One opinion that a lot of investors have is that buying a house is better than buying a unit. They point out that with a house, you don’t have to pay a strata levy. But there are other things to think about. In areas where b Invested founder Nathan Birch is currently sourcing properties for clients, a house may cost $300,000 and be renting for $400 a week, while a townhouse may cost $150,000 and be renting for $350 a week. You’re paying double for the house that you would be for the townhouse, but you’re not receiving double the rent.
Houses have ‘extras’ too
Houses don’t have strata levies, but you do have to pay a much greater land tax. You also have to pay for things like repairing driveways and gutters, which would be covered by strata if they were in a unit building. A house also costs you building insurance, while a townhouse or villa is generally covered within that strata payment.
Does value growth stack up?
Houses are perceived to have more growth potential, but it’s not always the case. Units are generally more affordable and there is always the most competition at the most affordable end, which can push prices up faster. While a house may grow from $500,000 to $800,000, a unit could grow from $200,000 to $500,000 in the same period.
Get rid of debt
Another opinion people often have is that you should pay down your debt as soon as possible. But where does that get you? Nathan argues that if he had bought investment properties and waited to pay them off before buying the next one, he might be sitting here today after 20 years of investing with 3 properties debt free and worth $2 million. Instead, he has hundreds of residential properties, plus motels and various asset types, with about $20 million worth of debt attached but a portfolio value of over $100 million with massive amounts of cashflow coming in. That’s two very different outcomes coming from the same starting point.
Opinions don’t pay the bills
Have you ever heard people talking about how property values are going to collapse? Or how they’re better off putting money in savings? These people don’t know anything about you, your education or experience in the field, or about how long and hard you thought out your strategy. All they have is opinions and, like the vast majority of people out there, their opinions are keeping them broke.