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What does ‘manufacturing equity’ mean?

By Bianca Dabu
manufacturing equity, property investment, investing, strata plan

Many property investors choose to ‘manufacture equity’ as part of their wealth-creation efforts—what does the strategy entail? How does it work for every investor?

Buyer’s agent Steve Waters define it as purchasing a property that has a “twist”.

“Whether it [could] be subdivide-able, granny flat-able, develop-able—whatever it may be. Spending a little bit of money, quite basically, to make more money,” he explained.

Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant, who is also an avid investor, reiterated: “Spend a quid to, potentially, ... make three or four or ten [more].”

The property investor has recently bought a block with five properties in Brisbane, which is worth around $1,000,000 or $200,000 for each title.

Find out the “manufacturer equity play” on this purchase, as well as the reason behind Phil and his financial team’s decision to buy the block as five separate titles:

Do you have a strata plan in place?

Phil Tarrant: If we took these to the open market today to start selling them. There would be things that would need happening beforehand, [like] we'd actually need to put a strata plan in place. At the moment, we don't really need one.

A strata plan ... would cost us a few bucks to sort out. You need to top it up with sinking fund money and all this sort of stuff because you make it attractive for an investor.

Will you get your money back once you decide to sell one or more properties from this block?

Steve Waters: It's not about making $1 million on the way in—admittedly the ones at mid-two comparables are fresher. You'd have to spend some cosmetic money on this as well. The mitigation that we're always looking for as an investor is, "Can I recoup all my dollars if everything turns south overnight?" That means purchase price, purchase costs, exit costs as your exit strategy. That's what you're aiming for.

Was Phil able to achieve that with this purchase?

Steve Waters: I believe so.

What were additional costs put into this asset?

Steve Waters: Just your general repairs and maintenance needed. A little bit here, a little bit there, which is what you would expect out of a property of this age.

Phil Tarrant: [There’s] the content's insurance and then also the landlord's insurance. There's three different insurances here—there's the insuring the building if it burns down. Then it's insuring the stuff within each of these units, like fixtures, fittings, kitchen stoves … and then it's insuring against tenant damage or negligence by the tenant.

What are your tips for property investors who would want to buy a block of properties as separate titles as well?

Steve Waters: The trick to this type of property, because there is five doors or five units and there is no strata fund or sinking fund and admin fund, is that the upkeep on this needs to be taken care of. It's not something that you need to be reactive to. You need to be a little bit proactive. That means, maybe, getting the lawns mowed every week in summer and having the plumber go out there … [to] change all the washers. Just a bit of preemptive maintenance. [It] goes a long way.

Phil Tarrant: We need to put some strategies in place to actually do that [and manage the properties well].

Do you mind these additional costs?

Phil Tarrant: We're essentially in control the strata now, so we're responsible for the preventative maintenance of this stuff. I'd prefer to spend $1 now than having to spend $3 in the future for the same issue, right?

How do you suggest investors approach ‘preemptive maintenance’?

Phil Tarrant: I think a lot of investors don't think about this as much as what they should do.

Steve Waters: I'd probably get stuff done now ... Then, I [would] psychologically tuck away X amount per quarter, just like it would be a strata fund for that repairs and maintenance now. Obviously, we've got building insurance—that's part of the budget. We've got the landlord insurance, which is more on an individual basis for the doors or for the units. Certainly, you're going to have grounds maintenance [and] plumbing maintenance … [Maintenance] is part of property ownership.

Do you recommend buying this type of investment property?

Phil Tarrant: For [people] who might go about buying something like this, we're obviously going to get a property manager to manage this property for us ... It makes sense for one property manager to manage all five, right?

Steve Waters: I believe so … When you control the whole complex, you want to have [an] efficiency of numbers, for sure. He'll give you some leverage in terms of negotiating their fees and charges.

Tune in to Phil Tarrant’s portfolio update on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the benefits of buying in bulk, how it benefits his portfolio, and the opportunities it will bring as a hub for economic growth and development.

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  ["title"]=>
  string(72) "Mortgages in a tighter lending economy and why Brisbane is a good option"
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Tune in to the latest episode of Property Showcase, the podcast with the inside track on the products and businesses that will help turbocharge your portfolio, maximise returns and make your overall investment experience seamless and stress-free!

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To hear more about these services, make sure to tune in to this episode of Property Showcase!

