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Article | 4 minute read

What is 'rentvesting'?

The hunt to find a home can be a long and emotional journey. Sometimes it’s good to take the time to reassess and make sure you’re on the right path. This means looking at all of your options – and one of your potential choices could be becoming a ‘rentvester’.

‘Rentvesting’ is a relatively new term, coined to describe property buyers who continue to rent the home that they live in, and rent out their investment property. This could be a property they plan to live in further down the track, or it could be bought purely as an investment.

If you’re just starting your search or you’ve been looking for some time, it’s a good idea to consider whether this might be an option for you. Like all things property, there are pros and cons, so here are five questions to consider.

Can I hold off on moving in?

If you have the option of paying little or no rent (eg. by living with your parents for a bit longer) this could be a great way to kick off your property portfolio. This could allow you to save additional money, while the rent from your tenants contributes to the home loan repayments on your investment property.

But if you’re looking to move ASAP (or maybe you just like your independence), then this mightn’t be the best fit.

Do you know what you’re looking for in an investment property?

Deciding to buy an investment property doesn’t have to mean buying your dream home and then renting it out. When you’re buying a rental property, you might need to have different considerations. You’re going to be thinking more about rental yield and whether this is a property that will help to build your equity in the future. Whether you personally like the property becomes a lower priority.

You might also want to take a good look at what kind of work you would need to do to make the property attractive to prospective tenants. Just bear in mind that renovating an investment property may mean a temporary loss of rental income.

Another option could be buying a property that’s already tenanted and simply allowing that relationship to roll on. If you decide to move in further down the track, you can give the appropriate period of notice. This can be managed through your property management service, if you’re using one.

Are you prepared to be a landlord?

There are various responsibilities that come with being a landlord – it means making sure your tenants have a comfortable, safe and secure place to live.

Take the time to consider how you would choose to manage this relationship – whether through a commercial management company, or whether you would be prepared to put the time into managing this yourself. Remember that you’ll need to include the cost of having your property managed in your budget, if this is the option that you choose.

What will the impact on grants and concessions be?

The First Home Owner Grant generally won’t apply if you’re buying an investment property, so beware if you’re factoring that into your budget. Other concessions (eg. stamp duty concessions offered in some states or territories) may not apply to your investment property purchase. Usually these concessions are for first home buyers who are purchasing a property they intend to live in.

On the other hand, buying an investment property may mean being eligible for certain tax concessions. For example, you may be able to deduct the interest on your loan as a tax deduction against other income. There may be other tax benefits, so make sure you consult your accountant or financial adviser.

To sum up

  • When you’re looking to buy your first property you should consider whether you’re planning to be an owner-occupier or whether ‘rentvesting’ could be an option.
  • The factors that you consider when you’re looking for an investment property may be quite different to what you think about when you’re looking for a home to live in.
  • You need to take the time to carefully consider all of the impacts of owning an investment property. This includes the financial considerations and the responsibility of having tenants.
  • It may be a good idea to seek further advice from your accountant or financial adviser.

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