Michael Ossitt came to Australia as a backpacker with $2,000 worth of savings. More than a decade later, he and his wife are now proud citizens of the country and owners of a multi-property portfolio.
The property investor shared with Smart Property Investment how hard work, good education and the right mentorship helped them achieve their financial transformation.
According to him: “[My wife and I] landed in Sydney. Thought we’d give it a go, get a bit of work and then travel for a few months. Maybe try out a few different cities, and the plan was to go back after 12 months – that’s what we told all the friends and family back in the UK. Landed in Sydney and both of us fortunately got a couple of jobs fairly soon, loved the city and got settled down. Ended up turning that into full-time, permanent jobs and still here now.”
“I suppose once we’d been here a while we knew we wanted to put down roots, and I’ve always been a fan of property. Worked in construction previously and always been around it. We had that passion to get into the market and get established, so the first property we bought was our principal place of residence,” he added.
The couple saved hard for the first few years, rented on the Lower North Shore, and eventually bought a two-bedroom unit in Manly Vale.
Michael said: “It was during that period that the passion for investment came into it, and we decided to use some of our savings to try and get another property to rent out.”
After buying a three properties, Michael was keen to add more properties in their portfolio. His wife, however, was less enthusiastic.
It was during this time that the couple decided to seek professional advice so they could agree on what their next step should be.
“We went to see Destiny, Margaret Lomas. [We did one of her courses and] the fundamentals in that, I pretty much understood all of it, but it was great to get my wife on board. After she’d done the course and realised the potential, she came out of that and said, ‘Right. Let’s do it,’” Michael said.
Mentoring courses usually work around helping clients set their financial goals for the long-term, he added
The property investor shared: “It was the goal setting, and basically working out from the equity projections and the cash flow projections what you could actually achieve by buying and holding on to property for the long-term. I think it was that hand holding through that process that really made the picture clear, so we came out of that with a 15-year plan and with a projection to replace our salary with a passive income. That’s really been the driving force to take the portfolio forward.”
According to Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant, couples often don’t see themselves agreeing on financial decisions at once, and taking the “education path” is a good way to understand all options and arrive at a single solution, rather than having one think that their partner is pushing them into something they neither want nor understand.
Michael agreed, saying: “I think it’s important for both people to be on the same page. It’s no good one person wanting to do something and the other person not wanting to do it, so I think you’ve both got to make that decision jointly. It was good to do that and do the education component, and then the mentoring, to really push you to that next level.”
His words of wisdom for fellow investors who are hesitant about paying for education and professional advice: “The potential return we could get from a property in the one or two years afterwards, it far outweighed to the cost of doing the education.”
He concluded: “I think you need to decide what it is that you want. You need to set your goals up first and then work at how you’re going to get to that goal. You get the education, the knowledge to begin with and the tools to set you off. You go off and you do it yourself, with someone holding your hand along the way.”
Tune in to Michael Ossitt’s episode in The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the disadvantages of investing in your own backyard, as well as the difference between less-than-ideal cosmetic issues in property and serious structural faults.