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Maximising Returns: Should You Buy Investment Properties with Cash or a Mortgage?

Updated: Nov 8

Buying an investment property can be a great way to generate passive income and build wealth over time. However, one of the biggest decisions you'll face when investing in real estate is whether to pay cash or take out a mortgage. Both options have their advantages and drawbacks, and your decision will ultimately depend on your financial situation and investment goals.


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Benefits of Buying Investment Properties Cash

  1. No Mortgage Payments: When you buy a property with cash, you don't have to worry about making mortgage payments every month. This means that you'll have more cash flow available to cover expenses, invest in other properties, or save for the future.

  2. Lower Expenses: Cash buyers don't have to pay interest on a mortgage, which means they'll save thousands over the life of the loan. Additionally, you won't have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is typically required if you put down less than 20% of the purchase price.

  3. Greater Flexibility: Cash buyers have more flexibility when it comes to negotiating with sellers. When you don't need a mortgage to close the deal, you can often close more quickly and with fewer contingencies. This can make your offer more attractive to sellers, especially if they're in a hurry to sell.

Drawbacks of Buying Investment Properties Cash

  1. Opportunity Cost: When you tie up a large amount of cash in a property, you may miss out on other investment opportunities that could potentially earn higher returns.

  2. No Tax Benefits: When you take out a mortgage, you can deduct the interest you pay from your taxes. However, if you buy a property with cash, you won't have this tax deduction.

  3. Limited Cash Reserves: If you buy a property with all cash, you may not have much cash left over for unexpected expenses or emergencies. This can be especially risky if you're investing in a property that requires a lot of repairs or renovations.

Benefits of Buying Investment Properties with a Mortgage

  1. Leverage: When you take out a mortgage, you can leverage your investment by putting down a smaller amount of cash and borrowing the rest. This allows you to invest in more properties with less cash upfront.

  2. Tax Benefits: As mentioned earlier, mortgage interest is tax-deductible, which can significantly reduce your tax liability.

  3. Cash Reserves: When you take out a mortgage, you'll have more cash reserves available for unexpected expenses or emergencies. This can provide peace of mind and reduce your risk as an investor.

Drawbacks of Buying Investment Properties with a Mortgage

  1. Higher Expenses: Mortgages come with interest rates, closing costs, and other fees that can add up quickly. This means you'll have higher monthly payments and a higher overall cost for the property.

  2. Limited Flexibility: When you take out a mortgage, you'll have to meet certain requirements and provide documentation to qualify for the loan. This can make the process more time-consuming and potentially limit your ability to negotiate with sellers.

  3. Debt Risk: When you take out a mortgage, you're taking on debt that you'll have to pay back over time. If your investment doesn't generate enough cash flow to cover your mortgage payments, you could be at risk of defaulting on the loan and losing the property.

In conclusion, the decision to buy an investment property with cash or a mortgage is a personal one that depends on your financial situation and investment goals. Buying with cash can provide greater flexibility and lower expenses, but it may limit your ability to leverage your investment or take advantage of tax benefits. On the other hand, taking out a mortgage can provide leverage and tax benefits, but it comes with higher expenses and debt risk. Ultimately, it's up to you to weigh the pros and cons and decide which option is best for your investment.

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