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Start investing in properties

Are you set on getting a foot in the property door but are unsure of where to start? There are a lot of ways to invest in  property and make money.  Knowing what to do and what not to do is crucial, though.

8 steps to invest in your first property.

1. Set your goals – there are various strategies to get started in property investment which are discussed below.

2. Check your finances based on goals

3. Get pre-approved

4. Understand your attitude to risk

5. Start budgeting

6. Create purchase plan

7. Be informed

8. Stay focused

Now, you know the steps to follow but what are various strategies to investment – here are about 21 strategies followed in investment properties:

1. Home ownership

2. Buy and hold

3. Positive cash flow

4. Negative gearing – capital growth

5. Renovate to flip

6. Renovate and hold to rent

7. Subdivision

8. Dual occupancy

9. Duplex or second dwelling

10. Development, town houses, units

11. Property syndicates

12. Partnerships

13. Commercial real estate

14. House and land packages

15. Land

16. Re-zoning

17. Off the plan

18. Owner finance

19. Distressed sales

20. Flipping

21. Tax savings

Loan structures – company, trust or other structures


Owning an investment property in an individual’s own name is by far the simplest and cheapest option. Despite the lack of asset protection, any negative gearing losses generated from the property may offset the income of the individual, which will be particularly attractive to high income earners. If the property is sold and a capital gain is made, the 50% CGT discount will be available, provided that the property has been held by the individual for at least 12 months before it is sold.


A company is a separate legal entity at law. Accordingly, if an individual sets up a company to buy an investment property, the individual does not own the property, so if the individual gets sued, the property will not be exposed to risk as it legally belongs to the company. However, whoever owns the shares in the company indirectly owns all of the assets of the company. Therefore, if an at-risk individual owns all the shares in the company, which in turn owns the investment property, the structure may not provide the intended asset protection feature.

Any net rental income derived by the company will be taxed at the corporate tax rate of 30 per cent, which is substantially lower than the current highest marginal tax rate of 49 per cent applicable to individuals (inclusive of Medicare Levy and the Budget Repair Levy). However, if the cash representing the net profit is extracted from the company as either a loan (unless the loan is subject to a special loan agreement) or a dividend by a shareholder of the company or their associate, the relevant shareholder will generally be subject to tax on the net profit as if they have derived the profit themselves but the tax already paid by the company on the same profit will reduce the tax liability of the shareholder.

However, any negative gearing loss incurred by the company will be stuck inside the company and cannot be used to offset another entity’s income, albeit the loss can be carried forward indefinitely, which may be used to offset the company’s future income and capital gain if the property is sold, subject to the passing of certain loss recoupment rules applicable to companies. Also, a company is not eligible for the 50% CGT discount on any capital gain derived, which could make a material difference to your return on investment.


At law, a trust is a relationship under which the trustee looks after the trust’s assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

If it is set up properly, a discretionary trust may offer reasonably effective asset protection as the beneficiaries of the trust are generally not presently entitled to the income and/ or capital of the trust until the trustee makes a resolution to distribute the income and/or capital. Therefore, if an at-risk individual uses a properly established discretionary trust to buy a property and the individual gets sued, creditors do not generally have any recourse against the assets held by the trust because no one really has beneficial ownership of these assets. To further protect the assets, a corporate trustee that does not carry on any activity in its own right may be used.

For taxation purposes, a discretionary trust provides maximum flexibility in terms of the annual net rental income of the trust as the trustee has the discretion to distribute different amounts of income to different beneficiaries, having regard to the respective tax position of each beneficiary from year to year. The same applies to capital gain. If the trust makes a capital gain and has held the property for at least 12 months before it is sold, the 50% CGT discount will be available if the capital gain is distributed to an individual or another trust.

Having said that, similar to a company, any negative gearing loss generated from a property owned by a trust is stuck in the trust, unless the trust has other income to offset the loss. While the trust can carry forward tax losses for an indefinite period, the losses can only be recouped if certain trust loss recoupment tests are satisfied. These rules may be simplified by way of the trust making a ‘Family Trust Election’ but once the election is made and a trust distribution is made to an outsider who is not part of the family group for which the election is made, the Family Trust Distribution Tax will apply.


Unlike a company, which is a separate legal entity, and a trust, which is a legal relationship, a partnership is a contractual arrangement under which at least two parties carry on a business in common with a view of profit. A legal partnership will always be considered a partnership for tax purposes; however, an arrangement that is not a common law partnership may still be a partnership for taxation purposes because the tax law specifically defines a partnership to include an association of persons who are jointly in receipt of income without necessarily the carrying on of a business. In other words, two people who jointly own an investment property will effectively be a tax law partnership for income tax purposes.

