How this couple deals with conflict to grow their portfolio

1 minute read

How this couple deals with conflict to grow their portfolio

by Demii Kalavritinos 30 October 2017 1 minute read

Husband and wife team Brendon and Courtney join Phil to share how they made the transition from buying somewhere just to live in to becoming so well-versed in the market, that sometimes they need to tone down the property talk before they begin picking a fight with their friends or with each other.

Brendon and Courtney, investors
October 30, 2017

Courtney explains how her negotiation skills and her drive to educate herself has enabled the success of their portfolio, while Brendon discusses how his government job has helped with bank loans.

We also hear about what they have learnt through each property they bought and how it has impacted each purchase. 

You will also find out what happens when you rely on a bad mortgage broke, why an investment couple needs a “pusher" and how they balance their different views.

You'll hear all of this and more, in this episode of The Smart Property Investment Show!





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Suburbs mentioned in this episode:

Deception Bay
Moreton Bay
Surry Hills


Related articles of interest:

Why this investor is comfortable about not seeing her purchases
Should a real estate title be in one person’s name only?
How to negotiate for the price you want

 Speaker 1: Welcome to the Smart Property Investment Show, with your host, Phil Tarrant.

Phil Tarrant: Well, good day everyone, it's Phil Tarrant here, host of the Smart Property Investment Show. Thanks for joining us. I'm going to have a chat today with a couple of people who I think are going to just give us a bit of a real world story on investing in property, warts and all. And as you know, we keep these really unscripted. So, my brief from the guys here, our producers in the studio, was, "Two people are coming in and they want to have a chat about property. They like the Smart Property Investment Show and they like it for education, so they're saying all the things that we like to hear."

            But I'll introduce them in a second. Before we get there, I just wanted to touch on a couple of things. And if you're just to this podcast and you haven't really got any sort of real sense of familiarity with what we do, we essentially share investors' stories. So, what we like to do is understand what makes investors tick. And investors come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are very experienced and have multiple properties. Some are very new to the game and are just starting out. And there's a couple of things that I see that good property investors do, and one of them is their passion towards education, but the other one is a passion towards sharing their story.

            Now, and I think through sharing stories, you can really get a much better personal insight into how you're tracking, you can benchmark yourself against other people. But you can always think of that spur of inspiration to help kick you along into the next gear, and I'm lucky that I do this day in and day out and I get to speak to property investors all the time and what it means is that I ever start flagging myself or I start getting a bit fatigued or I haven't done anything in my portfolio for a while, I'll meet someone who will just give me that little boot, that little spur of energy to go out and start taking control and start taking action.

            So, I'd like to thank everyone for joining in to the Smart Property Investment Show and if you're not subscribing, please do. We do like it. But use this as a way in which to keep yourself connected with your portfolio, keep yourself connected with your goals, your strategy, your energy and don't beat yourself up too much. Because if you invest in property the right way, it doesn't need to be too much of a time constraint. You can actually set yourself up for a nice comfortable retirement. And I hope our guests today, Brendon and Courtney, have that mantra. Why are you guys here? What's going on? Brendon?

Brendon: Thanks for having us, Phil.

Phil Tarrant: Hello, mate. Thanks for coming along.

Courtney: Thank you.

Phil Tarrant: Thanks Courtney.

Brendon: We're here for the experience, mate.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah?

Brendon: Yeah. Here for the experience and property's our passion, I guess.

Courtney: Yep.

Brendon: That's why we wanted to come today.

Phil Tarrant: Is it your passion or is it Courtney's passion? Whose passion is it?

Courtney: It started off being my passion.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. There's always a way.

Courtney: I'm the pusher. I was always first to push. Our first house, I pushed Brendon to buy.

Phil Tarrant: Is that your first home to live in?

Courtney: To live in.

Phil Tarrant: Your principal place of residence, yep.

Courtney: Correct. And when we grew up, my parents bought and sold and built houses, so we were going through display homes every weekend looking at plans and all of that, so I don't know, I've had an interest in property since I was really little and then I think once we'd seen a gain of our own principal place of residence, I said to Brendon, "There's something here. We need to get on this, we need to educate ourselves." And pushed all along, I guess.

