How to make money from real estate

How to make money from real estate

Real estate investors will be familiar with the debate about whether to choose a ‘principal and interest’ (P&I) or ‘interest only’ repayment when signing up for an investment mortgage. Ultimately, the choice depends on your personal circumstances and preferences.

However, if you are new to property investing and are still weighing up the merits of a P&I or ‘interest only’ loan, it helps to understand how these repayment options work.

To start with, principal and interest repayments work by reducing the initial loan amount (principal), as well as the interest. Typically, this approach is favoured by investors who plan to own the property outright, or wish to build equity in the property. However, those who opt for this form of repayment need to consider the impact on negative gearing tax benefits – as your loan amount decreases, so too will the amount of interest you can claim on tax.

On the flipside, interest only repayments cover only the interest charged on your home loan, and this means repayments are lower than a standard principal and interest loan.

Interest-only repayments are popular with investors who plan to sell their property in the short-term for profit. That said, it is important to find out when the loan’s interest-only period ends, as lenders will generally require you to pay down the principal at this time.

Armed with this information and your personal situation in mind, the next step is to select a home loan. Online lender loans.com.au is currently offering variable (principal and interest) investment loans starting at 6.58 percent – with monthly repayments of $2041 on a $300,000 loan.

If interest only is your preferred option, AMP is offering a three-year fixed term at 6.39 percent, and on a loan of $300,000, the interest-only repayment adds up to $1598 per month for the first three years. However, this figure may revert to a higher standard variable rate after the fixed term is up.

These examples illustrate the variety of investment loans available and the costs associated each repayment option, but as always, speak to your lender about all the terms and conditions before you commit.

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Learn more about home loans

What is an interest-only loan? How do I work out interest-only loan repayments?

An ‘interest-only’ loan is a loan where the borrower is only required to pay back the interest on the loan. Typically, banks will only let lenders do this for a fixed period of time – often five years – however some lenders will be happy to extend this.

Interest-only loans are popular with investors who aren’t keen on putting a lot of capital into their investment property. It is also a handy feature for people who need to reduce their mortgage repayments for a short period of time while they are travelling overseas, or taking time off to look after a new family member, for example.

While moving on to interest-only will make your monthly repayments cheaper, ultimately, you will end up paying your bank thousands of dollars extra in interest to make up for the time where you weren’t paying off the principal.

What is 'principal and interest'?

‘Principal and interest’ loans are the most common type of home loans on the market. The principal part of the loan is the initial sum lent to the customer and the interest is the money paid on top of this, at the agreed interest rate, until the end of the loan.

By reducing the principal amount, the total of interest charged will also become smaller until eventually the debt is paid off in full.

How can I calculate interest on my home loan?

You can calculate the total interest you will pay over the life of your loan by using a mortgage calculator. The calculator will estimate your repayments based on the amount you want to borrow, the interest rate, the length of your loan, whether you are an owner-occupier or an investor and whether you plan to pay ‘principal and interest’ or ‘interest-only’.

If you are buying a new home, the calculator will also help you work out how much you’ll need to pay in stamp duty and other related costs.

Mortgage Calculator, Repayment Type

Will you pay off the amount you borrowed + interest or just the interest for a period?

How do I calculate monthly mortgage repayments?

Work out your mortgage repayments using a home loan calculator that takes into account your deposit size, property value and interest rate. This is divided by the loan term you choose (for example, there are 360 months in a 30-year mortgage) to determine the monthly repayments over this time frame.

Over the course of your loan, your monthly repayment amount will be affected by changes to your interest rate, plus any circumstances where you opt to pay interest-only for a period of time, instead of principal and interest.

Remaining loan term

The length of time it will take to pay off your current home loan, based on the currently-entered mortgage balance, monthly repayment and interest rate.

How much are repayments on a $250K mortgage?

The exact repayment amount for a $250,000 mortgage will be determined by several factors including your deposit size, interest rate and the type of loan. It is best to use a mortgage calculator to determine your actual repayment size.

For example, the monthly repayments on a $250,000 loan with a 5 per cent interest rate over 30 years will be $1342. For a loan of $300,000 on the same rate and loan term, the monthly repayments will be $1610 and for a $500,000 loan, the monthly repayments will be $2684.

What is an ombudsman?

An complaints officer – previously referred to as an ombudsman -looks at formal complaints from customers about their credit providers, and helps to find a fair and independent solution to these problems.

These services are handled by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, a non-profit government organisation that addresses and resolves financial disputes between customers and financial service providers.

Mortgage Calculator, Repayments

The money you pay back to your lender at regular intervals. 

Mortgage Calculator, Repayment Frequency

How often you wish to pay back your lender. 

Mortgage Calculator, Loan Amount

How much you intend to borrow. 

What is the ratings scale?

The ratings are between 0 and 5, shown to one decimal point, with 5.0 as the best. The ratings should be used as an easy guide rather than the only thing you consider. For example, a product with a rating of 4.7 may or may not be better suited to your needs than one with a rating of 4.5, but both are probably much better than one with a rating of 1.2.

Who offers 40 year mortgages?

Home loans spanning 40 years are offered by select lenders, though the loan period is much longer than a standard 30-year home loan. You're more likely to find a maximum of 35 years, such as is the case with Teacher’s Mutual Bank

Currently, 40 year home loan lenders in Australia include AlphaBeta Money, BCU, G&C Mutual Bank, Pepper, and Sydney Mutual Bank.

Even though these lengthier loans 35 to 40 year loans do exist on the market, they are not overwhelmingly popular, as the extra interest you pay compared to a 30-year loan can be over $100,000 or more.

Savings over

Select a number of years to see how much money you can save with different home loans over time.

e.g. To see how much you could save in two years by switching mortgages,  set the slider to 2.