All Posts by Jo Vadillo

Are you a Peter Pan?

Are you a Peter Pan? The new tribes of the property market.

July 25, 2016 from news.com.au

Peter Pan
Debbie Schipp news.com.au @debbieschipp

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/home/are-you-a-peter-pan-the-new-tribes-of-the-property-market/news-story/bf06814ecabafcaee47b25d5ab3256ba

FORGET empty-nesters, newlyweds and nuclear families — a whole new set of social tribes are shaping how and where we live and what we live in. Think Social Singles, Peter Pans and the Home Work Tribe.
They’re the household groups dictating changes in everything from the housing market to business and transport.
New research by the Commonwealth Bank has identified 10 “tribes” that are emerging now, and by 2030 will be calling the shots.
For decades, Australia’s “tribes” have remained fairly consistent: flatting friends, newlyweds, nuclear families and empty-nesters.
But an evolving population, more higher-density living, increased multiculturalism and housing market dynamics are driving the formation of new groups, according to the CommBank Future Home Insights Series.
Commonwealth Bank executive general manager of home buying Dan Huggins said the emergence of the tribes would have a direct impact on how Australian property was built, renovated, bought and sold.
“We know that most of these groups have existed for some time, but the newest to emerge, and the ones that will have the biggest impact on how the home is set up in the future, will be the homework group, social singles and multigenerational clans,” he said.
“That social singles group is huge — and growing — it will be the biggest group by 2030 and the biggest part of the market.
Social singles are the fastest growing new tribe.
“For us it’s about understanding the needs of our customers and knowing how to meet those changing needs over time — it might be guarantor loans or split loans, and adapting our approach to how we service those markets to suit those customers.”

Social researcher Mark McCrindle said the new “tribes” told us a lot about who we were as Australians and were a departure from the standard way we thought about groups.
“Traditionally we think about tribe based on demographics and age,” Mr McCrindle said.
“This is a move to ‘psychographics’ — more social trends and attitudes and lifestyles. We are who we are not because of our age or family situation, but because of our attitude to life and how we view it, adjust and reinvent.”
He said people now moved through more varied life stages — it’s no longer as simple as childhood, to teenager, to adulthood.
“We have extended adolescence into the 20s thanks to the stay-at-home generation. A middle-years life stage has emerged,” he said.
“In the past people in their 60s were retirees. Now they’re ‘down-agers’ — younger than their years and reinventing themselves in their 60s and 70s.
“Politicians and businesses will need to understand and better engage with these groups and there’ll be new markets and services to meet their needs.”
Mr McCrindle said the new scribes had emerged because life markers had changed. Where the 20s was once the time for marriage and kids, the average age for giving birth is now 31.
“You have this extra decade that has created the social singles, and couples around for eight or nine years with no kids has created the DINKs,” he said.
“The retirement push back has seen the emergence of Peter Pans.”
So who are the 10 tribes?
THE SOCIAL SINGLES
The fastest growing tribe — 26 per cent of Australian homes will be single-person households by 2030. They want space easily set up for their work and life needs: reliable wireless technology, sliding separation doors and flexible building design. Their numbers will grow about two per cent annually, hitting three million households by 2030.
The DINKS prize entertainment, and inner city digs … when they’re home.
More couples under 45 are having children later in life or having none at all. DINKS (Double Income, No Kids) prioritise high incomes and entertainment, and feel the pull of inner city areas. DINK magnets in Sydney are Erskineville, Alexandria and Surry Hills. In Melbourne, DINKS want Kensington and Southbank. In Brisbane, they opt for Teneriffe, Fortitude Valley and Bowen Hills. Brompton is where it’s at for Adelaide, and Leederville in Perth.
LIFESTYLE RENTERS
Don’t feel sorry for them, smug homeowners. These people rent by choice and a third of them make up the rental market. They want the flexibility of renting where they want to live. They may prioritise lifestyle and travel over other financial commitments. This tribe includes young people, as well as professionals in higher-income brackets.
THE HOME WORK TRIBE
One in three workers employed will be on a freelance basis driving the need for flexible homes that can double up as the office. By 2030, with homes getting smaller, but with the home work tribe getting bigger, that will mean dual-purpose furniture: kitchen benches converting to work desks, and coffee tables becoming digital screens.
THE MULTIGENERATIONAL CLAN
The rise in multiculturalism will see more extended families cohabiting with children, parents and grandparents all living under the one roof. Caring for family elders is still the norm in many parts of the world, and the multigenerational tribe puts family at its heart.