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

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Son Pham is the accredited Head of Mortgages at Rethink Financing\/Rethink Investing. He has over 6 years\u2019 experience writing loans, over 12 years in the wealth management industry working for the likes of CBA, AMP and private practice and he is also a licenced financial planner (AFSL 326450). He has multiple investment properties that are cash flow positive which help pay his mortgage on his home and fund his lifestyle.<\/p>\r\n

Son is able to write all types of residential and commercial property loans.<\/p>\r\n

In this episode of Property Showcase, head of mortgages at Rethink investing Son Pham joins host Tim Neary to unpack how an investor should approach getting a mortgage in place with banks tightening down on serviceability.<\/p>\r\n

Hear from\u00a0Son\u00a0about:\u00a0<\/p>\r\n

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    In this episode of Property Showcase, director of investment services for Open Corp Michael Beresford,\u00a0joins\u00a0editor of Real Estate, Tim Neary to share why he disagrees that the cooling market means that the best times are behind us.<\/p>\r\n

    In this episode, hear from\u00a0Michael\u00a0about:\u00a0<\/p>\r\n

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Smart Property Investment" ["menu-meta_description"]=> string(91) "Financial tips for property investors, from mortgages to cash flow to saving for a deposit." 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Mortgages in a tighter lending economy and why Brisbane is a good option
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  string(5) "18293"
  ["title"]=>
  string(82) "Stories of success: The migrants that became Australia’s renowned Property Twins"
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Sana and Mona Ali moved to Australia from Pakistan at the age of 15. Years later, the once-struggling migrants successfully turned their $40,000 savings into a $5 million-portfolio, earning the moniker “The Property Twins” — all before the age of 30. How did these millennials make their way to the top?

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The Ali sisters lived in low socioeconomic conditions for years since arriving in Australia in 2000, but instead of accepting their fate, they used their circumstance as motivation to work hard and achieve financial security.

According to Sana: “Moving countries was a huge personal challenge. We were living in a low socioeconomic area of Sydney and we just saw people around us living really good lives. It really pushed us and made us wonder, ‘What if we could buy more than one house?’”

They initially wanted just a strong financial foundation for themselves and their family and the sense of security brought about by owning a home. In less than a decade, they got all of it and more.

Aside from being able to build a 10-property portfolio, the Ali sisters were also successful in establishing a mortgage business that aims to help investors make the best decisions for their own wealth-creation journeys.

“We just want to feel that Australia is really home and to have our roots here,” Mona highlighted.

How it all started

What they lacked in funds, the Ali sisters made up for continuous education, training and mentorship.

In 2009, they have both spent years in the Information Technology and Project Management fields before progressing through finance roles. The high-net worth individuals that they constantly work made them realise that there’s more they can aspire for than corporate jobs.

They started doing research and eventually bought their first property in Parramatta through their combined savings of $40,000 and the aid of the First Home Owners Grant. Seven months later, they bought their second property in Blacktown.

Mona shared: “I personally wasn’t a good saver, because I loved shopping and shoes. Nothing wrong with that, but looking back, it's like a ‘need it versus want it’ question. Obviously, I did buy a lot of shoes but we didn’t go travelling and all of that. So, we did have some savings.”

The Ali sisters opted for cheap properties in the lower end of the market to jumpstart their investment journey for low-entry prices.

“The cash flow meant when we did rent the properties out, they could look after themselves,” Mona highlighted.

Sana and Mona advise investors to avoid being afraid of starting small. Being realistic instead of aiming for a dream home on their first shot at investing helped them enter the market sooner than later.

After all, property investment is a long-term commitment and, essentially, a kind of “delayed gratification”.

The twin’s property portfolio grew to consist of eight more properties spread across Western Sydney and Brisbane, including units, villas and townhouses.

Strategies

Not long after they started investing in properties, the Ali sisters sold their first two properties in Sydney to take advantage of the property boom that happened in the city. Prior to selling, they did cosmetic renovations on these properties to add value and eventually extracted equity from them.

The first property returned around $330,000 while the second property returned around $190,000.

Mona and Sana used the extracted equity to make their third and fourth property purchase, which are strata properties located in Blacktown. Less than 10 years later, the same properties have increased in value by 90 to 100 per cent.

As the market went more stagnant, Mona and Sana continued increasing their savings to improve the buffer for their portfolio. They saved 20 to 30 per cent of their salary, sacrificed travels, minimised eating out and drove a Kia Rio for years to save as much as they could.

For years, they carefully weighed their needs and wants to determine the things they could live without as they are building their portfolio.

