#128: Upgrading and planning for the long-term home: how to keep a home as an investment, buying or selling first and more. Market updates: inflation 101 and the state of commercial property


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In this week's episode, Dave, Cate and Pete take you through:

Market update
1. Thank you for your feedback
We’ve received a number of listener reviews that are insightful and also gave us honest feedback, which we really appreciate. One was in relation to past performance bias, specifically whether past performance reliably predicts future performance and also the impact of our own personal biases. The Property Buyer acknowledges this feedback and hints at a future episode that will address human biases.

2. The state of retail property
In the most recent JLL quarterly retail market report, the CBD retail vacancy rate in Adelaide is the highest it’s ever been since 1993 at 16.8%. Regional retail has only a 3% vacancy rate. However, ‘regional’ in the retail sense has a different meaning to residential property. The Property Professor explains all in his market update.

3. Inflation is the talk of the town, but is it here to stay?
Increasing inflation should lead to increasing wages, but most people assume that it equates to increased interest rates, making many nervous. Underlying inflation in Australia jumped to a six-year high of 2.1% in the September quarter, which is still well below the 4.6% experienced in the US. This level of inflation is only at the lower end of what the RBA targets, (being between 2% to 3%). The Property Planner talks through the factors that create upwards pressure on inflation, the RBA’s response and whether inflation at this level is sustainable.

Considerations for upgraders
1. How does upgrading fit into your property plan?
The earlier you can start planning for your long-term home, the better. However this does come down to stage of life, and often people are not able to picture their future home until they’ve reached a certain level of stability or decided on the location that they want to live in. Understanding how your investment decisions and other lifestyle purchases fit in with your decision to upgrade is also key to making successful long-term purchases. For some, the long-term home may be out of reach due to stage of life or circumstances. For some who aren’t ready to upgrade, rent-vesting or a stepping stone home may be the right choice for you.

2. Mapping out your future home
Many buyers get hamstrung when it comes to the critical decision making because their search criteria is unreasonable. Having a clear plan on which suburbs to target, property types, architectural styles, land size, bedrooms and living spaces, (to name a few) is key to narrow in your search. Then, to ensure that you don’t get bogged down and spin your wheels while the market continues to run away from you, have a plan of what you will be willing to compromise on if your dream home is out of reach.

3. Purchasing a property that you can grow into
The holy grail of property ownership is only ever owning the one home, because each purchase and sale of a property eats into your wealth. Due to changing commitments and affordability, not many are able to achieve their dream home on the first go. However, you may consider buying a home with a larger block size with a smaller dwelling, where you could extend the home as your family grows, to avoid needing to sell.

4. Why are money goals so important?
Finding a property that you want to live in for the rest of your life can be like finding a needle in a haystack and many are willing to pay an emotional premium to get into their dream home. In this situation, we’re more likely to be stretching ourselves to the largest level of debt that we’ll ever take on. This is why understanding your cash flow and available funds after purchase is critical, so that you remain within your financial comfort zone and risk profile.

5. The age old question - should you buy first or sell first?
The trio discuss whether you should sell your existing home first or purchase your upgraded home and then sell. The scarcity of the property you are looking for, the market conditions and the settlement period are critical considerations. The trio share their tips on how to navigate the transactions simultaneously.

6. How to keep your current home when you upgrade
The Property Planner explains how mortgage strategy can be utilised so that you are in the best financial position to be able to keep your current home as an investment property when you upgrade. However, you need to get your mortgage strategy right today, or it could be costing you the ability to hold on to that property.

7. When is the best time to upgrade?
The trio discuss when you should look to upgrade and the dangers of trying to time the market.

8. Arranging license agreements
The Property Buyer shares a hot tip on how you can arrange a licence agreement to occupy the property you’ve purchased prior to settlement, which can make the moving process smoother and less stressful. Similarly, if you’re selling and you’ve already vacated, you can arrange a licence agreement with the vendor and charge either nominal or market rent during this period.

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