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Avoid the pitfalls: A guide to property investment with an SMSF

By eSuperfund
Mouse Trap

Promoted by esuperfund

While property is a popular asset class in which to invest for many using a self-managed super fund (SMSF) – led in no small part by the appeal of ‘bricks and mortar’ as a physical asset – it is not quite as simple as buy, set and forget. It is crucial investors seeking to realise investment returns from this asset class do so lawfully and effectively by first weighing up the benefits and drawbacks.

Property as an investment

One of the key advantages of owning an SMSF is the ability to use funds to invest in real estate. Property investment has for decades been a key driver of wealth in Australia, and is another plank for developing a diversified investment portfolio. Furthermore, property is viewed by many as a relatively safe investment option, given that it is a physical asset that will always be in demand and it tends to be a much less volatile asset class than shares, for example.

Unlike some types of investment, property has the potential to provide two sources of revenue to drive growth in your retirement savings. Rental returns can provide an ongoing source of cash flow, and can be used to fund other investment purchases, while negatively geared properties allow for tax breaks across the SMSF’s earnings.

The second revenue stream is from realising capital growth in the property once it is sold. While still subject to tax, properties held long-term by an SMSF can yield hefty returns that may not be matched by other investment classes.

Restrictions on investment

There are specific regulations in place for the purchase of property with an SMSF. ASIC's MoneySmart has a comprehensive guide to property investment restrictions. The majority of these restrictions relate to occupation for residential properties. As with all superannuation-funded investments, properties can only be used for purposes of investment. SMSF-owned residences cannot, for instance, be occupied or rented by any of the SMSF’s trustees or parties relating to them, nor can a property established as a holiday home be used by any trustee or family member.

However, these occupation restrictions are largely unique to residential properties. Commercial properties are treated differently, and can in fact be owned by an SMSF and tenanted to a business operated by a trustee or family member. As such, there are decisions of not just whether to invest in property, but which type of property to examine.

Funding property acquisition

How you fund the property will depend on how much your SMSF has available to invest. If there is enough cash available, the fund can purchase the property outright. Things are less straightforward when a loan is required to fund part of the property.

Unlike the purchase of an owner-occupied property with the help of a mortgage, using an SMSF to fund a property acquisition requires a particular loan agreement known as a limited recourse borrowing arrangement. This facility places certain restrictions on the use of borrowed funds, such as that loans can only be used to purchase and maintain a property and not to carry out improvements.

Additionally, ASIC points out that tax offsets can only be used against the fund’s earnings, not your own personal income, and that enough cash needs to be available within the fund to service loan repayments and ongoing property maintenance expenses.

While there are many benefits to using an SMSF to invest in property, care must be given to adhering to the strict regulations in place in order to ensure the investment endures. Be sure to investigate all types of property in which to invest in order to achieve the best returns for your superannuation.

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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podcast

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Dominique Grubisa joins host Phil Tarrant to share her personal story which saw her hit rock bottom with excessive debt during the GFC.

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Dominique unpacks how, by relying on her background in law, she was able to overcome that debt and in doing so develop a unique investment strategy which she believes many can utilise today.

Dominique discusses distressed properties, and how she goes about finding them in order to buy property well below market value. She shares the process of identifying distressed properties as well as the controversy surrounding this buying method.

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:

3 big property investment myths busted open
5 steps to take on low-risk property developments
Securing finance after life-changing events: ‘Cash flow is key’

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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!

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

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

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Caifu Property\u2019s Automatic Equity program is designed to add a minimum of double the value of your salary to your portfolio every 12-18 months.\u00a0The program deals with five to six figures of instant equity, helps time poor investors generate equity in the shortest time possible without compromising your lifestyle or demanding your time.\u00a0<\/p>\r\n

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    In this episode of Property Showcase, Michael Beresford joins editor of Wealth James Mitchell to unpack why recent political changes are not reason for concern for Australian investors.<\/p>\r\n

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  string(2794) "

Many investors who would have been successfully approved for finance last year are struggling now to either begin or continue their property investment journey because of the current financial climate.

In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, broker John Manciamelli and Momentum Media director Alex Whitlock joins host Tim Neary to discuss how APRA changes and the royal commission have resulted in a tighter lending economy and what that means for Australian investors.

They discuss what traps investors should avoid if they are trying to obtain finance, the four key growth drivers in a property market and unpacking trust structures while revealing one type of trust that you should miss.

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:

How technology is changing the lending environment
Lessons from a falling market
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AREAS MENTIONED:

Hobart
Bondi
Deception Bay

 

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Getting finance approved in this tightening lending environment

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Avoid the pitfalls: A guide to property investment with an SMSF
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