We started our investing a little later than we would have liked but this was due to enjoying travel and experiences that many of our friends did not. I was 27 years old when we bought our first house which was a very exciting time for us in a number of ways. We bought a property that was beyond repair but with the help of our families were able to renovate, extend and rebuild the old shack into a lovely family home. When the location proved to be too far from work, we worked hard to find a new property closer to the centre of the city and managed to buy it keeping our original property as an investment. This hasn’t always been easy but in 20 years I think we will be very pleased with the results.
Being a Virgo and having the type of personality where I need to know everything, I did a lot of research. For most Australians, Scott Pape of the Barefoot Investor, is a very well known and reliable resource of information. We knew we needed to have an emergency fund as well as savings (an endless goal to have more savings) as well as no bad debt (credit cards/personal loans). Managing our property mortgages, insurance and unexpected costs from health problems was difficult for a time but we have now managed to get into a more comfortable position, building up our savings again after a period of using and reusing emergency funds.
Everything I know about property investment has come from two sources: my parents and Everyday Property Investing. I have learnt so much about renovation and building from my family but the financial aspect of investing, sometimes overlooked, has come from the podcast from Kaz and Den. I listened to their podcast religiously (and when Kaz took on the podcast alone) and learnt so much about subdivision, tax, positive cashflow, depreciation and more. What I have learnt has been passed onto many friends. Investment for those of average incomes can sometimes be too daunting without the ability to afford expensive professional advice. This is what makes Kaz’s podcast so amazing: she is a true expert but she started from nowhere on an average income and has learnt everything herself through trial and error and with some professional help.
Investment is for everyone. My biggest motivation is knowing that we will be prepared for an emergency, being able to use our emergency savings, sell shares or property in that event. But even beyond this, I know our retirement will be comfortable and I won’t need to rely on a government pension. If our Australian government continues to increase the official retirement age, a lot of my peers will be working for even longer and without investment, will not have a choice.
My biggest tips?
- Do your research and learn about positive cashflow investment.
- Use depreciation to your advantage.
- Find people similar to you who are investing – don’t compare yourself to someone with milions of dollars in properties.
- Get professional help – a good accountant is so important.
- Read and listen to podcasts from every day people, while it doesn’t take the place of professional advice, you can learn so much.