From selling 10-cent golf balls to a $1.8m portfolio

1 minute read

From selling 10-cent golf balls to a $1.8m portfolio

by Demii Kalavritinos 05 October 2017 1 minute read

Phil is joined by investor Jillian Bullock on The Smart Property Investment Show as she shares her experiences in the industry, such as buying off-the-plan apartments, dealing with property clubs, and excavating a piece of property history right on the show.

Jillian Bullock, Investor
October 05, 2017

In this episode, we explore the lessons Jillian learnt at a young age from her parents, her dreams of property development and the reasons why she began property investment.

Jillian also reveals a piece of property history from 1858, showing how her husband’s family owned “all of ManlyManly, NSW Manly, QLD” for just 25 pounds.

In this episode, we also learn how to balance finances between investing and her business, what happens when property clubs go wrong and how negative experiences only makes her determination stronger.

All of this and much, much more!


Make sure you never miss an episode by subscribing to us now on iTunes! 

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

Suburbs mentioned in this episode:

Bexley North

Speaker: Welcome to the Smart Property Investment Show with your host Phil Tarrant.

Phil Tarrant: G'day everyone, it's Phil Tarrant here. Welcome to the Smart Property Investment Show. It's an interesting time in water property investing right now. I, and you probably listened to it recently, I did a quite a long podcast with our buyers agents, so a guy called Steve Waters who helps us steer our path as property investors as we grow our portfolio, and if you're listening to that particular podcast you would have heard that we recently exchanged on a block of units up in Queensland. Yet to give the location of that away, but it's an interesting time to be in property investment, I think there's some good deals coming online, a lot of people are starting to realise that the world has changed for property investors and it's a lot harder to get financing, that's slowing down the market, which is obviously what APRA wanted the banks to try and achieve, but there's a lot of opportunities popping up in property investment and we're going to keep going doing what we're doing and sharing our story.

                But it's not always about us, and me. It's about other investors in the Australian marketplace. We like investors from all over the place doing different things and today I have Jillian Bullock in the studio who's come in and she's gonna give us a bit of a take on her experience investing in property over the years, and how she's looking to grow and evolve that over time.

                Jillian, how ya going? Thanks for coming.

Jillian Bullock: Thank you for having me.

Phil Tarrant: I got your name right? Is that all correct? Jillian?

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, yeah. Jillian Bullock.

Phil Tarrant: Coz I ... So I wrote it down Jillian and then I looked at it and I thought Julian? So it through me for a second. It's ...

Jillian Bullock: No, no, no. The female version. Like Jillian Michaels the fitness lady.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, that's good. So, Jillian, are you a property investor?

Jillian Bullock: I am.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. What does it mean to be a property investor?

Jillian Bullock: Aha, to basically buy properties that you don't live in and rent them out. That's my definition.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. That's pretty simple.

Jillian Bullock: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. Very mechanical, but it's very simple.

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, I guess so.

Phil Tarrant: So why do you invest in property?

Jillian Bullock: Okay, so I think it stems back from probably my first knowledge of all that sort of thing, was my parents actually won land in Malabar in the 1960s.

Phil Tarrant: In Malabar?

Jillian Bullock: Yes, so it was out, you know, near the jail. Nobody wanted to go there, and it was just a wasteland, and they actually went in a ballot box and was pulled out, so they won about an 1/8th of acre in Malabar.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. So for our listeners who aren't from Sydney, Malabar is near Maroubra.

Jillian Bullock: Ah, okay.

Jillian Bullock: Yeah. So that's Eastern suburbs. Lower end of the Eastern suburbs.

Phil Tarrant: That's right. Eastern suburbs. Long Bay jail out there, is why its famous.

Jillian Bullock: Yes. Long Bay Jail. Yup. If they want to look up Google Maps of Long Bay jail, they'll see it.

Phil Tarrant: They'll see it. So they won property in Malabar ...

Jillian Bullock: They won the land. They won the land. So it took them about a year to save up enough to build on it.

Phil Tarrant: Who'd they win it from? The government, they just go "we need people here" so let's give it away.

Jillian Bullock: Yeah. Yeah, "we need people to come" because my parents were both Ten Pound Poms in the 50s, so they wanted to boost and help people to stay. You could come out as a Ten Pound Pom but if you went back within two years, you had to pay your forfeit. Yeah, so they were encouraging more and more poms to come out. Preferred old mates is what that POM stands for, apparently.

Phil Tarrant: Is it?

