Be your own knight in shining armour – time to get building your own castle!

I thought I’d tell you a bit about my property history, to encourage you along with how easy and beneficial buying homes for yourself really is. With the economy the way it is currently, it is an opportune and (relatively) easy time to enter the market. Melbourne is a very property – centric city, we love our auctions, our quarter-acre blocks, and increasingly our townhouses and apartments. The amount of growth I got out of the little investment properties I owned – well, quite frankly I couldn’t have saved it from the wages I was earning.

Buying property as a young woman by myself was both scary and wonderfully empowering. I was living on a pretty tight budget, but successfully managed to nab myself a newly fitted out apartment on Raleigh Street, in Thornbury. Here is a photo of my first little apartment – how I loved it.100_0187I bought it for $195,000.00 back in 2005. Thornbury was a great neighbourhood, and had all the qualities that a good growth neighbourhood has. It was close to public transport and within 10 kilometres of the city. It had lots of older homes with permanent residents, and good amenities like Safeway, the Police, gorgeous All Nations Park in Northcote and lots of primary schools. It also had a rockin’ Greek Orthodox Church on St David Street. Areas in the inner north such as Preston, Thornbury and Reservoir are still very affordable, and a great way to start investing. Because these areas are so well serviced and full of families, you are assured of good rental returns too. I sold it in 2008 for $245,000.

I then went on to buy a little property on Rossmoyne Street, Thornbury – only a couple of streets away from Raleigh Street. And boy, WAS IT UGLY! It was so ugly, in fact that I don’t even have any pictures of it for you. It was mouldy and skankier than a Pussycat Doll. Its bathroom was like something out of a Silent Hill video game. But I put a couple of tenants in there – it didn’t quite cover the loan amount, but it did have low body corporate fees which made it OK to hold onto. I purchased it in 2007 for $165,000. I sold it in 2008 for $225,000.

I then decided I’d get creative and buy a bomb with ‘great bones’ in Preston. Now, I personally love Preston. It is a big mix of people, from new migrants all the way to really old skool Italians, Greeks and Turks. Preston has a fascinating history and there is lots of pre-war and post-war interesting architecture around, along with the most incredible vegie patches you’ve seen. I bought a three bedroom home in late 2007 for $320,000. Here is a picture of the old girl.

facademurrayBy the time I finished with her, she did look a bit better. It was a huge home and would have been a massive renovation job. I did enjoy my time there, as Preston also has Northland nearby, great public transport, the Preston Market and lots of families living nearby. Funnily enough, I bought all three of these homes through Love Real Estate, who are in both Thornbury and Preston. I got engaged within a year of buying this home, and I sold this home exactly a year after I purchased it for $355,000.

I didn’t come from a family of investors or property moguls. I really just gave it a crack and hung on to my properties as long as I could. I used the equity (or the amount the property increased in value according to the bank) to purchase secondary investment properties. The combined profit allowed me and my husband to purchase a funny little home in Carlton which has a lot of work to do, but has a great spirit (and excellent potential growth). We bought this one through Nelson Alexander. Here she is.100_0767

So, my purpose in writing this little history of my own experiences is: don’t let the ‘bigness’ of owning a home by yourself stop you from doing it. With the right loan from a good broker, a good little apartment in a neighbourhood with potential and some determination – you will be your own knight on a white horse. I am only 26 and have expertise in selling over 160 homes for other people – but I have also owned four by myself. I can help point you in the right direction so that you can begin getting up on your own feet – it really is the key to financial independence. I will be able to help you figure out what you want – and the next few steps you need to take in order to make it yours. Talk about good karma!

 Iolanthe Gabrie


Ruby Assembly Consultants


m.0403 475 919

Twitter with me peeps: http://twitter.com/Iolanthegabrie