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What are your legal obligations when buying a property through your SMSF?

By eSuperfund
Unlocking a house

Promoted by esuperfund

Purchasing an investment property through your SMSF is not as simple as buying a personal investment property. There are laws and regulations that you must comply with, and the consequences of a breach, even unintended, may affect your SMSF’s balance.

While it’s always best to speak to a qualified advisor, here are a few things to consider when thinking about SMSF property investments.

You must use a limited recourse loan

SMSFs use limited recourse loans when buying property with borrowings. While these loans are hard to obtain, the good news is that your SMSF’s other assets are protected if the investment fails or loan repayments become too onerous. To compensate for this risk, lenders typically require at least a 20–30% deposit.

You must satisfy the sole purpose test

Property investments through an SMSF are to save for your retirement. That means you can’t live in a property your SMSF has purchased, and neither can your family and friends. Similarly, you can’t buy or sell an SMSF-purchased home to family or friends. And yep, you guessed it – the same goes for holiday houses.

The rules around commercial properties are slightly different. Your fund can lease a commercial property back to you if you run a business, but you must pay rent at market value.

Regulations are strict, so don’t go looking for loopholes. Your SMSF also can’t own a share in a trust or a company that owns a property if you, your family or your friends control the trust or company.

You can’t renovate the property

When investing through an SMSF, you can’t make any alternations that would dramatically change the property – so don’t pull out the toolbox just yet. Your SMSF can only pay for general maintenance and repairs. If you’re a fan of home renovations, your SMSF isn’t the best way to live out that fantasy. Instead, consider purchasing a property that’s already in good nick.

That said, if your SMSF owns the property outright (i.e. you don’t have a loan), improvements can be made. Be sure to check that it’s okay first though, as there are other legalities surrounding this that you’ll need to follow.

You can’t subdivide or buy a property on more than one title

Just like how you can’t renovate or improve a property through your SMSF, you can’t subdivide a property for development. Your SMSF can only purchase each property as a single asset. Subdivision creates a property on more than one title, which is a big no-no.

Your SMSF is also restricted from buying a property on more than one title, even if the property is sold as a single entity.

You must purchase the property in the right name

Be careful to dot your ‘I’s and cross your ‘T’s when investing through your SMSF. One common mistake people make is purchasing their property in a personal name rather than the SMSF's. Silly mistakes like this could force you to change ownership, which risks breaching the sole purpose test and may incur stamp duty twice.

It is vital to ensure that you and the SMSF comply with legal obligations. Failure to comply may result in extra costs which could cause a significant hit to your wealth. For more information about SMSFs, download our free SMSF Guide to investing in Property eBook or Information Package today. If you're interested in investing in property through an SMSF, ESUPERFUND helps make it easy, with a fast, streamlined process. And if you act now, ESUPERFUND is offering a Special Free Offer! Click here for details.

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  ["title"]=>
  string(72) "Mortgages in a tighter lending economy and why Brisbane is a good option"
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  string(72) "mortgages-in-a-tighter-lending-economy-and-why-brisbane-is-a-good-option"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(255) "

Tune in to the latest episode of Property Showcase, the podcast with the inside track on the products and businesses that will help turbocharge your portfolio, maximise returns and make your overall investment experience seamless and stress-free!

" ["fulltext"]=> string(818) "

To hear more about these services, make sure to tune in to this episode of Property Showcase!

 Make sure you never miss an episode by subscribing to us now on iTunes!

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Son Pham is the accredited Head of Mortgages at Rethink Financing\/Rethink Investing. He has over 6 years\u2019 experience writing loans, over 12 years in the wealth management industry working for the likes of CBA, AMP and private practice and he is also a licenced financial planner (AFSL 326450). He has multiple investment properties that are cash flow positive which help pay his mortgage on his home and fund his lifestyle.<\/p>\r\n

Son is able to write all types of residential and commercial property loans.<\/p>\r\n

In this episode of Property Showcase, head of mortgages at Rethink investing Son Pham joins host Tim Neary to unpack how an investor should approach getting a mortgage in place with banks tightening down on serviceability.<\/p>\r\n

