Finance advice
Cam McLellan

Are you putting your equity to good use?

By Cam McLellan

Unless you keep up-to-date with median price changes in your investment suburbs, your property portfolio could be accumulating a lot of equity you are unaware of.

Blogger: Cam McLellan, CEO, OpenCorp

One of the most common mistakes that you can make when trying to grow your investment property portfolio is to be sitting on “lazy equity”. The problem arises because most people don’t understand what it means to have lazy equity and how they can avoid it.

Lazy equity is the term given to equity that you have accumulated in your property portfolio but which, for some reason, you are not putting to its most appropriate use (ie to invest in more appreciating assets). The two main reasons why investors accumulate lazy equity are:

  1. Not being aware of the current value of a property; and
  2. Not having the most suitable loan structure.

Smart investors should always be aware of changes in the median house value of suburbs where they hold investment property. While the median house value is not an indication of the value of their property, it can be used as a “marker” to prompt you to undertake a more detailed study of local property prices. You should then get a printout of the 50 to 100 most recent sales in the suburb (visit www.propertydata.com.au) and look through this to find at least 5 properties of a similar size/type to yours. These properties will give you a good indication of the value of your property if an independent bank panel valuer was to assess your property. If you believe that the value has increased by more than 5 per cent since your last valuation then you should be speaking to your finance broker to find out if your borrowing capacity will increase (remember, borrowing capacity is determined by income and equity so an increase in equity doesn’t always lead to an increased borrowing capacity).

The reason that the correct loan structure is essential for putting your equity to use is that different banks have different standards for lending money against property. Some banks won’t lend more than 80 per cent of the value of the property. Others will happily lend up to 95 per cent against the value of a property, but they won’t increase your line of credit unless you agree to borrow through them for the next property (they call this a “contingent liability” – as the increased loan is contingent on them agreeing to what you want to use the funds for). The problem with a contingent liability is that the bank may decline your next investment even though it meets all of their usual criteria. Why would they do this? Because the more properties that you have mortgaged with a single bank, the greater the “concentration risk” for that bank. Concentration risk is the risk created by a concentrated investment in a single entity (or associated group of entities). In other words, the more property you hold with one bank the riskier you are to that bank. So, mortgaging all of your property to one bank is akin to holding all of your eggs in one basket.

An increase in your portfolio’s value is only beneficial if you have access to your money. Therefore, it is absolutely critical that your team of advisers (particularly your finance broker) has a thorough understanding of the loan structures on the market to ensure that you do not get hamstrung by a single bank controlling all of your assets, or by a bank that has outdated and overly conservative loan products. Smart investors get ahead by using the system to access equity generated by increases in their properties' value in order to invest in additional properties.

NOTE: While a 5 per cent increase in the value of one property might not give you enough equity to duplicate, the more property you hold the more benefit you receive from a 5 per cent increase in the portfolio’s value. For instance, a 5 per cent increase on a $500,000 portfolio will only give you $25,000 (not enough for a deposit on a new home) but an increase of 5 per cent on four properties worth $2 million would give you $100,000 to put towards a fifth property. That is the power of duplication and the reason why each subsequent property gets easier and easier if you’re structured correctly.

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About the Blogger

Cam McLellan

Cam McLellan

Director of OpenCorp, Cam McLellan is committed to sharing his passion and property investment knowledge with everyday Australians.

After thriving in the telecommunications, technology and recruitment sectors and making six BRW Lists in 8 years, alongside accomplished OpenCorp. entrepreneurs Matthew Lewison and Allister Lewison, founded OpenCorp. eight years ago.

Cam started investing in real estate at a young age and quickly mastered the art of building sustainable wealth. He has used the same wealth building strategy to develop a multi-million dollar business, sharing his knowledge and skill with ordinary Australians. Cam has personally bought, sold and developed numerous properties and has an extensive residential and commercial investment portfolio.

FROM THE WEB

podcast

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A softening market can be a difficult time for a property investor with finance approval tightening and property capital growth slowing, and while many real estate agents are also feeling the squeeze McGrath Brighton Le Sands' Bill Tsounias claims it is simply the market returning to normal.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Bill joins host Phil Tarrant to share his thoughts on the current Sydney property market, and to share the shifts that he has seen in house and unit sale prices following their worst quarter in the past decade.

Bill will unpack why properties are spending longer on market, share what he believes property investors are doing wrong when trying to sell their properties and share the secrets to getting the best out of a real estate agent and an auction in the current softening market.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

Why I still buy in Sydney
Property market update: Sydney, July 2018
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AREAS MENTIONED:

Revesby
South Hurstville
Sans Souci
Strathfield

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Gavin Kemp and his now-fiancé bought their first property together after only six months of dating. They weren’t even living together at the time. Now, two years on, the pair have bought five properties, sold two and have a solid plan in place for their ongoing property journey. 

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Gavin joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss how he chose the locations where he decided to invest and how, due to the initial lack of education (something that he now values highly), he lost money on his first two investments.

Gavin will share his thoughts on the current property market, reveal the people who he has leaned on throughout his property journey and discuss why his strategy employs a zero procrastination rule.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

What makes a good investment suburb?
Two components of good investment research
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AREAS MENTIONED:

Redcliffe
Port Macquarie
Loganlea
Launceston
Raceview

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A joint property portfolio before they were even living together
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As the investment market tightens are you looking to learn something that will help you realign or readjust your property goals? In this episode of The Smart Property Investment Show, first time on the podcast Lisa Porter joins host Phil Tarrant to talk about the gems and wisdom associated with her modest portfolio of ‘only’ six properties.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(2939) "

Listen now as Lisa and host Phil Tarrant discuss how her property journey started in the UK, with the purchase of a rough unit in a lower-socio suburb of South London. Lisa breaks down how that first purchase provided her greatest lesson, one she still applies today - turn off the noise, don’t worry too much about the peripheries and just get on with it.

The pair also discuss how property has given Lisa so much extra value in her life, not just building an asset base and heaps of enjoyment, but it also how it changed the trajectory of her career. Women, she says, shouldn’t be fearful of being proactive and taking control of the direction of their family’s financial future.  

 

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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Walking and talking property investment with Lisa Porter – therapy, empowerment, education and inspiration

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