Have you got a 5-year plan?
Here are some easy tips to help you get started.
What is it?
Think of it as your personal road map to help you make all of your property-related decisions, particularly budgeting, buying and refinancing. If you don’t have one, it’s time to make one! If you do have one, now is the perfect time to revise it.
It should be a flexible working document – one that can be changed and updated to reflect changes in your lifestyle and situation – and you should aim to review it once or twice a year, to ensure you’re still on the right path. Most of all, it should be tailor made to you and your financial position, so that you can be sure you’re making every dollar work for you.
What do you need to consider?
Think from the perspective of ‘where do you want to be in five years’ time’? Once you’ve sorted out your goals, you work backwards. For example, say you currently own your own home, and in five years’ time, you want to own your second investment property and be working towards your third. Your five-year plan should then spell out just how you can achieve that.
Your answers will help shape your financial goals and will help you work out a more realistic budget. Once you’ve worked out your financial goal, you can work out how to achieve it. The factors that will influence your five-year plan can loosely be grouped into the following:
Includes external influences such as interest rate movements, and internal factors, such as your income and your ability to gain loan approval. The major point here is your ability to service the loan, taking into account all factors.
- Do you (and your partner) have steady employment?
- Do you have an emergency buffer? (we like to call it your fighting fund!)
- How much equity do you currently have in your property/ies?
- If rates increase will you be able to afford your acquisition plan?
- Where will the deposit come from, cash or equity release?
- Do you want to take a “steady as she goes” approach or really fast-track?
You might be able to afford your portfolio now, but factors change. For example interest rates can rise and may cost you an extra $1,000 a month and families may be reduced to one income while expanding.
- Do you plan to have a baby or expand your family in the next five years?
- Will adding to the family impact your income stream?
- How will you cope with the extra expenses that expanding your family brings with it?
This covers all of the factors that we often forget about, from health and well-being through to travel and lifestyle choices. If your goal is to buy another three investment properties, and you’ve worked out that you need $25,000 per year to achieve that, is it still possible for you to go on that European vacation next year?
- How often do you travel for leisure, and how do you pay for it?
- If you increase your investment portfolio, could that have an impact on your future lifestyle plans?
- Do you have savings set aside to cover health issues such as undergoing major dental work?
Warning: Financing your travel plans via credit card is not the way to move forward!
If you’ve got your heart set on that European holiday, perhaps you need to revise your end goal, and aim to acquire two more properties in the next five years rather than three. Whatever you decide, the most important thing is to prepare and budget ahead accordingly so that you don’t overextend yourself and your finances. Stress is not a good option!
The good news?
We have helped hundreds of clients along the way, you just need to get the ball rolling and we’re with you all the way. It only takes one email or call 0409 02 99 22 to get started or advance your progress. Ask me about our complimentary quarterly review program including a personalised Property Investment Analysis.