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The Regional Investors

Borderless investors from regional Australia. Building a property portfolio from scratch. No Lotto, No Inheritance, just two PAYG 20-something’s

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Home stretch 🏚 The roof is on and now we’re onto the finishing touches, tensioning roller doors, getting the trim on and a PA door hung. Renovating around full time jobs ain’t easy and you feel like you’re getting nothing done through the week but all the “work till dark” arvos come in handy when it gives you a good run at the big jobs on the weekend. This week will be spent; - Chasing up an insurance cover note so the bank can start coughing up. - Getting the transfer limit upped on the bank account so we don’t have any delays getting contractors paid. - Building a laundry wall inside the house so we can move the power and disconnect the rest of the house to enable us run power to the shed.

The shed is slowly coming together 🏚 The boys got the shed frame up pretty quickly and were then delayed by 2 crucial pieces of c-channel which weren’t delivered. A quick call to Widespan sheds and they were on the next truck out and things were back on the road. We’ve been slowly poking along sheeting the shed and stripping the skirting out of the house over the weekend and after work each day till dark. Next on the agenda will be getting power to the shed so that we can disconnect the house and rip right into the rest of the demo.

I looove uncovering the story behind this house. This picture shows the wall and floor which were previously covered by a built in wardrobe. The muddy mark on the wall and floor show the level of a flood going through the house prior to one of its previous owners lifting it. The rest of the house may have forgotten about being flooded once upon a time but it was pretty cool to see the remnants of the flood still leaving their mark on the house. A few other reminders that this house was once on the ground include; tiny steps that once led into the entry’s, that have since been covered with new steps. As well as an “outhouse” that has been reattached to the side of the house so that it remained on the ground while the rest was lifted. It’s also pretty cool to see how solid the support is under our house lift which was done back in the day compared to other houses that are currently being lifted in the neighbourhood. On a finance note we have now completed our contribution for the renovation costs and it’s time for the bank to start coughing up. They’ve requested a few specific items on the builders insurance to be detailed before they pay up, but fingers crossed we get that sorted this week and it’s smooth sailing for the rest of the loan stages. 😅

Bye cupboards 👋🏼 They say when God closes a door he opens a window. So today I followed suite, they failed to mention when you open that window you can throw a lot of stuff out of it and into the trailer 💁 The beauty of demolition is that it requires no skill whatsoever, anyone can get in and give it a . Doing as much work as you can saves a whole lot of money you can put towards something else. This weekend is the start of a bit of internal demo and continued work on the shed.

Jeffy and Jacob have been hard at it today getting the shed started. Standing 4m tall frames is no easy feat, but they’ve managed to get there. Roller doors go in tomorrow as well as more bracing etc. very exciting to see something take after such a slow start!

Concreting done ✅ This slab and deck piers would definitely be considered overkill in most areas but unfortunately for us the highly reactive soil means everything had to be engineered to the max to minimise movement in the future. While it’s more expensive now, it’s cheap insurance given the extent of our Reno plans....... and necessary for DA approval 😂 A huge thanks to McDonald Concrete who handled all things concrete including all the steel work for the piers.

There goes half the yard 😅 I knew the shed was big, but seeing it starting to take makes it so real. This bad boy is huuuuuge 😍

Here comes the Shed! Which reminds reminds me, I had better drop off that commencement letter to council 😳 On a positive note last week we got the builders contract signed and insurance details to our mortgage broker which means our loan can officially be funded 💸💸💸💸💸💸💸 Fingers crossed things move pretty quickly from here

Being realistic ✌🏼 While I’d love to think that every part of this Reno is going to go perfect as planned, the reality is it won’t. Does it keep me up at night? Nope. Today was spent working on one of many back up plans. Checking out flooring samples in the event that our plan to stain the existing floorboards doesn’t come off. Here’s an unexpected hot contender “Spotted Gum” which is not exactly what I had in mind initially and this photo really doesn’t do it justice. Luckily flooring is one of the last decisions that we need to make, so who knows what we will end up with by the time we get there 🤷🏼‍♀️ Tomorrow’s forecast feels a lot like tapware and tiles..... maybe with a side of council paperwork, finalising contracts and working on a timeline for trades.