NUCLEAR FAMILY
Like today’s nuclear families, in 2030 this tribe will still have two children on average — but everything else will be reinvented — thanks to the inclusion of everything from same-sex couples to surrogate parents. Internationally, nuclear families are turning to co-housing communities and multi-family residencies.
PETER PANS
This group is on the rise. Born between 1954 and 1965, this generation of Baby Boomers will be aged between 65 and 76 in 2030. But forget about retiring from life. This young-at-heart tribe has no intention of slowing down and will live independently as long as possible, enabled by the latest technology.
CITY SWITCHERS
Members of the city switcher group are choosing the regional lifestyle over city life. That’s made easier by technology and regional transport links.
MIDLIFE FLATMATES
In 2030, people may choose shared accommodation at a later stage in life to rent with like-minded people. Many homeowners are also becoming midlife flatmates, realising empty spare bedrooms can generate rental income, either casually (think Airbnb) or by taking in a long-term tenant.

PROPERTY ACCUMULATORS
With an influx of new developments and high-rise apartments expected in some capital cities, property accumulators of the future will need to be more sensitive to the needs of the household tribes that inhabit their properties.
NEW DEMANDS
With the new tribes will come new demands — and freedoms — in architecture, says Australian Institute of Architects NSW chapter president Shaun Carter.
“We won’t be necessarily bound to the social norms and structures that formed our past,” he said.
It will see new trends including adaptive architecture, under which homes will be built with reconfiguration and adaptation to changing lifestyles and budgets in mind — think flexible floor plans, sliding walls and mechanical ceilings.
Health and well-being homes won’t just protect you from the elements, they’ll actively make you feel better — assessing heart and breathing rates and mood when you walk in, and adjusting light and music to suit, as well as reminding you to be more active, helping “Peter Pans” live independently for longer.
Closed-loop homes by 2030 are forecast to operate as self-sufficient ecosystems, generating their own electricity, getting rid of waste and recycling water.

21 Mistakes Investors Make

And How You Can Avoid These Mistakes

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” Oscar Wilde

Mistake 1: Not Getting Educated

We pay thousands and thousands for Academic education  over $40,000 is not uncommon… so we can get a ‘good’ job .  But many are reluctant to pay a fraction of that to get educated to invest in property.   There are courses specifically for development, renovating etc. but what is really lacking is the the fundamental information …. It’s the education you need so that you head off in the right direction.

We are not talking about courses to become a real estate agent, property manager or financial planner we are talking about education that teaches you the fundamentals like where do you start? Who do you need on your team? How do you research and do your due diligence? What investment strategies are out there?

It’s up to you to look after yourself and your own money – KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

We’ve found you also need Inspiration and the right Network so that you use that education and put it into Action!  And that is why Property Women was created to provide YOU with non biased education, inspiration, networking  opportunities in a fun, supportive environment.

Mistake 2: Not Having a Strategy

If you don’t have a plan and a strategy to work towards you may find that you either do nothing or you follow someone else’s strategy. A strategy that is not Right for YOU – the only way to avoid this is to find out what strategies are out there and what strategy is going to suit you the best.

Mistake 3: Not taking ACTION!

No time?  What will you sacrifice?

Write down 5 Property Goals now.

Switch off the TV – use that time to start actioning those goals NOW!

Mistake 4: Trying to Do it All Yourself

Multi-tasking is fine but not focused action and you don’t need to be superwoman!  How long does it take to clean your house?  What if you dedicated that time to building your property portfolio or a business…would the price you pay for a Cleaner be small in comparison to the time you save, the stress you reduce, and the profit you could make with focused action on wealth creation?

If you don’t have the necessary skills to do a particular task then it is must better to enlist the help of someone who does!