Phil Tarrant: That's cool. So, what would you say, with this podcast is, let's try to understand these goals that you have. So, you've obviously seen an opportunity to create wealth through property, but let's understand how you've done that. But before we get there, what I'm really quite keen about is how you've been able to make that transition from buying a house to live in and then deciding to become a property investor.

            So, the first house you purchased, is it still the same house that you live in right now?

Brendon: Yeah, same house.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. Whereabouts is that? Where are you based?

Brendon: That's in Menai, I thought we bought in 2011, but Courtney tells me 2012, or the other way around.

Courtney: No, we bought in end of 2011. Just before the first home owner grant was ...

Brendon: Demolished, yeah.

Phil Tarrant: So, did you buy a new house?

Courtney: No, no. Yeah, we bought a three bedroom townhouse, about 20 years old.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. Cool, and that was what you could afford at the time and all that sort of stuff.

Courtney: Yes. In hindsight, we probably could've afforded a little bit more but at the time, when you're going in to it and you're really young, you didn't really know what to expect, what our payments would be like. We were both moving from home, moving into a property on our own, so we probably could've pushed and then we knew that we wanted to renovate it, so we renovated it pretty much top to bottom and ...

Phil Tarrant: You're bucking a trend a bit, because a lot of first home buyers will go to a mortgage broker or bank and they'll say, "Oh, yeah, you can borrow $800,000." So they'll go and buy a million dollar house somewhere, or really every cent. So, they'll go to the top end of what they could afford, but it sounds like you guys were pretty reasonable in saying-

Brendon: No, we're pretty conservative, yeah.

Phil Tarrant: What do you think was the driver behind that conserveness? Was it thinking that, "In the future, we want to do more of it." Or was it just, that's the way you are.

Brendon: I think that's where I come in, to be honest. She pushes and tries to go big and I pull her back a bit and try to be a bit more risk-averse and just pull it back, be a bit more calculated and think longer term.

Phil Tarrant: And you're happy you've done that, now?

Brendon: Yeah, 100%, definitely, yeah.

Courtney: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. So, how'd you go from living in your principal place of residence to becoming a property investor? What sort of steps did you take?

Courtney: I think we wanted to get into the game when we saw our own residence increase by $400,000 and I said to Brendon, "We are never going to make this money any other way with our jobs. We don't have overtime, there's no special bonuses when you hit that sales mark." So, I just said, "We need to get educated." We have Fox Tel, we started with all of property channels.

Phil Tarrant: And did you watch a lot of Margaret Cho?

Brendon: Yeah, yeah.

Phil Tarrant: She's cool, by the way.

Brendon: Courtney loves her.

Courtney: She's my idol.

Phil Tarrant: She knows what she's doing, Margaret.

Courtney: Yeah, I really like Margaret and it's a bit of a running joke in our house, just how much love I have for her. So, yeah, we just-

Phil Tarrant: Well, she does listen to this, so she'd appreciate you saying that, yeah.

Courtney: Oh.

Brendon: Yeah, very good.

Courtney: And yeah, we jumped on. I read as many books as I could, passed them on to Brendon who read them, but after me.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. Read them reluctantly, or read them?

Brendon: No, no, I read them. Yeah, I read them. I was just probably a bit slow to catch up. I was probably a bit busier at work at the time. I was quite happy with what we had, I guess, and didn't really understand the whole principle of using the $400,000 that, I guess, had gone up in value to leverage that to buy something else, so.

Phil Tarrant: How did you know your house had gone up by $400,000?

Brendon: Oh, just what was selling. We're sort of in a ...

Phil Tarrant: So, you kept connected, you were watching what's going on.

Brendon: Yeah, yeah. There's auctions happening around the streets. Where we live, we're sort of in a little community, or an estate, so to speak. So, for our block, we're 104, and there's similar sort of ones around the whole estate. So, to watch them go was quite interesting, so, yeah, definitely.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. So, you went, "Oh, there's a bit of equity here." So, did you speak to a broker or did you go to a bank?