Finance Approved ✅ ✅✅🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 The moment we’ve all been waiting for! This means we just have to wait for our loan documents to arrive so we can sign and get things underway. In the meantime we’ve nailed the “stormwater plan” as you can see by this sweet sketch 😂 It’s been sent back to council and fingers crossed we’ve now ticked all boxes to get our construction certificate. A huge thanks to the council lady who walked me through exactly what she needed for the stormwater plan and was super patient while I asked all my questions. People say there’s no such thing as a silly question but I bet she probably begs to differ after today 🤷🏼‍♀️

Bye Shed 👋🏼 Jacob had a big weekend finishing the Colorbond fence after I eventually got the right panels 🤦🏻‍♀️ (metrol trimclad Colorbond FYI) and making a start on taking down the exisiting shed. Now this shed has caused a few dramas. Because we were removing it ourselves we didn’t have the removal included in our quote for the reno. This meant the valuer estimated the removal at $20K on our behalf 🙄. We have now got that cleared up by providing another quote for its removal but having to go back and forth has delayed the decision for our finance. Fingers crossed that we get approval this week and can get stuck into it🤞🏼. In other news I also need to work out what is needed for the stormwater plan for the new shed and get that through to council so we can get our construction certificate and permission to get the slab and piers started. We’re getting pretty good at jumping hurdles at this point. Lookout for a couple of champion hurdlers at the next olympics, we will be the ones knocking every set down and tripping over ourselves 😂

Failed again 😂 I Definitely thought we would be putting in the last few fence panels this weekend. But fun fact for you; Colorbond is the paint type not the fence brand. The fence in the pic is Metrols trimclad colorbond fence. Which is absolutely not the se as Lysaughts “colorbond” fence. Aka the fence that Casey ordered 🤷🏼‍♀️ (to be fair I did order both lots of fencing though) They absolutely look the se from a distance (aka on the internet) and you could be forgiven for ordering the wrong one right? But they have very different posts, different rails and different sheeting profiles. I think the screws are the se though so that’s a win. So here I waiting another week for another couple of fence panels to turn up. The lesson here is to always check that you’re ordering the se stuff! On that note I triple checked that the shed we ordered last week is turning up in Colorbond Woodland grey TRIMCLAD. So on the bright side, I’m pretty grateful our fence hiccup is a $200 mistake not a $10,000 one. Moree Ag Supplies have also been great in allowing us to exchange for the right panels 🙏🏽 so if you do need some lysaught Colorbond (most of the Colorbond in Moree) then go hit them up

Front yard progress shot. The front yard has been slowly happening while we focus on the rest. The fences have come down and been redone (2 panels away from being done anyway). We now have a lawn and the start of a lawn on the nature . The hedge at the front will grow through the fence hiding the basic fence panels and creating privacy. Railway sleepers provide definition and gives the impression that effort has gone into it. Mop tops create a lovely feature either side of the entry. A mix of succulents, agapanthus, bromeliads and other low maintenance foliage will fill the garden beds surrounding the lawn. Once we remove the existing concrete path, the lawn will continue to the driveway and we will put in a decorative stone path from the gate to the front steps. We will slowly fill the garden up keeping an eye out for anyone getting rid of plants on gumtree and buy swap sell. This will not only keep our costs down but also add some local character to our garden.

Guess who finally has a valuer coming this week to look at the hot mess that is our shack in progress 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♂️ Excited is an understatement. It’s been a whole lot of paperwork, curse words and more paperwork to get to this point. We’ve finalised every last tile and PowerPoint that’s going into this place and submitted it to our mortgage broker. The Valuer will value the property in its current state, as well as the predicted value from our proposed plans and product selections. This then determines how much we can borrow, which we are hoping will be 100% of renovation costs. We expect the valuation of its current state to come back at around the $230-240K mark. A current desktop valuation has the house at $230K but we are hoping the valuer can get us a smidge higher. The better the valuation, the less cash we need to put into fund the renovation. The less cash we need to put into this, the better because this allows us to keep saving for that next house deposit. Our final renovation budget is $170K bringing us to a total spend of $385K, $30K over what I would spend on this property if it were purely an investment. But because we plan to live here for 5-10 years we want to enjoy it, have it the way we like it and make sure it suits our lifestyle needs in the meantime. We’ve been watching the real estate market since purchasing and there still has not been a property like our planned finish for under $400K in the area. We’re confident that although $385K is above our ideal spend, we won’t be overcapitalising. Even if we have, it won’t matter when we rent it out because at at estimated $450-500pw the yield is excellent, the ongoing maintenance will be minimal and even if it doesn’t go up in value in 30 years it will be paid off anyway.

