Other Important Taxes to Consider
    • Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
    • Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • 3 – Listener Questions on TAX!

 

Plus, Julia has thrown in a property checklist of Dos and Don’ts as well.

So… fancy some winning property tax tips? Listen now to get ‘em.

Folks, as mentioned in this episode, we’ve just introduced a NEW TAX SERVICE within our business. We very rarely mention our own company on the show, but if you are on the hunt for a specialised property tax accountant, fill in the form below to register your interest or click here to find out more.

  • Please select your type of Tax Return

  • If you've engaged our services before, tick the checkbox below:

 

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The Questions We Answer

Psst… if we’ve answered your question today please get in touch with us here so we can organise your free access to Start & Build 😊

 

Question on Capital Gains Tax on Knockdown Rebuild from Tamika:
Hi there Property Couch. I’ve been loving your podcasts I’m enjoying them. I’ve been listening for over 12 months since I’ve found them, I’ve been looking forward every Thursday to the little message saying that they’re uploaded. I’ve got a question, it’s in regard to capital gains tax and knock down rebuild. I don’t know what sort of information I need to keep and whether a valuation prior to a demolishment is necessary all of that sort of information. If you could please help with this? I’m thinking your tax agent Julie Hartman might have the best sort of information and advice in this situation. I’m planning to demolish a property that I’ve held for over 15 years, it’s been a rental income since day dot and obviously it was a lot cheaper, the land value and the house, and I just want to get this right so if you could give me some advice I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!

 

Question on Deductibility of Interest from Lennard Abarcar:
Hello everyone, I’ve got a question for Julia. I took on a new loan by extracting some equity from an investment property that increased in value. Will the interest on this new loan be tax deductible if it is used for one of both of the following: renovating the investment property or paying the monthly interest expense of the investment property loan? Thank you!

 

 

Quote of The Ep:

“The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a Prison Wall” – Denis Healey former Chancellor of the Exchequer

 

 

 

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?

 

 

 

 

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