You could join the property investor ranks by tapping into the value of your family home if you’re already on the property ladder, or becoming a ‘rentvestor’ if you’re a first-time buyer.
If you want to buy an investment property, you'll need at least a 20% deposit. This is the same requirement as if you're buying a house to live in (owner-occupied).
There are some circumstances where you may be required to have a larger deposit when purchasing an investment property if you already own an owner-occupied house – you'll need to talk to one of our home loan specialists.
If you already own your own home, you might be able to use some of the equity you’ve built up in it as a deposit on an investment property. Equity is the difference between the current value of your house and how much you owe on it. For example, if your house is worth $500,000 and you owe $200,000 on your mortgage, you have $300,000 in equity. You build up equity as you pay down your mortgage or if your house rises in value.
You can’t use all of the equity from your house – your bank will usually want you to leave at least 20% of the value of your property – but depending on your circumstances, you might be able to use some of it as a deposit on an investment property.
The bank will also take other things into consideration like your income and the potential rental income of the investment property. Talk to one of our home loan specialists to talk through your options.
House prices have risen rapidly in recent years, and many would-be buyers find themselves priced out of their preferred suburbs. Rather than buy a house to live in that is a long commute from work, friends and family, some buyers look to enter the property market as rentvestors. This is where you buy a house in an area you can afford, but rent it out, rather than live in it.
If you’re a first-time buyer hoping to dip into your KiwiSaver to fund the purchase of an investment property, you’ll be disappointed - you can only withdraw KiwiSaver savings to buy a home to live in, not an investment property.
Most investors enter the property market with a focus on either capital gains, or rental yield.
A capital gain is the profit you make when you sell a property for more than you paid for it.
Rental yield is the rent a property could earn over a year, expressed as a percentage of the property’s value. The most basic equation to work out your gross rental yield is your rental income divided by the property value, multiplied by 100.
To work out how different areas stack up, take a look at the QV website, which has a table of rental analysis, where you can search median rents, annual rent changes, and gross rental yields for different suburbs around the country.
If you’re looking to flip a property (buy to renovate and then sell at a profit) rather than rent it out, you need to be aware of the tax implications – it would be worth talking to a tax expert about this.
Several years ago, in an attempt to take some of the steam out of the property market and stop price rising too rapidly, the Government introduced a ‘bright-line test’. This test determines if you have to pay tax on profits if you buy and sell a property within a certain time frame.
If you bought between 1 October 2015 and 28 March 2018 then the bright-line test kicks in if you sell an investment property within two years, if you bought (or buy) an investment property on or after 29 March 2018 then it applies if you sell within five years.
A tax expert will help you figure out if the bright-line test applies to your situation.
Conditional approval, sometimes called pre-approval, will give you an idea of how much money you could borrow. This means you can focus on houses within your budget and you’ll also be able to move quickly and make an offer when you find a house you want.
Having conditional approval speeds up the process for getting full approval, because you’ll have already filled out the home loan application form. To get full approval we may need some additional information from you, such as a property valuation or rental appraisal. Your home loan specialist will talk through exactly what you need to complete the process.
Buying a house is a major investment, so it pays to get specialists on board to advise you along the way.
A lawyer will make sure your offer is drawn up in a way that protects you, an accountant will help you structure your finances correctly, a tax expert will explain any tax obligations to you, a property manager can look after your rental if you don’t want to be a hands-on landlord and a home loans specialist will help you structure your loan or talk you through saving a deposit.
Once you’ve done all the prep work, it’s time to hit the open home circuit.
When you’re looking for an investment property you need to think with your head, not your heart. Consider things like:
If you find a house you like that looks within your price range, talk to your lawyer before making an offer and make sure it includes terms and conditions to allow you to make all the checks you want and to and finalise your finances.
Once you’re happy that all of the conditions of your offer have been met and all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, then your contract will go unconditional and you’ll officially be a property investor.
Take a look at our mortgage calculators to see what your repayments might be and how quickly you could pay off your loan.