There’s unskilled labour then there’s unskilled labour. Technically fencing comes under this banner. With the right tools anyone can do it, but in this instance we got a professional. We had the fun of removing the old fence and clearing the fence line with the help of our neighbours to keep our costs to a minimum. Then we handed over to Mark from IK Fencing. In one day he has completed what would have taken us probably 3-4 super un-fun weekends. He’s done a much better job than we would have and it’s actually going to be finished tomorrow. This is our final fence and excited to have a finished dog proof yard is an understatement!

Annnnnd there they are! Renovators gold aka. Floorboards These bad boys are in excellent condition throughout which makes our job soooo much easier. While we couldn’t rip up the carpet everywhere during inspections to make sure the boards were in good nick throughout. We had a really good look underneath the house and were pretty confident, that going off the ones in the hallway, the rest of the house would be similar. This was ultimately a wild assumption that could have really if we were wrong. We are going to polish the floorboards in the entry hall, kitchen/lounge and maybe the study as well. Instead of the traditional yellow look of polished floorboards they will be stained either “black Japan” or “walnut” depending on a few tester spots. This is for a few main reasons. - A darker floor will make it easier to blend joins and imperfections where we need to - A darker floor makes spaces look bigger than they actually are, creating depth and contrast. - Hopefully it looks

Sweat the small stuff. When we were looking to purchase house 3 I pretty much ignored the state of the backyard, focusing on the house alone. This was a baaaad move. It took 4 tipper truckloads, 10 trailer loads, long hours with a chainsaw, the best neighbours helping us out with a bobcat to get rid of stumps and a whole lot of help from family and friends. We did and plan to do a lot of the “shit” jobs ourselves. The cost of unskilled labour could have absolutely killed the viability of this reno, and if we weren’t renovating to live in and doing a lot ourselves, the plans for this house would be completely different. And by completely different I mean we wouldn’t have purchased it in the first place. For me, compromising my investment goals with lifestyle goals is hard. But it’s a reminder of why we started in the first place. A reminder that there’s no point doing it if we can’t enjoy the process along the way. So while living back at my dads while we do this house sucks, I’m reminded that we’re very fortunate to be able to do as much as we can ourselves to keep our costs down and get a nice place to make our own at the end.

When I first started telling people that we were looking at property investing I was given ALOT of advice. Some good and some bad depending on the experiences that particular person had with property themselves. People giving you advice 100% have the best intentions, but sometimes you have to take a step back and ask yourself why the good and bad stuff happened. Did they self manage a property and have a bad tenant? Did they rent out the family home and not make money because it wasn’t investment worthy in the first place? Did the bank of mum and dad help them out? Most importantly were they proactive in educating themselves before they started or did the wing it and then wonder why it didn’t work? I’ve learnt to take something out of every piece of advice especially horror stories. I work out what they did wrong, how it can be avoided and try to avoid making the same mistake myself. Some of the best advice I’ve receive to date; - Work out how someone is getting paid, often off the plan with the flash brochures and rental guarantees comes at a cost.... to you. Buy in an established market, not a new development with no resale history. - Create a win-win situation for yourself and the seller. Be negotiable, realistic & timely. - Don’t get emotional, if the numbers don’t make sense walk away. If you can’t take emotion out of it outsource to someone that can; buyers agents, accountants and your broker. - Don’t be afraid to ask a silly question, a silly mistake is far worse and can be costly when it comes to property. - Employ services based on quality not price, it’s better to loose a little money for the right job than to pay for it twice. - Never cross collateralise. Ever. Pay your lenders mortgage insurance, if you can’t buy it without a guarantor then you simply can’t buy it. - There’s no afterpay in property, if you can’t manage the money then property is not for you. Get rid of the Foxtel, the gym membership and everything else you don’t use. Monthly subscriptions hurt your serviceability hugely. - Don’t take advice of anyone who isn’t where you want to be. - Don’t miss out on the things you want, work harder, save more, do both

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