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Benefits of investing in real estate at a young age

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Property investment benefits

It's never too early to start thinking about your future. As a young adult in Australia, you are among the generation where 72 per cent of 18 to 29 year olds think it is important to buy a house as soon as you can. This is according to findings revealed in BDO and the Co-Op's Future Leaders Index.

From applying for an investment loan to finding a property that provides strong return on investment, there are of course many hurdles to cross in order to buy a rental property. However, there are also many benefits that an investment property can bring to your future.

So why not consider an investment property vs an owner-occupier?

Here are seven reasons why you should invest in a property while young:

1. You can save money while living at home

If you still live at home and aren't ready to move out yet, an investment property will bring you extra income while you only have to pay minimal living costs, depending on your family situation.

Board is usually cheaper than rent and typically only for family or close friends. The Australian Taxation Office considers board or lodging costs a domestic arrangement because it does not fit the specifications of a rental income, and so income tax deductions for board cannot be claimed.

With a higher income set against your expenses, you can save up for other things that may be more useful for you in your current situation. This can include a car, paying off your student loan or even saving for furnishings for your future first home.

Of course, living at home is cheaper than renting. But if you're out of the family nest, then depending on what you've invested in, use that income to pay off your own rent so that you can put the money from other income streams towards other assets.

2. It doesn't have to be your dream home

Investing in a property while you are still young means you don't necessary have to find a house that will be your first home. This way, you can take advantage of a property that has a desirable current market value and focus on its long-term monetary benefits. While you earn income from regular rental payments, you can save up for your ideal house.

It'll give you time to learn the ropes surrounding managing a property and a home loan, and you'll also be more flexible about what you invest in as you won't have to meet certain requirements that an owner-occupier has.

You won't have to worry so much about finding specific features such as location, amount of bedrooms and garden as it could be someone else's dream home. This opens up many more property opportunities for you when finding a place to start investing.

Another option is to become an owner-occupier but to rent out some of the rooms of your property. The Australian Government offers a First Home Owner grant to help new buyers obtain a mortgage. To be eligible for this grant, you must live in the property you purchase for a set amount of time, but you can also rent out additional unused rooms for extra income.

The criteria for this grant differs for each state, so make know the regulations first.

3. You can earn money while studying

A property is also less time-consuming than a full-time job. You can earn money while studying, which is of course, every student's aspiration.

Devoting time to maintain your rental property is crucial, of course, but if you do your research beforehand and invest in an appropriate property for you, then it should see you into the foreseeable future.

Finding a suitable investment property before you leave your studies will also free up more time for you to focus on your career once you join the rat race. You can focus on a full-time job, or looking for one, whilst knowing you've got a steady stream of income from somewhere else.

4. It'll help with your long-term goals

Finding an investment property while you're young also means you can take advantage of prime real estate with your long-term goals in mind. Start early and scope out properties in ideal areas you'd like to live in for the future.

Somewhere near schools and shops are great as you'll have no problem finding tenants, and when you're ready to start a family or settle down, you can always claim the property back and become an owner-occupier. Think about the sort of school you'd like to send your kids to, or an area that has good job opportunities.

Considering your long-term goals will mean that choosing the right property to invest in is more restrained, but it could pay off if you know what you want for your future.

The options are endless - if you're not wanting to settle down in that property then just continue it as a rental, or sell it off when the market is right and invest in something bigger and better.

5. You can learn from others' mistakes

There will always be others in the property scene that have been there longer. Starting out younger means that there'll be copious amounts of experienced property investors with invaluable advice.

This will help you from repeating similar mistakes made when buying property, and you can pick up faster by following the steps of their successes. As you're young, you'll have time to learn from your own mistakes should you make any.

A big part of purchasing a property is having a good knowledge about mortgages. There are plenty of options out there so take advantage of online resources, like a mortgage calculator, and if in doubt, ask questions.

There'll be plenty of experts that can provide you with the necessary knowledge about your first home loan.

6. You'll learn good saving habits

You can establish good saving habits from a younger age. This will prove to be invaluable experience, especially when you consider higher-budget long-term goals in mind.

It'll also give you experience surrounding managing a house and a mortgage. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has found that the mortgage market in Australia has grown significantly over the last year. This includes loans for both owner-occupiers and investment owners.

In a March 2014 article, the Global Property Guide talks about a housing shortage, due to smaller household sizes, a growing Australian population and rising immigration rates. Don't wait to start considering a property, or it could be much more difficult. Start now and get some property investments under your belt earlier rather than later.

7. It'll help you establish a good credit history

By getting a home loan for your investment property while young, you'll be able to establish a good credit rating. Keeping on top of your mortgage repayments will be easier as you don't have to juggle other big finance decisions as well, such as expensive cars, hire purchases, and also, your student loan will be quite recent.

It'll also benefit you when considering other properties in the future as you'll have a history of good credit, and can help you obtain better home loan deals.

5 Tips For Buying an investment property in your 20s

Roy Morgan Research has revealed that there has been a 37 per cent increase investment mortgages. This is from the four years prior to 2014, among Australians aged 18 and older. It is also significant to note that during this period, the amount of owner-occupied loans only rose a mere 4 per cent.

Roy Morgan also states that in the groups of 35 year olds or younger, there was a decrease in the proportion with an owner-occupied loan.

These trends reveal that now is the time. With the median rent rising in states such as New South Wales and Victoria over the last year, according to CoreLogic, start considering channelling your savings into an investment property while you're still young.

Don't let your age or lack of experience stop you from getting your foot onto the property ladder. Here are 5 tips on investing in property in your 20s. 

Tip #1: Practice financial discipline

Financial discipline means being able to save money every time you receive your salary, being able to spend less than you earn, having control over your spending habits, and learning where to invest your hard-earned cash.   

Tip #2: Understand the real estate market

Having a good understanding of the real estate market is imperative before you actually start investing. You can educate yourself by reading blogs, online forums, books, and other sources of information on real estate. This way you can get an idea as to what location and what type of property you should invest in to get a good return on investment.

Tip #3: Learn about mortgages

Real estate shouldn’t be your only concern, you should also learn about the different types and features of home loans. This way you know how to secure a good mortgage that has a competitive rate, with loan features like an offset-sub account and the ability to make additional repayments.  

Tip #4: Maintain a good credit score

At an early age, it is a good idea to maintain a clean credit file. To do this, repay your loans on time, manage your debts, keep your credit card balances low, apply only for credit you really need, and make sure to always check your credit report to make sure that it’s free of errors.

Tip #5: Start small

As a young investor, you don’t want to overstretch yourself with your first investment property. Don’t be afraid to start small by investing in a simple one-bedroom unit. Renting out a spare room in your own home can also be a good way to get you started, plus it can help you build your savings.

Image credit: Du Truong 
Home for sale image added on the tablet

About the article

As Australia's leading online lender, loans.com.au has been helping people into their dream homes and cars for more than 10 years. Our content is written and reviewed by experienced financial experts. The information we provide is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives or needs. If you'd like to chat to one of our lending specialists about a home or car loan, contact us on Live Chat or by calling 13 10 90.

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