Each partner of a common law partnership is jointly and severally liable to the liabilities of the partnership. Therefore, the personal assets of the partners may be exposed to risk if one of the partners is exposed to litigation in respect of something they do in the name of the partnership.

For taxation purposes, each partner of a partnership is entitled to their share of any net profit derived and net loss incurred by the partnership, so if the property owned by a partnership is negatively geared, the relevant partner may offset their share of the net loss against their own income. Also, if the partner is an individual or a trust, the 50% CGT discount will apply if the property is sold and a capital gain is made, provided that the property has been held for at least 12 months before its sale.


The above provides a bird’s-eye view of the main issues to take under advisement when the ownership structure for an investment property is being considered. While a SMSF may be used, the complexities involved warrant discussion in a separate article. As SMSFs are heavily regulated, professional advice is crucial before any arrangement is implemented.

Investment strategies for my goals

Here are about 21 strategies followed in investment properties:

1. Home ownership

2. Buy and hold

3. Positive cash flow

4. Negative gearing – capital growth

5. Renovate to flip

6. Renovate and hold to rent

7. Subdivision

8. Dual occupancy

9. Duplex or second dwelling

10. Development, town houses, units

11. Property syndicates

12. Partnerships

13. Commercial real estate

14. House and land packages

15. Land

16. Re-zoning

17. Off the plan

18. Owner finance

19. Distressed sales

20. Flipping

21. Tax savings

Positively geared, positive cashflow and negatively geared properties

What Is Positive Geared Property?

Positive gearing occurs when income before tax from property is more than costs such as loan repayments, interest, property maintenance, management fees, rates and any other expenses on the property being rented.

For this example, let’s say you own a $500,000 property with an 80% mortgage at 2.29% p.a. interest rate. You are paying $11,327/year in interest repayments and let’s assume you are also paying $2,000/year in council and water rates, $500/year in maintenance, $500/year in insurance and $2,500/year in vacancy and rental management fees.

Your total yearly expenses for the property are $24,700.

If your rental income was more than $24,700 each year then this property would be positively geared. Because you would be earning more money in income than you are paying in expenses.

What Is Positive Cash Flow Property?

Positive cash flow property is property that generates a loss (more costs than income) before tax, but then after tax deductions and refunds are taken into account your income is greater than your expenses.

This can get a little confusing so let’s use the example above (but a little different) to make things clear:

You buy your house for $625,000 and as worked out in the above example your expenses are $24,700. If your rental income is $23,400 then you would be making a loss of $1,300.

And if your depreciation is $6,000 then adding the depreciation will bring your on paper loss is to $7,300.00.

If you are paying 30% tax then you are now entitled to a $2,190 tax refund.

Your income now goes up to $25,590, which is greater than your expenses of $24,700. Thus after tax your property becomes positive cash flowed.

What Is The Difference Between The Two?

The main difference between the two is that positive geared property generates more income than expenses BEFORE TAX, but positive cash flow property ONLY generates more income than expenses AFTER TAX.

What Is negative gearing?

If the rental return or the rental income is not substantial enough to cover the total costs of managing the rental and re-paying the interest potion of the loan, the investment property will be ‘negatively geared’.

At first glance, a negatively geared property won’t sound too appealing to an investor who is ultimately focused on maximising their rental income and paying off both the interest and principal portion of the investment loan in each monthly repayment.

But how can a negatively geared property ultimately put you as the investor in a better financial position?

Generally speaking, a negatively geared investment property can provide potential tax benefits for you as the investor when the time comes for you to lodge your yearly tax return.

This is simplistically how it works:

You own an investment property that costs you $500 per week in mortgage interest repayments. You spend a further $200 per week on council rates and water, property management fees, insurance and repairs. In total, you are spending $700 per week.

In addition, you have a depreciation schedule prepared, which allows you to claim $150/week in depreciation losses.

The rental income received is $600 per week.

Therefore, your total costs per week = $700.

Your total on-paper, tax claimable costs per week (inc depreciation) = $850.

Your rental income = $600.

The difference you can claim for negative gearing = $850-$600 = $250.

You can therefore claim $250 per week against your income tax. If you are paying tax at the rate of 37% + 1.5% medicare levy, you would receive a tax refund of $96.25 per week.

The property initially costs you $100 per week out of pocket. After your tax refund of $96.25, the actual cost is just $3.75.