Take some time to work out what your strengths and weaknesses are: then beside each of your weaknesses write down a professional or person who you could outsource this task to and then do it!

Mistake 5: Not Believing You Can Do It!

So many people just give-up as they start to believe they can’t achieve. Like Henry Ford famously said

“Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” 

When you hear the negative mantra in your head you need to shut it down. Its like the nagging desire for a cigarette when you are trying to quit or the temptation of dessert when you are trying to lose a little….break the cycle and turn the temptation around from negative to positive.

Think of affirming speech patterns like ‘I believe I can achieve’…now add those 5 goals you wrote down earlier.

I believe I can buy an investment property every year for the next 10 years, I believe I can renovate on my own, I believe I can do this on my salary etc.

‘You need to Believe to Achieve’ – it is a baby step but having a little faith if yourself is going to get you everywhere.

Mistake 6: FEAR – Letting FEAR Stop you…

So worried about making a mistake that you don’t make a move is something that a lot of first time investors have to overcome.

Sure … You may have a ‘gut’ feeling about something and that needs to be taken seriously. But if you look at a house and think you wouldn’t want to live there … does that mean it wouldn’t be a good investment?

Fear has two meanings…

Forget Everything And Run

Or

Face Everything And Rise

Challenge yourself to face the fear and do it anyway! This is true for many things in our lives. ACTION will always set you free from the fear.

Mistake 7: Holding onto Something that Isn’t working for Too Long

Have you heard of something called the “Spider Monkey Trap”?

Hunters in South America trap spider monkeys by filling special jars with very narrow openings with special treats that the monkey’s love. The monkey comes along and is easily able to slip their hand into the jar, however when they grab the treat their fists become too big to extract the treat and their hand and the jar is too heavy for them to carry it away.  Instead of letting go of the treat and running away the monkey just sits their until the hunters come and collect them.

Are you holding on to something that is never going to give you the return your are after? If something isn’t working let it go and move on to your next adventure before your lose more than you bargained for.

Mistake 8: Having the Wrong Structure

Starting out holding the property in the wrong structure can greatly impact on many factors.  Your structure should be determined by the strategy you are planning on implementing, your financial position and if you will costly to change. Strategy related / financial position related / If you’ve made a mistake on this one you may be better to leave the mistake as is.

So the key here really is to get the structure right in the first place and the best people on your team to speak to are your accountant and your solicitor.

Mistake 9: Not Taking Care of your Cashflow

Not tracking your cashflow is a big mistake investors make – when’s the last time you increased your rent? … lots of properties equals lots of missed rent.

Other cashflow monitoring tips include:

  • Finance – check regularly at least once a year to see if refinancing might save you some money
  • Keep on eye on the Property Management Statements
  • Check your water rates make sure you are getting everything you are entitled to from your tenant.

Mistake 10: Being over optimistic with your assumptions

“I can’t lose on this Property!!!!” …don’t be blinded by positive emotion or frozen by fear… Get educated about what you need to know to make an informed decision …. Make a decision and make the decision right.

Mistake 11:  Over Analysing

Analysis Paralysis …I spend so long analysing a property I never get to buy one!  Answer ….stop it!  Write out a list of criteria you need to check … tick them off and then take action!   Or get a coach!

Mistake 12: Not Crunching the Numbers Properly

It’s important that you take the time to crunch all the numbers there are some great tools out their including PIA software to help you do this.  You can get a copy of the PIA software from our shop.

Mistake 13: Not Doing Your Due Diligence Upfront

Not doing the due diligence and research properly can cost you in may ways.

The more information you have the better informed you’ll be when you start negotiating on the property for example.

Things that help with negotiation include knowing what else in on the market, how long your property has been on the market when it was last sold and for how much.

Other things you need to know is how much rent your can achieve, if you can add value and how much that might cost, if you can do the subdivision or development your are thinking of doing etc.

Take the time to really know the area you are buying in, the property you are buying and who your target market is going to be.

