investor-stories

The types of investment that helped this property investor succeed

By Bianca Dabu
Lisa Indge

Lisa Indge started her property investment journey five years ago and has since built an impressive three-property strong portfolio using her knowledge as a business owner and a property manager.

Going through a divorce did not deter the property investor in Lisa. Instead, she used this circumstance as a catalyst to start her business of wealth creation by seeking to invest in unique properties.

Find out the different components she factored in to be able to choose the right investment properties and make the most out of them:

First property: Balmain apartment with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and one car space

Three-bedroom apartments are rare in Balmain, and this investment proved to be a positive first entry to Lisa's property portfolio.

She shared with Smart Property Investment, "I thought it would be a good rental. Obviously, the number of bedrooms a property has, to some extent, dictates the rent. I knew there weren't many three-bedroom apartments in Balmain, so it sat between the house and apartment market. The market was a bit flat at that point in time, so I was able to negotiate a good price."

"[It was good] both on the value side and also the rent. The rent's gone up about $100 over that time period, which is quite good if you compare it to what the average would be in the market place," Lisa added.

The apartment has since housed two sets of tenants and was recently revalued at $1.1 million—a good progress from the buying price of $770,000.

Second property: Glebe townhouse with four bedroom and four car spaces

Lisa sought a property that no one would probably see in Glebe everyday—the same strategy she employed when she bought her first property in Balmain.

She explained: "It had to have some uniqueness. I don't see any point in investing in a property unless it has something about it that you can't look at any day of the week in another property."

Glebe is also going through some gentrification, providing access to a greater crossover of demographic.

"You have families, you have people sharing, professionals, and you also have students sharing. It's a bigger mix of people. There are certain areas in Sydney where you're pricing rental based on the number of rooms rather than looking at [the whole thing]," according to Lisa.

The property is currently housing a family of six, and was revalued at $1.5 million after more than two years since Lisa bought it for $1.16 million.

"There are two on title, and two on separate titles. Although it sounds like a great thing, it's probably actually a negative because the cost increases as a result of those extra two lots," she said.

"Do I get more rent having four rather than two car spaces? I don't think so. But again, I negotiated it at a time when the property next door was also on the market. I think I bought it at a good price."

Third property: Dulwich Hill apartment with one bedroom

Lisa bought her third property three years ago using a self-managed super fund.

"You need a much higher deposit in your superannuation fund to facilitate a purchase... You need significantly more cash available in your super fund to do that," she said.

While it is quite harder to invest this time, the property investor made sure that she was comfortable not only with the price of the property, but more importantly, the rent level that she was going to achieve with it.

"It's a warehouse conversion. I had to compromise in that price point as well. The only negative with the property is it doesn't have a balcony, which we know as investors, is something to look out for. But it has rented very well and it has rented due to that uniqueness. It's also about 60 sq. m. internally," she said.

Overall, Lisa was able to build a strong property portfolio by studying the market and the demographics of a certain area before her purchase and then looking for unique properties that would stand out among the many choices for tenants.

She has also made sure to maximize her knowledge as a business owner and a property manager to make the best decisions for her investment journey.

"That's a really important factor for investors—you need to feel really comfortable with the rent you're going to achieve and, obviously, you need to factor some fat into that as well. But make sure you do your market research on the rental side as well as the purchase side. It's not [only about] one side of the equation," she concluded.

Tune in to Lisa Indge's episode in The Smart Property Investment Show to find out why she turned to renting and began investing after her divorce and why she refuses to manage her own properties despite being a professional property manager.

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The types of investment that helped this property investor succeed
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