Brendon: No, that's probably one of our downfalls. We were already with Commonwealth Bank and then we went back to Commonwealth and got another loan or pre-approval for the next one, in 2015.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. So you're there for three and a half-ish, four years before you bought your first investment property?

Brendon: Yeah, about three years.

Courtney: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. So, your place went up like, 100 grand a year in value?

Brendon: Pretty much, yeah.

Phil Tarrant: Which is thanks to a really strong Sydney property market.

Courtney: Exactly.

Phil Tarrant: Can't always ... I wish property would always go that quickly.

Courtney: Exactly.

Brendon: When we bought our place in Menai, the one next door was selling at the same time and ours went for probably about 20 grand, I think it was, cheaper than the one down the road and we were looking at both and we always say we should've bought both.

Courtney: Hindsight's a wonderful thing.

Phil Tarrant: That's what I always say, I wish I bought more when I could. And if that's your biggest mistake, you're doing alright.

Courtney: We could've. If I look at it now, we really could've pushed and put someone in there and that person ... I think when I looked back and did all the sums, we were getting a rental return of 5.5% in a Sydney market, which is ... You're lucky to get about three, these days. We really should've pushed a bit harder than, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, so, you've been living in your principal place of residence for nearly four years and you go "Alright, let's start investing in property." You go and get a pre-approval and what do you do next?

Brendon: Well, we knew we didn't want to invest in Sydney because the prices were astronomical, so we thought we'd have a look in Brisbane, from the lack of education or only a minimum amount of research we'd been doing. All the talk at the time was the Brisbane market, et cetera, so, we found out our suburbs, did some research and jumped on a plane and went and had a look around up in Queensland, both north and south of Brisbane. Found some areas we liked and started making some offers, so, yeah.

Phil Tarrant: So, what did you end up buying?

Courtney: Our first one was in Eagleby.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Courtney: In southeast Brisbane.

Phil Tarrant: What was it about that suburb or that property that you really thought, "This makes this a good buy."

Brendon: See, that's probably where one of our, I guess, life lessons comes in. At the time, we didn't ... There's obviously a lot going on. The population is expected to obviously grow or double, I guess, in that whole Logan area over the next few years. Or even ... What was it 30 years? 20 years or something. We want to hold these properties for 20 to 30 years, so we think in the long term they'll be fine and they've made some good gains. I think they've gone up what, 12, 13% over the past two years?

Courtney: Yeah.

Brendon: So it's still very good. But yeah, in terms of a lot of research, it was just more that whole growth corridor. Beenleigh was getting upgraded, which is the suburb next door. We know Eagleby was going to go next, in terms of upgrading the town centres and the roads and that sort of stuff. So, yeah, we sort of just, I guess, jumped in.

Courtney: We saw and really hoped that it would gentrify further, because Beenleigh isn't perceived as a really great suburb if you listen to the news. There's lots of news stories on Beenleigh and thought one suburb over, it does have portions of housing commission, but we bought on a good street in the suburb, so, away from all of that. So, I think we knew ... But we got caught up as well, a little bit, but, having said that-

Brendon: Letting our, yeah, passion and excitement take over, I guess.

Phil Tarrant: So, you obviously thought it was a good buy at the time of buying it, which is why you bought it. So, when did you start going, "Oh, you know, maybe we could've done better on this."

Brendon: Well, it's still ... Like, we bought it, I'd say for 288, was it?

Courtney: Yep.

Brendon: Yeah, and it's gone up to almost 330 now, in two years.

Phil Tarrant: So, not too bad.

Brendon: We're still very happy with that. Just probably could've used that money at lot better I guess, in hindsight.

Courtney: I think it's just more of an opportunity cost. Where could we have put that money and made more money? But isn't that the question that every investor asks?

Phil Tarrant: It is, it is. But back to my original point, you guys are quite self-reflective about all this stuff and that's not a bad thing, right? It's good to always stress test and challenge how you're tracking. So, you've gone from that first investment property and then you've bought a few more after that. So, whereabouts have you purchased?

