Jack Henderson bought his first property—a two-bedder in Coogee worth $720,000—when he was 18 years old and fresh from his first job. Three years later, he’s well on his way to buying his third property and continue growing his property portfolio.
The young investor was only in Year 10 when he realised that he would much rather learn from experience than in the four walls of a classroom.
“School wasn't for me [because] I'm sort of a person that wants to learn from someone ... because I want to be where you are,” he said.
He went on to work in his father’s construction firm, and after a few years of saving money, he decided to put his savings into good use. Jack did his own research about property investment, got in touch with one of Australia’s leading property professional Chris Grey, and eventually jumped into the business of creating wealth through property.
According to him: “When I [came] across Chris Grey and see that he drives a Lamborghini, he's got the boat and stuff like that … [I told myself], ‘If he can do it, I can do it.’ "
Buying the first property
Like all investors at the beginning of their journey, Jack admits that it was hard to make the first purchase, especially as he was only relying on himself for decision-making. However, what he lacked in formal training, he made up for diligence and hard work.
He shared: “I sort of had a [certain] criteria ...I didn't at the start. I just used to walk in and go, ‘Oh, this tiny little two bedroom apartment's worth a million dollar, that's crazy.’ But, then as I went through more, I got [to have] a [specific] criteria.”
“I wish my one in Coogee had parking but it doesn't … What do you do about that? Might stunt growth in the future but there's not much you can do about it.
“Square metres ... I sort of had [for] criteria for that, [as well as] north-facing balconies—you pay premiums for that sort of stuff … Other than that, I just sort of walked through it. You know if it's good or … it's bad,” the property investor added.
For the most part, Jack trusts his instincts as much as he trusts his research, and it has gotten him into a good place as far as his property investment journey is concerned.
According to Jack: “You walk through a property and sort of know … [plus], I did [a] lot of research, too … If I went through a property on Saturday, I'd have my list of what I went through and then I'd go home and I'd look [at] realestate.com.”
“In the side door of my car, I had about 40 pamphlets in there and I'd get them out when I got home and I'd look through them all … [scribble on them to remember],” he added.
A 21-year-old’s place in the landscape
The fact that, at 21, Jack has already been in the property market for three years is a feat in itself, according to Right Property Group’s Steve Waters and Victor Kumar. Add his persistence and diligence to the equation and they believe that he’s off to finding success in the vast property investment landscape.
Steve said: “Forget the price point for a minute ... Just to be in at 18, without any real people holding your hand or [any formal] education, so to speak, I think that's such feat.”
“And ... to go again … for the third time up in Newcastle … It’s awesome,” the buyer’s agent added.
Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant, who is an avid investor himself, knows all too well that being successful in the business of wealth-creation is all about gaining as much experience as you could and learning from them. After all, you can never know anything for sure until you actually make that first step.
He explained: “You don't know what you don't know so you start and then it's nice to reflect what you would do differently on it … The whole way through this process, you're [actually] becoming a better investor.”
“Everything's theoretical until you actually get in on it and you'll never learn as much as when you've got money out there,” Steve added.
While he has definitely already made mistakes throughout his journey, Jack plans to continue growing his portfolio and, eventually, taking his shot at being a property professional.
“[Looking back], when I was 18 ... I've been out with buyers’ agents and I had lunch with them and met all these awesome people in property and doing this podcast—I'd have never thought that would happen, [so] I want to keep buying, [I] want to keep doing stuff with my money,” he concluded.
Tune in to Jack Henderson’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the gentrification of a suburb, buying before content, and what your list of priorities should be for a new property.