Novice investor nursing a portfolio worth $3 million

Nurse Jacinta Goncalves (31) put her annual overseas holidays behind her to embark on an investment strategy that has seen her acquire three properties in just four years.

Nurse Jacinta Goncalves holds keys to new house with gifts of flowers and wine.
Nurse Jacinta Goncalves is taking care of her future through astute property acquisitions. (Image source: Provided by Ms Goncalves)

Western Sydney-based registered nurse Jacinta Goncalves is a self-described novice investor who, since taking the plunge into property from age 27, has learned much from her mistakes along the way.

“I didn’t listen to any sensible advice from others when I purchased my first home, initially managing my own tenant but it was an awful experience that ended badly and I would never do it again,” the now 31-year-old told API Magazine.

“Find a rental agent and property manager who you trust.

“That’s really important, as they have a wealth of knowledge and understand the markets and law better than I ever could, plus for small repairs and minor maintenance I ask the property managers to organise that and for bigger jobs I will generally use my own contacts, but in that first case especially, it was such a relief to hand my property over to a managing agent,” she said.

Since then, the first generation Australian has worked hard to build her property portfolio.

It now has a net worth in the vicinity of $2.5 to $3 million dollars, for which she in part thanks her parents.

Year Type Location Purchase price Current value
2019 House Penrith $585,000 $900,000
2021 House Penrith $1,000,000 $1,300,000
2022 Land Campbelltown $540,000 $600,000

Ms Goncalves is the fourth child to an Irish mother who she followed into nursing, and Portuguese father from Madeira Island and says they instilled in her a strong work ethic that has laid the foundation for her drive to succeed in life and on her investment journey.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my twenties and annual overseas holidays, then in my late twenties I decided it was time to start thinking about my future and perhaps look at purchasing my first home, as my parents had multiple investment properties growing up,” Ms Goncalves said.

“My partner was not ready to buy at the time, so I decided to do it on my own and I worked two jobs to save every penny for a deposit and purchased that first house at 27.”

Ms Goncalves now owns an investment home in the greater Sydney areas of Penrith at the foot of the Blue Mountains, 55 kilometres from the Sydney CBD, which is her principal place of residence (PPOR), as well as a parcel of land in Campbelltown, 53 kilometres south-west of the Sydney on which she and her partner plan to build another investment property.

“I am a 100 per cent novice investor and I’m learning as I go but I did feel more comfortable investing locally, as I had some understanding of the market and the population in Western Sydney continues to grow and so does the infrastructure,” she explained.

Each of her investments has so far proved a winning move.

Looking beyond Sydney property

Big incentives to building a property portfolio for Ms Goncalves have been rental yield and capital appreciation, with her focus on long-term performance.

These goals have led her to accumulate investments with a net worth value of between $2.5 to $3 million.

“We will look to diversify our investments by exploring high growth areas in New South Wales and interstate and focusing on rental yield and capital growth and I am absolutely looking beyond Sydney for our next property,” she said.

“The biggest obstacle in my property journey is the same for every young person; finances, so with the rising cost of living and interest rates on the rise, saving additional money for further investments has been challenging, but to date the interest rates haven’t impacted my strategy, however, 2024 could be a different story.”

To create a buffer, she has set her sights set on a better paid nursing management position that would create more cash flow for her next investment with her partner.

“My ultimate goal is to retire with my partner in our early fifties with a mortgage-free home and a holiday house, so we hope to secure more investments and create a healthy passive income that will allow us to work less often and more by choice,” Ms Goncalves said.

Property investor's lessons learned

Looking back at the past four years and lessons learned along the way, she recommends other investors start by looking at properties through an investor’s eyes and beyond the cosmetics and feelings associated with a property.

“I’d say focus on aspects like the land size, what local infrastructure exists or is planned, what the future growth is proposed for the area, consider rental yield and current rental vacancy rates, things like that.

“Exploring markets outside of your local area and comfort zone is also something I’ve learned to consider, to find the best opportunities and be prepared to make sensible, short-term sacrifices and try to always thing of the bigger picture,” Ms Gonsalves said.

Heeding her own advice, Ms Goncalves and her partner are planning to grow their property portfolio by exploring other markets and diversifying by investing in businesses.

Article Q&A

How do I get my foot on the property ladder?

For 31-year-old registered nurse Jacinta Goncalves, of Sydney, getting a foot on the property ladder involved sacrificing annual overseas holidays, working two jobs and saving towards a deposit that has led to a real estate portfolio worth around $3 million.

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