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, of course. And so that was sort of the ... That's where I grew up for the first ten years of my life.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Jillian Bullock: And that overlooked Randwick golf course and had water views of about 180 degrees, and it could never be built in front of it, because the golf course was there. My brother and I used to enterprise and get all the golf balls that came into our pool and then sell them back to the golfers.

Phil Tarrant: I did that for a little while. Yeah, what'd you used to sell them for? Do you remember?

Jillian Bullock: I think it was about ten cents.

Phil Tarrant: That's pretty good.

Jillian Bullock: Because the Harbour bridge back then was only twenty cents to cross.

Phil Tarrant: Wow.

Jillian Bullock:   So I'm showing my age a little.

Phil Tarrant: It's really funny, I was, only the other day I was thinking about how I used to collect golf balls. I grew up out Blacktown in Seven Hills, and there's a golf course out there called Fox Hills Golf Course where, I remember you said, "lurking around the creeks there trying to find golf balls", and ...

Jillian Bullock:   Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: ... I remember some kids rolled me for my golf ball bag, and I never sold them. They sort of just took them from me, you know? So it's like a lesson in life about people taking what they want.

Jillian Bullock: Well we had a white bull terrier in our backyard who would only lick you to death, but nobody came over to get their golf balls. There was just no chance.

Phil Tarrant: Strategic? Okay so you sold golf balls.

Jillian Bullock: Yes. So, yes, sold golf balls. That's what I was selling. No, so I moved to Melbourne with mum when they split up, and so I was there until I was 20, and when I came back to live with my dad, it was 12 days before he actually moved out of that house, so the whole selling of the house and all that sort of thing I didn't even know about, and I remember thinking, "that's a really stupid thing to do, Dad." So I was 19 at the time, and it turned out that although my parents split when I was 10, they didn't officially get divorced until I was 19.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Jillian Bullock: And so, when they looked at that, my dad thought, "Oh, I've only got 25 grand left on the mortgage, I'll take my ex-wife now off the mortgage papers and just be a solo mortgager." But at the time, he didn't really look at the paperwork, and so the ... Coz he went straight ... Oh, I probably shouldn't say who the bank was.

Phil Tarrant: To a bank that's got yellow and black in it?

Jillian Bullock: To a bank ... That was the only branch in Malabar, and they said, "Well in order to do that, you have to have a personal loan." And the personal loans in, you know, sort of the late 80's, early 90's were, like, 16 percent.

Phil Tarrant: They're huge.

Jillian Bullock: So he just went, "Oh my god, I can't do that", signed the paperwork anyway, rather than just say, "Ollo, we'll just leave the mortgage how it was". He was really good friends with my mum, so that would have been fine, and sold. And sold pretty badly. And I just thought, even at that time, I didn't have that much experience in property, and I just knew that it was a bad idea, and of course, what would that place be worth now?

Phil Tarrant: I'd hate to think ... It's still there? Okay, yeah.

Jillian Bullock: It'd gotta be like ... No, they did knock it down and rebuild, but the size of land is still there. It's still same neighbours, its still got the same houses and all that sort of stuff, so it's, yeah. They did keep the pool out the back. They built up to the pool. But yeah, so that was sort of ... That was my first idea, and it was probably about four or five years after that that I was in a position to start investing myself.

Phil Tarrant: Okay

Jillian Bullock: So ...

Phil Tarrant: So your first real property experience was someone selling property when they probably shouldn't have sold it?

Jillian Bullock: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: So that's probably a good lesson that you've carried on today? Have you ...

Jillian Bullock: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: So have you ... So let's have a chat about you as a property investor.

Jillian Bullock: Okay.

Phil Tarrant: How many properties are in your portfolio at the moment?

Jillian Bullock: I have three.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, and what is the size of your ... What is the value of all those properties stuck together? What's the size of your portfolio?

Jillian Bullock: I think it's around 1.8 million.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, 1.8 million. And are you a very debt-averse person or are you okay with debt? What's your ...

Jillian Bullock: No, no we're up to the eyeballs, yeah. No we're up to the eyeballs.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Jillian Bullock: In fact, the last property, because of my ten-year upbringing in Melbourne, I was very keen to go there after two properties in Sydney ...

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Jillian Bullock: ... And so I presented a great big document that I put together to convince my husband to invest there.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Jillian Bullock: And, it's right on the corner ... Do you know Melbourne very well?

Phil Tarrant: I know it reasonably well.

Jillian Bullock: Okay, so, Chapel street where all the ...