Property Women do have a group license for RP DATA that we share with our members if you want to find out more send an email to info@propertywomen.com.au

Mistake 14: Not Starting Early Enough

We all wish we had of started earlier , but alas that time has past so now the best time to start is TODAY – don’t look back in 10 years and wish you had started 10 years ago!

Mistake 15: Not Managing your Credit History

Your credit history is your ticket to getting more and more finance – you need to make sure you have your credit history intact – did you know that if you don’t pay your telephone bill on time the telephone company can now add this to your credit file which won’t look good to your new lender.  Make sure you pay your bills and credit card on time and you should be fine.

Mistake 16: Abusing Your Line of Credit

Be careful with your line of credit – if it is an investment line of credit only use it for investment purposes.

Mistake 17: Not Organizing Finance Before you give up your Day Job

A lot of investors decide that their investing is going so well that they can give up their day job and concentrate solely on Property. Its a great place to be…but make sure you get all your loans for the next projects before you quite your job, otherwise you may find that you cannot borrow anymore because your serviceability has gone way down.

Mistake 18: Talking to the Wrong People too Early and the Right People too Late!

Not surrounding yourself with like-minded people, listening to the wrong people and not assembling the right team are all mistakes that can be avoided.

So who are the wrong and right people anyway?

Firstly stay away from the naysayers they will only instill fear into you no matter how good the property is – stick with like minded individuals who are already investing in property.

Some of the wrong people may include: Friends who are not investing, Family members who are not investing and don’t laugh the Taxi driver – the Taxi driver always has an opinion on the property market but if they aren’t investing then I suggest you don’t listen to them.

Some of the right people include: Property Women (we have a wonderful network of women who are investing in property that love to support other women), Broker, Accountant, Buyers Agent, Solicitor – learn from those who are walking the walk not just talking the talk!

Mistake 19: Buying in the wrong area

It’s important to do your research.

The wrong area is normally an area that is:

  • Isolated
  • Away From Infrastructure
  • Not where Tenants want to live
  • Not near employment
  • In a noisy or dirty location
  • Near bad neighbours

A good area on the other hand is an are that is:

  • Close to Amenities
  • Close to work
  • Where Tenants like to live
  • Location with good resale potential
  • Good growth potential
  • Opportunity to add value

Mistake 20: Believing everything the Real Estate Agent Tells you

Remember who the real estate works for, he/she works for the vendor so they want to sell the house to the highest bidder.  Make sure you know everything about the property from your own or a trusted team member such as a buyers agent observations.

What the agents says is not always what they mean…here are some funny examples we’ve come across.

What the Agent Says

  • Needs TLC
  • Original Condition
  • Its had a few nibbles
  • STCA
  • Spoken to Council
  What the agent means

  • Falling Down
  • Needs Lots of Work
  • Riddled with Termites
  • Doesn’t have a clue
  • Chatted to the guy on the front desk

MistakeWhat the ad reads:

Knock down rebuild

 

What the agent doesn’t know:

It’s a great renovation project

 

Mistake 21: Not Making any Offers

You never know if you’ll get the property for the price that works for you if you don’t make an offer.  If you’ve done your research and you are happy to go ahead make sure you submit your offer.

Happy investing

Trust or not to trust that is the Question

Should you Trust!

Choosing to own an investment property in the name of a trust is very popular due to a desire to distribute asset income, capital gains or offset losses in a tax effective manner and for asset protection reasons.

Property owners are often disappointed by the benefits actually achieved by use of trust structures for property ownership, and it may seem to the property investor that the trusts only real purpose is to cost them establishment fees and ongoing annual administration fees.

Trusts will work well in circumstances where losses from a negatively geared property can be offset against income and where there is a realistic need for an asset protection structure and where additional land tax payable due to the use of a trust does not cause hardship or make the investment unfeasible.

Those investors who cannot offset losses and incur additional land tax are often those disenchanted with the choice of trust structure for property ownership. So, trusts are not for everyone, every time.

