Once your home is bedded down and you have enough equity and surplus cash flow you can begin to focus on your investment strategy or additional lifestyle purchases.
There are some important considerations with a holiday home purchase:
- The impact on your ability to further invest, assuming the property will provide a poorer yield and capital growth return than if you purchased a pure investment.
- The negative cash flow of the property – low or no income and the ongoing non-deductible expenses (interest on the borrowings, the holding costs, repairs, cost of fit-out & furnishings).
- They tend to be in locations that experience a transient population, fluctuations in demand, more affected by downturns, outside of major cities. Therefore, the financial return is likely to be less than that of a pure investment property.
- Obtaining lending may be more difficult due to lenders perceiving these properties as ‘higher risk’.
- You can strive to rent out the property for part of the year. There are challenges such as the desirability of the location, planning so that the property is available for you when you, the level of use you plan for the property, the time taken to manage the investment given rotating tenants.
You would need to weigh up the above considerations to ensure you make the right decision for you and your long-term future. Often it can be better to budget a generous amount every year for holidays, than to purchase a holiday house that has higher holding costs, non-deductible debt and remains empty for the majority of the time.
Having your own little getaway is an idyllic proposition, evoking powerful imagery of sun-swept beaches, tree-lined rivers, bush walks through the mountains or simply sitting in a cafe and watching the world pass you by. Should the holiday home win out, you want to enhance the likelihood that you purchase a property you genuinely enjoy spending your time in, ensuring family holidays don’t get overtaken by the desire for rental income. When you boil it all down, if there is a possibility that you will spend some time in the holiday house, your decision is primarily a lifestyle choice.
Alternatively, you may decide that an investment play is the best way forward and decide not to purchase a holiday home until later, or at all. The key is selecting a property in the right investment location, rather than a hybrid approach that could see you buy in a location where you love holidaying but have little investment upside. Adequate planning is paramount to ensure your holiday home is a property that you enjoy visiting, can hold for the long-term and provides years of happy memories. A successful outcome in your property selection is dependent on you having a clear plan and strategy from the start.
The Property Planner’s Fast Fact – Beware of an Investment sprinkled with a little Lifestyle!
If there is a possibility that you might live in the property you are considering purchasing as an investment, the purchasing decision is primarily a lifestyle choice. In this case, it is paramount that you set your lifestyle goals as soon as possible for what is, in reality, a lifestyle property masquerading as a ‘part time or short-term’ investment property.
There is no point purchasing a lifestyle property that you do not enjoy spending time in, and potentially is also a poor investment, because you had a foot in both camps prior to the purchase.
David is the Founder and Managing Director of Property Planning Australia, author of ‘How to Succeed with Property to Create your Ideal Lifestyle’, co-author of ‘Property for Life – Using Property to Plan Your Financial Future’, co-host of the ‘Property Planner, Buyer and Professor Podcast’ and a widely-published media commentator. With more than 20 years of experience, David is passionate about educating others to make informed, and ultimately, more lucrative property investment decisions. David established Property Planning Australia in 2004 – with the vision to educate and empower Australians to make successful property, mortgage strategy and money management decisions. Property Planning Australia’s operations have earned acclaim and national industry awards for its unique fusion of property planning, education, money management, mortgage strategy and risk management. All supported by multi award-winning customer service.