How these investors ‘accidentally’ created a multi-million dollar property empire

By Rachel Horan | 05 Apr 2022

Adi Budi first stumbled into property investing 13 years ago when he was looking for a home to live in with his new wife. Today, they have created a multi-million dollar property empire.

A lot can happen in two years, and these savvy investors are proof of that. Beginning their property investment journey in 2009 “almost by accident”, Adi Budi and his wife Lia now have an impressive seven properties under their belts, making up a property portfolio worth over $4 million. We last interviewed the couple back in 2019, at which point they owned five properties, but much has changed since then. Within two years, the couple expanded their multi-million dollar property empire with two additional properties - one of which is located overseas - and they are shaking up how they buy.

AT A GLANCE

Current number of properties in portfolio: 7
Years investing: 13
Portfolio value: $4 million

Where it all began

Adi and Lia began their property investment journey 13 years ago when on the hunt for a home to settle into as newlyweds. The townhouse they settled on (and are still living in to this day) sparked an interest in property investment, having watched their parents succeed at it. Just a year later, the couple decided to dive headfirst into the property market, buying two properties and getting the ball rolling on their investment journey.

But they didn’t go in blindly. Having watched their parents build their own successful property empires, they understood the basics of how property works and, importantly, how to make it work for them.

“Property is not something that was totally foreign for us. Our parents back home, in Indonesia, also invest in property,” Mr Budi told Your Investment Property Magazine.

“A well-managed property investment portfolio is like a personal small business that won’t fade with the passage of time.”

With this money mindset driving their decisions, Mr and Mrs Budi went on to purchase a number of properties since then, even recently dipping their toes into the United States real estate market.

After more than a decade of weathering the ups and downs of the property market, Adi Budi and his wife Lia have amassed an impressive property portfolio.

Mr Budi told Your Investment Property Magazine in 2019 that his key strategy has been to buy and hold. In 13 years, they have only sold one property - a unit in Wentworth Point they purchased with Adi’s brother - which was sold in 2018 as the couple awaited the birth of their second child together.

“We make sure we always generate sufficient growth to achieve our objective of long-term wealth creation, but we also focus on cash flow for affordability and long-term sustainability,” Mr Budi said.

“That way, we can weather different economic circumstances.”

Total equity of $2.174 million: How did they do it?

The question on everyone’s minds: ‘how did they do it?’ You’ll read clickbait headlines along the lines of ‘how this person bought their first home at 18 years old', and the answer is generally, ‘well… their parents basically did it for them’. Though they were inspired by their parents' success, this property empire was built entirely by the couple.

Mr Budi said that they never choose properties with only the top line, which generates growth only, or the bottom line, which just offers high rental yields.

“Both factors are meant to complement each other and can co-exist well in order to support a well-balanced portfolio that is sustainable,” Mr Budi said.

“We definitely need both yield and growth, and so we try to find that sweet spot.”

In terms of employment, Adi is a Supply Chain Management Specialist and Lia is a Product Claim Officer. Given they have two sources of income, they would have a higher borrowing capacity, which likely helped them get started.

Mr Budi said he believes property is a very tangible investment and finds it easy to understand.

“We have always treated [property investing] like our own small business,” Mr Budi said.

“That's in fact the mentality that we have always stuck to since we started and, thankfully, that has carried us over time to where we are now.”

He said property has the “most characteristics” when compared to any other assets, which has helped him learn and grow.

“[We believe] if we are disciplined enough and continue to learn and build our experiences over time, we will generate significant wealth; wealth that can be passed over generations,” Mr Budi said.

“In the end, we all need somewhere to live!”

While property is their main investment, Mr Budi said they also have a small amount of shares and unit trusts, but that they are mostly in REIT/Property Funds.

$4 million property portfolio: A timeline

Standfirst: Seven properties deep, their property portfolio is currently worth an estimated $4,099,000 (including their primary place of residence). But how did they do it? Let’s walk through the timeline of when each property was purchased, where it was purchased, and how they chose to do it.

Top Suburbs : east victoria park , mayfield , geelong west , willoughby east , dulwich hill

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