Finance advice

How the Global Financial Crisis affected this property investor’s journey

By Bianca Dabu
Global Financial Crisis, property investor

After 10 years in the business of creating wealth through property, policeman-turned-property investor Geoff has successfully created an impressive nine-property portfolio by overcoming obstacles along his way—including the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) that struck nations all across the world.

The property investment landscape was undeniably very different from the way it is now, especially in terms of interest rates issued by major banks such as the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), according to Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant.

In February 2008, the RBA cash rate is at 7 per cent, then it went up to 7.25 per cent in March 2008, where it held up almost all year until it went back to 4 per cent by the end of 2008—the fluctuation that marked the GFC.

When Geoff bought his principal place of residence in North Para Meadow for $226,000 in July 2008—the first property in his portfolio—he was paying a 9.25 per cent interest rate.

“We got in with the First Homeowners Grant … [so I have] 100 per cent finance, right … ? In the end, for me to get into that property, it cost me $200 [in cash] … as unbelievable as it sounds,” he said.

By that time, he’s only been a policeman for four years, which meant he was only eligible for $450 worth of loan per week.

The property investor shared: “I only have $250 for the rest of the week … I remember going to the service station and I'd have to put $20 in the car for fuel and I didn't go out for three months, and I didn't buy any new clothes for nearly two years—that's the sacrifice you have to make.”

When the GFC hit Australia around September, Geoff didn’t have any idea about it, just like many others. He was with St. George Bank when the interest rates came down.

According to him: “It was a variable … Even then, I didn't understand variable rates and lock … I just remember, every month, there'd be a new letter from the St. George saying ... ‘Your interest rate has now gone down.’ "

“[I thought] it sounds all good, 100 per cent financed, but then I was getting smashed week by week—[the house] had an old bathroom, and the place didn't smell that nice, [and] it was on the main road, [things like that].

“Through a little bit of luck, [though] … that's been the cornerstone, the one that's given me the [jumpstart],” Geoff shared further.

Since buying the North Para Meadow property 10 years ago, the property investor has seen it double in value—from $226,000 to $520,000.

He has also been able to extract equity from it around three times to purchase more investment properties.

What’s next?

After purchasing different types of properties over the course of 10 years and seeing them grow, Geoff and his wife are currently just sitting on their portfolio to make way for several life changes, like the birth of their new baby.

They are also currently adjusting to the new policies set by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) regarding interest rates. APRA recently put in some requirements for lenders to slow down the rate of lending to property investors and “change the way in which they look at the [investors’] serviceability”.

Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant explained: “Rather than 3.5 per cent [or 4 per cent ... they're looking at servicing loans at [around 7 per cent] … [to make] sure that there's plenty of fat in people's ability to borrow money and ... try and take some of the heat out of the market and slow down price growth.”

“It's a little bit more difficult now to get financed because you [can] hit a … a serviceability threshold,” he added.

Despite the temporary halt in their property investment journey, Geoff continues to look at the markets to see which areas will have the potential for growth in the future. Until he can get financing again, he and his wife will just have to “wait and see”, which is not at all a bad thing, according to Phil.

Geoff said: “We'll just hold on ... I think we're in a bit of uncharted territory in terms of ... lending and all that sort of stuff … I think we'll just ease up for a bit and we'll just hold off.”

“But, in saying that ... as you know, you've got to manage the portfolio, too. So, that's a job in itself, really. And I don't mind … looking at different options—there's always something there that can be done whilst it's there now. You don't always have to be buying,” he added.

“It's okay to sit back and take a breath, right … ? These requirements aren't always going to be there on behalf of APRA, [after all],” Phil concluded.

 

Tune in to Geoff’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the challenges he and his wife faced early on by rentvesting after they received a termination letter right before their baby was born and how they managed to overcome this situation and achieve their goals.

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FROM THE WEB

podcast

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Luke’s first property investment included what he now looks back on as “learning experiences”.  He chose it only because it was close to where he lived, he bought it at the peak of the market and he elected to manage his (unreliable, damage-prone) tenants alone. Now, 16 years on Luke has 30 properties and a much better idea about how to approach the investment game.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show Luke joins host Tim Neary to unpack how he went about educating himself, how his investment style has changed over time and why patience is the name of the game.

Luke will also share how his initial mistakes discouraged him and had him doubting the wisdom of being an investor, and how his realisation of the importance of active management bought him back into line.  He will discuss the importance of having a strong support team and why it’s smart to put a proper value on your personal time.

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:

How to profit from changing market conditions
Quit the 9 to 5: Taking control of your income and your career
4 tips for first time property investors

AREAS MENTIONED: 

Sydney
Brisbane
Adelaide
Wollongong
Geelong
Melton South
Cairns
Perth

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An unsure start in property investment leads to a 30-property portfolio
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  ["title"]=>
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  string(115) "

Promoted by Blue Ink Finance.