Brendon: Yeah, so, the next one was Deception Bay, which was literally two-

Phil Tarrant: That's one of Margaret's favourite joints, Deception Bay.

Brendon: That's, yeah.

Courtney: I didn't know that.

Brendon: I don't mind it, actually. It hasn't moved as much as I'd like it to have moved and I was actually away at the time, overseas for work, so I left it ... Let Courtney take the reins and we bought that one, probably about, I want to say three or four months after Deception Bay, after Eagleby.

Courtney: Yeah, we moved quite quickly.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, that's pretty quick.

Brendon: Yeah. And I like Deception Bay. I think it's got some growth in the future. Our property that we bought is pretty close to water. There's a lot obviously going on with yourself and your recent purchase in Petrie.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, not too bad, long term, yeah.

Brendon: That's right.

Courtney: Yeah.

Brendon: So, I think the area, the Moreton Bay area has got some good growth in the future. So, like I said, we're in the long haul. So, the risk isn't that high for us.

Phil Tarrant: So, Deception Bay and then one more from there? Where'd you go?

Courtney: Yeah. We moved into Werribee in Melbourne. So, that was only a few months ago and that, to date, is other than our principal place of residence is our best buy, by far.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. So, what did you buy down in Werribee?

Brendon: We bought a three two two, 2004 built house.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Brendon: Because of the lessons learned, I guess, from the first two, I wasn't going to make that mistake again. We researched a lot, spent a lot of time researching. And went to the area, saw what streets we were happy with and then just negotiated quite strongly, so, we…

Phil Tarrant: Who's the negotiator?

Brendon: I did this one, actually.

Courtney: Which ... We were buying a car one day and-

Brendon: I was hung over, so I'll just put it out there.

Courtney: Oh gosh. It cost us $370 more because I excused myself and went to the bathroom. So, I'm usually the negotiator and Brendon would just say, "Oh, I just have whatever to get it over the line."

Phil Tarrant: Every dollar counts.

Courtney: That's it.

Brendon: That's it.

Phil Tarrant: But if you've got a hangover, I know what it's like.

Brendon: I wanted to get back on the couch.

Courtney: But I knew that we could get it for cheaper.

Phil Tarrant: So, three investment properties now and your principal place of residence. So, how did you finance the three investment properties? So, you said your property went up 400 grand in value and you got a loan against that that you've bought the first investment property. Where'd you get the rest of the cash from?

Brendon: This is another mistake that we probably made, which we had quite a big deposit. So, the difference for our principal place of residence and what the value is, it's quite low. So, we're doing quite well there. And not having a mortgage broker and going to the banks, they've just cross-collateralized the loans and now, in hindsight, in going to a good mortgage broker we've worked out that wasn't a good thing to do and it's sort of affected our serviceability. But it's an issue we can sort out, so we're not too worried.

Phil Tarrant: You can unravel it, it's just a big headache.

Brendon: Yeah, yeah.

Phil Tarrant: The banks love doing that.

Brendon: They do.

Phil Tarrant: The banks like to make it hard for you to go somewhere else. I like naming and shaming banks, but I won't do it this time. I don't know who it is, but I imagine it's one of the Big Four banks, is it?

Brendon: Yeah, yeah, of course. And that's ... It worked for us and allowed us to get some momentum to go forward, but it's slowed us down now. But yeah, they've essentially just tied the title, I guess, together with our owner occupied.

Courtney: We have just been pre-approved today, actually for a new loan to go again.

Phil Tarrant: Through a broker?

Courtney: Yes.

Brendon: Yes.

Phil Tarrant: Not cross-collateralizing? Okay.

Brendon: No.

Courtney: No. So, we have learned from our mistakes and we're lucky that it hasn't slowed us down.

Brendon: He has, to an extent, I've never heard of it this way, but he's got the 20% deposit with one lender and then going with another lender against that 20% so that actually 20% is cross-collateralized with our owner occupied, but then the bigger amount, the 80% isn't, if that makes sense.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah. How did you find a broker, you just ... Yellow Pages, or?

