In just four short years, the Refalo family has
doubled their investment portfolio, enabling them to explore the possibility of
a semi-retirement in the near future.
Back in 2017, Simon and Vanessa Refalo joined Phil Tarrant on The Smart Property Investment
Show to talk about their intentions to return to the market for the first time
And, in just four short years, the couple are now
three properties richer.
Joining the show in a follow-up appearance, Mr and Mrs
Refalo detailed their journey, which kicked off in Brisbane.
"In our last conversation with you, we had our
place of residence in Ingleburn, and then we bought our first investment
property in Brisbane, in Waterford West,” Mr. Refalo said.
The pair acquired their second investment property
for $430,000 in 2018. Located in the Brisbane suburb of Kippa-Ring, they relied
on the same buyer’s agent they used for their first property.
Mr. Refalo revealed that the property is now valued
at between $500,000 and $550,000.
"It’s an older style house, but really well looked
after, a nice block of land. I think it’s about 600 square meters, so there’s
potential. The yard’s big enough for a granny flat. I know they don’t matter as
much in Queensland, but there is potential for it.
"It’s really close to shops. It’s literally a
street away from the main shopping centre, and the beach is about a five-minute
drive down to Moreton Bay, so it’s a lovely little spot,” he explained.
Asked whether the path to finding and purchasing
their second investment property was difficult, Mr Refalo admitted it was
"When we were looking at another Queensland
property, our property buyer found a few, and he really liked that area,
Kippa-Ring. It was a pretty no-frills transaction. There weren’t a lot of
issues,” he said.
However, after buying their second Brisbane-based
investment, the pair decided to try their luck in the Sydney property
Entering the market with a budget of around $600,000,
their buyer’s agent was quite sceptical they’d be able to find what they were
Their search eventually took them to Western
Sydney, including Penrith, Narellan, and Badgerys Creek.
The couple eventually found – and bought – a
dual-occupancy property in Oxley Park for $575,000.
While they admit that having the dual-income really
helped their portfolio reach a stage where it’s verging on positively geared,
they did have some reservations.
"One thing we were initially concerned about was,
there were a lot of townhouses, and so we were concerned they weren’t really
owner-occupiers, and surprisingly the rate of owner-occupier occupancy was
quite high. People were buying those townhouses to live in it, and not rent
them out. So, I think that made for a more appealing prospect for us,” said Mrs
Mr. Refalos said that "on the outside, it’s nothing
appealing”, but they benefited from internal renovations done by the previous
owner and the fact that the property came with one tenant included.
Going forward, the Refalos aren’t planning to get
"Pretty simple, I think. It really is just buy and
hold, and just see what these properties do. That’s the simple answer.”
"I think the acquisition phase is finished, and
we’re really just focusing on smashing down the debt as much as we can,” he
According to Mrs. Refalo, the great thing about
property management is that it really starts to open up your choices.
"We’re starting to have conversations about, ‘Well,
how do we prepare our kids for maintaining and managing this portfolio,
extending it for generations to come?’ We would never have had that
conversation in its early days, but it’s an exciting conversation that I don’t
think we could have imagined two years ago.”
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Tuesday, 20 July 2021