How this property investor achieved financial freedom in the face of divorce
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How this property investor achieved financial freedom in the face of divorce

By Bianca Dabu
Money

While getting divorced can bring a negative effect on one's finances, property investor and manager Lisa Indge used this unfortunate event as a motivation to start her business of creating wealth through property.

According to her, the divorce actually gave her more flexibility about what she did with her cash. However, instead of buying a principal place of residence for herself and her three children before starting her own investment journey—like most property investors—Lisa chose to rent in order to save money while continuously growing her assets.

"I love investing in property. Yes, it has been successful from my perspective. [The divorce] gave me a lot of flexibility at that time," she said.

"What I did was I rented. I have three children, so I needed to have a property that was perhaps larger than what I could afford to purchase.

"The fact that you can negatively gear and also use depreciation as a tax tool does enable you to invest quite well while you're renting yourself... it gives you the opportunity to build well without purchasing a family home."

Lisa had quite an advantage in property investment as a business owner and a property manager, and she made sure to maximize her capabilities for building a good property portfolio.

Now that she has spent years actively engaging in the market, she shared some of her wisdom to budding property investors looking into achieving financial freedom and stability:

1. Cash flow is important

Her first advice: Buy more property.

"For me, as a business owner as well—and I've been a business owner for 11 years—cash flow was really something I understood. Having more confidence in that sphere could have helped certainly," Lisa said.

"When I purchased the property in Glebe, I actually did that using my businesses as collateral. It was a much more complex scenario, but it did enable me to purchase that property and it rents for $1,200 a week so the yield on it is actually quite good."

2. Talk to advisers—several of them

All successful property investors are likely to credit their financial team for a huge part of the success, and Lisa is no exception.

"It's quite hard for women, to be honest, because they often haven't been in control of the finances and they don't necessarily understand the mechanism of building wealth. I think it's important to talk to advisers, and not just one, of course," she said.

It is vital to get different perspectives from field experts and professionals before ultimately making your own smart decisions.

"Talk to a number of different advisers and do the numbers yourself. It's important that you understand what cash flow you need when you purchase a property," she added.

3. Educate yourself

While advisers can always be at an investor's service, it is important that one understands the value of their assets and the steps they need to take in order to achieve their goals, both short- and long-term. After all, no one is more responsible of your journey that yourself.

"You need to educate yourself because, ultimately, you are the only person responsible for building your wealth so you need to have those tools, including the knowledge of... what sort of properties you can purchase, how much additional in the bank you may need to cover those unusual situations," Lisa said.

4. Watch the market—literally and figuratively—before buying properties

The property investor and manager made it a habit to study and watch the market closely six months before actually buying a property. This strategy, according to Lisa, has helped her gain more opportunities to move her investment journey further forward.

She said: "It's important that you don't go out into the market place and purchase the first property you see, or the second property. I really recommend that you start watching the market at least six months prior to your purchase so that you can get a feel for how properties are selling."

"You need to have that market knowledge and the only way to gain that is to get out there and go and see properties... You won't know when opportunities are going to rise unless you have the market info," Lisa added.

Tune in to Lisa Indge's episode in The Smart Property Investment Show to find out why she doesn’t manage her own properties, how she negotiates rent increases, and what she looks for in investments, both within and outside of her self-managed super fund.

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How this property investor achieved financial freedom in the face of divorce
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