Like many property investors, Jo Vadillo initially went into property investment to create wealth. But as she went on throughout her journey, it has become all about affording freedom and more life options for herself, her husband, and their three children.
Jo started her property investment journey in her late 20s and has since "held" six properties spread across Sydney and Brisbane, building up an impressive amount of equity. As with other successful investors, she has also learned to value being devoid of any emotions in property investment.
"It's all numbers. Everything in my life is for sale except for my husband and my kids... It comes down to numbers purely," she explained.
"[Talking about] my princip[al] place of residence, earlier this year I decided I wanted a bigger and nicer one, so I rented in the same suburb, now that's being rented out. In fact, I went over on holidays over Christmas and I actually put our own family home on Airbnb. It is numbers, it's purely that."
Aside from maintaining a "business perspective" throughout her journey, she also credits her success to her ability to assert herself in a field seemingly dominated by men—a lesson she learned from buying her very first property in Sydney with her then-boyfriend.
"The inner-west one was [my first property]... At the time I had a boyfriend who has since become a husband, but I did do that on my own. I was the one with the pre-approval and we would go around looking at properties, and he was very diligent with me, Jo shared.
"But every single time we walked into a property the agent would always look at him, and ask for his name, and it really grated on me, so it became a little bit of ‘Girls can do it for themselves,’ and I'm really grateful that I got that on my own.
"We've since acquired the properties as a couple. We have sold a few along the way because we've renovated it, and the numbers were right, and the time of the market was right."
Jo and her husband are happy to share the fruits of their hard work with their children, taking them to family vacations to let them see how property investment has enabled them to enjoy life a little more and a little better. Now that the couple has found success in the business of creating wealth through property, they want to pass on the wisdom to the younger generation, hoping that they start earlier than they did and avoid the mistakes they have made along the way.
"It's given me a lot of freedom to make a lot of changes in my life. It's enabled me to travel. It's enabled me to invest in other businesses as well, so it really has been a huge catalyst for my decisions in life," Jo said.
"I love how tangible it is, and even when things go wrong, if you've got a bit of an exit strategy, or you can buy and hold, whatever it is, I just feel it's very malleable and it works. It's really helped our futures and set ourselves up quite nice financially.
"I've been trying to give that message to people that investing is not just about yourself. It's a journey... It does allow us a lot of freedoms. I try and educate [my children] on what that might mean for them. I'm not setting them up in such a way that they don't have to go out and make it work for themselves, but I would like to see them start investing, possibly, on the younger side of 25... I wish I had started younger."
From simply wanting to increase her savings, Jo is now focused on the goal of striking a balance between "cash flow rich" and "asset rich"— all for a better future for her children.
"I don't sit down and say, 'Look, I want to have 50 properties by the time I'm of a certain age.' It is about cash flow as well as I'd like to be sort of cash flow rich as well as well as asset rich. But it is about freedom, and it is about giving my children choices in life," Jo concluded.
Tune in to Jo Vadillo's episode in The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the challenges of building wealth while being self-employed, why she’s looking at doing “savvy subdivisions” next, and where her best-performing properties are located.