A long term client of ours who has multiple investment properties, recalls buying a property in Frankston late afternoon on New Year’s Eve. It was a a few years ago, but it may well be a wise tactic this silly season as vendors are keen to sell before a new year begins!
Q. Tell us about your experience of putting an offer in on New Year’s eve?
A. We put in an offer on Frankston actually late afternoon on New Years Eve. Front unit of 3, with own street frontage. 3 bedroom. About 10 years old at the time and it was 10 years ago.
We called Louise from the property, she said yes go for it, and we put in the offer then and there. I don’t think we were competing with many other buyers. I do think they made a decision pretty quickly, perhaps because of timing. Also it was around the GFC then too so people didn’t want to mess about. Paid around $260K I think and is now worth about $475K.
It is a very easy renter, near the hospital and university and in the Frankston High zone. Tenants usually stay 1 to 2 years and is rarely vacant. It didn’t go up in value much for first five or so years but has done much better in the last 5 years.
Q. What are your best tips for other starting to invest in property?
A. Positive or neutral cash flow properties are so important if you want to hold on to them long term. Frankston did not go up for years but we were able to hold until it did. Now we are playing the waiting game with 2 properties in Queensland that have not done much at all in terms of capital growth, but they don’t cost too much to hold (except high body corp fees on one of them) so we will hold on.
I prefer 2 smaller properties of say $300K than one worth $600K. Easier to get cash flow and less risk. Watch body corp costs as they can really add up on top of other holding costs.
Take an interest in what your property manager is doing, and also the Strata managers. Don’t assume they care as much about your property as you do and always check how your property manager has written your listing when trying to lease your property. They often get it wrong (eg say there is 1 bathroom not 2!) or put the less flattering photos. Every day vacant is money wasted!
Frankston has performed well over the past 5 years now ticking many of the desired features to promote capital growth and high tenancy rates, including hospitals, universities and its Bayside location.
Q. How many properties do you have and how are they performing?
A. We have our own PPOR in Parkdale which we bought in 2001.
We started to ‘invest’ in property in 2007 with Louise’s help from day 1.
We have 6 small investment properties :
Geelong and Ballarat- bought in 2008
Frankston and Bankstown – bought in 2009
Toowoomba – bought in 2010
Zillmere (QLD) – bought in 2014
We did have another that we bought in 2007 but sold
Frankston/Geelong/Bankstown are excellent. Fantastic growth, low holding costs, never empty.
Ballarat has had modest growth but low holding costs help and sometimes has taken a few weeks to find a tenant.
Toowoomba and Zillmere are less impressive. Very little growth so far and Zillmere body corp and rates are high and I had to lower the asking rent to secure a tenant. So this ‘mixed bag’ demonstrates the benefit of buying in different areas.
Q. When should people use a broker and how did Louise help you?
A. Always! But especially helpful if your broker can set you up right – right from the start. Louise always stays on top of the best rates. Best way to describe it is Louise just makes it easy!! Recently I needed to just switch from one fixed loan to another, and the bank was saying no, and in one email from Louise it was done!
As always, if you would like to discuss anything to do with property or finance, please call me on 0412 709 200.
Quote of the Day:
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”.
– Winston Churchill