With affordability a real challenge for today’s young adults, substantial media attention is centred on the topic of parents providing financial assistance to their children to help them enter the property market. The practical advice usually revolves around how to provide low-cost loans or gifts for part of the deposit, or the wisdom or otherwise of going guarantor on the child’s mortgage.
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A delicate challenge many of us will face is the elderly parent or parents whose assets – including the home and investments – that have served them so well are now becoming a burden. They might be alone in a large home that’s hard to maintain and is remote from family. Or they have a complex investment portfolio that they are struggling to keep track off.
It’s an understatement to write that property-buying transaction costs are significant. The combination of estate agent fees, advertising and conveyancing costs and stamp duty invariably consumes several tens of thousands of dollars. So it’s natural for buyers – especially cash-strapped first timers – to seek ways to trim their costs. But is it wise to cut out the building inspections?
We all love a property with sunlit rooms, and conventional wisdom intones that such a property will be more valuable than a darker one, all other things being equal. But when selecting a property, what weight should an investor attach to good natural light, and is some light better than other?
Retaining the former home as an investment cuts out all those selling costs: real estate agent fees, marketing costs as well as the time and inconvenience of preparing for and undertaking the campaign. And you won’t have had to bear the additional costs of buying an investment property – stamp duty, building inspections, conveyancing fees. In total these transaction costs can shrink your pot of money by 10 per cent.