Phil Tarrant: Okay. Yeah.

Jillian Bullock: ... beautiful shops are in Prahran? So it's on the corner of Chapel and High, which is a very ...

Phil Tarrant: In what suburb? So ...

Jillian Bullock: Prahran.

Phil Tarrant: Oh, it's in Prahran, okay.

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, so it's kind of a really, you know, bespoke, oh, it's just a beautiful area, and it was actually where I went to high school, as well, so I knew it, I knew that it would gotta go up, all that sort of thing. That was seven years ago.

Phil Tarrant: And?

Jillian Bullock: And the properties in the building are still going for basically what we bought for, which is ...

Phil Tarrant: So it was a new build, was it?

Jillian Bullock: It was a new build. We bought off the plan.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, so did you bought off the plan? Ah, here we go. An off the plan story.

Jillian Bullock: My first off the plan.

Phil Tarrant: An off the plan story. An off the plan story.

Jillian Bullock: It was through a property investment club, which we thought we'd give a go at.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, so this got interesting.

Jillian Bullock: Oh, did it now?

Phil Tarrant: So, for our listeners, and for those of you who are regular listeners, I know there's thousands of you guys who tune in every week and I do thank you for joining us on these chats, but if you're new to the smart property investments show, we typically like to have a bit of fun with people purchasing off the plan apartments because to be fair, 99% of the time that someone talks about buying off the plan, it has been a negative experience.

Jillian Bullock: Its been craptacular, as mine has been.

Phil Tarrant: So how does it happen? Why? Why did you buy an off the plan apartment?

Jillian Bullock: Why?

Phil Tarrant: But ... And let me just do a disclaimer. Some people do very well buying off the plan, and there's lots of dynamics around buying off the plan. It's all related to market dynamics and all that sort of stuff, so I'm not going to beat up off the plan personally because some do really well with it, but why off the plan?

Jillian Bullock: Okay. I think it was a time thing? We just ... The other two properties, I'd put a lot of time into lots of open inspections and doing research about it, and what's going on in the area, and blah blah blah blah, and it was just we had some equity that we could leverage into the next property, and it was kind of like, "I just don't have the time", and especially buying in to stay, I wasn't going to give it the due diligence of going to all the inspections and stuff that I could have.

                It probably, you know, to be fair, it was probably a bit of ignorance as well, but I kind of had had this particular investment property club in my peripherals for maybe seven or eight years ...

Phil Tarrant: Yeah.

Jillian Bullock: ... So I really though that I could sort of just blindly trust them.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, so later the experience wasn't a good one with this property club?

Jillian Bullock: Well, the sort of the first ... We went down there when a lot of it had been built, so it sort of like a pre-inspection. The actual apartment we had wasn't finished, but we could go in other ones that were, and that sort of ticked all the boxes. We made sure we bought the one with the car space, because in Pahran you can't park anywhere. You know, I thought I was doing everything right with that, then when it went onto the market, it didn't occur to me that the whole market would be flooded to the local real estate agents with properties to rent, so it took, like, three months to rent because there were so many.

                I think there was 107 or something.

Phil Tarrant: In the one block?

Jillian Bullock: In the one block ... Because it was actually three blocks altogether.

Phil Tarrant: All developed by the same person ...

Jillian Bullock: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: ... All marketed by the same project marketer? You think so?

Jillian Bullock: Probably, I don't know.

Phil Tarrant: And, there's a couple of ways we can go with this chat. So when you bought it ...

Jillian Bullock: Yes ...

Phil Tarrant: ... What did they tell you the rent would be?

Jillian Bullock: We bought it for 420 ...

Phil Tarrant:       Yep.

Jillian Bullock: ... And I think they said the rent was gonna be about 390, 400.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, and what did you end up renting it for?

Jillian Bullock: 380.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. Well, it's not too much.

Jillian Bullock: It's not too horrific.

Phil Tarrant: So you bought it for 400 grand.

Jillian Bullock: 420.

Phil Tarrant: 420. Sorry, and how much is it worth today?

Jillian Bullock: On the market, the ones in the same building ...

Phil Tarrant: Yeah.

Jillian Bullock: ... That are comparable are either 410 or 420.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. Okay.

Jillian Bullock: Seven years later. And this is post-GFC, as well. Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah. So, what did you think when you bought that property ... What did you think it would be worth today?

Jillian Bullock: Well, we ...

Phil Tarrant: Did you think back then, "Oh, five years time, it's gonna be ..."

