When you get to a certain age, you often assess what’s gone before and what lies ahead.
And even with the sunniest disposition, sometimes that assessment makes you realise that the time to act is fast running away from you.
Such was the case for Karen and Rod who decided in their early 50s that they needed to do something about their financial future with their retirement looming sooner rather than later.
Like so many others, Karen and Road had invested in property in the past but they’d mainly stuck to what they knew best, which was their own backyard.
“When we were younger, we did have a couple of investment properties – two or three – but we were in that buy and sell mindset. We were investing in properties that were not far from us physically in Brisbane,” Rod says.
But when the couple decided to set up their own commercial and industry building maintenance company, they offloaded those investment properties.
They concentrated on their business for 10 years, which they enjoyed immensely even if the financial benefits weren’t quite as positive as they’d hoped.
So the couple decided to sell the business and start investing anew.
This time, though, they decided to engage experts to help them.
A second investment chance
The couple also set about educating themselves as much as possible about property investing and during their investigation came to learn of the Propertyology team.
Rod says he was soon convinced that the best strategy for success was to join forces with the firm.
“I was trying to investigate properties and we were at the stage of putting offers on properties but for one reason or the other it feel through. It was taking a huge amount of my time and we never actually got to buy anything,” Rod says.
“At this stage in our life, there aren’t that many second chances, you just have to get it right.
“I’d been watching Simon [Propertyology MD] and following him for a while and I liked what he had to say. We saw that value for money in Propertyology and decided to basically hand it over to them to guide us through this period.”
An open mind
The couple were soon in initial discussions with Euan and the Propertyology team and Karen says they decided to keep an open mind about potential investment locations.
“We were happy to not invest necessarily in our local area. We were happy to go with what they thought was the best area to invest in,” Karen says.
The couple created a property investment strategy with the firm, which involved buying three properties in the first five years and five in total before retirement.
Their first property was in a major regional centre that, as pure coincidence would have it, Rod had lived near to when he was a child.
In February 2016, Karen and Rod settled on a three-bedroom, one-bathroom brick veneer house for $330,000. Its weekly rent has increased from $340 to $350 since that time and it has retained the same tenant.
“We went into it open minded and we’d put a lot in our plan and our interview. We were happy to dive straight into it and go with their recommendations,” Rod says.
“One of the locations took me back a little bit but because we went in open-minded, we did go with what they recommended and we couldn’t be happier because that house has performed really well over the past 12 months.
“(Property research) is a full-time job. While we’re working full-time we physically don’t have the time to do it properly. We can go out and buy an investment property but you’re doing it without doing your due diligence really. That’s probably what most people do.”
In November 2016, Karen and Rod also became the proud owners of a four-bedroom, one-bathroom house in a capital city where the market was starting to fire. Propertyology’s strong networks, however, meant they were able to secure the property for $425,000 after its previous sale fell over.
A sunny future
In the space of under 12 months, Karen and Rod have bought two investment properties with plans for their third in 2018.
They’ve also made a move from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast, where they intend to retire and help look after their grandchildren – once they’ve been born, of course.
“We’re sitting at our dining table looking out over the ocean. It’s taken us 30 years to get back to the ocean,” Rod says.
Karen says that the couple would never have been able to secure two exceptional investment properties by themselves in such short space of time.
She says working with Propertyology made the process extraordinarily stream-lined as well as seamless.
“Once they’ve found a property, they take over the whole process. So you don’t even have to think about it. All you have to do is to sign a form every now and then,” she says.
“They organise everything for you so when you’re working that’s just a huge benefit. You don’t have to think about it really.”
The couple is also setting up a generational property investment ethos with their eldest daughter being referred to Propertyology to help her financial future, too.
In fact, Rod says he wishes he’d had access to such expert advice when he was young.
“I wished I had met someone like Propertyology back when I was 20 because life and investing would be very, very easy if you had that period of time. Better late than never,” he says.
“You never know for sure what you’re going to end up with, but at least we’ve got a plan now. We’re very optimistic about our future.”