hi everyone, I've been enjoying this forum for the last couple of months. If you feel like a long read- this is my situation. About me; Mid 40's woman, self employed. Worked hard building my company my whole life. Good income- ranges between $100-180k, but being self employed, It's unpredictable, stressful,very sensitive to economic weather, and often has to require capital reinvestment. I'm primary earner and much of this income disappears in tax. My background is that I recently decided it was a good time to sell- it was. My eastern suburbs apartment sold for almost 1.5 million ( bought for $750k 6 years ago) a couple of weeks ago, exactly as the negative gearing and bubble talk gained a lot of momentum in the media. Perfect timing . After investing more into my company , and repaying mortgage, I'll be left with about $540-$690k - depending how much I decide to leave as a buffer. Now I have to use this money very wisely to move into the next phase of my life. I am separating from my husband, and have two small boys. We are on good terms. We have all agreed on Bondi beach/north bondi for our move / moves. We are all in a rental for a while to buy time for decisions. I understand the general recommendation to buy the ppor you can afford without trying to time the market. Im Looking at PPOR being an older deco 2 br 1 bath around $800k -1.1 mill price range . The idea of minimal debt is very, very appealing. To own a place with minimal debt would help combat the stress of constant expenses with work. My husband wants to be close to the children, which is great. He can't afford to buy , so I've been considering the idea of getting a big mortgage on $700-800 k 2 br, improving kitchen / bathroom, then leasing it to him (Advantage to me ; tax benefits, an IP, Advantage to him; well maintained property , better terms and conditions than other rentals, won't get kicked out, stable home near the children). I would then be able to borrow a further $400k, add my $400k reserved funds, and buy another ppor as a stepping stone residence for a few years. My thinking on this is; Help husband, helps stability for children also Gain an IP in a climate where banks won't loan for them Potentially gain benefit from the last gasps of gearing on well located, older IP( BUT my accountant emphasizes that regardless of promises any changes could come in overnight , as did the changes in CGT ). I think this scenario is a long shot though. (- unless you can collectively support it ) Stepping stone residence isn't ideal, especially in a softening market. Max debt isn't ideal in a softening market either. Im prepared to rent for another year or two, but would like to be settled in a longer term home if feasible financially. If you've read this far- thanks for your time investment It's helped me clarify my conflicting thoughts a little more writing it out. I appreciate your attention. The decisions made next will affect the rest of my life, and the time spent with young children is very fleeting and precious - I want it to be as easy and stress free as possible for them.