Jillian Bullock: No, we had that idea where you sort of doubled every ten years ...

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Jillian Bullock: ... So we sort of thought, "Well, everything else we've had hasn't ... The two other properties in Sydney haven't doubled, exactly, in ten years. They've maybe doubled in 15 years, but ..." So we sort of though, "Well, you know, double in 15 years." So we should have gone up half in seven years, but maybe not so much because it is an apartment, but we've got another apartment and one villa and they have sort of done that, but ... I don't know.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah. So I'm looking to ask you the name of this property club, however ... Can you just give a bit of context to our listeners about what a property club is, or what was it that you got yourself involved in.

Jillian Bullock: Okay, so it's not sort of like a joining fear or anything like that. It's one of the biggest ones in Australia, and my understanding is that they have buyers that go out and things have got to pass a certain criteria, so its got to be next to transport, and schools, and in growth areas and blah, blah, blah. And then they also assess, based on reputation and working with them before the builders that are actually building the place, and rental demand. Rental yield, blah, blah, blah. There's a whole list of stuff I can't exactly ...

Phil Tarrant: So this property club only recommends properties which are brand new? And off the plan?

Jillian Bullock: Yes, I believe so because of the depreciation being highest.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, so ...

Jillian Bullock: No, no. They do now, then get people who are reselling, and so they will advertise ...

Phil Tarrant: But it's quite new property. So they're selling on the base of depreciation, great thing, you can make this money, and okay.

Jillian Bullock: I think ... Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Phil Tarrant: There's a lot of alarm bells, right?

Jillian Bullock: Oh is there, god help me.

Phil Tarrant: When I see this sort of stuff ...

Jillian Bullock: Okay, maybe I should be listening to your podcast a little more.

Phil Tarrant: Maybe you should ... No, but this ...

Jillian Bullock: Although, I have no equity now to keep investing.

Phil Tarrant: Often time sorts things out.

Jillian Bullock: Yes.

Phil Tarrant: You know, to give you some, you know ... And typically with ... The challenge that most ... A lot of people have with off the plan apartments is that you ... The idea with an off the plan apartment is that you secure a property at today's prices, which in 18 months or two years time, or even longer, when it's built and ready, it's going to be worth more than what you paid for it back then.

Jillian Bullock: Oh, yes, that rings a bell.

Phil Tarrant: That's the idea. That's the idea for off the plan apartments.

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, I remember that now, yeah. Yeah, that didn't happen.

Phil Tarrant: In theory that sort of makes sense, and some who do really well out of it, but the reality is that if it's in an area where everyone's building apartments at that particular point in time, and there's an over-saturation of apartments, that obviously has negative pressure on prices and also rents and there's more choice, and a lot of people find themselves in a spot of bother.

                What normally happens then, is that give it 10, 20 years and there's no more apartments that can be built, the market catches up, and they start doing what they should be doing, so ...

Jillian Bullock: Oh, good. So I mean all the ...

Phil Tarrant: So the world's not, the world's not going to end.

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, 10, 20 years to go. Cool.

Phil Tarrant: And the location that mention sounds pretty reasonable, right?

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, it's a great location.

Phil Tarrant: You know, you would think that over time that should be okay, and I don't think you're going to go too wrong in the middle of marketplace, so for you it's a matter of time, but the situation you're in right now means that it's hard for you to make that next investment because all your eggs are in this one basket, so you need to wait for time to sort of sort out and for all this property to go up in value so you can look to extract that equity and move on. Would you say your experience with this property club has been a positive one or a negative one?

Jillian Bullock: Not positive, no.

Phil Tarrant: So if you had a chance to grab the CEO of it, what would you say to him?

Jillian Bullock: What the hell, dude? No, I would ask some ... Ugh, I don't know if I would give him another go again, but if I did I would say, "Can you please give me the figures as to why you did this property as one of your portfolios, anyways? And then maybe give me the figures of, like, everything that was offered that year so that I can see where the ... Everything they have done was a load of garbage, or whether it was just I picked a lemon."

Phil Tarrant: And how many other people in the property club skewered properties in this development, do you know?

Jillian Bullock: 30 or 40.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, so ... And you say there was, like, 120 ...

Jillian Bullock: I think there was 107 that went on the market to rent, so they weren't owner-occupied.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, so a third of the properties ...

Jillian Bullock: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: ... In this development went to the same group of people in the same club, yeah.

