14 Dec How Callan went from property woe to win
There’s no doubt that Melburnian Callan was dedicated to the idea of property investment from his teenage years.
In fact, so keen was he to get a start on the property ladder that he saved about 30 per cent of his wage – when he was an apprentice electrician – from the age of 19.
He diligently put away $100 a week and watched it grow over the years – especially since at the time there was a government incentive that added to his nest egg.
By the time he was 23, Callan was ready to buy his first property but he admits his desire to buy outweighed his knowledge.
“I was just so keen to get in but I had done absolutely minimal research. I hadn’t done anything,” he says.
“All I knew was that I always wanted to buy properties and rent them out and they would just go up in value – and everything would be sweet.”
“So I ended up signing a contract and getting an apartment off the plan, which was probably one of the biggest mistakes I made.”
That two-bedroom unit was located in Carrum Downs in Melbourne, with a contract price of $325,000.
The development actually took three years to build, and thankfully the Melbourne market had held firm during that time so he was able to settle on it.
Still, he has regrets.
“I was young and keen to get into the market. The guy who talked me into it was obviously getting some sort of kickback from the developer,” he says.
“I know how it works now but I didn’t know how it worked back then.”
“I think I did get off lucky because it is positively geared and it did go up a little bit in value – but it was nothing like what I could’ve done, you know?
Within a year of signing the contract, Callan realised he needed to learn more about property investment if he was serious about it. So he subscribed to magazines and started reading property investment books.
During his research phase, he came across a firm called Propertyology and liked what he saw.
Propertyology’s track record, multiple award wins and their investment strategy were all attractive to him so he reached out to the team.
“It was just so attractive to me. I wish that I’d found them when I was 23 but you can’t win them all and I think I’ve made the right decision now going with them,” he says.
Now 27, Callan engaged Propertyology when he was 24 and bought a property with the firm a year later.
Callan admits that his previous experience had left him with a bad taste in his mouth, but he still believed in property as a solid investment strategy.
Thankfully, he was soon to learn that Propertyology was the polar opposite of his previous experience.
“Obviously I felt I had been spruiked before [with the off-the-plan purchase],” he says.
“But it was different with Propertyology. The most notable, and the thing that stood out to me the most, was the fact that they always reassure you that they were working for you, but they actually also have a contract that they write up and they actually put a bunch of clauses in there that are just all about keeping them accountable.”
“And the fact they’ve actually written it up and put it out on the table… You didn’t have to ask. That gave me full confidence. They’ve signed it and it’s basically like a contract that I should be giving them.”
During the early days of working with Propertyology, Hobart was suggested as the best location for his investment dollars.
Callan says he was temporarily taken aback as it was a location that had never crossed his mind. His concerns were soon completely allayed by the team, however.
“Then I watched the half an hour of video on their research and what was going on down there. I was just amazed at the level of research that they’d actually done and how far they’ve gone into it,” he says.
“The fact that I hadn’t even thought about it. I had to look it up on the map, just to get a feel for what it actually was. But the level of the information and research they’d done. It just filled me with confidence again.”
The team began negotiating on Callan’s behalf and he was soon the owner of a three-bedroom, two-bedroom, two-storey property for $360,000, which was negotiated down by Propertyology buyer’s agent, Bryan Loughnan.
The property was soon tenanted and attracted $360 per week. Today, however, its weekly rent is $370.
And subsequent to the property settlement in November 2015, its value has already increased by an estimated 20 per cent in just 2 years.
Callan also has plans to undertake an optional renovation on the property, which he hopes will boost the rent to about $440 to $450 per week.
“One of the reasons I love it so much is that I can add value to it. Everything’s original on the inside of it. Everything was built in 1987,” he says.
“It’s just got really good bones. I’ve gone down and had a look at it since. All the fixings and fixtures. It’s a good quality property… there’s nothing that’s not functional.”
Callan has just returned from a five-month trip overseas and intends to keep living a rentvesting lifestyle while he’s young.
While entry-level prices in Melbourne and Sydney make it difficult for first homebuyers, Callan is living proof that you can invest while still in your 20s.
“There are a thousand ways to skin a cat and I think that the way people usually think is that there’s only one way to do it,” he says.
“The reason that I was able to do it was because I researched it and had a look and found a strategy that works for me.
“My strategy might not work for everyone but there are thousands of ways out there to do it. If you want to do it, I think you can always find a way.”
Still only 27, Callan sure has time on his side and he intends to use it wisely.
He hopes to keep buying property, using Propertyology, so that by the time he’s in his mid 40s, he doesn’t need to work.
It’s clear that Callan has gone from property woe to property win within a short period of time.
And what’s most impressive is that he didn’t let that poor first experience put him off property investing for life.
“It might set me back a few years but in the end I think I had to make the mistake and I had to learn because that’s what drove me to find the best of the best after that,” he says.
“Had I not made such a big mistake, maybe I would have just kept doing my own thing and maybe not have researched as much.
“But I think having realised I made such a big mistake, it made me make sure the next one wasn’t a mistake. That’s why I landed on Propertyology.”
Propertyology is a national property market researcher and buyer’s agency who buys properties exclusively for investors in strategically-chosen locations all over Australia. The multi-award-winning firm’s success includes being a finalist in the 2017 Telstra Business Awards and 2016 winner of Small Residential Agency of the Year in REIQ Awards For Excellence. Managing Director Simon Pressley is a REIA Hall Of Fame Inductee and a three-time winner of the REIA and REIQ Buyers Agent of the Year award.