Should You Buy An Investment Property Or Your First Home To Live In?

As property prices continue to soar, many first home buyers are being priced out of the market, but some are coming up with a solution.

Last updated:

Many young Aussies are now buying investment properties as their first property purchase and continuing to rent. By doing this, they still have flexibility while working towards a cheaper alternative to owning their own home. Also, their dream home in the long term may not be the same as the one they want now so the extra time is used to save for the upfront costs of buying a house, such as stamp duty, agent fees and Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI).

When you’re buying property for investment purposes, don’t take your own needs into consideration. If it’s smaller than what you wanted, it’s likely to be cheaper and could help you get your foot into the property market, however, it’s important to remember that even if the property isn’t for you, you need to think how it will suit potential tenants and whether it’s got capital growth potential. A tip is to do your research and seek out locations where demand has slowly grown over time.

Need a real estate agent? Start comparing your options

Provider Details Get in touch

OpenAgent logo

  • Compare 30,000+ real estate agents
  • Find the right agent and maximise your results
  • Get a free property valuation
Go to siteMore info

Logo for Commingle

  • Compare proposals from qualified professionals
  • Access over 45,000 real estate agents
  • Free property valuation profile
Enquire nowMore info
Conveyancing Logo

Fill in your details to get free real estate agent proposals with Commingle

Receive a free property valuation, compare agent commissions and fees and choose the best real estate agent for you with Commingle.

  • Save time and money finding the right agent to sell your property.
  • Commingle is a free service that can negotiate on your behalf to get the best deal.
  • All your details will remain confidential.

Ben Kingsley

  • Ben is the CEO of Empower Wealth.
  • Chair of Property Investment Professionals of Australia
  • Ben founded Empower Wealth in late 2007 after a successful career in Resort Tourism Sales and Marketing.

About investment property home loans

Conveyancing Logo

Fill in your details to get free real estate agent proposals with Commingle

Receive a free property valuation, compare agent commissions and fees and choose the best real estate agent for you with Commingle.

  • Save time and money finding the right agent to sell your property.
  • Commingle is a free service that can negotiate on your behalf to get the best deal.
  • All your details will remain confidential.

Should I buy my first investment property with my partner?

We see people coming to our business who are considering or who have already undertaken this option all the time. When we ask most of them as to why they have or why they want to do a joint venture (JV) or partnership set up, it’s usually because they think it’s the only way in which they can get into the market or deep down they feel some comfort in not going it alone.

My experience in this space after meeting and advising these clients is that after five years or more, their original circumstances have now changed and anticipated benefits in most cases haven’t yet fully been realised and because of this or because they might have had a falling out with the other partner, they are keen to get out of the JV or partnership so they can move on with their ‘new’ lives.

Organisations and publications such as RP Data, Australian Property Monitors and Smart Property Investment often publish median house price movements and growth within the last year. Keep an eye out for them for your own reference, so if you’ve noticed a suburb that has been performing particularly well over the past couple of years, it could be a sign of capital growth.

During your search, it may be a good idea to attend as many auctions and open houses as you can. By doing this you can get a feel for the value of the property and get to know the real estate agents. Industry experts recommend that you need to hold a property for seven to ten years before you’ll see significant returns.

Investors also have access to a range of tax benefits allowing you to claim on deductions such as repairs, council rates, insurance and maintenance. Negative gearing can also be used to your advantage if the expenses outweigh the rental income.

If you do your research well and the property market in the area you buy in moves in your favour, you might be able to begin to build an investment portfolio of properties while you are enjoying your lifestyle renting in an area you want to live in.

