If you’ve been watching the property market rise recently you might be thinking you need to get in quick before you miss out, or that with interest rates so low it’s a great time to buy an investment property. Don’t get caught up in the hype. Buying a property is a big commitment, take the time to consider your needs both now and into the future, before you jump in.
Annual change in dwelling prices as at February 2021
Buying a home to live in
Buying a home can be very exciting, but it’s important to consider your and your family’s needs, for example, proximity to work, schools, shops, transport and recreational facilities. You might also want to check local council websites for development plans in your desired location.
Find out about the various subsidies and schemes you may qualify for, such as:
Property is a popular long-term investment in Australia, however it’s a big financial commitment, has high entry and exit fees, and having most of your eggs in one basket means you won’t be well diversified.
Tips for investing in property
Understand the market – Only buy in areas you are familiar with or have thoroughly researched
Growth areas – consider up and coming areas predicted to experience higher than average price growth
Don’t overextend yourself – don’t borrow more than you can comfortably afford to repay
Emergency fund – keep enough cash aside to cover several months’ worth or loan repayments and other property expenses in case you find yourself without a tenant
Plan for increases – at some point in the future, interest rates are likely to increase. Consider whether you could still afford the mortgage if interest rates increased by 2%. Test different scenarios using Moneysmart’s mortgage calculator.
Property schemes and real estate investment trusts
There’s more than one way to invest in property. You can invest in a broader range of property assets through property schemes and Australian real estate investment trusts (A-REITs).
In these managed investments, you and other investors buy ‘units’ in a scheme that uses the pooled money to invest in a range of property assets. A professional investment manager operates the scheme, choosing the properties to buy, which could include commercial, retail, industrial or other properties. Property schemes are also known as a property funds, property syndicates or property trusts.