Frustration about the use of trusts for property ownership, generally comes down to: –

(i) Insufficient consideration of the trust structure before the purchase is made. Whether a discretionary, hybrid or other trust is most beneficial will depend upon your circumstances in each instance and what you want to achieve and specifically whether the investment is for negative gearing or not. Investors buying multiple properties need to revisit the trust structure before each purchase, consider future land tax liability and consider if the use of the trust continues to serve their interests; or
(ii) Higher liability for land tax, due to state land tax thresholds being lower or nonexistent for trustee owners. With rapidly increasing land values and rising rates of land tax, this is becoming a more common problem; or
(iii) An inability to offset losses against trust income. Careful structuring is necessary to avoid this situation.

The decision as to the type of trust needs to be established before the contract is formed, as changing the buying entity after contract formation may lead to payment of double transfer duty by the buyer.

The decision as to the type of trust appropriate (if any) and the terms of the trust deed are critical to achieve positive benefits for the property investor and expert legal and accounting advice is recommended before the purchase is made.

This article was provided by Susan Sing

 

Top ten tips to finding positive cashflow properties

Rachel Barnes and her partner accumulated a staggering 75 rentals within 64 months. This feat was made possible by locating and buying high yielding cashflow positive property. No prizes for guessing what the most common question people ask Rachel … how do you find positive cashflow property?

Here are Rachel’s top cashflow positive tips:

1. Know what you’re looking for!
The first thing you need to define is, what sort of return do you need to make a property positive cashflow.  This may depend on your income, your tax position, and your level of comfort with debt.

2. Debt funded Positive Cashflow options
If debt is something you’re comfortable with, and can manage well, you may consider using equity to fund the short-fall in high growth potential properties. Make sure you understand the pros and cons of this sort of strategy well though, before you choose this option.

3. Check Statistics  – eg Australian Property Investor Magazine
API often provide Statistics showing Average rental returns for most areas.  If you find the highest ‘average’ and then research properties in that general location or just outside of it, then you have at least a starting point to work from.

4. Trawl The Net
The ability to find properties all over the world and even in your own backyard with the resources available online is magnificent.  You have the ability to shop and research 24×7 which gives you fantastic opportunities.

Searching for specific property types, prices, locations, and styles of housing can provide very efficient use of your time.  Use alerts (as long as they are instant) to get new listings within your search criteria delivered to your inbox instantly.  www.realestate.com.au is ideal for this option.  When searching consider:

  • Look for lower value properties (often the best returns)
  • Blocks of Units
  • Motels / Hotels / Boarding Houses

5.  Use Google Earth
This is a fantastic free program which helps you survey an area using satellite technology.  It’s great for looking at properties which aren’t in your backyard.  You can get a fair idea of the layout of the area and look at the properties you’ve found on the Net.  The layout of the land might show you potential for increasing the cashflow of the property.

6. Talking to all Agents in the Area
Talking to all or at least a number of Real Estate Agents in an area can give you an overall picture of the area, help you understand the growth potentials relating to the local economy and what areas potentially to avoid.  However, sometimes the areas they tell you to avoid can still be good to invest in.

  • This can be done completely remotely by telephone and email. Many agents are tardy in responding to emails so an initial telephone call would be more effective usually with a follow up by email. If you leave a message, make sure you are ready for their call and know the information you’re seeking.
  • It is sometimes more rewarding to have face-to-face conversations which gives you the potential to establish good rapport.
  • When dealing face-to-face always have a business card with you to introduce yourself as a professional investor and leave it with them when you go in case something comes up that might suit you.  Having specific buying criteria on the card and even your picture can really help them keep you in mind for future property listings.

Having a script ready is always good so that you make the right first impression.  You need them to feel confident that you are a serious buyer and know what you want.   Be specific in what you’re looking for – this will help them understand what a ‘good investment’ is to you!

7. Talk to the Property Managers
If you’re looking to be a Landlord then these are definitely the people to speak to – they’re dealing with Landlords and Tenants daily. They understand where the tenant demand is, what they’re likely to pay for specific style and location of housing.

Important questions you can also find out is if they know any Landlords considering selling?  Are there any problem properties where an existing landlord might be motivated to sell and where the property manager would love to have a new Landlord improve the property to make tenancies easier and less hassle.  Perhaps you could be their solution!

8. Network with other Investors
Investors often find out about changing areas – where you might still get a relatively low entry level with a good rental return and have the potential for unusual capital growth.