Top tips for young investors

  • Focus on the long term. Start thinking about what age you want to achieve financial independence and determine whether you need a mental shift.
  • Collaborate. Talk with others who have already started investing to get an understanding of the financial journey and what type of sacrifices you might have to take.
  • Consider a guarantor. Your parents might be able to help you (but only if they want to) by helping you with a deposit using the equity from their own property.
  • Clean credit history. Ensure that your bills and loan repayments are paid on time because your creditor may lodge a default against you if payments are more than 90 days late.
  • Beware of joint investments. Although this strategy may help you break into the market sooner, your individual goals may change five years down the track. Consider that a property needs to be held for at least seven years before seeing significant returns - you need to make sure that there is a contingency plan in place.
  • Build confidence. Buying at a younger age helps you build confidence and gives you an advantage when building your portfolio.
  • Make sacrifices. Be prepared to give up social outings to cover your investment costs, depending on how much you need to save up, you may have to give up a night out once a month or once a week.
  • Professional advice. With any investment, professional advice is always recommended. Gain knowledge and learn about the market and consider joining a property investment group for support.

Debunking renting myths

  • Many of us have the belief that rent is ‘wasted money’, however this may not be the case if you have an investment strategy in place and paying rent is part of the plan.
  • Fear of debt is another concern for many people considering investing, however, it’s important to understand the difference between ‘good debt’ – which is debt that has tax benefits and can be beneficial to your overall financial position and applies to investment properties - and ‘bad debt’ – which has no tax benefits and is the type of debt that you have when you live in your home.
  • Missing out on the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) may also be a worry for some when first considering the question of buying your home or investment property first. While this grant is a nice bonus, the amount you will receive is a relatively small figure in the long-term scheme of your investments and may not be worth holding back a well-thought strategy for.

Whether you decide to invest in your home first or an investment property first, it may be worthwhile to get your foot in the property investment door to help you build up your financial security. Having a mortgage that is within your means and not too stressful is a great motivator to continue to save and invest.

Property investor? Protect against the worst with landlord insurance

Compare loans for property investment

Rates last updated January 19th, 2020
Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
Repayment type
Your filter criteria do not match any product
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment Short Description
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Discount Offer for Investor Variable P&I Rate
$0 p.a.
Get a discounted, low-fee investor loan from a convenient online lender. 20% deposit required.
Virgin Reward Me Variable Home Loan - LVR <= 80% ($500k to $750k Investor, P&I)
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
A flexible variable loan for investors. No application fee.
Newcastle Permanent Building Society  Premium Plus Package Fixed Rate - 2 Year Fixed (Investor, P&I)
$395 p.a.
Investors can lock in their rate for two years and pay no upfront fees. Smart Home Loan - (Investor, P&I)
$0 p.a.
A competitive variable investor rate for borrowers with 20% deposits. Low fees, redraw facilities and repayment flexibility.
Gateway Bank Low Rate Essentials Variable Rate Home Loan - Special offer LVR up to 80% and over $500k (Investor, P&I)
$0 p.a.
Investors with 20% deposits can get this flexible variable mortgage with low fees and a reasonable rate.
Pepper Money Essential Prime Full Doc Home Loan - LVR >75% up to 80%
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
This is a competitive, flexible variable rate suitable for borrowers with a good credit history. Borrow up to 80%.
UBank UHomeLoan - 1 Year Fixed Rate (Investor, P&I)
$0 p.a.
Investors can enjoy flexible repayments and an easy application process with this pioneering online lender.
Community First Accelerator Home Loan Package - $250k and over 2 Year Discounted Variable (Investor, P&I)
$395 p.a.
A package loan that offers discounts and a 100% offset account.
ING Orange Advantage Loan - $150k to $500k (LVR <=80% Investor, P&I)
$299 p.a.
Investors can enjoy a 100% offset account, a redraw facility and flexible repayments.
UBank UHomeLoan - 3 Year Fixed Rate (Investor, P&I)
$0 p.a.
Pay no ongoing fees on this investment loan fixed for 3 years.
Pepper Money Essential Prime Alt Doc Home Loan - LVR up to 55%
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
A competitive rate home loan with an offset facility for self-employed borrowers.
ANZ Breakfree Home Loan Package  - $500,000 plus (LVR <=80% Investor, IO)
$395 p.a.
Pay no application fee with 100% offset account with redraw facility and borrow up to 95% LVR.

