Two weeks was all it took for Brisbane man An Vo to find his dream property and pay down a deposit — and he owes it all to a long-dead banking mogul.
The 29-year-old bought his one bedroom, one bathroom apartment in Brisbane’s Bowen Hills in January after being inspired by a famous quote from Baron Rothschild, who reportedly once said “the time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets”.
While those words may sound brutal, Mr Vo said they motivated him to strike fast when market conditions were just right.
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“I’ve been watching market commentary over the last few years and the Brisbane market has been oversaturated with apartments in particular,” the venture capitalist told news.com.au.
“There’s a lot of doom and gloom about Brisbane’s market but the price point was enough of a buffer so I could safely invest even if property prices dropped by 0.3 per cent this year, as some are suggesting.
“I did all my research and knew what I wanted to buy and the price I was comfortable buying at, so I didn’t spend too much time messing around — I only inspected around three or four properties, but in my experience, it looks like a buyer’s market.”
Mr Vo, who earns $100,000 per year, paid $230,000 for the fully-furnished flat located close to his workplace, Transition Level Investments.
He saved a deposit of more than 20 per cent over a two-year period after building up an investment portfolio and then deciding to “rotate some equity into property”.
In this time, he also developed some savvy saving strategies by cutting costs, using a high-interest term deposit, hacking credit card points and buying groceries in bulk.
But he said the single biggest thing he had done to bulk up his savings was to do an audit of his expenses several years ago.
“My expenses were way more than I thought — I was eating out and travelling quite a bit, so it was important for me to see what I was spending my money on,” he said.
“It was a terrible use of money and I needed that accountability and transparency.
“It was the biggest eye opener and now I encourage all my friends to do it too so they can see where their money is going — it’s liberating when it’s done.”
After completing the audit, Mr Vo started “religiously” tracking his spending using banking and credit card apps. He also cancelled subscriptions like Spotify which he didn’t use regularly, and switched from gym and pool passes to pay-as-you-go options.
That strategy ended up saving him “a couple of thousand” per year.
He managed to cut down his food spend to just $100 to $150 per week by bringing sandwiches into work and cooking his dinner in bulk, and he also took advantage of credit card points to get the best deals on his frequent flights interstate.
Mr Vo also enlisted a team of advisers, including a mortgage broker, an experienced solicitor and a building inspector to help him in his due diligence, as well as looking at all the available data and research he could find on the Bowen Hills area.
“I bought with a margin of safety to protect me on the downside should prices trend down in the short term,” he said.
“I also knew what was important to me in terms of proximity to work, amenities and transport which allowed me to move very quickly with conviction when a suitable opportunity came up.
“I believe young people are too fearful when purchasing property which stops them from compounding their capital gains over longer stretches of time.”
Mr Vo said he now had “the bug” and that he planned to invest in more property in the future.
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