9. Make ‘Ridiculous’ offers
If you find a property that has a higher than usual return or potential but still doesn’t fit your specific criteria – calculate what price you could pay to have it work for you and make an offer.  It may seem like a ‘ridiculous’ offer but what do you risk? Remember it’s the offer that could be rejected – not you!

If a property has been on the market for a while or a Vendor is particularly motivated to sell quickly you’ve got a much better opportunity to get the property at a good price – and therefore a better return. Investing is all about numbers – the more offers you make, statistically you’ll eventually be successful in having one of the accepted.

10. Look for ‘Unusual’ properties
Consider unusual properties where you can potentially get a better than average yield for example:

  • Old ‘Queenslanders’ or other properties that can be renovated and turned into 2 or more separate living areas
  • Consider Granny flats as a potential for double tenancies
  • Consider old Motels that might be able to be renovated to provide individual permanent rental accommodation
  • Be creative – check out the 13 ways to turn negatives properties into positive cash flow at the Property Women Workshop currently touring the country.

 

Record Keeping a must for all property investors

 

 

Accurate record keeping for your rental properties is essential for any landlord.

Rule number one in record keeping is to keep all your paperwork and organise it so you can retrieve any documents easily when needed.  If you have any disputes due to a misunderstanding about a property’s condition or you are required by the taxation office to verify a claim, you will need to call upon your records to do the explaining for you.

Record keeping is also a means to ensure that you are able to pay your outgoings when they are due.  Managing your cash flow is crucial.

To keep things simple, the best method for property investors is to have two files for each property you own, an Annual file and a Permanent file.

ANNUAL FILE

An annual file should include documentation for the ongoing operation of a property. It should be based on the financial year, and kept for five years after you lodge your annual tax return. In Australia the financial year runs from 1 July to 30 June, whereas in New Zealand it is from 1 April to 31 March, but can be aligned with the Australian year.

Items to keep in your annual files include:

All invoices and receipts. Written receipts are essential, the Taxation Office might not accept a cheque butt as ample evidence of an expense. If you have costs for multiple properties on a single receipt, photocopy it and highlight the applicable item so you can include a copy with each property file.

You will also want to save your receipts and documentation for any expenses you incur for your rental properties.  This might include replacement items, repairs and maintenance, new fixtures, cleaning and maybe even furniture.  If you make phone calls to your rental manager or travel to inspect the property, you will also need to keep a record of these details.  Land tax, insurances, water and council rates notices will also need to be kept.

What can you claim?  Please check with your accountant regarding allowable rental property deductions.  The taxation offices in Australia and New Zealand have several of articles of reference regarding  Rental Properties.

Australian Taxation Office:  http://www.ato.gov.au/content/downloads/IND00133187n17290608.pdf

New Zealand Inland Revenue (Te Tari Taake)  http://www.ird.govt.nz/toii/property/information/

Rental statements. Whether you keep copies of tenant rent receipts or a quarterly statement from an agency, evidence of your income from a property is essential. Electronic banking makes record keeping easy, through either direct debit or electronic funds transfer (EFT).  If you are using a computerised program to manage your rental properties, ensure you regularly back up your data and keep printed up hard copies as an extra safety measure.

Condition Report.  Before a new tenant occupies the property a detailed condition report should be completed and signed by the new tenant.  Always take photographs of your empty property before your new tenant moves in, and make notes of any damage on the condition report.  Dated photos or videos can also prove invaluable if you ever need to substantiate damage caused by a tenant.

Tenancy agreements. It’s also a good idea to keep copies of each tenancy agreement in the annual file.  Even If they’re not required for tax purposes, they’re still important records and should be kept for each tenant of each property.  This particularly applies to commercial properties.

Cash book. You can use manual accounting systems, spreadsheets or accounting software, but you need to keep a record of your income and outgoings in relation to each property.  This makes it simple to  hand over the required information to your accountant to complete your financial statements.  If you do not use a software program or computer to keep records for your property, you may want to consider giving it a try. You may also be able to deduct the cost of such software as a business expense.

