14 - Progress Update: Plans Approved

approved-rubber-stampWe received a quick note from Open Wealth today noting the builder has confirmed building plans and permits have been approved. The start date for construction—preparation for the slab pour—is next Monday!

I’m certainly ready to see this house built so we can get tenants in and start recouping costs. The holding costs have been minimal to date but now that we’ve settled on the land we’re accruing interest on the mortgage for that component and our first interest payment of nearly $700 came due just this week. That amount is paid from our line of credit and capitalised as interest during construction so it’s no problem from a cash flow perspective—and was budgeted for—it’s just a bit scary seeing it all start to happen for real now.

In contrast to our new build, Gemma’s father recently popped into town (they live south of Perth) with the intention of buying a second residence to accommodate them when they come up. They located an existing house in one day, put in an offer that equals the asking price, and settlement is due in the next few weeks. In effect, they’ll be able to move in soon and the time between their offer being accepted and move in day will be less than a month (if everything goes smoothly).

Two of the reasons why Open Wealth advocates building over buying is to take advantage of depreciation as a non-cash tax benefit and to avoid paying stamp duty on the building component of the purchase (i.e. the house). With a new build, we’ll pay GST to the builder (10%) and while the depreciation will be a substantial bonus, we’ll be accruing interest for many months before the house is tenant ready (again, assuming the build goes smoothly). I haven’t done my figures to determine which is the most cost-effective route but I imagine it would be close.

Note building new also brings builder’s and structural warranties, greater tenant appeal, of course, and potentially a greater valuation so you can leverage the equity and do it all again.

I suppose a disclaimer is also worth posting: I'm just a guy, I'm not an accountant, lawyer, solicitor, tax agent, mortgage broker, banker, financial adviser, insurance agent, land developer, builder, government agent, or anything else so I disclaim your application of anything I write here is to be applied at your own risk. What I write may be incorrect and you are best to seek your own professional advice (tax, legal, financial, and otherwise) before entering into contracts or spending your money. Your situation is unique to you and what I write here reflects my experience only. This content is not professional advice and is not tailored to your situation. I'm learning too and expect to make many, many mistakes along the way.