Our place in the sun

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Newly engaged Sunshine Coast couple, Ben Everingham and Lisa Pullos, prove you don’t have to be a highroller or business mogul to become a successful property developer

The couple, both under 30, are well on the way to securing their financial future after using some renovation experience to graduate into property development. While the couple are currently still working, Ben as a marketing manager and Lisa as an interior designer, their goal is to use property development to establish a passive income of more than $100,000 per annum; what they consider financial freedom. This is how they are doing it.

Ben and Lisa’s investment timeline

2005 – Ben and Lisa pool their resources to break into the market
The couple begin their investment property portfolio by pooling resources with a friend to buy a two-bedroom unit in the Sydney suburb of Miranda for $360,000. Together they spend six months completing a $15,000 renovation before leasing it to some friends at $400 per week – a rental yield of 5.44%. The property was sold in November last year for $428,000.

2011 – The couple decide to start building their portfolio
Their next investment is a fivebedroom bedroom, two-bathroom home at San Remo on the NSW Central Coast, purchased for $213,000 in 2011. The couple again pool their resources with a friend and complete a quick $3,400 renovation including painting and new carpets, before renting it out at $400 per week – a rental yield of 9.4%. “For this one we used the Residex Top 100 Suburbs guide to decide on an area to invest,” Ben says. “We still have this property and are thinking of turning it into a dual occupancy in the future.”

2012 – They purchase their first principal place of residence
The couple purchase their first PPOR together, a three-bedroom home at Wurtulla on the Sunshine Coast for $320,000 in 2012. Again they complete a $20,000 renovation over six months and in 2013 sell the property for $390,000. “We did this renovation project ourselves using what we’d learnt on the others so we could get maximum profit when it was time to sell,” he explains.

2014 – Ben and Lisa decide developing is the way forward
With investment success already under their belts, the pair decide to focus their energy on increasing the profit margin of their investments by employing the experience of Lisa’s father – the owner of a successful Queensland building company. They sell their property at Wurtulla and use profits, in combination with the sale of their Miranda unit, for development capital. With the help of Lisa’s father they identify three land parcels and secure a team of advisors to help them with the development projects. “We decided that we only wanted positively geared assets, to start building dual occupancy properties, and to only do this going forward. So we sold the negatively geared assets and reinvested the money into something that would make an immediate gain and offer a rental yield of 8% or higher.”

Development #1 Kallangur 
In Kallangur the couple are building a two-storey, dual occupancy development, which includes a threebedroom, two-bathroom unit spread out over both storeys – and a onebedroom, one-bathroom unit on the ground floor. 

The total price for the project is $394,000 including land costs of $154,000 and construction costs of $240,000. Additional costs for the project total $20,950 including mortgage insurance, other insurances, council fees, bank fees, land tax, conveyancing, stamp duty and accounting. The couple expect an immediate capital gain of $60,000 upon completion and a combined rental income of $630 per week – a rental yield of 7.89%

Development #2 Griffon
Their Griffon project, a single storey, dual occupancy development, encompasses a three-bedroom, twobathroom unit and a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit. The total price for the project is $380,000. On completion the couple expect an estimated value of $420,000 and a combined rental income of $615.00 per week – a rental yield of about 8.4%.

Development #3 Birtinya Island
Located close to the new University Hospital at Birtinya Island, the couple’s new PPOR will be a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home with a purchase price of $431,000, including a land cost of $253,000 and construction cost of $178,000. The couple expect to achieve capital gains of about $30,000 upon completion and a potential rental yield of 5.98% should they ever decide to tenant the property.

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