Five ways to turn holiday home investment duds into diamonds

Anyone who has impulse bought a holiday home over Christmas must get serious about making it profitable

Five ways to turn holiday home investment duds into diamonds
Five ways to turn holiday home investment duds into diamonds

Some holiday home buyers are overlooking five key strategies which can turn their costly lifestyle investment into a money-making asset.

Australians invariably get caught up in the holiday romance of buying a ‘weekender’ and some will act on impulse while on vacation.

Often investors reason that by renting to holidaymakers when they aren’t using it, the asset’s maintenance and holding costs will be covered, but that’s rarely the case. Instead, holiday home buyers must seek maximum rental income and depreciation benefits to make the investment viable.

Most are buying emotionally and discover that higher-than-normal vacancies make their investment returns marginal at best. But smart investors know there are moves which can turn the numbers around.

Home property managers have five key rent boosters that also deliver great depreciation benefits.

There are a few things that boost your home’s appeal with holiday makers which not only maximise rental income, but also deliver excellent tax depreciation benefits. This means, come the end of the financial year, you’ll have more upside in your tax return thanks to your holiday home.

1. Climate control

Five ways to turn holiday home investment duds into diamonds

Ensuring your holiday home is airconditioned is essential for attracting holiday makers. Vacationers will spend plenty of time relaxing at your short-stay, and they’ll want their comfort levels to be spot on.

Guaranteeing your home has split system air-conditioning and insulation not only helps improve the holiday experience for renters, but delivers tax benefits too.

The deductions available when you install a new split system represent 20 per cent of the cost of the asset within the first full year of claim. So, spending $3500 on a split system will equate to $700 worth of deductions in year one.

2. Pet appeal

Holiday homes that are pet friendly command a premium, as pet owners look to take their ‘fur-babies’ on holiday which saves on the cost and stress of kennelling. But improvements which help create pet-friendly rentals also provide depreciation benefits.

Think boundary fencing, hardwood floors, pet proof landscaping. Even items such as an external doghouse can be depreciated.

3. Outdoor entertaining

Holidays are built for family barbeques and lounging in a shady spot. The addition of a roofed outdoor relaxation and entertainment area will drive holiday makers to your home. They are also filled with depreciation opportunities such as ceiling fans, built in barbeques and benchtops.

For example, a relatively modest spend of around $4000 would both elevate your property’s rental earning potential, and deliver over $1000 in tax deductions in the first year after installation:

Five ways to turn holiday home investment duds into diamonds

4. Pools

Five ways to turn holiday home investment duds into diamonds

Even when near a beachside holiday spot, there’s no denying the appeal of a pool when holidaying.

If you’ve been fortunate to buy a home with a pool, don’t forget to claim depreciation benefits on the fencing and filtration system.

5. Wifi and entertainment

Providing unlimited Wifi has become pretty much mandatory for holiday homes.

Access to streaming services, scrolling through websites on local hotspots or checking in on updated weather alerts and surf conditions make web access a must. Simple elements such as supplying a television can improve your tax deductions.

For example, televisions have an eight-year effective life, so under the diminishing value method, a $2000 TV will provide $500 in deductions in the first full year of claim.

While depreciation rules for computer equipment are currently found within the commercial sections of the tax legislation, it’s likely that computer equipment will become a residential plant and equipment item in time. Either way, routers and range extenders will always attract deductions.

Mike Mortlock

Mike Mortlock

Mike is the Managing Director of MCG Quantity Surveyors and an industry leader in tax depreciation. Mike has worked as an expert depreciation consultant with several major firms such as McDonalds, Hilton Hotels, Deloitte, PwC and more. He has completed thousands of depreciation schedules for commercial and residential property and is in demand as a public speaker and property commentator having been featured in Australian Property Investor, Smart Property Investor, Property Observer, Sky Business and other print and radio publications. MCG Quantity Surveyors is Australia’s fastest growing quantity surveying firm (AFR Fast 100 List).

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