investor-q-a

Investing tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for help

By Bianca Dabu
Simon Grant

Simon Grant is admittedly a stubborn man, and this has led to a few blunders in his property investment journey. However, instead of wallowing on the setback, he took accountability and reassessed his plans to get back on track and continue achieving his goals, both for himself and for his family.

One of his secrets, he told Smart Property Investment, is knowing when to move on and asking the right people for help.

Tell us about your Sydney purchase.

So we bought that unit (in Sydney) with all good intentions of thinking, okay, Sydney’s a world city. Sydney, it will eventually go up in value. It is smack bang in the center of Sydney. So you can’t get any better location. And all of those principles [hold] true except for the fact that there are so many units in Sydney now. It’s a studio with no parking and it was in a very very large complex which had three different stratas – pools, gyms ... the works. So the strata fees were exorbitant.

Over time, when Meriton decided to offload a few of them, the price dropped. So we then started with negative equity. It has just taken a long time to drag back up there. I’m the ridiculously stubborn person who – my wife kept saying, ‘We need to sell this’, and I’m not going to sell it and make a loss. I’m going to hang onto this thing.

Did it give you a hard time?

Yeah, massively hard time. But that’s fine because I deserve it. We held onto it, held onto it and ended up selling it last year, and we ended up making a smaller profit off it. It took us a while to get back to a point where we felt comfortable. We stayed in a house in Kareela for eight years and through that time did some renovations. Managed to sell and move to where we are now in Caringbah South in 2011.

When did you decide to work with agents?

End of last year, we’ve started working with a property group. So we’ve managed to do that fortuitous through a person that I know. Set them a task and we ended up buying a property down in Adelaide which we settled on at that start of this year. (We now have) two massive properties. Principal place of residence, and we have just repurchased so I will take it back a notch, I guess. Our journey has been both principal place of residence and investment.

How would you describe your financial team now?

There are steps you can take and ways you can do (property investing) and for me, right now, it’s about building our team. I have got a good mortgage broker now who works well with us and structured out loans really well for this last purchase. My accountant, he’s been good. There are also buyer’s agents and buyer’s advocacy groups.

What’s your advice to budding investors regarding financial teams?

Don’t just be stuck with one and think that is what we need to do. Ask the right questions [to] people. If you are going to buy, it is an investment and it’s a big commitment. You are not buying a new car for $20,000 – it’s half a million dollars plus in a lot of instances.

More importantly, for those people out there who are considering a property and whether to get into investing, you’ve got to be doing it [for] the right reasons and the right way.

Properties are always big investments, and while it is undeniably risky to engage in markets, investors can make sure that they get it right by talking to the right people – professionals whose jobs are to help you navigate your way through your investment journey in the most efficient, most fruitful way.

After all, whats the harm in saying, “I need help”?

Tune in to Simon Grant’s episode in The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about his thoughts on educating youth on finance and the lessons he learnt from the few blunders he has made throughout his investment journey.

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Investing tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for help
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