As Christmas is a time for giving, we thought today’s special Christmas episode should be none other than a Q&A session! Topics covered today include debt-retirement and refinancing loans, how to go about upgrading your PPOR (Principle Place of Residence), whether it’s worth paying for a financial planner and more. (And click here for your free The Property Couch Christmas Pack!) Today’s questions are from the following listeners:
- Chris on debt-retirement and refinancing loans: Hi there, was hoping you could ‘unpack’ the ‘reality of’ the following finance-related scenario for me. I understand there is an “accumulation phase” where the investor actively accumulates as many quality, appreciating assets as required/wanted before transitioning to a “debt-reduction” or debt-retirement phase in the property investment journey. I was hoping you could spend some time describing what this debt-retirement phase actually looks like, assuming the investor has between 3-5 investment properties all on interest-only terms.
Changing all of these to principal & interest at the same time would probably be too strenuous on the budget, so is it a case of paying off the largest investment loan on principal & interest terms while refinancing the remaining loans as interest-only for another 3-5 years and start knocking off the balance of the largest loan? Or is it a case of building up the offset account of each loan evenly so that you end up paying less interest across all of the loans until you are in a position to pay the loan back in full?
But in this scenario the banks will eventually put you on a principal & interest payment unless you refinance again to an interest only loan, so how do you juggle at least 5 investment loans potentially all coming off their interest-only terms within 12-18 months of each other, while you’re trying to retire the debt without blowing the family budget? ($150+ principal payment across 5 loans = $750 a week which would destroy most family budgets).
Is it a case of focusing on one property at a time until the rent covers the principal + interest payments, before moving onto the next property or is it a case of continually refinancing to interest-only loans and building up the offset accounts? Is it better to focus on the largest loan first or distribute funds evenly across all loans? How do you actually go about entering the ‘debt-retirement’ phase on a portfolio of 5 investment properties (assuming all currently interest-only repayments with separate offset accounts but the interest-only period is expiring for all 5 loans over the next couple of years). This does not take into account the PPOR but we can ignore that part of the equation for the above scenario.
- Bill on upgrading PPOR: My question is…I have paid off PPOR (home loan account closed) and would like to upgrade PPOR. What advice/suggestions do you have regarding using ex-PPOR as investment or sell off ex-PPOR to pay down new PPOR debt and then buying an investment property?
- Anonymous on investing in a Financial Planner: G’day, I have a question that I think a lot of listeners would relate to and something you guys have not covered thus far.Firstly about me. I am 32 and have recently developed a passion to enhance my knowledge of residential property investment. I am in the Army and have a young family on my income alone. I earn 106k per annum gross. I bought my PPR in 2012 in Sydney which is valued at circa $8800k currently. Since I started my learning, using you guys as my guides, I have done the following.
- Analysed our cash flows for a month to understand where our money is going.
- Gotten rid of all non-deductible debt i.e. credit cards, pers loans etc.
- Bought our first investment. A two Bedroom apartment near Penrith. It’s walking distance to the station and five minutes from the train station, Nepean hospital and UWS. I also rolled our car loans into the investment. The place is currently leased with a 4.2 % yield.
- Manage our money to allocate spendings for myself and my wife similar to your model you advise with regards to offset and spendings accounts.
I also have a broker and accountant and also use a buyer agent. So my question:
I recently sought advice from a financial planner. After an interview, he sent me a proposal and plan which also outlines his fees. His fees were $500 per month with monthly payments that would be ongoing for a period of a few years. If cash flow management is essential and using surplus cash flows to reinvest is a key step, then how is 500 per month going out enabling this? Isn’t this counter to one of your pillars of mastery? If I had a large income and a large portfolio, then this would be manageable. But I don’t. Are all financial planners this expensive? I can see the value of buyers agent’s fees but I can’t see the value in planners for myself.
- Andrew on when would be the best time to invest in property: I’m 26, my wife is 25 (DINKS), we live in Brisbane and our combined income is $150k. We’ve almost finished paying off our wedding (ouch) but are now planning for the future and want to get ahead before kids come along. We don’t own a house (currently renting), however we’re strong savers and would be in a position to buy in approximately 12 months. The issue is, our plan is to move to Adelaide in 2018 to allow my wife to study Dental Hygiene (limited college options in Qld). Would we be best to buy a house/IP right before we move to SA and rentvest? (and drop to a single income of $100k), or wait until she graduates (2 year degree) and look to invest then? Neither of us want to sit still for 2 years, but we’re reluctant to buy right before dropping to a single income.
- Julia on Buying a home: I have only recently discovered your podcast and it’s awesome. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. I know your advice is ‘location first’ – I’m torn between two properties. A run down 1970s one bed room unit in Neutral Bay (ground floor) vs 10 year old amazing one bed room unit in Marrickville (top floor). Both similar price with similar strata. Neutral bay property needs everything renovated but has structural limitations. Marrickville unit has an amazing balcony that has a green leafy view and makes you feel like you’re at a holiday resort. I know Neutral Bay is blue chip suburb but would you consider Marrickville as a suburb with a potential high growth over next 5 years? This is my first property and I’m planning to live there for next 2 years then potentially rent it out. Any advice?
If you like this Q&A episode (Investing in a Financial Planner, Upgrading your PPOR, Loan Strategy to Build your Portfolio and more ), don’t forget to rate us on our iTunes channel (The Property Couch Podcast) and our Facebook page. Any questions or ideas? Feel free to drop us your thoughts here: http://www.thepropertycouch.com.au/topics/