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How DIYBA’s Co-Founder Built a Six-Property Portfolio

All before the age of 33

In a recent profile by news.com.au, DIYBA co-founder Bobby Haeri detailed his property investment journey. How he built his impressive portfolio is outlined here, but to learn more, visit the article at news.com.au.

With a portfolio of six properties worth $2.7m by the ripe old age of 32, Bobby Haeri is not your typical investor. The secret to the Sydney-based entrepreneur’s success? Good old-fashioned hard work. “The reality is you need to sacrifice; maybe not go on a holiday for a few years, create a budget or you might have to work 12 hours a day.” As the co-director and founder of buyers agency The Investment Agency, Bobby has leveraged his extensive knowledge of the property game to secure his phenomenal portfolio. 

Although it might seem like Bobby was always destined to become the property expert he is now, he started from humble beginnings; straight into full-time work after high school by starting his own gardening business. At 18 years old, Bobby’s investment journey began. With the help of various government grants and stimulus options to support a five percent deposit, he bought his first investment property together with his sister — an off-the-plan two-bedroom apartment for $550,000 in St Ives, Sydney. Although his earnings were modest, by age 21 Bobby was able to use the equity from that first property to buy a second — a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in Killara that he purchased for $570,000.

One year later, Bobby got engaged to his now-wife Dionne and sold his Killara apartment. Thanks to the Sydney property boom, only 12 months later it sold for $100,000 more than he paid for it. With the profit he secured the purchase of a new family home in Brookvale, Sydney. Happily married and living with a combined salary, Bobby reflects that this is what allowed him to continue his portfolio growth; “you definitely want to [build a portfolio] with someone.”

Exploring markets further afield

In 2017, Sydney’s markets weren’t offering any serious cashflow returns. Instead, Bobby and Dionne set their sights on regional NSW, focusing on the town of Grafton. Learning that there was a lot of government infrastructure and building projects in the works, the couple purchased an established home for $290,000. They also bought an empty lot and subdivided it, building a three-bedroom two-bathroom house on each. Although the construction of each house cost $260,000, it only required a 10% down-payment, which was funded by their combined salary and the income from their other properties.

In 2018, Bobby sold the first property he bought with his sister for an increase of $790,000. He also moved his family to a more cost-effective property so that the rent of their family home could cover the mortgage repayments. During this time, both Bobby and his wife worked hard to pay down their mortgages, so as to put them in a good position to continue to expand their portfolio. They purchased their final two properties in Brisbane, Queensland — a $300,000 house in Kingston and a $302,000 property in Deception Bay.

Using lenders mortgage insurance to get ahead

Without the help of lenders mortgage insurance, or LMI, Bobby believes that his current portfolio would not have been impossible. LMI is required by the bank in the event that your deposit is less than 20% of the value of the property. It is a one-off, non-refundable and non-transferrable cost which aims to protect the lender from financial loss if the borrower isn’t able to meet their home loan repayments. This is either paid upfront, or added to your home loan.

As Bobby knows, sometimes it’s worth taking the upfront cost of the LMI to avoid missing out on better investment opportunities whilst waiting to save a 20% deposit. As an example, if you had the option to buy one property for $400,000, or two for the same price with the added LMI, then the benefit of the two properties growing in value far outweighs the cost of LMI — allowing you to accumulate properties twice as fast. Bobby used this very strategy to purchase both his Brookvale property and the properties in Brisbane.

Investing in a new future

Now as father to one-year-old Mia, Bobby has shifted his investment strategy. He plans to move all of his properties over to interest-only loans, allowing him to take some well-earned time off to spend with his young family.

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