Jillian Bullock: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: I'm not giving you a hard time about it, but I'm just trying to paint a vivid picture for our listeners, and ...

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, sure. They can learn by my mistakes. No problem.

Phil Tarrant: It'll probably sort itself ... It'll sort itself, actually, in good time.

Jillian Bullock: Yup.

Phil Tarrant: So, have you had ... Is it been a good journey for you? Property investment?

Jillian Bullock: I'm not against it at all.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah.

Jillian Bullock: No, I ... If I had the know-how, I'd love to go into development. I've always had a dream of that, but being a woman that has a husband that has no clue about property, and has sort of come along for the ride with me, I would have to be the sort of ... Pusher, the front.

Phil Tarrant: So you're the property person in your relationship?

Jillian Bullock:   Yeah, oh yeah, yeah, yeah. He's the ... Mother and father always said, "Buy the one property and pay it off", and then your own sort of thing. He is changed his tune, but the third property we bought, we actually didn't tell either set of parents for the first five years.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Jillian Bullock: And then we slipped it out somewhere, and going, "oops", coz they were just so against, like, "Don't get another property! You can't even afford the ones you got! Blah, blah, blah." Well it's like, "The mortgaging people keep telling us we can", so, yeah, so it's almost by its sides a very adverse to any kind of ...

Phil Tarrant: So what do you hope to achieve through investing in properties? Sort of ... What's the long term plans?

Jillian Bullock: Long terms plans is ... Yeah, I don't have that as solid as I probably should, but I guess it's ... We had a 30 year sort of plan with it, when we first started, and it was probably to, when we retired, to sort of live off the equity and sort of bounce around to each property, but that was kind of that property investors club advice as well, so since ...

Phil Tarrant: So who you taking advice from now, in terms of ...

Jillian Bullock: We're not. We're just sort of ... Trying to refinance if we can, coz everything we've got is over four percent, or four and a half percent.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. In terms of you all ... The mortgage interest ...

Jillian Bullock: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: In today's market, it's probably not too bad, but it's got some, from my broker, I'm paying a 5 percent on my stuff these days.

Jillian Bullock: Oh, good lord.

Phil Tarrant: You know, it's just how it goin', so ...

Jillian Bullock: There you go.

Phil Tarrant: There's a good point, you said that you shouldn't ... You know, our listeners should be looking at their mortgages right now and seeing what they're paying at.

Jillian Bullock: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, so, you know, we've tried to sort of twist it around and see exactly how much equity we've got or wahtever ... But I guess we're sort of ... Our focus is, you know, sort of building my business and that sort of thing at the moment so that the income is actually kind of giving us the equity we lost so that we can still keep investing, but just from another source. So that ... That sort of the shorten ...

Phil Tarrant: So what's your business? What do you do?

Jillian Bullock: LinkedIn ninja.

Phil Tarrant: Oh, okay. That's right, yeah. LinkedIn ninja. So what's a LinkedIn ninja do?

Jillian Bullock: I help people that are on LinkedIn to leverage it for link generation, so I don't touch the careers side of it. It's all about creating business for yourself through LinkedIn.

Phil Tarrant: That's cool. How's that going?

Jillian Bullock: It's going really well.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah.

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, it's going really, really well.

Phil Tarrant: And that's now put you in a position where you can keep down on this investment journey?

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, just about.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, yeah.

Jillian Bullock: Just, yeah. Well, it will. Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: So this negative experience is not going to stop you from keep going at it?

Jillian Bullock: Oh, hell no.

Phil Tarrant: No?

Jillian Bullock: No.

Phil Tarrant: So what do you think you need to do differently to make better decisions in the future?

Jillian Bullock: If I knew, I'd do it.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah.

Jillian Bullock:   I just know I need to look at something different, you know? There's no point in flogging a dead horse, you need to go and get another horse.

Phil Tarrant: Have you thought about selling out of this particular property and ...

Jillian Bullock: Many times.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah. And what's stopping you doing that?

Jillian Bullock: Probably because, you know, the equity that we borrowed from one property to go into the one in Prahran, even if we sold for what it's worth today, we'd still have about 100 thousand dollars to repay, and no property to be there for that hundred grand. So it's kind of like ... Well, you know, we also bought in Westmead .

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Jillian Bullock: ... In 2007.

Phil Tarrant: I would say you've done pretty well out of that.

Jillian Bullock: We have done very well out of that, but that was what ... Just before the global financial crisis, but when that hit, we went down, if I remember correctly, I think we went down 130, 140 grand.