Brendon: Just reaching out to people and, yeah, we had one, but we weren't happy with that broker so we've changed.

Phil Tarrant: Interesting question, this, because you hear it a bit. Was it you were unhappy with his service or you were unhappy with him ... I don't know if it was a man or a woman, or were you unhappy with their style or did you not really get on well with them?

Brendon: Bit of both. There was a like a, husband and wife team, I guess. And the husband was the financial planner and the mortgage broker was the wife and the financial planner actually said to us, "You guys can slow down, you know? At two properties, you're young, pay off your home loan, you can slow down." And that sent her into a spin.

Courtney: I was gobsmacked.

Brendon: She wasn't happy about that, so and then the other issue that we had with the mortgage broker was she recommended that cross-collateralizing wasn't an issue. And I said, "Well, what happens when we go to sell our own occupied or move on and these are all 100% leveraged against our own occupied?" And she said, "Oh, that's alright. Just wait until they've gone up 20% in value, then you can just untie it." Which, now in hindsight, we've heard that's totally incorrect.

Courtney: Which I knew I really should've fought harder. I remember sitting at our table saying, "No no, we would like them not tied, thank you." And she really pushed us in that direction and I really should've said, "Okay, thank you but no thank you. We'll find someone else." But I think was so gung ho in my own style that I wanted that next property and therefore we moved forward.

Phil Tarrant: There's nothing wrong with it. You not alone in that, a lot of people driven to ... But you can often sort of go ... Whatever you do in life, right? It's easy to rationalise something if you really want to rationalise something. If you go, "It's okay, because of this reason and I'll still getting the same output or the same goal or the end goal." But it's nice that you can look back on that and sort of go, "Oh, you know, maybe I didn't do that right." So, hopefully you won't do it again.

Brendon: Definitely.

Courtney: Exactly.

Brendon: We've found a good mortgage broker now, so we're happier with him and yeah, we'll see where we go from here.

Phil Tarrant: So, you got a pre-approval, so you're ready to buy.

Brendon: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: Where are you going? Do you know yet?

Brendon: Not sure. We're going to use a buyer's agent, actually, because the amount of time we put into researching for Werribee, Courtney's got her own business, so she was being tied up with that for the past year or so. And because I work for the government, I guess, I've got a lot of time off with all the leave and stand down and lack of overtime I guess, so it was a good time to research and get stuck in, so.

Phil Tarrant: Do you find that getting finance, outside of the fact that you're sort of tied up, the fact that you work for the government, right? It's nice, good, steady employment. It looks pretty good from a lending perspective.

Brendon: Yeah, definitely.

Phil Tarrant: That's a big tick, right? That works well.

Brendon: Yeah, definitely. But we're going to give a buyer's agent a go and see how we go.

Phil Tarrant: Have you found one yet?

Brendon: Yeah, we have.

Phil Tarrant: How'd you find them?

Brendon: Well, I've only chatted to him on the phone. And he sort of said, "Come back to us after you get pre-approval and we'll go from there."

Phil Tarrant: Okay. So, you're just going to say, "Hey, look, this is what we're trying to achieve, go and track me down something."

Brendon: Yeah. Well, it's a bit of a team effort, I guess. Like, the mortgage broker, the buyer's agent and the financial planner and the accountant, they all work together closely. So, I foresee that it would be a matter of sitting down with the financial planner and the buyer's agent and seeing what property we need next to compliment the others.

Courtney: And that's exactly right. We're at a point now, that not any old property will do. It needs to, like Brendon said, compliment our others. And where we have shortfall or we need a little bit more cash flow, or even probably even some more negatively-geared properties, we could probably go for after our first two in Brisbane. So, I would definitely be grilling them a lot more than I had in the past because we didn't necessarily do that and we could have gone down a path. That hasn't stopped us, as we said, but we could've probably gone down a better path and been in even better position than we are now.