Hear from\u00a0Son\u00a0about:\u00a0<\/p>\r\n

    \r\n
  • The pitfalls that he has seen people get into<\/li>\r\n
  • Interest only loans and if that is the way to go<\/li>\r\n
  • How the mortgage division supports the overall business of Rethink Investing<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>","clientImage1":"images\/podcasts\/Son-Pham.jpg","clientUrl1":"https:\/\/rethinkinvesting.com.au\/","clientName2":"OpenCorp","clientDesc2":"

    Whether it\u2019s building a successful property portfolio or investing in one of their Development Funds, Open Corp can help you through every stage of your investment journey. The team has 40 property specialists who collectively have been involved in over $4 billion worth of property transactions and the acquisition of more than 8000 homes and investment properties.<\/p>\r\n

    In this episode of Property Showcase, director of investment services for Open Corp Michael Beresford,\u00a0joins\u00a0editor of Real Estate, Tim Neary to share why he disagrees that the cooling market means that the best times are behind us.<\/p>\r\n

    In this episode, hear from\u00a0Michael\u00a0about:\u00a0<\/p>\r\n

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    • Why Brisbane is a good investment option right now<\/li>\r\n
    • How he wants to help clients take advantage of the current market<\/li>\r\n
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Mortgages in a tighter lending economy and why Brisbane is a good option
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Will Magee has had ambitions to enter into the Australian property market for quite some time, but it has been more than just finances holding him back.  Having been granted permanent residency just two weeks ago, Will is wasting no time and is now in the process of signing papers and finding his first investment property.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Will joins host Phil Tarrant to share why he is purchasing his first property in partnership with his brother, discuss the complications that can arise from such a strategy, and unpack the ongoing plan for building a joint property portfolio with his brother.

Will will also share how they approached saving for their first property, why he is taking out the mortgage in his name exclusively, and share their savings plan for the year ahead.

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:

From property in Australia to a ski lodge in Japan
Mortgage Trusts, an alternative first step for property investors
Should a real estate title be in one person’s name only?

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A property investment plan years in the making
object(stdClass)#1186 (52) {
  ["id"]=>
  string(5) "18287"
  ["title"]=>
  string(75) "Regional Victoria showing up Melbourne in price performance, new data finds"
  ["alias"]=>
  string(74) "regional-victoria-showing-up-melbourne-in-price-performance-new-data-finds"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(139) "

Median house prices in regional Victoria outperformed that of Melbourne in the June quarter, the latest REIV figures reveal. 

" ["fulltext"]=> string(2323) "

Median house prices in the regions rose 4.0 per cent to $419,500 but in Melbourne they dipped by 0.6 of a percentage point to $840,000.

The result in Melbourne was due to a 0.8 of a percentage point fall in prices achieved at auction; this was despite a lift of 2.3 per cent in private sales.

Inner Melbourne suffered due to auction prices, where median prices fell by 4.9 per cent to $1,459,000 but it was middle Melbourne that was hardest hit, with a 5.4 per cent drop to $974,500.

Outer Melbourne had a good quarter with the median rising by 0.5 of a percentage point to $681,000.

Apartment prices in regional Victoria grew by 3.7 per cent to $304,500 while the metro media was up by 0.5 of a percentage point to $604,000.

REIV President Richard Simpson said that despite fewer sales, many sectors of the market were performing well.

“2017 was a bumper year and while the trendline has flattened, despite the fall in median house prices in the June quarter, median prices are still up this calendar year for both houses and units, in Melbourne and in the regions,” Mr Simpson said. 

In particular there was been strong growth in regional centres which is probably due to the first-home buyers’ concessions said Mr Simpsons.

“The first-home buyers’ concession has been a boon for regional areas. A new entrant to the property market buying a house at the regional median will pay no stamp duty, while a first home buyer of an apartment in Melbourne at the median price would pay stamp duty of nearly $25,000,” he said.

Mr Simpson said that more prospective buyers are looking towards regional Victoria which is also having an effect in Melbourne.

“Melbourne’s outer perimeter continues to grow. Small increases in the June quarter mean that the median prices for both houses and units have risen over 10.5 per cent from a year ago.

Mr Simpson said moving forward that vendors need more realistic expectations as the highs of 2017 are now over.

“Negative chatter about the future of the sector coupled with stronger lending controls by financial institutions has created some uncertainty and vendors need to be realistic with their price expectations,” Mr Simpson said.

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Regional Victoria showing up Melbourne in price performance, new data finds

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