Getting the most from your investment property

Keep occupancy high and boost your rental returns without spending big.
Rents in many locations around the country are going down and according to the December 2016 Quarterly Housing and Economic Review from CoreLogic, rental rates across the combined capital cities have fallen -0.6% in the year to October 2016, the largest annual fall on record. So it’s more important than ever to make sure your property is in demand with tenants. Here are five easy ways to update your rental property and keep costs low to improve your investment bottom line.

1. A quick makeover
Sprucing up your rental property can make a big difference to how popular it is with picky tenants. Refreshing the kitchen and bathroom and adding new carpets and paint are likely to have the most impact on visual appeal. And although you may need to call in the professionals for plumbing, tiling and laying carpets, there’s often plenty of scope for doing some of the work yourself to keep costs down.

2. Special additions
If you have space and budget for adding air-conditioning, storage or off-street parking, these can all give your property a competitive edge compared with other rentals in the area. Even adding a new dishwasher, washing machine or dryer can be considered an upgrade to your property’s features.
Bear in mind that renovating or updating your property could mean it has to be empty for a while. Make sure you factor this in as you’ll be losing out on rental income while you’re making these improvements.

3. Tax deductions
Make sure you’re aware of all the relevant deductions you can take advantage of to save on your tax bill. From phone calls to interest on your investment loan, there are lots of ways to claim legitimate expenses when it’s time to lodge your tax return. Seek advice from your taxation professional about which deductions are applicable for your circumstances.

4. Stay on top of maintenance
Keeping your investment property well maintained is one area where you can’t afford to cut corners. From old lightbulbs to a leaky tap, even the little problems with your rental can really put tenants off. And that’s why it’s worth having a great property manager on your side. Not only can they help you find tenants faster, they’ll stay on top of maintenance issues by organising regular inspections and fast repairs.

5. Get the rent right
While it might be tempting to ask for more rent, it can work against you if your property ends up vacant for months at a time. On the other hand, if you have invested in upgrades, there may be scope for putting the rent up. Again, a good property manager can offer valuable advice on what sort of rental increase you can expect when you’re thinking about renovating.
However you’re planning to update your rental to meet the market, it always makes sense to make sure your property finance isn’t costing you more than it should.

Call Suzanne, Owun or Costa in the office on 02 9517 1818, or email newtown1@mortgagechoice.com.au to discuss your options. Or, if you feel like dropping in at our office, we are located at Suite 106, Flourmill Studios, 3 Gladstone Street, Newtown 2042. Be sure to share our blog on Facebook and Twitter and let others join the conversation!

Posted in: Property investment

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