Property investment is possible no matter what your age is

You can invest in property at virtually any stage of life. Here’s what you need to know to map out your investment journey.

First home investing

Your first step on the property ladder doesn’t have to be as an owner occupier. There may be some compelling reasons to make your first property purchase as an investor.

But buying as an investor may mean you miss out on first home owner grants and stamp duty concessions. But you can still expect to earn rental income. This could make a rental property more affordable, alongside any potential tax savings.

Of course, you may still need somewhere to live. So, some first-time investors choose to rentvest. This involves owning a rental property while also renting. You’ll need to crunch the numbers to see how this fits your cash flow. It may mean being able to live in your preferred suburb while still having a stake in the property market.

Investing for singles

Buying as a solo investor may bring greater flexibility in your choice of property. It also means relying solely on your own borrowing power. This is shaped by your savings and deposit as well as your income, living expenses and other financial commitments.

Your income is especially important as a single buyer. You need to manage the investment loan plus the other ongoing costs of owning a rental place yourself.

It’s a good idea to speak with your Auspak Broker about your borrowing capacity to understand the type of property and location you can afford to invest in.

Investing as a family

Pooling your resources and buying a rental investment with family members or even a partner could make a real difference to your purchasing power. It may mean you can afford to invest in a better-quality dwelling or a more desirable location. It could also mean you spread the property’s cost across more people. This may make it easier to cover regular outgoings like maintenance and repairs.

It’s sensible to have a co-purchase agreement drawn up when there is more than one owner. This sets out how you will deal with a variety of situations. For example, it will cover what happens if one person wants to sell their stake in the rental property.

Deciding how you will own the investment property is important when there’s more than one owner. Joint tenancy and tenancy in common are the two main types of property ownership. Joint tenancy means the property is held in equal shares by each co-owner. Each person’s share of the property is based on the percentage of the purchase price they contributed under a tenancy in common arrangement.

The ownership structure is important when completing your tax return. Co-owners divide the income and rental property expenses in line with their legal interest in the property. The rent and expenses are shared equally if you’re all joint tenants. The rent and costs are divided in the same proportions in which the property is held by each owner in a tenancy in common structure. Your tax professional can explain how this works.

Investment tips for seniors and retirees

Property investing is possible for seniors. The rent you receive can provide a regular source of income, with potential to earn healthy long-term capital gains.

Lenders can’t discriminate on the basis of age. But investment loan terms are sometimes for 25 to 30 years. So you may still be paying off a rental property in your 90s if you buy in your 60s.

This is why lenders may want to see an exit strategy. This is an action plan that shows how you’ll manage your loan repayments in retirement.

It may be more challenging to secure an investment loan as a senior. Your Auspak Broker can explain the steps you may be able to take to start investing in property at an older age.