Focus is on land for investor with three properties by age of 30

Building a property portfolio by the age of 30 requires a degree of discipline but for this Sydney rentvestor a focus on diversified locations and houses on decent sized blocks has been the key to real estate investment success.

Nafiz Chowdhury stands outside his Adelaide rental property.
This rental property in Adelaide complements rentvestments in Brisbane and Townsville. (Image source: Nafiz Chowdhury)

Growing up in the inland regional New South Wales town of Orange, before moving to South West Sydney, Nafiz Chowdhury said he’d observed two main pathways to wealth – and only one of them offered any real appeal.

In less than four years, 30-year-old Nafiz Chowdhury has gone from renter to rentvestor with three properties to his name.

“In Australia, it always seems like those that are wealthy, get there through property, even if there is an increasing emergence of wealth generation within the tech’ industry,” he said.

With no real interest in tech’, Mr Chowdhury set his sights on property.

Suburb State Type Purchase date Purchase price Current value
Deagon QLD Freestanding house July 2019 $418,500 $690,000
Sheidow Park SA Freestanding house July 2021 $492,000 $615,000
Kirwan QLD Freestanding house June 2022 $445,000 $460,000

At the age of 26, he took the plunge and committed to his first property, a rental house in Brisbane’s northern suburbs close to Brighton Beach.

Like any mid-20s music fan with a penchant for overseas holidays, the balancing act between a fun lifestyle and financial responsibility had to be weighed up.

“In terms of making sacrifices to save for a deposit and commit to a property investment, I still managed to enjoy music festivals and made some trips overseas but I guess I didn’t spend as much money on these sorts of things as someone my age would in the years leading up to the purchase.”

Among elite few with multiple property investments

With his school and university studies culminating in a position as a banking and financial services lawyer, Mr Chowdhury set about building his property portfolio.

Only 6.3 per cent of Australians own an investment property, and that diminishes exponentially to just 1.7 per cent with two and just half of one per cent own three.

The proportion of people with three properties in their portfolio by age 30 is negligible.

For Mr Chowdhury, convincing the banks to lend to him was the biggest challenge.

“Banks, and rightly so, have become more conservative in their approach, so getting that loan servicing in place was an effort but as equity builds through capital growth that process becomes easier,” he said.

Like millions of other borrowers in Australia, the imminent threat of the so-called mortgage cliff, whereby low interest fixed rates shift to much higher variable rates over the coming year or so, presents a strategic point of reassessment.

For Mr Chowdhury, a view to the long term has shaped his decision of whether to hold or sell properties.

“Yes, I’m aware of the cash flow strains the mortgage cliff may produce but my preference is to just be in a holding pattern for now,” he explained.

“I will use the buffers I’ve built up to ensure my portfolio is serviced and look to acquire more property over time once interest rates drop, or I have a sufficient buffer in place, as long as I can still acquire more property without putting myself in any financial distress.

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint and the economy is cyclical in nature, so I’m confident of riding out any issues presented by higher interest rates.”

Buying land is property portfolio key

Diversification through location has also been a focus in terms of risk management.

With properties in south Adelaide, north Brisbane and Townsville in northern Queensland, Mr Chowdhury feels he is well placed to capitalise on growth potential in a range of regional and suburban markets around the country.

Brisbane’s stellar growth since pre-pandemic times has delivered more than 50 per cent gains in four years, while South Australia’s emergence as one of Australia’s premier property markets over the past couple of years has also produced a profit of more than $100,000 in a matter of a couple of years.

A strategic consistency has been a focus on large block sizes.

“Location is the main way to spread the risk, whereas some other factors I like to keep the same by doubling down on what’s time and tested true.

“For me, that is buying established and free-standing houses on large blocks of land.

“Land appreciates, buildings don’t!

“That was really reinforced to me as I went on this journey of self-education about property investing and I will continue to adhere to it.”

“I also alleviated some of the nervousness by enlisting the services of a buyers agent, InvestorKit, so that I could feel more comfortable that the purchase had been properly researched.”

Mr Chowdhury now rents his residence in the inner west of Sydney, content to let the rental properties he owns generate cashflow and capital growth.

Thankful for the sacrifices his family made to provide him a solid education and stable home life, Mr Chowdhury is determined to expand his property portfolio further in the quest for a level of financial freedom that would allow him to erase any of their financial insecurities.

“The ultimate goal is to become financially free.

“I don't think I will ever retire as I like to do things and keep occupied, which gives me satisfaction and fulfilment, however, I do want to be in a position where I don’t need to work, so that the time I allocate to work is out of interest and fulfilment rather than something I have to do to be able to put food on the table.

“Once financial freedom has been achieved, I’d love to be able to help out my family whenever needed, as I appreciate the effort and sacrifices my parents have made and I want to ensure they don’t have to worry about the future.”

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