Phil Tarrant: Do you reckon that now you've got a bit of scar tissue that you can be much better investors because you're now saying "Hey, we don't need to do all of this ourselves, let's get people to do it." But you feel like you've got the experience now to challenge people's advice. And a lot of people make the mistake of thinking, "Oh, I pay experts to do it, so therefore I'll, just everything they tell me, I just believe. Because it's possible." It's good to be able to push.

Courtney: Most definitely. I am actually scared of that, to be giving our money to someone, saying, "Do what you want with it." Because they're not going to work as hard for you as you would work for you, if you ask my opinion. So, yes, I'm a lot more on our side than I was previously and I think were a little bit too trusting to start with.

Brendon: I dare say, I always like to keep learning and challenging myself and we've obviously got a passion for property, so we'll probably be those type of annoying hands on people with the buyer's agent.

Phil Tarrant: Its okay to be that person, I'm that person.

Brendon: They'll say, "Let's go here." And then we'll do our own research off to the hand, but it is what it is and yeah.

Phil Tarrant: But if you make the choice to pay for advice, you've got to be willing to accept that advice. And you might have prejudices against it, that you have the mental process to be able to detach yourself from it and say, "Okay, let's have a legitimate look at this and stress this against yourself." So, why are you doing this? What are you guys, you want to be property bazillionaires or, what's the end goal?

Courtney: We want options. We don't make huge salaries. I would say, out of our friends, we would make the least amount of money combined. So, we need to do something like this to one day either supplement our income or just have options and choices, whether that's retiring early, which, we both love our jobs so we can't see that yet, but if that day comes that we don't want to work anymore at 50, we don't have to.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah.

Brendon: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: Interesting you say that. A lot of people, when I ask that question, and it's always framed a bit differently, but everyone says, "I want to have a choice, I want to have options, I want to be able to make the decisions I want to make when I get to a point in life when I want to start making those decisions. And whether that's working 80 hours a week or 70 hours a week or sitting on a beach with a laptop sorting out your portfolio, you get to make that choice and that's a really, really cool thing.

            Do you think you'll ever pursue a career in property?

Courtney: I always said, if I wasn't teaching-

Phil Tarrant: I sort of got the feeling from you, Courtney, that you want to go down that path.

Courtney: I would love to do something ... I'm just a person that, if there's an opportunity, if I see it I'll go for it. And I think the business that my mom and I started last year's kept me really busy up until now. I think that got pushed to-

Phil Tarrant: So, you're a teacher and you're also doing another business on the fly?

Courtney: Correct, yeah.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. What sort of business is that?

Courtney: We own a jewellery business.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, cool, yeah.

Courtney: Yeah. So, it's good, keeps me busy.

Phil Tarrant: One with a shop front and that sort of stuff, or just ...

Courtney: No no, it's more wholesale. So, we supply to stores who are shopfronts or online.

Phil Tarrant: That's cool. What sort of jewellery?

Courtney: Interchangeable jewellery.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, I don't even know what that means.

Courtney: Yeah.

Brendon: They're like buttons, this is how I put it. Buttons that you pull on and pull off and put on the jewellery.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah. And do you enjoy doing that? Like, do you sit there at home and do it?

Courtney: All the time. I'm just, I would say, obsessed with finance. I'm obsessed with watching money grow. Learning ins and outs of different tactics or accounting or book keeping. Just anything to keep my mind busy, but in that arena.

Phil Tarrant: So, are you doing that because you've got a passion for being creative or are you doing it because you want to make money? Or both?

Brendon: I'd say the money thing.

Courtney: Money.

Phil Tarrant: Money. Which is okay.

Courtney: 100%. And yeah, I think any kind of person that wants to get in to a business, it really doesn't ... I enjoy it now and I like to put things together, don't get me wrong.

Phil Tarrant: Are you good at it, though?

Courtney: Yes. So, my mom owns a homewares store, so we do it day in and day out. I work with her during the holidays and the weekends. Putting things together isn't new for us, but we saw that opportunity and I think that it's any type of opportunity, whether you have a real passion for that product for what, if you see it, you need to take it straight away.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah. But you've got your eye on the prize, right? And that is to generate cashflow, generate income so you can go out and keep buying property.

