Road to recovery

Karen asks:
(updated on Thursday, May 24th 2012)

My husband and I are looking at getting into property investment. We had a business which went into liquidation in 2008 and lost almost everything including our home. By the end of this year we should have saved between $20,000 and $30,000. We currently rent and are looking at what is the best strategy. Do we buy a house and add value through improvements then sell and move on. Or do we buy a family home and go like hell to pay a lump of mortgage before buying our first investment property? We are both in our 50s and wish to choose the fastest recovery option.

Our Experts Answer:

A lot will depend on if your personal credit was adversely affected through the liquidation. If it was then you may need to wait roughly another 12 months for it to clear off your credit check (adverse data stays on there for five years). The banks are more lenient in regards to higher LVR lending if it is for the purpose of purchasing an owner occupied property but you need to compare the two options and see what is likely to set you up better for retirement. It is hard to compare whether aggressively paying down debt or creating equity is a better option for you without knowing what surplus funds you have after expenses on a monthly basis. If you are on good incomes and time poor then paying down debt is a good option potentially and if you do this then structure some of the initial mortgage as a revolving credit facility so you can access the funds without needing to go back to the bank to ask for a top up to move forward with your investing. If you are relatively tight in regards to surplus cash but have the time and skill set then renovating may be the way to go.

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