Tax and legal advice

What’s the best structure to buy in?

By Bianca Dabu
Property investments, investment FAQs, Best structure,property structure, trust structure, property for investment, property investment loan, buying a investment property

One of the most common questions that property accountant Munzurul Khan receives from his clients is about the best structure to buy their assets in — should they buy in their own name, a partnership, a trust, or in other more sophisticated structures?

The question remains relevant due to the many different structures available for property investors to choose from.

According to Munzurul: “One can buy on his name … one can buy it on a partnership … [and] one can buy it on a trust, and there are different levels of trust. You've got a family trust, discretionary trust, [and] you've got a unit trust.”

“One can buy it on a corporate entity, one can buy it on a joint venture, one can buy it on a self-managed super fund, one can buy it on a special purpose vehicle.”

Like all investment strategies, choosing the best structure to buy in will be dependent on the investor’s personal circumstance. Before signing a contract, it’s always best to speak with your accountant to determine which structure will work best in line with your goals as well as your capabilities and limitations as a property investor.

Example 1: Buying a principal place of residence

Simply put, when buying a home, one should make sure to purchase in “the low-risk provider’s name”, Munzurul said.

The accountant explained: “If ... the wife is sort of in the open world and earns quite a bit … and the husband's income is more or less reasonable ... it [should] be bought on the husband’s name.”

“[He is] the lower income earner, so his risk is rather low,” he added.

For the purchase of a principal place of residence, an investor will do good to remember the “Golden Rule”: Whoever poses a lower level of risk should own the property.

Example 2: Buying an investment property

Determining the right structure to buy in becomes more complicated when one decides to purchase a property as an investment. Basically, a property investor must, first and foremost, make himself aware of the purpose that the property will serve as a part of his portfolio.

According to Munzurul: “It depends on how the property is … Say, if the property is more of a negative viewing if the property is more sort of your tax benefit ... buy that on the higher income earner so you get more tax benefits.”

“It [also] depends on what you're doing with that property … Are you sort of converting that into a house plus another property, [like] another granny flat? [Then it] becomes more of a positive cash flow [so] you buy it on the lower income earner,” he added.

Example 3: Adding another property to a portfolio with four or more assets

For more advanced investors, buying in a trust is recommended for its several benefits, including asset protection and the ability to conduct longer-term tax planning.

Self-managed super funds and joint ventures or unit trusts are also two of the top choices for seasoned property investors who have gathered substantial funding, especially those nearing retirement.

When choosing a structure to buy in, property investors must remember that there is no right answer for everyone. There are many different options to choose from, so it’s best to study one’s own circumstances together with trusted property experts and professionals.

“Everyone's circumstance is different ... Only by truly uncovering people's financial position, financial objectives, financial maturity, financial capabilities, and financial goals can you actually determine what to buy assets in,” according to Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant.

Munzurul’s final advice for people in the business of creating wealth through property: “[As a] really, really generalised ... golden rule of thumb, initially, you buy it in an individual name … and you build a few properties on [that] individual names.”

“Then you, potentially [over a period of time], go into a trust structure, and once you have a whole bunch of properties in the trust, you might consider a second Ttust … but all should leave it nice and simple, initially,” he concluded.

Tune in to Munzurul Khan’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know how the ownership of a property works when referring to names, the risks associated with having two names on a mortgage and title, the right balance of loan-to-value ratio, the ins and outs of diversification, and the right time to invest into other asset clouds.

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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Dale, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

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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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!

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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!

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Launceston
Raceview

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A joint property portfolio before they were even living together

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