'My Favourite Investment' with John Flavell

By
16/3/2017


How long have you been investing in property?

I’ve been investing in property since I was 26 years old, when I purchased my first home with my (then) girlfriend. I have learnt a lot about the housing market in the years following my first property purchase – both from investing in property and working in the property and finance industries.

The best lesson I learned from purchasing and owning my first home was to never see property as a ‘quick win’ investment. Property can be a very lucrative investment strategy, so long as you have a patient attitude and are prepared to play the long game. 



What is your favourite or best investment and why? 

My favourite investment was definitely my first home purchase, which I bought in 1995 for $112,575. 

It was an older weatherboard house; it needed some work and it filled the spec of ‘worst house in the best street’. It was located on Kunyung Road in Mt Eliza, Victoria. If I stood in my front garden and strained my neck I could see the water from my home. 

Over a period of three years, I pulled the house apart and put it back together with my own hands. Over the first summer, I used a blowtorch and burnt all the old paint off the house, taking everything back to bare boards, and I repainted it. I hired a floor sander and polished all of the boards. I put in a new kitchen and even made some of the cabinets myself. 

Over three years there was not a part of that house that my hands didn’t touch. It was a labour of love.

I got married when I lived in that home, I had my first daughter while living in that home, and I built a whole life for myself and my family in that home. Then, in 1998, I moved to Sydney for work, and my wife and I made the decision to sell our home. We did well, selling it for $160,000.

What has this investment allowed you to do?

My first home purchase taught me a lot about the property market. When we sold the home in 1998 for $160,000 (a $47,425 profit), I thought we’d made a great financial decision. The sale of that first home allowed my wife, my daughter and I to buy another property in Sydney and officially start a new life for ourselves. 

While we made a good profit at the time, in hindsight, I realised we would have been better off retaining the home as an investment property. I have bought (and not sold) a number of homes since then, but in terms of significance, there has never been a home that was as important as Kunyung Road, Mt Eliza.

What is your ultimate goal as a property investor?

As a property investor, I really want to build a stable, successful investment portfolio. I love property and am an avid investor, but every decision I make with regard to my property purchases is incredibly strategic. I understand that property investment requires a long-term strategy, which is the exact strategy I employ.  


 

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