Where to buy

The Ali sisters deliberately chose to buy most of their properties in the Western Sydney region, between Parramatta and Penrith.

According to them, having properties in such good locations, as in close to transport and other valuable infrastructure and establishments, helped them maintain good cash flow and minimise the impact of property investment on their finances and lifestyle.

While they have implemented different strategies throughout their investment journey, good location is one of their non-negotiables.

Sana explained: “We wanted to make sure the properties were well-located. That’s formed the foundation of our property strategy, where we make sure that properties are close to the train station, or a big shopping centre, because that’s what’s going to drive the demand down the track.”

Who to work with

Unlike many investors, the Ali sisters didn’t recognise the value added by property professionals to their portfolio in the beginning. In fact, it took them four purchases to seek the guidance of experts. Needless to say, it turned out to be among their more costly decisions.

According to Sana: “You don’t know what you don’t know, and we didn’t know any better. In hindsight, it would have been good to work with a broker for our initial couple of purchases.” 

Through online forums, they found out about the benefits of working with a mortgage broker and has since worked with a few throughout their investment journey. They taught them not only what they needed to know about mortgage broking, but also what they want to be done differently.

Eventually, Mona and Sana grew to love the “numbers side of property” and went on to establish their own mortgage business, The Property Twins. The business aims to empower investors by offering different services, including building portfolio roadmaps and finding better loans.

According to them, their personal experiences as investors consistently help them provide the best customer service and most effective advice even amidst changing broking spaces.

Mona said: “We really look at building road maps for our clients upfront. On paper, we really put the options down — lender A, B, C, D, in that order — so you continue maximising what's really possible for you."

“Whilst you have no control over the lending policies or where your interest rates go, if you’re making that strategic choice, you’re keeping a lot of doors open for later investment," she added.

Helping investors

As investors-turned-mortgage brokers, Mona and Sana seek to improve the knowledge of Australian investors and ultimately help them achieve their financial goals. Their experiences as investors who, quite literally, started from the bottom allow them to provide realistic and well-rounded advice to different types of investors.

Instead of acting as mere intermediaries who bring borrowers and lenders together, they take on a holistic approach and help budding investors establish a good foundation for their investment journey.

The most important advice they give to their clients is to always implement long-term strategies, but also be flexible enough to alter plans accordingly along the way.

Sana explained: “You need to look at the big picture rather than just one product or one rate focus, because it's a long-term strategy for you.” 

“We are taking our clients on a journey. It’s not about one transaction at a time, it’s about the big picture and really educating them through the process, through the decisions that they are going to be making — just talking through the pros and cons, the rates and how it's impacting them and what their plans are in the next six to 12 months," Mona highlighted.

Finding the right mentors is critical to success in property investment, according to them. Finding the ones who will be willing to understand your goals, capabilities and limitations as an investor and give you tailored advice will certainly help you fast track your wealth-creation journey.

In fact, Mona and Sana themselves have made it a point to stay in contact with their mentors even after they have successfully crossed the $5 million-line.

As mortgage brokers, the Ali sisters go above and beyond their responsibilities to serve as lessons and inspirations to budding investors.

Mona said: “It’s been really rewarding to see the changes that people have had or the smart decisions our clients have made over the last couple of months. Whilst we’re not property coaches or mentors, that naturally comes to us.

“We pretty much hold their hand and say, ‘Look, this is what we would buy, this is what would make a good property and this is what you should be looking for, and where you should be looking.’ When you’re working with someone who’s been there, where you want to go, you cut down 10 years’ worth of effort,” she concluded.

 

The information has been sourced from propertytwins.com.au, realestate.com.au, Daily Mail and the Smart Property Investment website.

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Stories of success: The migrants that became Australia’s renowned Property Twins
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Will Magee has had ambitions to enter into the Australian property market for quite some time, but it has been more than just finances holding him back.  Having been granted permanent residency just two weeks ago, Will is wasting no time and is now in the process of signing papers and finding his first investment property.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(2483) "

In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Will joins host Phil Tarrant to share why he is purchasing his first property in partnership with his brother, discuss the complications that can arise from such a strategy, and unpack the ongoing plan for building a joint property portfolio with his brother.

Will will also share how they approached saving for their first property, why he is taking out the mortgage in his name exclusively, and share their savings plan for the year ahead.

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!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

From property in Australia to a ski lodge in Japan
Mortgage Trusts, an alternative first step for property investors
Should a real estate title be in one person’s name only?

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A property investment plan years in the making

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