Should you rent or buy overseas?

A property investor has highlighted the benefits of buying instead of renting while living overseas, recalling how she managed to turn a 12-year European experience into a property portfolio.

Frances Conway spi

On a recent episode of The Smart Property Investment Show, property investor Frances Conway explained how her journey around the world led her to a diversified property portfolio.

“I was 27 in Amsterdam, which I thought was relatively young to buy a property on my own. But in the Netherlands you can borrow 110 per cent.”

“The way their markets are structured, you can claim your mortgage payment back off your tax if you live in that house, so it’s the opposite here.”

“It was a no-brainer to me that I could borrow 110 per cent and use my repayments as a tax deduction, so I would’ve been a fool not to have done that,” Ms Conway explained.


Ms Conway highlighted the tax benefits of living in the Netherlands, due to Amsterdam’s large public housing sector, where rents cannot change meant others did not invest.

The property investor reinvested her money into the London market following a change of scenery to England, with a property she is still paying off today.

“The mortgage is interest-only. It was net positively geared, which is why we kept it, it’s only very recently it has gone into being negatively geared, which I claim in Australia,” Ms Conway said.

“We did when we bought in Australia, we did think about getting rid of it. But by the time you pay all your capital gains on it, it’s hardly worth doing it. So I thought we can leave it there for my pension,” she explained.

However, the property investor highlighted the strength of the Australian market that despite having a property in London, she would’ve done better by reinvesting that money into Australia.

“We would’ve been better off in hindsight selling it and investing here because the growth here would’ve far surpassed what has happened in London. But hindsight is best sight,” Ms Conway concluded.

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