Bank statements. Simple — just keep them all in one place. If some of your statements relate to more than one property you can either make a copy for each file and highlight the relevant items or keep just one copy in front of the rest of your annual property files.

PERMANENT FILE

The permanent file is to record the history of each particular property, from purchase to sale. It should be kept for five years after the tax return that records its sale has been lodged.

Documentation to keep in this file includes:

  •  Purchase contract
  •  Solicitor’s settlement letter on purchase
  •  Loan agreement, including any refinancing
  •  Depreciation schedule
  •  Renovation costs, details and totals
  •  Contract of sale
  •  Selling agent agreement
  •  Solicitor’s settlement letter on sale
  •  Loan finalisation documents

Tip:  When you have multiple properties and therefore multiple folders, consider printing up a photo with address details for each property.  If you insert this into the spine and front views of the folder, it makes it easy for identifying which folder belongs to which property.

Property Investment Analysis (PIA)

Property Investment Analysis (PIA) software helps you to analyse and forecast the capital growth, cash flows, and tax potential for an investment property. Some of the Key Features of the PIA software include:

  • Data Entry Checklists
  • Spreadsheets
  • Reports
  • Graphic Screens
  • Property Investment Calculators

If you would like more information or to purchase your own copy of the Property Investment Analysis (PIA) please click here this is a great recording keeping tool.

 

Tax tips every investor should follow

With these tips tax you are sure to avoid some key mistakes

If you’re serious about investing in property, you need to be a tax smart. In fact, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has identified a number of common mistakes property investors make.

The first mistake is not keeping track of tax deductions such as interest, insurance, real estate agent management fees, and depreciation. Property owners need to keep proof of all their income-related expenses from the beginning.

“Keep documentation,” stresses Stella Poly, principal accountant based in Melbourne. “Write everything down. Keep tract of renovation costs. If you live in the property, then rent it out, and later return to the property, keep track of the dates. If you don’t write everything down you can miss out on deductions. Even small amounts add up over time.”

Stella’s other tax tips include:

Getting Market Valuations

Keep in mind, renting out your property, improving or repairing your property, subdividing your property, and/or operating a home office or business can all affect your taxes.

“When you change the nature of the property, for example you rent it out or renovate it, it’s important to get a market valuation of the property at that time,” Stella advices.

Using Discretionary Family Trust

A discretionary family trust can give investors flexibility in distributing profit or income from a property. Since the trust allows you to share the tax burden among family members and helps protect family assets, it can be useful if your family holds capital growth or income-generating assets.

As the name infers, the trustee has discretion in determining which beneficiary will benefit from the trust. This trust has clear advantages where there is a disparity in the income of the beneficiaries; it allows you to reduce your tax bill by distributing income to family members with lower taxable income. If you choose to use a discretionary family trust, seek financial advice from an experienced accountant.

Negatively-Geared Properties

A significant number of investment properties in Australia are negatively geared- a tax strategy where investors make a net loss on their property which can be claimed against their other income to lower the amount of tax they pay.

“Keep in mind, negative gearing gives you the option of claiming depreciation, but it increases chances of capital gains later when you decide to sell,” Stella cautions.

Depreciation Schedules

Some investors do not claim as much as they were entitled to because they didn’t have a depreciation schedule. The calculation of depreciable items is very specialized and should be carried out by a qualified professional. However, the cost of a depreciation schedule is not always warranted.

“If a property has had a major refurbishment or is of great value, say $400,000 or more, this is something you should consider,” says Stella. “But if the property is more than 25 years old, you lose the benefits of depreciation and the cost of getting a depreciation schedule may not be warranted.”

Tax considerations form a large part of any successful property investment strategy. For property owners and investors, working with professionals such as an accountant, financial planner, or conveyancer can help streamline your strategy and help you take full advantage of any eligible tax deductions.

Do you have any tax questions?

Jane Min Zhang from LJR Australia Pty Ltd, has put together a 15 page report titled “The top 10 Questions Property Investors ask their Accountants” valued at $49.95 if you’d like a copy go to our Property Professionals Network and click on Jane’s page to find out how you can get your free copy.

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