Budgeting tips when your Personal Debt is High.

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Credit card debts and personal loans are the greatest obstacle between everyday people and their potential to live in financial freedom.

Of course, I understand that sometimes getting a small personal loan is absolutely necessary. Unexpected costs like medical expenses can make personal loans the only option.

However, the majority of us have debt simply because we spend more than we earn.

In either case, your number one priority is unlocking those chains of debt that are holding you back.

I’m going to give you some tips for budgeting with hefty personal debt, but first I want to talk about the impact those loans are having on your life.

How much is your debt really costing you?

Over the years that you’re paying off your loans at the minimum repayment, the interest on those items will end up costing you multiple times more than the original borrowed amount - and those endless due dates will haunt you. There’s no freedom in that!

Let me give you an example. You’ll be shocked, I guarantee it!

Let’s say you have around $4,000 of credit card debt, charged at 19.99% p.a. If you paid only the minimum monthly amount, it would take 37 years to pay off the total debt.

How much will that $4,000 debt cost you? $19,200. Depressing, isn’t it?

You might feel like you need a full-blown money explosion to get out of debt, but don’t despair just yet.

What you need to do is arm yourself with a strategic budget, and I’ve got some tips to help you.

Budgeting while you have hefty personal debt is tough, but possible – and it’s essential for eliminating that debt forever. Let’s have a quick look at how you can start to tackle that mountain of borrowed money.

It’s time to take charge and break some chains!

There’s a method for reducing debt that has an excellent success rate, if you’re committed:

  1. Make a realistic budget (and stick to it)
  2. Reduce your expenses and/or increase your income until you are in the black
  3. Save an emergency fund first
  4. Pay off your personal loans and credit cards, starting with the either the smallest debt first or the debt with the highest interest rate
  5. Revise your budget as you go along.

Why an emergency fund is paramount to success

You’ll see I’ve put saving an emergency fund before paying off your loans. Even a small amount initially, like $500, is enough to stop the cycle of borrowing to pay bills, then paying out even more in interest each month, which leaves less in the bank to pay the next bill.

Once you have a buffer saved, then you can start aiming some serious firepower on your debt, and that’s when it gets exciting!

Think back to my credit card example. If you upped the payments each month from $84 per month to $212, you would have the card paid off in two years and save $14,285 in interest. That’s worth a little bit of effort, wouldn’t you agree?

Tips for a budget that works

You may need to cut back drastically on your expenses to clear your debt, but here’s some other ways to make the most of your budget:

  • Find micro-ways to reduce your expenses every day. Make work lunches at home, cancel a pay TV subscription, find a better phone deal, or pass on your afternoon chocolate bar from the vending machine. Instead of spending $40 on a takeaway dinner, have a bowl of cereal!

  • Find a friend who will keep you accountable. Having someone else who shuns a pricey outing to the day spa for a walk along the beach instead will make you feel better about saying ‘no’ to expensive events that will blow the budget.

  • Refinance your home loan to release some funds. If you have a mortgage, talk to us at Blue Ink Finance about the possibility of refinancing your home loan to allow you to release some equity to help clear your high interest, personal debt. It’s not always the best strategy, but it’s worth investigating, especially if you can consolidate it into a home loan that has a significantly lower interest rate.

  • If your income increases, leverage it! The only place that extra money should go is into paying off more debt. Enough said!

  • Refine and polish your budget as your circumstances change. Your budget shouldn’t stay the same. As you find more ways to decrease your expenditure and become adept at sticking to your financial plan, fine-tune your budget to reflect your savvy saving. Any spare change goes directly onto your debt.

  • Automate payments of bills, so you don’t spend the money first. This saves you from late fees if you forget, too.

The reality is that you won’t have a profitable budget until you get rid of that high-interest debt. The beauty of a budget is that it can get you there! Knock the debt, stay away from borrowing except for assets like property, and you’ll have a well-oiled financial plan that kicks goals instead of paying lenders!

At Blue Ink Finance, we have a team of expert brokers as well as a panel of industry experts that understand all the nuances of positioning your personal finances to kick real goals with Property Assets and can support you in achieving your goals.

Give the team at Blue Ink Finance a call on 1300 888 796 or click here to request your Complimentary Finance Review with one of our experienced Finance Coaches now.

And see how having a panel of industry experts on your side, can fast track your property goals.

About The Author

David Wegener
Chief Executive Officer
Blue Ink Finance

Who I am, and why I want to help you succeed.

As an award-winning Mortgage Broker with nearly 20 years’ experience in the finance industry, I’ve seen it all.

I’ve gone through constant industry changes and yet I still successfully help my customers borrow the money they need to get ahead.

As a Finance Coach, my goal is to help you understand your financial potential so that you can borrow with confidence.

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Leveraging your Blue Ink Finance Broker for more than just a loan.
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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Dale, 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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Sydney
Brisbane
Adelaide

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Can property presentation result in a higher valuation?

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