Courtney: And then we've been in business for a year now, so, next year the bank will recognise that income and that will then tack on to our taxable income.

Phil Tarrant: Helps your serviceability.

Brendon: Yeah, definitely, yeah.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, that's cool. How do you guys deal with conflicts? Between yourselves and just in terms of money. I don't want to talk about anything else for now. How do you ... If you say, "I think this." When it comes to property or, "I think this is a really good buy," And you might say, "No, I don't think that's good for this reason." How do you create that dialogue to come to a decision? What's the process for doing it?

Brendon: It's all about clear communication, really. We have had some tough times, I guess, so to speak. And we're sort of at the point where, what do we do for the next few years? Well, I'm of the view and Courtney's of a different view where I think we should buy, probably, another one maybe two over the next year or two and pay off our home loan. Have some money in the bank for in terms of we're going on a holiday next year. We'll probably start a family. She'll probably need a new car, which she's always nagging me about. And yeah, sort of play it safe, so to speak. But I know Courtney is of the view that, if we've got serviceability, let's just keep going, let's keep going, let's keep going, so.

Phil Tarrant: It seems to be working alright, you know. Seems to be the sort of balance. And, you know, it's quite interesting when you get somewhere and you think back about how you got there and you just bounce around, right? You had to have fun along the way as well.

Brendon: Yeah, definitely.

Phil Tarrant: If it's a pain in the ass, you don't want to do it.

Courtney: Yeah, and I would say I back off a lot of the time and it's not me being submissive or anything like that, I just know I can be very full on in that type of environment, and especially if it's something I'm really passionate and excited about and in anything to do with money, I can be a bit challenging. So, I really need to have some self talk and say, "Okay, I can see his point of view. This is probably the safer option."

Brendon: I sort of pick the right time and get all my facts in a row, then present it to her and say, "This is why I'm of this opinion," or, "this is why I think this." And then she sort of scowls back at me.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah. There's something quite nice about doing it in partnership, right? Like, to win, it's nice to win with someone else. You're winning by yourself it sort of sucks, right? You want to be able to celebrate your wins and sort of go, "Yeah, that's great," but move on and keep going. That's really cool.

Brendon: Yeah, definitely.

Phil Tarrant: And you mentioned beforehand that you guys don't make as much money as some of your mates. Do you talk about property with your friends? Is that sort of like a big point of conversation, or are you ... You're just guys going on doing what you're doing, you don't get sucked into it all.

Brendon: You sort of pick your battles. Like, we've got some kids, and I always say, I tell Courtney, I say, "Don't bring it up at a dinner party." Some people, some of my friends, they don't have any property. They're still trying to get in the market, they're still renting. One couple live in Surry Hills with a 900,000 property plus mortgage and I don't want Courtney to bring it up as they might perceive it as snobby, sure, whatever. Some people, that's, I know have property. Like, I've got a few friends at work that have it and I talk about it all the time with them and I know Courtney talks about her passion, obviously, with a select few as well. So, it just depends. Pick your moments, I guess.

Phil Tarrant: Pick your moments. And it's nice to accomplish stuff and people always sort of ... Whenever I talk about property, I'm very open, I don't really care. A lot of people don't realise that you go without a lot of stuff to be able to build a nice property portfolio. People only see what they choose to see and that is, "Oh, look how easy it is for you." And they don't know the energy and the attention and the passion that goes into doing it. So, there is haters out there…

Brendon: 100%, yeah.

Courtney: It started, really, when we were buying our principal place of residence and just every week, for me, it was seeing what my balance in my savings account because ...

Phil Tarrant: How often do you check your bank balance?

Courtney: Every day. And probably more than once a day. As you can see, I'm over the top, I'm-

Phil Tarrant: I probably do it four or five times a day, but yeah.

Courtney: I'm the exact same and I've got our personal and business, so, for me ...