Dual occupancies, NDIS, DHA properties

What is the dual occupancy properties?

A Dual Occupancy development is usually described as more than one dwelling on a single block of land. While there are essentially two Dual Occupancy options – side-by-side or stand-alone – there are many choices when it comes to house size, floorplans, design, fixtures and fittings. Each home has its own entrance and amenities

A dual occupancy development is a highly versatile investment. You can choose to live in one dwelling, then sell or rent one, or you could rent out both or even sell both. It is this flexibility that makes Dual Occupancy developments so appealing to people at all stages of the real estate cycle.

Dual Occupancy is the process of improving the land value by building two dwellings on an existing site or land. For downsizers, a Dual Occupancy development gives you the opportunity to stay in a neighbourhood you love but in a more low-maintenance property. Or, it might give you the opportunity to help your children enter the property market in one of the homes.  And, if you are ready to become a property investor for the first time, a Dual Occupancy development might be a great way to generate revenue and offset your mortgage

What is the NDIS?

NDIS is the National Disability Insurance Scheme. It started in 2016 and is a government initiative to fund the needs of Australians with disability (known as participants). The scheme aims to help 28,000 Australians move into accessible and affordable housing called Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA), to provide specialist dwellings that fit the requirements of people with disabilities. The scheme takes a lifetime approach to improve the well-being of the disabled person and also their family and carers

Australian banks have become lenient when it comes to lending money for SDA projects.

Besides providing home loans for participants, banks are encouraging investment loans for family, friends or any interested investor. Since there is a 20 year payment guarantee from the government for SDA projects, banks are willing to lend to people with a deposit of 20%.

Here are some ways you can get a loan approved for SDA funding:

• Find an SDA complaint builder who knows the requirements of the participants.

• Get a deposit of at least 20% so you do not have to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

• A good credit history.

• Exceptional credit score.

• Stable employment with good income.

• Build or make renovations on housing that has an adaptable design to accommodate people with different disabilities

Ask Deals Mortgage more about Dual Occupancy property loans . Our Happy Clients are based in Brighton, Tarneit, Pankenham, Truganina, Cranbourne, Werribee, Clyde, Point Cook, Cheltenham, Wyndham, North Craigieburn

Debt recycling

What is Debt Recycling?

Debt recycling is a strategy used by Australians to recycle non-deductible personal debt (family homes mortgage) into tax deductible investment debt. This strategy has been commonly used by those looking to pay down their home sooner, invest and build a more tax effective portfolio.

Below is an example of how does debt recycling works:

- The borrower uses equity in their family home as security for an investment loan

- The investment loan is used to invest in assets such as an investment property or shares (the asset being income producing is important)

- Using the investment income received and any tax effective benefits from borrowing to invest, the borrower pays off their non-deductible personal home loan component

- As the non-deductible personal home loan component reduces, the home can be re-leveraged up with new investment debt to invest in more income producing investment assets

- Over time the non-deductible personal home loan is completely paid down and replaced with fully deductible investment lending

- Non resident investment loans

Australia’s stable economy, safety and health culture (Specifically after COIVD) and great lifestyle leave it to be a perfect place to invest in. If you’re looking at buying a house in Australia and are from overseas, speak to one of our expert mortgage brokers.

Non- Resident lending refers to loans in Australian Dollars made to people who do not live in Australia to assist with the purchase of investment property in Australia.

There are different home loan types available for different types of borrowers, whether you are a citizen of New Zealand, a foreign citizen working in Australia or a foreign citizen living overseas.

There are different home loan types available for different types of borrowers, whether you are a citizen of New Zealand, a foreign citizen working in Australia or a foreign citizen living overseas.

- Australian citizens living overseas

- Australian permanent residents (PR)

- New Zealand citizens

- Foreign citizens living overseas

- Foreign citizens living in Australia on a working visa

- Foreign citizens living in Australia on a temporary visa

- Foreign citizens living in Australia on a spouse visa

- Foreign citizens living in Australia on a student visa

It is critical that you apply with the right bank! Our mortgage brokers specialise in lending to new migrants, Australians living overseas and foreign investors

Find out the numbers.

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Dual Occupancy Properties.

A dual occupancy subdivision is when you build two or more dwellings on an existing single title and then subdivide the lot to create two separate titles. Have you ever thought about doing a residential property development project but had concerns around subdividing your property? You’ve come to the right place.

Learn More
Dream home dual occupancy mortgage loans from Victoria Melbourne based Mortgage broker

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