Phil Tarrant: Really?

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, it hit that.

Phil Tarrant: What sort of place is it ... An apartment in Westmead?

Jillian Bullock: It's ... It was an apartment, yeah. Or is an apartment.

Phil Tarrant: Not far from the ...

Jillian Bullock: It's right near the hospital.

Phil Tarrant: Oh, hospital. Okay.

Jillian Bullock: And we've never had a nurse in it, which is what we always thought we'd have a tenant of a nurse and we never had ...

Phil Tarrant: Was it an established dwelling that you bought?

Jillian Bullock: It was, yes.

Phil Tarrant: So one of those red brick type apartments out that way.

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, but it's ... It was newish.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah. Okay.

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, it was only two years old or something.

Phil Tarrant: So it dropped a little bit in value?

Jillian Bullock: It did, and we ...

Phil Tarrant: How much did you pay for it, sorry?

Jillian Bullock: Oh, lord. Now you've got me.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah.

Jillian Bullock: I think it was 407,000 in 2007.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, okay. And now it's ...

Jillian Bullock: I think it's about 650 ish? Don't quote me on that.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, yeah. I think you're going to do well in West Mead in the future. That hospital presents huge, you know, good rail infrastructure. Lots of cool little shops popping up in West Mead, as well.

Jillian Bullock: Yep, yep.

Phil Tarrant: Little cafes and whatnot, so ...

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, no it's ...

Phil Tarrant: It's a very livable area. There's a demand for people to ... To want to be there.

Jillian Bullock: The most that we've been untenanted is a week.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. University just up the road, as well, which ...

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, yup. And I think every time the year goes past, and they re-put the tenant in again, they put it up another ten bucks another or something.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Jillian Bullock: It's just, yeah, the rent yield is great.

Phil Tarrant: So that's been pretty reasonable.

Jillian Bullock: That was very reasonable.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, and the first property?

Jillian Bullock: And the very first property is in Bexley North.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. That's sort of south-ish Sydney way, isn't it?

Jillian Bullock: Saint George area.

Phil Tarrant: Saint George area, yep.

Jillian Bullock: Yep. Yep. And that was bought there because my mother-in-law lived at Canterbury, and my father lived in Ramsgate, and it was halfway.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Jillian Bullock: So it was kind of whereabouts halfway could we go? We wanted to live there, but we've always looked at it as an investment property.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. So you lived there initially, did you?

Jillian Bullock:   Yes, we did. We lived there for four years.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. Alright. Okay, and then moved out of it.

Jillian Bullock: Yep.

Phil Tarrant: And do you rent now, do you?

Jillian Bullock: We rent, yeah.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, yeah. So you're rent-listed. That's what everyone calls it these days.

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, yeah.

Phil Tarrant: That's a cool word.

Jillian Bullock:   A cool word ...

Phil Tarrant: I don't get to ... I don't like it that much.

Jillian Bullock: Oh, fair enough, yeah, but it makes it a little bit, you know, we sort of ... We make it a little bit hard for ourselves with having a cat and a dog.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. How do they get on? Alright? Cats and dogs? Yeah?

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, really good. Really good. I've trained the dog to go after other cats that give her a hard time.

Phil Tarrant: Fair enough.

Jillian Bullock: So he can, you know as I say, Skitch 'em, and he just goes after them, but when he's with our cat he has to be nice.

Phil Tarrant: Sounds like we need to do some skitching of people that run property clubs, you know. But ..

Jillian Bullock: They get on well.

Phil Tarrant: That's cool. And so it's nice to hear that despite that your most recent purchase wasn't perhaps what you thought it would be ...

Jillian Bullock: Lame, yes.

Phil Tarrant: ... That you're keeping at it, and keeping going.

Jillian Bullock: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: And ... Have you got a good accountant to use? Have you got a good accountant who you talk to about this sort of stuff?

Jillian Bullock:   I've got a good accountant. Do I talk to him about this stuff? Not a lot, no. I don't believe that he does much property investment himself. I think he's more of a shares guy.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. It's probably worthwhile chatting to someone who does a lot of property stuff to see what your potential options are with something like this because, you know, often the best decision you can make is one where you just go, "I'm going to cut and run and get out and look ... But there's going to be financial consequences so remember that all that sort of stuff, so."

Jillian Bullock: Well I guess I've sort of had this idea as we sort of started with of just going, "You just don't tell. You just ride the wave out. Australian property has just always gone up, eventually."

