Investor In Focus: Teamwork Approach To Unit Purchases


Investor In Focus: Teamwork Approach To Unit Purchases
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A collaborative approach to property ownership was the catalyst for Oliver Jackson to enter into the property market, while a combination of team and solo efforts have seen him expand his purchases into a lucrative portfolio.

The property journey began with an initial investment in a unit block purchased and rejuvenated five years ago through a joint venture with 11 other likeminded partners.

Mr. Jackson said he was driven to “find diamonds in the rough, the ugly duckling, and turn it into your personalised vision and instant equity.”

With his intrepid consortium of friends, they bought a block of units in Ormond, a small suburb of just over 8,000 people only 12 kilometres south-east of Melbourne's central business district.

“A friend of mine showed us how the whole process worked and we got involved with a group he had assembled,” an understated Mr. Jackson said.

Having dived into a relatively complicated debut purchase for a first-time buyer, the group undertook restorations and improvements to the structure and property.

“Basically, we just bought a block of units as a group, each buying an individual apartment,” he said.

“We worked out what we had to do to the outside of the building; we painted, rendered it, did the line marking, upgraded fences, some gardening.

“It worked out we all put it in $69,000 dollars each in addition to the purchase price, so the whole outside of the building got rejuvenated.”

About half of the group carried out internal renovations to their unit, including Mr Jackson, who still retains the property.

Mr Jackson recommended having all the legal requirements locked in place to avoid any disputes.

“Get legal involved with contracts beyond just the Owners Corporation Management contract and, to be honest, if you don't have someone like a buyer's agent who can act on an equal basis for all parties, you shouldn’t do it.

“Just relying on the fact it’s friends and family doesn’t work.”

More renovations

When scouting for his next property purchases it is perhaps appropriate that he invested twice in two years in a suburb that was the site of the first Australian Scout Jamboree. With its hilly terrain that allows for views of Port Phillip, Frankston South’s tree-lined streets include properties built on the edge of Sweetwater Creek Nature Reserve in the centre of the suburb and large subdivisions.

Bought as his principal place of residence, Mr Jackson has added value through a renovation to the property 43 kilometres south-east of Melbourne city centre.

“In order to maximise return on investment, we focused mainly on the bathroom, gardens and a whole of house repaint.”

Property location Date of purchase Purchase price Reno cost Current value Rent p/m
Holloway St, Ormond VIC March 2015 $346,000 $70,000 $750,000 $2,600
Erskine St, Frankston VIC November 2018 $233,000 $20,000 $380,000 $1,800
Bangalay St, Frankston South VIC June 2017 $908,000 $30,000 $1,350,000 $4,600

Rinse and repeat

Mr Jackson has gone to replicate the unit purchase model with partners, allowing him to be part of a larger group that enhances an entire block’s outlook, rather just a unit interior, and has extended his search into Brisbane.

“The strategy may vary slightly depending on if it’s a buy and hold strategy or a flip project,” he said.

“But the purchase price is the big one, with fees, charges, taxes, rates and renovation costs playing a part in determining the viability of a project.”

Despite the Melbourne property market being red hot, Mr Jackson was adamant that opportunities were plentiful for astute buyers.

“There’s loads out there but just be sure to educate yourself or get a professional to help you.”

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