New or old – which investment is right for you?

By Staff Reporter

Property investment is not just about whether you decide to buy a unit or a house, you also have the option of new or old.

Buying off-the-plan has proved popular with many Australians for many years but how do you know if it’s the right investment strategy for you?

One of the main attractions of buying off-the-plan is the chance to lock in today’s prices for a property that may not be completed for another year or two. What’s more, until the property is complete you won’t have to make any mortgage repayments – the only commitment is a deposit.

Another key benefit is that you have the advantage of offering prospective tenants a brand new property which is less likely to require maintenance and this may also help attract a higher rental.

The downside with an off-the-plan purchase is that there are no guarantees the value of the property will rise between purchase and completion – and if the value has dropped your lender may not be prepared to fund as much of the purchase price as you had hoped.

The alternative to buying off-the-plan is to dip into the resale market and buy an existing property.

One of the key benefits of this option is that you may have more scope to negotiate on price in a slower market.

There’s also the capacity to add value to a property by making your own improvements, which may also increase the rental it attracts.

But be aware that if you purchase an older property you may face the added expense of maintenance and repairs; you may also find it harder to attract good tenants.

Whichever option you choose, property remains one of the most popular investments for Australians. Bought at the right price and financed with a well matched mortgage your investment property should provide solid returns over the long-term.

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