Phil Tarrant: And to be fair, this property will eventually go up ...

Jillian Bullock: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: ... It's just when that's going to happen, and if you sit around and wait ...

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, it's like a ten minute drive from the city. How could it not?

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, if you sit around and wait for that long to happen ...

Jillian Bullock: Oh, I'll wait ...

Phil Tarrant: ... How much you're going to miss out because you've done that, so ...

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, right. Okay.

Phil Tarrant: There's a couple of decisions you need to make, but ...

Jillian Bullock: You and your logic.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah. It ... But you would think, you know ... It just means you probably overpaid for it, right?

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, probably.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, that's pretty much what it is, but anyway ... You win some you lose some? You know ... It's ...

Jillian Bullock: Well speaking of not selling ...

Phil Tarrant: Yes.

Jillian Bullock: ... I've got this document in front of me.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, tell me about this. You brought this in, so I'm quite interested to see what this is.

Jillian Bullock: Okay, I did bring this in. Alright, so this is a document that's part of my husband's family, and they asked for it from the ... Wherever the records are in '92, which is actually prior me coming into this family, only just, though. But basically, it's a land purchase that was signed by William Dennison, as in, like, Sir William Dennison in Fort Dennison dude, right?

Phil Tarrant: Yeah. Fort Dennison? The sort of thing in the middle of Sydney harbour near the Opera House there, to fight off I think the ... I think it was built to fight off the Russians.

Jillian Bullock: That's it.

                Oh, I thought it was the Japanese in World War II, but ...

Phil Tarrant: Oh, it was long before that, yeah.

Jillian Bullock: Oh, okay right, okay. So basically, it's a document that's just ... It's impossible to read, basically, but, because, I believe the lawyers were paid by word back in these days ...

Phil Tarrant: It was very verbal, yeah. Lawyers still make by the word, don't worry.

Jillian Bullock: So it was given to Daniel Jones. Now, the Jones name in my husband's side ... The last Jones that they know about was the great great grandmother. And then, of course, she got married and the Jones name went away, but basically in 1686, I believe it was, no sorry, 1858. Let me get it right. 1858. Daniel Jones bought some land. 20 acres for 25 pounds in Manly.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Jillian Bullock: Now, I've done a little math for you here. So it's basically, from Burnt Bridge Creek, so the South side of Burnt Bridge Creek, right down to Manly Cove. So essentially my husband's family owned all of Manly.

Phil Tarrant: All of Manly, yeah.

                Jillian's got a map here, she's given me, and if you know Manly, it's this sort of bottom of the Northern Beaches suburb of Sydney. Seven miles from Sydney, I think is what it is.

Jillian Bullock: Is it? Is that all?

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, it's a little ways, and it's from Queen's Cliff Head all the way down, pretty much, to the bottom of the Manly Beach, all the way down to the harbour. That's a lot of real estate to own for 25 bucks.

Jillian Bullock: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: If only they had it now.

Jillian Bullock: So I think ... I don't have the document but the story goes around the family that there's another document photocopied, which shows that they sold it about 20 years later.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Jillian Bullock: So when they sold it, it had something to do with ... Some sort of pound money, I'm not really sure what it was, but it also had a case of rum involved in it, but the thing that I love the most is ... Just down here where it says, okay so, "To hold unto the said Daniel Jones, his heirs and assigns forever, yielding and paying, therefore yearly, unto us, the heirs and successors, the quit rent of one peppercorn." They're paid in peppercorns.

Phil Tarrant: Wow.

Jillian Bullock: "One peppercorn if ever demanded." Okay, so basically the next sort of bits go on to say that the land may be hereby required to make public ways, canals, roadways, and over and through the same, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So basically the crown land wanted to pay Daniel Jones in peppercorns as they made public ways and canals and railroads and stuff.

Phil Tarrant: And that's for forever there, so they can claim the peppercorns from it.

Jillian Bullock: So I go, "Where's my peppercorns?"

Phil Tarrant: Well I think the moral of this story for property investors is ... When was this signed? Eighteen sixty-something?

Jillian Bullock: 1858.

Phil Tarrant: So as about controlling an asset for as long as possible, to actually get the real life ...

Jillian Bullock: So I come full circle back down to don't sell.

Phil Tarrant: Don't sell. Absolutely. I'm looking at ...

Jillian Bullock: The map, and you just go woah ...

Phil Tarrant: ... This map, and that bit of ... I'm not going to say bit, but, that land today would be worth billions and billions of dollars.

