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Property Investor Profile
September 2017

Ralph Nicholson is an experienced property investor, now mortgage broker and mentor with The Property Education Company. Here is his story….

When did you buy your first property?

I bought my first property at the age of 23 in Newport in 1983, paid $40,000 for it and by the time I settled on it in 60 days, it was worth $70,000. It was built in 1905, I did a full renovation on it and sold it in 2002 for $280,000. It seems like a great return but it would now be worth $1.3m suggesting that hanging onto property is the big game! Back then I didn’t realise you could leverage against your equity – it was a different market then with less players in the lending space. I totally understand the fear related to buying your first property, but you need to take that leap of faith to get started!

When did you start borrowing against equity to start buying more properties?
Probably started doing that back in the early 2000s.

What does your portfolio look like now?

Yarraville property

I currently have 12 properties including my home and are neutrally geared over my whole portfolio. Most are in Queensland and are positively geared, others are in Victoria and NSW, but would buy in Fremantle at the moment as I think it is going to do well over the next 2 years. We all know that the WA market is dropping, but if you buy now there will be minimal competition allowing you to negotiate very hard. It is wise to have a plan when you start on your investment journey, but be flexible enough to understand that your strategy will evolve over time as you get better at investing.


Williamstown Property

Tell us about the time you bought 3 properties in Queensland in one trip?

Yes, I did do that. I planned to borrow directly through NAB but they didn’t like the idea at all so I went to see Louise and got the deposits through NAB and loans through CBA. When you get to a certain number of properties you may need to look at alternate lenders. Also, if you don’t have a substantial income, your ceiling might be 3 properties, and that might be enough for your circumstances and your long term goals.
What is the best piece of advice you would give a person new to investing?
Never underestimate the value of a mentor. Align yourself with someone who understands this business. I know this might be difficult because we all err on the side of “everyone wants to rip me off”, but in reality, there are people out there like me who are willing to share their knowledge, mistakes and help you navigate the pitfalls.
Once you have investment properties, what is the single most important part of the process?
Without a doubt, a great property manager. This person or organisation can be your greatest asset.
Final comment:
Property investing needs to complement your life and lifestyle, not ruin it. If you are mentored and educated about it, you can make it a worthwhile and enjoyable journey. You must monitor your investments and determine how they are performing. It is important to develop strong relationships with a quality mortgage broker and an investment savvy accountant. You need to have an “A” team of professionals working with you.

Property Investor of the Year 2016 – Runner up

Ralph recently featured in Your Property Investment magazine as the runner up in The Property Investor of the Year. If you would like to read more about Ralph and his commentary on where to buy please click here .
We will be running an on-line series in November to help you learn the skills to navigate your way through the property purchasing process. More details to follow shortly.
Have a great long weekend and GO TIGES!

Quote of the Day:

“Nothing great rises out of a poor foundation”

– Ralph Nicholson