Sydney man owns two properties starting at $40,000

Sydney man owns two properties starting at $40,000

The Woolworths employee, single and in his mid-30s, thought he’d missed his chance to buy a home. Then he had an aha moment.

A Sydney man managed to snag two properties in one year and is on track to buy a third since he only has $40,000 in savings.

Brendon Hillsley, from Kellyville Ridge in north-west Sydney, thought it might be too late to enter the real estate market as a single man in his mid-30s.

“It was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to invest in property but never thought it would be feasible,” Mr Hillsley told “You hear the stories that you need massive deposits.”

The Woolworths employee and former butcher started researching real estate and came across a book that made his dream more tangible.

“What interested me was how to build a $40,000 real estate portfolio. I had $40,000. I read it cover to cover.”

The aspiring homeowner recalled reaching out to the author “right after” to help him on his real estate journey.

The book was written by Lloyd Edge, a real estate agent who owns 18 properties of his own worth $15 million.

With Mr Edge’s advice, the Sydney man was able to purchase two properties within 12 months, and amid rising property prices in 2021 as key renovations, his portfolio increased in value by 37 per cent.

In July 2020, Mr Hillsley bought a property in regional NSW, in Armidale, for US$229,000 after being told homes in the area were more affordable and also had a high rental yield.

The 1,000-square-foot block featuring an older 1960s home was listed for $258,000, but he was able to negotiate the price down and save him some money that would later be used for his stamp duty and renovations.

“When Covid had just struck the market had taken a little nose dive,” explained Mr Hillsley.

“$40,000 was more than enough to cover the deposit and lenders’ mortgage insurance (LMI).”

Mr Hillsley chose to pay 12 percent of the home price and covered the other 8 percent needed for the 20 percent down payment through LMI.

He said “apparently that (12 percent) is the sweet spot” as it maximized the money he could keep in his own pocket while also not having to pay an exorbitant LMI amount.

The remaining money, almost $20,000, went to renovations.

After six months of renovating the home – with Mr Hillsley calling some of his traditional friends for discounted rates – he began renting it out.

“When I bought the property it was $305, but when I hired tenants it was $360 (because of the renovation),” he explained.

It is a positive investment.

In another stroke of luck, Mr. Hillsley had his property revalued and the bank valued it at $290,000.

“So I released $50,000 of equity.”

With the extra $50,000, Mr. Hillsley could jump onto his next real estate transaction.

Exactly one year to the date of his first purchase, he bought a home in Cessnock, in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, in July last year amid the Australian real estate frenzy.

“It was a little closer to Sydney, it was poised to have more growth,” Mr Hillsley recalled.

And that has definitely come true.

He bought the three-bedroom, one-bathroom home for $385,000, but it was recently appraised at $550,000 — and that was while he was still in the midst of renovations.

“A few months ago my car’s engine blew up, I used the money I had then for my renovation,” he said.

“I needed some money to buy a new car, so I asked for a property revaluation.”

Here he was thrilled to learn the property’s value had skyrocketed by $165,000.

Mr Hillsley has fixed his mortgage so he doesn’t have to worry about rising interest rates for now.

In total, both properties cost him $614,000, but they are now valued at $840,000 combined.

That’s a 37 percent increase on its initial investment.

This whole process has taught Mr Hillsley to be a strict saver.

“I learned about delayed rewards, I really tightened the belt buckle, did some budgets and spreadsheets and started managing my money better, controlling it again, it became very doable,” he said.

“For me, a lot was a lot of impulse buying and eating out too often, especially when you work in an office with nice cafes.

“Investing is key to retirement and to get off the hamster wheel, you’ll never get to the point where you can comfortably retire.”

Read related topics:Sydney Woolworths

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