We were bankrupt… can we get into property?

Women with CentsBlog, Debt, Investment, Mortgage

Hi Tash, we are one year out of bankruptcy and currently renting. We are in our late 30’s with three young children and have come to the conclusion it may be some time before we can purchase our own home. 

We are consistently saving $1K per month. I’ve come up with a plan to purchase a unit (if we can find a lender once we get 20%). This process will take about 20 months. We are eight months in already (so $8K of savings). This property will be hopefully work out to neutrally geared and we will pay principal and interest. Then I want to start the savings again and after 20 months purchase another unit and so on so hopefully fast forward 10 years and we have five units that we can eventually sell and have enough equity to buy a retirement house for us. 

Do you think this is possible? And do you have any suggestions for our situation? “

Firstly, congrats on turning things around from being bankrupt to saving, thinking ahead, and planning for the future! Here are a few things to consider in your situation.

1. Don’t forget the basics

It’s fantastic that you’re thinking about investment, but don’t forget things like income protection and emergency savings before you start investing.

2. You should be able to get a loan but the interest rate could be high.

Depending on how long ago you were declared bankrupt by the time you’re ready to purchase, it’s likely that you will be able to find a lender, but be prepared to potentially pay a higher interest rate. In the current market it could be something like 5.5-6%. Also make sure that when you are looking at your borrowing capacity and ability to repay loans, you are considering what would happen when rates move up to 8%. Check out our calculator to make sure you can still afford the repayments.

3. Remember you also have super!

Your super is intended to help you retire, so don’t forget about that in your pursuit of property. Check that you are not losing a lot in fees and make sure your money is invested appropriately for your age, goals and risk profile. Check out our Making Cents of Money program for help! 

4. Diversify

We Aussies love property, but there is always a risk associated with putting all your eggs in one basket – or one asset class. Look at diversifying in two ways. One, change up the location and types of property you are buying, and two, consider other investments like shares, cash and bonds. However unlikely a property collapse may seem, it is still a possibility – it happened in the USA, and Darwin and Perth are already feeling the pinch. No one can predict the future, so the key to successful investing is having a back-up plan if things don’t go your way, and diversification is part of that plan. 

If you’re after some more tips before you start investing, this article will help you get started. Good luck!

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