Investing in property is all about getting the best possible returns. When it comes to investing in residential real estate, you need to know where money comes and goes.
Units are typically more affordable than houses, so it’s easier for a first-time investor to raise the necessary capital. Houses often have a higher entry price point due to land value.
Council rates are usually higher on a house and you’ll be required to pay land taxes on an ongoing basis. With a unit or apartment, you’ll have to account for strata fees quarterly for the life of the investment, including any special levies that may be raised.
If you own a house, all maintenance issues are your responsibility whereas the maintenance and care of an apartment building and surrounds is the responsibility of the owners corporation.
What do you want from your investment?
What type of investor are you? Are you looking for regular long-term income, or do you plan to renovate and ‘flip’ the property as soon as you can?
A house generally offers higher capital growth, due to the land component of the property. There’s also more potential for negative gearing. Units, on the other hand, tend to offer higher rental yields so they are more favourable from a cashflow perspective. Their lower price point may allow you to build a diversified property portfolio more quickly.
Older units in smaller blocks might offer better value than new apartments in large apartment blocks. You’re less likely to pay ongoing levies for amenities such as gyms, concierges and heated swimming pools. It’s also easier to find new tenants if there aren’t 20 other vacant properties in the same location.
To optimise your investment, look for places where rental demand is high, such as around universities, transport or lifestyle areas with easy access to schools, parks, cafes, shops or beaches.
Ultimately, there are reasons for and against almost any dwelling type. The right investment choice for you will depend on your financial position, risk profile and investment strategy.