Brendon: I reckon she checks the business one about three ... She checked it three times, I counted, on the train on the way here, so.

Courtney: I like to see it grow, I like to see the ins and the outs

Brendon: "Has this been paid?"

Courtney: As you can hear, I'm very, what's the word ... Control freak?

Phil Tarrant: She's quite dogged in making sure that you've got money. So, so, have you got some big spreadsheet, I imagine, that maps out all your properties and what they're doing?

Brendon: No, not really.

Courtney: We don't, actually. That makes me ...

Brendon: We've got a filing cabinet which, I'm more the organised one that has everything in its place and tucked away and I know where everything is, but in terms of spreadsheets, no, we don't really ... We just use technology like apps to see what the values are currently coming in at and what our rental statements and that are, but that's really all that.

Phil Tarrant: And you mange your properties through a property manager?

Brendon: Yeah, our property managers, they pay all the bills, yeah.

Phil Tarrant: It's pretty straightforward.

Brendon: Pretty easy, yeah.

Courtney: We don't have time in their spread. I don't want to be, we don't want to be dealing with day to day problems. If something's broken, fix it, we'll pay for it but we don't ... Other than that, they have the go ahead to do just, little management or maintenance things.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, we could do another whole podcast on that.

Brendon: Yeah, definitely.

Phil Tarrant: That's cool. So, keep it up guys. It's good.

Brendon: Thanks, Phil.

Phil Tarrant: I like the ... That you guys give a shit, right? You know what I mean? It's cool.

Courtney: Yeah, we do.

Phil Tarrant: You're grabbing the bull by the horns and together going down this path to create wealth through property, so, I know a lot of people will be listening to this and thinking "Oh, how can we emulate that?" And you're doing a lot of things right. But if you had to summarise success in property investment, how do you get it right?

Brendon: Just get in there, have a go, research, educate yourself and get a good team around you and meet the right people and just keep learning.

Courtney: Start. If you don't have enough money to buy in the Sydney market, go somewhere else. If you don't know how to buy somewhere else, familiarise yourself with some really good help and let them buy it for you. If you can't buy a property that's worth $300,000 and you need a maximum of 20% deposit, you can get 10% or you need 10% deposits now, and even though the banks are tightening up, then, to me, you're not serious about property. If you can't save that deposit, I think you are just using your words to whinge. You don't really want it.

Phil Tarrant: Cool.

Brendon: Don't fire her up.

Courtney: And this is exactly how I need to step back at times, because this is how I get.

Brendon: This is why she doesn't bring it up at the local barbecues.

Courtney: I'm not allowed to bring it up at the local barbecues.

Phil Tarrant: You're banned, are you?

Brendon: It causes arguments. We want to keep our friend circle.

Phil Tarrant: If you're passionate about something, it's okay to talk about it.

Brendon: Yeah, yeah yeah.

Phil Tarrant: But, thanks for sharing your story guys, I really appreciate it.

Brendon: Thanks for having us, Phil.

Phil Tarrant: And get another couple and come back on and you're going to tell us how you're going, see if you've untangled this cross-collateralization with mortgages. That's a big point for our listeners. If you hear that as a recommendation, always stress test it and challenge it. Often a bank will try and get you to do that, but go and speak to a good mortgage broker and you guys are going down that path right now, you've got a good broker which is really cool, and a buyer's agent as well. So, expanding your horizon. It's cool. Thanks for joining us, guys.

            Remember to check out SmartPropertyInvestment.com.au. If you're not subscribing to our daily market intelligence and newsletter, please do. SmartPropertyInvestment.com.au/Subscribe. We're on all the social channels. Please also keep those reviews coming on iTunes, the team here do look at them and they do love them and they do appreciate the fact that we're getting that feedback. So, we'll keep doing what we're doing and building this community around property investment. I hope you are finding the education valuable as you create wealth through property. We'll be back again next time. Until then, bye.

Speaker 1: 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.


How this couple deals with conflict to grow their portfolio
Brendon and Courtney, investors
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Demii Kalavritinos

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