Jillian Bullock: Yeah, it ... We're talking 20 acres, so I was trying to work out if a quarter acre block, which you can't get anymore, anyways, but if a quarter acre block was worth a million bucks, you'd get 80 quarter acre blocks in there.

Phil Tarrant: So going back to your point about not selling, so ...

Jillian Bullock: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: ... Is this emotionally charging you not to make the decision you might need to make to sell this property you've got down in Puhran, so ...

Jillian Bullock: A lot ... You know, we don't all of Puhran, 20 acres of it, so I'm willing to sort of sway that a little bit, but I guess there's, you know, whatever. If we can do something with that money and reinvest it somehow, then I'm open for it, but even buying something back in Puhran for 420 again, everything else there seems to have gone up. So ...

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, it's interesting, you know. It's one of the challenges of buying in big blocks, is that there's a lot of stock on the market there, so, you know, when people buy apartments they always say, you want to try stuff which is unique in small blocks and all that sort of stuff because it often puts greater pressure on prices and rents, but if there's lots of places available in 120 blocks, it's ... You know, people have choice, so, anyway, it will probably come good, it's just a matter of when. It's just a matter of when.

Jillian Bullock: Well, maybe I should just, yeah, research it a little more and ...

Phil Tarrant: I'd chat to some people if I were you. I'd go and see a good accountant that is in the property space who can ... They're not going to tell you what to do and ... Accountants shouldn't really tell you what to do, I think, in terms of property, but they can probably ... A really good accountant will help shape the way you think about that, and will go over all the different scenarios, which will just get some cogs sort of going in your head, looking at "What are the options here", and allowing you to make a really educated decision on what the best thing to do is.

Jillian Bullock: Do you think there'd be some really good accountants listening to this podcast?

Phil Tarrant: There is always some really good accountants, there's a ... And if you're one of them, contact the team, [email protected], and we'll pass you into Jillian, because, so I guess the situation is that Jillian has got a couple of good properties up in Sydney, she diversified down into Melbourne, and she thought she secured a really good place, Puhran, 10 ks from the CBD.

Jillian Bullock: On paper it looks great.

Phil Tarrant: Good location. On paper it looks great. I think it's just a classic case of off the plan apartments not valuing up to where they should be, and not showing the growth that was promised to them, so, you know, someone can help her out, and diagnose some of these situations and offer some solutions, I think that'd be really handy.

Jillian Bullock: That would be fantastic.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah… And if that happens, and we'll try and get someone to have a chat with you, maybe you can come back on and you can talk us through what you've done.

Jillian Bullock: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, if you've chosen to stick with it. Brilliant. We'd like to know why. If you've chosen to offload it, that's great, or someone else presents another solution, yeah, let's have a chat about it.

Jillian Bullock: And, perhaps all those people that live in that Manly area, if they all sell ...

Phil Tarrant: All sell, give you a couple peppercorns.

Jillian Bullock: Give me a couple of peppercorns for ... Well no, they keep the peppercorns they give me the property, and then we'll be good.

Phil Tarrant: Handy, that's really good. So that's a shout-out to some good accountants out there, or even property strategists. Get in touch with us, you've got the email address. That'll be really handy. Jillian, thanks for sharing your story. I really enjoyed it.

Jillian Bullock: No problem.

Phil Tarrant: It's great. Keep doing what you're doing. Keep investing.

Jillian Bullock: Yep, Oh, I will.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, that's good. Listen to more podcasts.

Jillian Bullock: And you can read the document more afterwards, if you'd like.

Phil Tarrant: I will do. Remember to check out smartpropertyinvestment.com.au. If you're not yet subscribing to your daily market news intelligence, please do. Smartpropertyinvestment.com.au/subscribe. We're on all social channels. Just search for smart property investment. You'll find us, like us, follow us, do all that social stuff, and you'll be the first to hear about what we're up to. Thanks for joining us for this episode of the smart property investment show, until next time, we'll see you then, Bye.

Speaker one: The information featured in this podcast is general in nature, and does not take into consideration your financial situation or individual needs, and should not be relied upon. Before making any investment, insurance, tax, property, or financial planning decision, you should consult a licenced professional, who can advise whether your decision is appropriate for you. Guests appearing on this podcast may have a commercial relationship with the companies mentioned.


From selling 10-cent golf balls to a $1.8m portfolio
Jillian Bullock, Investor
spi logo

About the author

Demii Kalavritinos

... Read more

From the web

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.