My wife and I moved to Sydney in 2017 to capture some of that opportunity that has always been available across the ditch; higher wages, more jobs, lower cost of living, etc. We saved a good portion of our wages while we were there, and periodically transferred our money over the Tasman to offset the mortgage we held on our family home in the Waikato. After a while we realised that we weren’t using our capital very efficiently and we decided to sell our home, and use the equity to purchase two residential investment properties. While we had been landlords for a good 18 months, we hadn’t really been investors in truth because our money was tied up in an asset where the yield was pretty poor.
We started by offering to sell the family home to the tenants that had been living there the entire time we’d been overseas and they managed to get a deposit together and buy it. That made it all very easy for us, but as soon as we knew the sale was going to happen we had to start thinking about where we should be buying investment properties. There was a short amount of searching before we realised that very few real estate agents understand yield. They’ll make statements like, “this is a perfect family home or even your first investment property.” That’s just them widening their buyer pool. When we would ask what the weekly rent would be they would have no idea, they certainly didn’t know what the yield was. Through Facebook we stumbled across Nick Gentle who was a frequent property commentator. I reached out to him and he explained that he was part of the iFindProperty business and once we understood what they could offer we realised it was exactly what we needed.
Nick connected me with a couple of finders from around New Zealand who hunt in their local areas and after telling them all what we were looking for, we chose to work with Ben. The primary driver for the choice was yield and location. We wanted to achieve a 7% yield which was much higher than the 4.5 – 5.5% yields that we were managing to find online from our PC in Sydney. The location was also appealing because we knew the Waikato pretty well, having lived there for years. We signed the paperwork which involved carefully articulating the type of deal we wanted Ben to find and also outlined our budget. I seem to remember that Ben actually had a deal that he wanted to talk to us about before we had formally signed, so we knew he was capable. Once signed he shared all the details about the deal and that’s what we ended up buying.
The best part about it was that we could confidently buy it sight-unseen because Ben had done a comprehensive walk through and had even made recommendations about improvements that could raise the rent. He had an outline of potential future development of the site to hugely improve our return down the track too and it’s still something that we plan to do. Working with iFindProperty was also brilliant because they already have all the intel about which markets are good and which are poor at the time. They already know what type of deals are achieving the best yields, and they can spot properties that are under-rented or have development potential which is a huge part of making a deal work. I’d highly recommend their services for those overseas, in fact we’ve used them since even though we are now based in NZ. For the second property we worked with Chris in Christchurch and if anything, it’s an even better deal which surprised us. Using IFindProperty let’s us buy like experts without having to put in the time to actually become one.