Finance advice

How property investors can enjoy dealing with the numbers

By Bianca Dabu
dealing with the numbers, data, financing, property investors,

Even if he carries relevant background in finance and economics, 27-year-old investor Curtis Stewart knows that the secret to actually enjoying property investment is the ability to share the risk with smarter professionals and get good guidance from the right mentors.

The young investor started taking an interest in the business of creating wealth through property at the age of 24, and three years later he has already successfully acquired an apartment in Canberra and two blocks of land in Victoria.

Like many property investors, his simple goal is to create a financially stable future for himself and his family.

According to Curtis: “At my age, it's just, [that I think about] ‘What am I doing to make sure that when I get married, have kids, [and] when I'm older ... I'm in a financial position that's taken advantage of the good run I've had for the first 25 years of my life?’ ”

“The goal was more … ‘What am I doing now to position myself better … ?’ In 20 years’ time, I've got a really healthy financial position—I'm thinking cash flow … [so] my income [is] supplemented,” he added.

As of now, he holds a property portfolio worth around $1.4 million with 80 per cent loan-to-value ratio. By the time he turns 30, he hopes to reach the $2 million mark and then try more sophisticated strategies to further fuel his investing.

However, he tries his best not to set a definite goal for himself as a property investor.

Instead, he said: “It's more, ‘Do I feel that, given what I have, I'm using it to my best advantage … ?’ I have to move forward… find a better solution.”

Managing finance

Curtis’ experiences as a mortgage broker had greatly helped him in growing his property portfolio over the last few years. He initially doubted that he could begin his own property investment journey considering the small amount of savings he has, only to realise that it’s all about finding the strategy that would work best with what he already has.

Right now, according to him, his savings are “offsetting debt, but it's an equity release so it's debt that wasn't there anyway”.

Curtis explained further: “It's the equity release from Canberra with … the relatively favourable valuation that allowed me to [move forward].”

Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant said that success in property investment lies in finding the right partners as you go through your journey.

According to Phil, who is an avid investor himself: “One of the beautiful things about property is that you share the risk with people who are, obviously, a lot smarter than you.”

“So the Commonwealth Bank, in this case … own a big chunk of the property through the debt they've given you to close it—they've got that level of confidence.

“Our banks are pretty good to be fair, compared to global banks. [They] held us in pretty good stead over the global financial crisis, and banks are risk-averse,” he added.

Curtis believes that his serviceability is in a relatively strong position right now considering the real estate assets that he has acquired in the last three years. Once he has finished developing the blocks of land he bought in Melbourne, he plans to alter his financing strategy in order to continue moving forward amidst the changing credit environment.

Enjoying property investment

Despite the unpredictability of the property markets, Curtis admits that he has been enjoying his property investment journey so far.

“I really like what it does for me. I like the numbers … When they're working for you, everyone likes the numbers,” he said.

One of the most important lessons he has learned in his short but already fruitful journey is the value of being able to leverage. His advice to his fellow investors: Always remember that there are always opportunities to grow your portfolio—you just have to educate yourself about the many possibilities.

The young investor said: “If you're taking something, a relatively small amount, at the start of your life and you go into some investment asset with a really low capacity to leverage, your ability to turn that into something bigger is much smaller if it grows.”

“Property is a bit unique that you go to 80 per cent LVRs [loan to value ratios], you go to 90 per cent LVRs, [and] you can still do it. If you buy a classic car or a painting or something, you can do it [as well], but your capacity to leverage is not there,” he added.

At the end of the day, as Australia’s leading social commentator Bernard Salt said, the narrative behind the numbers matters more than the numbers themselves.

Phil explained: “You can pull in all this information over time and it helps you form a long-term vision and a story behind why things are happening and why markets are changing.”

“The time you spent now investing in [knowing] what's going on, even though you might not do anything, [is worthwhile because] in 10 years’ time, you're going to be able to refer back to it [and] it's going to help the narrative to help tell a story to allow you to be a better property investor,” he concluded.

Tune in to Curtis Stewart’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to find out why he took a gamble and purchased two blocks of land in two different developments as well as how his mortgage broker skills help fuel his investing.

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podcast

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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Wood, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

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!

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A softening market can be a difficult time for a property investor with finance approval tightening and property capital growth slowing, and while many real estate agents are also feeling the squeeze McGrath Brighton Le Sands' Bill Tsounias claims it is simply the market returning to normal.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Bill joins host Phil Tarrant to share his thoughts on the current Sydney property market, and to share the shifts that he has seen in house and unit sale prices following their worst quarter in the past decade.

Bill will unpack why properties are spending longer on market, share what he believes property investors are doing wrong when trying to sell their properties and share the secrets to getting the best out of a real estate agent and an auction in the current softening market.

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!

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Top 100 ranked agent Bill Tsounias shares the secrets to getting the best deal in a softening market
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Gavin Kemp and his now-fiancé bought their first property together after only six months of dating. They weren’t even living together at the time. Now, two years on, the pair have bought five properties, sold two and have a solid plan in place for their ongoing property journey. 

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Gavin joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss how he chose the locations where he decided to invest and how, due to the initial lack of education (something that he now values highly), he lost money on his first two investments.

Gavin will share his thoughts on the current property market, reveal the people who he has leaned on throughout his property journey and discuss why his strategy employs a zero procrastination rule.

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!

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Launceston
Raceview

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A joint property portfolio before they were even living together

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