Using home equity to invest


Add in rental income that can help pay for an investment loan, potential tax savings through negative gearing, and today’s environment of record low interest rates, and it’s easy to see why over 2.2 million Australians own at least one rental property (ATO).

What’s less well-known, is that home owners don’t always need a significant deposit to buy an investment property.

If you’re a home owner, you may be able to use home equity in lieu of cash savings as a deposit on a rental property. Here’s how it can work.

What is home equity?

Home equity simply means the difference between your home’s market value and the balance owing on your home loan.

As a guide, if your home is currently worth $600,000, and you have $250,000 remaining on the mortgage, you have home equity valued at $350,000.

That’s a significant financial resource, and the good news is that you don’t have to sell your home to put home equity to work.

Rising home equity in Perth

In general, the longer you’ve owned your home, the more equity you could have. But Perth’s rapidly rising property values, which have climbed over 16% in the past year according to CoreLogic, mean even relatively recent home buyers could have more equity than they realise.

Perth market has strong prospects for investors

On the investment front, Perth is experiencing a tight supply of properties listed for sale and rent. In early November 2021 rental listings were 21% below the same time in 2020 (REIWA) .

Widespread skills shortages are seeing over one in five WA businesses report job vacancies (ABS). This is driving interstate migration to WA, and further fueling demand for housing – a trend that will only heighten with the opening of the state’s borders.

These factors all work in an investor’s favour. Combined with the current affordability of the Perth market, the upshot is that an investment property holds plenty of appeal for long-term investors.

Using home equity to invest

So, how does using equity to invest work in practice?

In most cases, banks will lend up to 80% of the value of your home minus the balance of your home loan. It may be possible to borrow more, but above the 80% benchmark you’ll be asked to pay Lender’s Mortgage Insurance, which can be a significant added cost.

An example here will help to show how banks determine the value of ‘lending equity’.

Let’s say Sue owns a home valued at $500,000. She’s owned the place for about 10 years, and her mortgage is down to $175,000.

A lender will determine Sue’s lending equity based on 80% of her home’s value less her remaining home loan debt.

For Sue, this works out to be:

  •  80% of $500,000 (her home’s current value) = $400,000
  •  $400,000 minus $175,000 (Sue’s home loan) = $225,000

This $225,000 acts as a tidy sum to pay a deposit on an investment property. From there, Sue can source another loan for the remaining balance of the purchase price.

Not only is Sue getting more value from her home equity, she is also able to preserve cash savings.

Invest in expert advice

Accessing home equity can be achieved by refinancing a home loan to free up that equity by creating a ‘cash out’ loan, and then taking out an additional investment property loan for the remaining balance of the purchase price.

However, it is critical to have the right loan structure in place. More so because lenders will often look to structure loans in a way that mitigates their risk, not yours as the investor.

That’s why it pays to invest in good advice.

Speak to our team today to organise a review of your finances – we can explain the value of your ‘lending equity’ and the opportunities available to you as an investor.

Start the ball rolling via the following form. And use this opportunity to download our free Guide to Unlocking your Home’s Potential:

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