The top questions all property investors should ask themselves at tax time: Patrick Bright

The top questions all property investors should ask themselves at tax time: Patrick Bright
The top questions all property investors should ask themselves at tax time: Patrick Bright

With the end of the financial year fast approaching it’s a good time to sit back and analyse your financial position.

Investors should be questioning their property portfolio to make sure it’s performing at its best.

Regardless of whether you own one, three, five or more properties you need to treat them all like a business and undertake regular reviews.

Ideally these reviews should be done six monthly but no less than annually.

Too often, I find investors are reluctant to question whether their property investments are getting the best return.

For some reason they seem to favour leaving them to tick over in the hands of a property manager.

As a stocktake, I recommend you should ask yourself the following questions:

1. AM I CONFIDENT THAT I AM MAKING MY PROPERTY ASSETS WORK AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL?

Insist that your property manager undertakes regular rent reviews to make certain your rental rate matches or exceeds current market values and if it’s consistently falling below the mark, then you’ll need to ask why.

As a starting point ask yourself “Have I selected an inefficient property manager or have I purchased a property that is performing poorly and will continue to do so?”

2. AM I TAKING ADVANTAGE OF ALL THE TAX DEDUCTIONS I AM LEGALLY ENTITLED TO?

Surprisingly many property investors claim significantly less back from the Tax Office than they are entitled to each year simply because they don’t claim every legitimate deduction. Tax rules and regulations change and you need to keep abreast of them. For this reason it pays to invest in a good financial advisor or accountant who can structure your properties tax-effectively and keep you up-to-date on all the latest rulings from the Tax Office.

3. AM I ON TRACK TO REACH MY RETIREMENT NEEDS?

Make sure your financial plan is on track to meet your retirement needs and includes the timings of when you want to buy more property to build up your asset base. Small adjustments over 10 or 20 years will make a significant financial difference when it comes to retirement

4. AM I PAYING THE LOWEST INTEREST RATE AVAILABLE TO ME?

A drop of even 0.25 per cent will save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan but be sure the conditions of the loan also tie in with your future plans. It is advisable to review your interest rate level every one to two years to make sure you’re getting the best deal. You may even find that your current lender is willing to match a competitors’ rate, saving you the hassle of moving, but you’ll never know unless you ask!

5. ARE THERE ANY FINANCIAL CHANGES THAT I NEED TO IMPLEMENT NOW TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR ME TO ACHIEVE MY PROPERTY PLAN FOR THE COMING FINANCIAL YEAR?

By writing down clear goals for the future growth of your portfolio you should be able to determine how much money you’ll need for the necessary deposits and incorporate this information into your overall financial plan. If you’re due to add to your portfolio in the next 12 months then start getting your finances in order now to determine the equity you have in your existing properties so that you know how much you have to draw on for a new purchase.

Patrick Bright is a Sydney-based buyer’s agent who has purchased more than $500 million worth of real estate for clients. The updated 3rd edition of his best-selling book “The Insider’s Guide to Buying Real Estate” reveals the latest trends on how to search for and negotiate the best possible deal for purchasing property. For more information on Patrick Bright or EPS Property Search click here. 

Patrick Bright

Patrick Bright

Patrick Bright is a real estate author and founder of Sydney-based buyer’s agency EPS Property Search.

Tags: 
Finance Review

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