Robert Martin // 32 Years // Northern Beaches, Sydney
Property, for me, is an opportunity to increase wealth, but more importantly, a chance to relax in my later years of life. I first entered the property market in 2012, buying into my hometown, Narrabeen. I had saved up all my pennies and embarked on what would be my first step into the property market as an investor. I was very naive when it came to negotiating on property, my skillset being in construction analytics. Soon enough, I found a property that checked all the boxes, close to transport, cafes, schools and more importantly, the beach. It was slightly above my budget but I knew long-term it had great potential, as it appeals to all walks of life. Little did I know Sydney was going to boom like it did. The property’s value has increased from $610,000 in 2012, to a healthy $1.1M (conservatively) today (this includes a 50k renovation funded through cash in 2016/17).
Unit – 2 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, 2 Garage – Narrabeen
As I sat back and watched Sydney grow, I started to ponder the idea of releasing equity. I few phone calls later, and I found myself in touch with Scott, an old work colleague, who is now the founder of Rethink Investing. I knew Scott was switched on and down to earth (and although he was from the Southern beaches, I decided not to hold that against him!). I learnt about what he’d achieved through his own property strategy and asked questions (for those that know me, that is a lot of questions). I ran my numbers and spoke with friends and family. It stacked up well and made sense. Scott and I began to speak regularly, chatting about the endless opportunities that property holds for a savvy investor.
I was in a good job, earning a relatively good wage and lending was a little easier than present day which allowed me to draw equity and park it in multiple property assets. My criteria was fairly simple, but knowing where to buy was the difficult part. Thankfully I knew Scott. Like many investors, I was nervous, but having done my research, I knew I was making the right decision.
My second purchase was in Redbank Plains, a large block, 1000m2+ and returning a 6%+ yield, the math was simple and the potential was great. The property needed a few minor repairs, but knowing it was a distressed sale and heavily under market, I was happy to make the changes it required. This purchase was $244,000 and it rented for $340pw, giving it a 7%+ gross yield. I was chuffed to say the least. It’s fair to say that I became addicted from this point on.
House – 1055m2 – 3 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, 4 Garage – Redbank Plains
Going forward, my goal was to replicate the very strategy that Rethink Investing employs today. I drew equity from my properties and rolled it into the next purchase, chasing under market purchase prices, cash flow and future growth. I continued to work closely with Scott, seeking guidance along the way. With Scott’s help, I purchased a further 5 properties following from Redbank Plains in South East Queensland and Tasmania. Each property is positively geared and I have used equity from previous purchases to bankroll my deposits. Lending has become a little tighter for me today but the strategy is still the same – invest and grow!
House – 4 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom, 3 Garage Dual Income – Launceston, Tasmania
As an investor, I see great value in finding properties that need simple repairs. Properties like this are usually heavily reduced within the market and placed in the “too hard” basket. A bit of paint, new flooring, carpet, landscaping to name a few, can go a long way in generating equity and rental appeal. This deters a lot of buyers, but with the right eye and know how (or guidance from Rethink), you can capitalise well from being savvy.
Many investors chase cash-flow solely and this can lead to real boom or bust situations, like many witnessed in mining towns. I look at multiple economy markets, instead of focussing solely on one industry which might go up or down. The areas or suburbs that I invest in must have good population growth, strong infrastructure planning, transport, schools, big commercial (e.g. Westfield, Ikea, Costco) etc. These are but a few measures I use before choosing the right property to purchase.
These days I find myself sitting in Bondi Junction (gazing at the forever sunny Northern Beaches from my window), working with Scott and Mina and the team at Rethink Investing. Given my experience in sales analysis, looking after acquisitions for Rethink is a natural fit. To this day, I have been involved in over 1000 sales. I find properties that I would buy myself, calculating the risks as mentioned above.
I am currently seeking my next investment in South East Queensland closer to the coastal area. Growth has become the main driver for me. I have the cash flow to subsidise a lower yield for the greater benefit in growth. It will be properties like this that will ultimately give me the freedom to buy my dream house in Sydney’s North Shore and relax in my later years. It’s not an overnight strategy, it requires patience and an awful lot of research, I won’t bore you with each and every tool, but to name a few, ABS data, RpData, Cordell, various Council & governments sites etc.
If you’re sitting on the sidelines and wondering if property is for you, a quick call or email is all it takes. I would be more than happy to further share my experience in property investment with you.
The Rethink Investing Team
Own Your Future
1300 965 551