Can investment tools help me decide where to buy property?

A plethora of products exist to help investors optimise the management of your property portfolio

As with most aspects of our lives, there have been major changes to the way we buy property in recent years.

With the rapid pace of technology development over the past decade or so, investors now have access to a large number of tools that can assist in sourcing and managing real estate. (more…)

Property Titles and Real Estate Investing

There are varying types of ownership in regards to Australian real estate, however the most common by far is freehold ownership. The others include leasehold ownership which has a finit limit and crown land where the commonwealth/state has the power to sell, lease or dispose of land. For the purpose of this article however we are focused on title specifics associated with freehold ownership.

When investing in property you need to not only determine the type of property you want but also the title arrangements you are willing to consider, as these will have investing implications and enforce certain responsibilities on you as the owner. (more…)

Commercial Buyers Agent

I have been approached quite often of late by visitors who are looking to be a commercial property buyer, and wanting to use the services of a commercial property buyers agent.

The reality is that most Buyers agents in metropolitan areas will have experience in both residential and commercial purchases bringing the same level of in market expertise to evaluate your potential commercial property purchase as they do for residential. Typically the service offerings are in line with that of residential e.g. full service where the buyers agent will identify, evaluate and negotiate the property purchase, or alternatively due diligence to give the buyer comfort in the purchase.

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Landlord Insurance Is It Essential?

Many first time property investors don’t realise there can be significant differences with having landlord insurance to that of home/building insurance. Landlord insurance is designed to cover owners from specific risks associated with tenanted investment properties that aren’t always included in the cover of a general home/building and contents or strata title insurance policy. Expanding on this, by way of example, a base building insurance policy would only cover you for external/structural property damage as well as public liability. It would not cover you for malicious damage by tenants, loss of rental income due to property damage (e.g. fire) or failure of tenants to pay rent.

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Property Manager Questions

In the last post we touched on real estate property management and property manager services, fees and other general tips. In this post I will touch on some questions to ask when searching for a potential property manager. Also don’t be shy in using your Buyers Advocate to give you some indication on what you should be asking potential property managers.

As with all property investment areas, research is essential so look into at least 2 to 3 companies before selecting the one you want to go with.

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Real Estate Property Management

If you are looking into real estate property management then it is likely that you have just purchased an investment property and want to find a property manager to look after it. It is also likely that you have consider whether you should undertake the investment property management yourself and reached the conclusion that the time, dedication and education required to do so could most likely be best invested elsewhere. I personally err on the side of using a property management company (Real Estate agencies will also normally have a service offering) as my personal time constraints should mean a dedicated property manager should be able to do a superior job with little cost outlay in the overall scheme of property investing.

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Tax Depreciation with an Investment Property

Depreciation is a complex area, however all property investors should have grasp on some of the subtleties surrounding it and how they can benefit from these. Depreciation is an accounting term and describes the general wear and tear of an asset, which occurs over the time that you own it (also called its ‘useful life’). Typically a building won’t appreciate in value, it is the underlying land value that does (there are some edge cases where this doesn’t always hold true).
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Positive Cash Flow with an Investment Property

We have previously covered off the property investment strategy of negative gearing, and in this post we will be looking at purchasing an investment property with positive cash flow. In essence the difference between the two strategies is that negative gearing requires the capital gain on the property over the medium/long term to exceed the shortfall in cash required to hold the property; whereas a positive cash flow strategy means once expenses, tax and deductions are accounted for you don’t require any addition funds to support the investment, in fact you should be earning money from the property.
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Free Property Investment Fundamentals Webinar

The BAG Team has come across a great opportunity for those in the market for an investment property to join a free Webinar, hosted by the REIQ Buyers Agent of the Year 2011, Liz Wilcox (Managing Director – Hot Property Specialists Buyers Agency) and Kevin Turner (4BC, Realestatetalk.com.au).

The details are as follows:

Date – 17th November 2011
Start Time – 6:00pm EST
Duration – approx. 30 minutes

For more information and to register please visit http://www.hotpropertyspecialists.com.au/event/event/detail/event/14009

Are there potential risks to negatively gearing your investment property?

Important things to remember if you are planning to negative gear an investment

In short, yes. But they can be mitigated.

Negative gearing of property is an investment strategy that has been used widely over the past few decades. A plethora of promoters and naysayers have given their opinion on the practise since its inception, so with this post we will try to bring some balance to the discussion around the potential risks that you can be exposed to when negatively gearing your property. We will also provide some insights regarding how buyer’s agents may be able to help mitigate the potential downside, particularly in light of current property market conditions.  (more…)