Investor In Focus - Tim Lewinski
Tim was first drawn to the idea of getting into the property market when he was very young and was able to purchase his first property, while still living at home with his parents.
“It would have been when I was around 17–18. I was working casually at a sports store saving heaps of money while living at home and I thought it would be pretty cool if I owned a property at a young age. But I’ve always had that interest in property and I’ve seen its value as an asset class.""
In his early days as an investor, Tim decided to go down the renovation path as a way to quickly build equity. But as he discovered during the process, there were plenty of challenges than he hadn’t initially planned for.
“I was relatively inexperienced in the renovation space and biting off more than we could chew with our first few purchases. Luckily we had people we knew that we could lean on for renovation advice and help. Whilst it was an obstacle this was also great in helping us learn new skills.”
Moonah Renovation, 2017
As he managed to develop his skill set over time, Tim then ran into another common problem many new investors face when they start to try and build their portfolio - the banks clamping down on their borrowing capacity. This forced him to adjust his strategy going forward.
“I think once you reach a certain point with investing you have to look at strategies that assist you with serviceability. We increased rents and looked at high yielding properties for our next few purchases.”
The real light bulb moment for Tim came when got a very favourable valuation on one of his early purchases.
“Luckily we bought in Hobart at a great time, so we brought a fair few properties around 2015. My AHA moment would have been every time we got the valuations back for our properties. But one that sticks in my mind was our first property in Moonah (10 minutes drive from Hobart's CBD).""
“We bought this property for $200,000 did a budget renovation on the property and it valued up at $350,000 about 14 months after purchase. I was only 21 at the time so this kind of money blew my mind. While the renovation was tedious at times, from then on it was head down to try and replicate.”
Buying at a great time in the property cycle in Tasmania has allowed Tim to quickly generate significant equity while still being able to find properties that cash-flow strongly. This built the cornerstone of the strategy that he continues to use today.
“Most of my properties are in Hobart and purchased in 2015 so we are used to getting great yields and fantastic growth! So our ideal strategy is both! Research is also important so we try and buy under market properties to assist us on the way in. Also, value-add renovations to build equity quickly.”
“I am realistic that both fantastic yields and growth is rare, but I am now looking for these areas around Australia. I believe areas such as Ipswich Region in QLD tick many boxes for cashflow and prospective growth.”
“We are also pre-planning for development on the back of one of my existing dwellings, which should assist in our equity and cash flow position to assist in future purchases.”
Fortunately for Tim, he has has a smooth journey to date. But he has still learned some valuable lessons along the way.
“There is always a better property out there than the one you have. So maybe rushing into some of my purchases as quickly as possible was something I could have done better. But I try not to dwell on anything and take it as a learning experience for next time around”
As Tim’s family situation has evolved, so too have his investment goals. Fortunately, the work he did at an early age will set him up going forward.
“At 28 the goalposts are changing a bit! But keeping it simple I want to build a significant equity position and cashflow position to give my family a great life. We love our travel and we want to share our love for travel with our daughter and future kids. Retiring early would also be great!”
For other budding property investors, Tim suggest that you do your homework, but get started as soon as you can.
“To do the correct amount of research, but don't overthink or over-complicate it! If the research stacks up and the numbers work then back yourself in…”
Tim's Property Portfolio