Compare up to 4 providers

eChoice Logo

Enter your details below to receive an obligation-free quote from an eChoice home loans expert today

Are you currently employed?

Have you found a property yet?

eChoice is an award-winning broker with over 18 years of experience, and has helped more than 50,000 Australians to find the right home loan.

  • Completely free, expert home loan advice.
  • Offers a suite of digital tools to make you a smarter borrower.
  • Calculate your borrowing power with a free personalised home loan report.

eChoice Lender Logos

Technology Platform of the Year 2016

Australian Broking Awards

Related Posts

Home Loan Offers

Important Information*
Logo for St.George Basic Home Loan - LVR 60% to 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
St.George Basic Home Loan - LVR 60% to 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)

Online only cashback offer: Refinancers borrowing $250,000 or more can get a $4,000 cashback for their first application (Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply). Buyers and refinancers can get this competitive variable interest rate. Application fee waived for loans above $150,000.

Logo for UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Discount offer for Owner Occupiers, P&I Borrowing over $200,000
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Discount offer for Owner Occupiers, P&I Borrowing over $200,000

Take advantage of a low-fee mortgage with a special interest rate of just 2.84% p.a. and a 2.84% p.a. comparison rate.

Logo for Smart Home Loan - (Owner Occupier, P&I) Smart Home Loan - (Owner Occupier, P&I)

Get one of the lowest variable interest rates on the market and pay 0 application or ongoing fees.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

10 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    SarahFebruary 16, 2015


    Say if your first home was an investment property, which you have never reside in before, would you then still be entitled to the First Home Owners Grant when purchasing a ‘brand new’ home to live in?


    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyFebruary 16, 2015Staff

      Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for your question.

      Generally the condition is that you have not previously owned residential property in any form in any State or Territory of Australia. This includes residential, investment property.


  2. Default Gravatar
    LloydJanuary 12, 2015

    Hello, how might this change if say you had a 200k deposit and could either: 1) Buy a house for ~400K (with 50% deposit) and live in it or 2) Buy an apartment outright (or with a very small loan) and keep renting at around 400/wk? Do you lose the tax benefit with option 2 or is there a smarter way to go about this?


    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MarcJanuary 13, 2015Staff

      Hi Lloyd,
      thanks for the question.

      If by tax benefits you’re referring to capital gains tax exemptions, these are only given to main residences. You might want to talk to a property tax specialist for more information.

      I hope this helps,

  3. Default Gravatar
    EamonOctober 15, 2014

    Are there benefits of buying your first home as an investment – But also living in at the same time. (renting out spare rooms).

    Just a bit unsure about tax implications.


    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyOctober 15, 2014Staff

      Hi Eamon,

      Thanks for your question.

      It depends on whether you’ll be claiming this property as your main residence or not. If it’s your main residence, (so not considered as an investment property) you can generally use it to generate income for a period of up to 6 years before being liable for Capital Gains Tax (CGT).

      If it’s not going to be considered as your main residence (therefore, your investment property) then you may be liable for CGT.


  4. Default Gravatar
    RanOctober 13, 2014

    what is the resale price of corner house

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyOctober 14, 2014Staff

      Hi Ran,

      Thanks for your question.

      You’ll need to speak to independent valuer, your local council or a local real estate agent for an estimate of the property.


  5. Default Gravatar
    ParvinApril 27, 2014

    When buying a property is there any different between buying for investment or to live in for getting a home loan?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MarcApril 28, 2014Staff

      Hi Parvin,
      thanks for the question.

      There aren’t too many differences between loans for investment properties and loans for owner occupiers. Most loans will offer the same features and rates, although some might allow for a higher LVR if you’re going to live in the property as opposed to using it as an investment.

      I hope this helps,

Ask a question
Go to site