A guide to investing in property on a low or fixed income in Australia - part of the Giraffian Children's website.
To conclude, it is certainly possible to make money from property when you are on a low income but you need to be very cautious and do your research beforehand so you know that you are doing something that really will make you money. Here's a recap of some of the techniques you can use:
- Sharing your house
Simply let someone stay in your spare room/s and split all your expenses. A tax free way of earning money from real estate that won't affect your pension or allowance, and doesn't even require you to
own a house.
- Taking in boarders
Similar to sharing, but instead of simply splitting expenses you charge extra for extra services, like meals or cleaning. This becomes taxable income but could be a great way to earn if you are living in a house that is too large for you and don't want to move.
- Dividing up your house
If you have a large, solidly built house you might be able to add some extra walls, external doors and a kitchen and bathroom and split your house up into two or more units. Then you can stay in one, and rent out the others.
If you own a house outright and it is worth a lot of money, consider selling it and buying a cheaper house, particularly one that can then be used as a base for one of the other strategies on this page. Then use the difference to invest.
- Consider regional properties
If your income is low and the price of city property is completely out of your reach, consider rural or regional areas. There is plenty of money that can be made from property in the country and for a much smaller outlay than in the city.
- Renovating to sell
Buy a run-down or damaged house, renovate it, and then sell it. On a very low income, this is most effective if you do it while you are living in the house on a slower time frame.
- Building to sell
If you can afford to, build a new house, live in it for a few years, sell it and repeat. If you are starting with small means, try building a relocatable house in a rural or regional area first.
- Renting out a house
Simply buying a house to rent out can earn you some extra money right from the start, provided you buy positively geared property, or property that can be quickly turned to positively geared.
- Add a granny flat
If you own a house with a big yard, add a granny flat. You can rent the granny flat out separately for extra income, or live in it yourself and rent out the house.
If you own a house with a very big yard you may be able to subdivide it. You can then sell the new block of land you created, or even build a new house on it if you can afford to.
In short, investing in property is not out of reach of the extremely low income earner, you just have to think about it differently to people who are on high incomes. You will have to crunch the figures harder, and start with a larger deposit. You don't need to pick one single strategy and stay with it, you can start off on the safest techniques until you build up enough money to try something more risky - but with higher returns.