A property investment is often the largest single purchase a person will make in their lifetime. Property buyers usually concentrate their research on realestate.com.au or domain.com.au, looking at glossy photos of beautifully staged homes – but really, they’d be better off working out how much they’ll need to borrow, how they should structure their loan and who would be the best lender.
Personal finance expert Stuart Wemyss compares finding the right loan to a game of snakes and ladders: you run up a ladder when you think you’ve found the lowest interest rate, only to slide down the snake when you realise the fees are high and conditions are stringent. ‘Interest is the single largest lifetime expense for investors, ‘ he says. ‘The amount of borrowings you carry, as an investor, affects your net worth and cash flow, and can make or break your retirement goals. Getting your borrowing right and structuring your investments correctly can save you a considerable amount of money – often thousands of dollars per year.’
To help you get your borrowing right, Stuart explains the Rules of the Lending Game, including:
- choosing the right loan products
- making the most of your equity
- calculating how much to borrow and how to reduce the overall cost, and
- structuring your loans to manage cash flow and create wealth.