Regional Queensland portfolio sets up young family’s future

Raising four children under six is a challenge but no deterrent to a multi-property regional portfolio that secures the Wright family's financial future.

Danielle and Josh Wright, with three young children in front of Australian flags.
Danielle and Josh Wright, Queensland police officers and parents to four, have accrued $2.7 million dollars in property investments. (Image source: Supplied by Danielle Wright)

Raising four children under six is a challenge, but for Queensland couple Danielle and Josh Wright, building a $2.7 million-dollar property portfolio at the same time is an effort that secures their children’s future.

The 33-year-old Queensland mum and police officer was introduced to property investing through Josh, 36, a fellow police officer who owned two properties when they met after teaching himself how to get ahead financially through property investment.

“I was never a person to own credit cards or live in debt but until meeting Josh I was more in the ‘living for the now’ mindset with no real thought on planning ahead,” Ms Wright said.

“When I realised how passionate he was about money, investing and property, I quickly discovered the passion for it too, so we started saving a deposit on our first property and repeated the same strategy for each house after that.”

Investing in regional Queensland

The couple own four four-bedroom houses in the central Queensland coastal city of Mackay and inland in rural Roma, plus a two-bedroom town house, also in Mackay.

“Mackay has proven to be wonderful for our property investing as it fluctuates with the mining and sugar commodities, and we have found buying in the dips has worked in our favour,” Ms Wright said.

“That’s where it’s good to have in mind what you’d be happy to pay for a property, and not succumb to pressure or impulse buying; never be desperate to buy a house.”

Though living around 800 kilometres inland from Brisbane, Danielle and Josh often stream news from Mackay to stay informed about local government and NGO development plans to know what the future holds for the area.

For now they are happy to keep investing there.

Mining in the Maranoa Region also fluctuates and affects house prices in Roma too, where they initially bought a house to live in due to work commitments and as a lifestyle property for their rapidly growing family.

“Our Roma property is great, it’s a stunning big house set on a 2,000m-square block of land, including an in-ground swimming pool, large entertainment room in addition to the lounge room, so it was perfect for owner-occupier, growing children and entertaining.

“Due to an upcoming move to Charleville for a work promotion, we will likely look to sell the Roma property in the next few years, as that will align with our future financial planning and wanting bigger yields in our investments,” Ms Wright explained.

Sacrifices lead to property gains

Not surprisingly, the road to growing their portfolio has taken a lot of work, and within four years the young couple sold one of Josh’s original houses and purchased four more, all while having their four young children.

“To achieve all of this, it meant we were acquiring properties while on reduced pay, from maternity leave, and while paying our way with owner-occupier mortgages, but we did things to make this possible like choosing to live well below our means and not to care what others may think of us,” she said.

“That meant viewing the simple $5 cappuccino not as a daily necessity but as a treat, or choosing one streaming service at a time, and cooking dinner and viewing take-out or dining out also as a treat.”

“Doing things like dressing up in designer or new clothes, driving the latest or flashiest car, having the newest phone are all things we care very little about, as we would rather invest our money, so a large part of getting ahead financially and being where we are now has literally come from dropping the care factor of others’ opinions of us, being vigilant about our spending, and doing what is ultimately best for our family, and it’s actually been really lovely,” she said.

“It’s been exciting to say the least, and I’ve read books on finance and property, and found money is a powerful tool that either works for you or against you solely depending on what your mindset is; I believe your money mindset controls your actions.”

Understanding the economy is a must

Interest rate rises have also been manageable and Danielle stresses how important it is to do your research and understand the economy and frequently turns to a podcast called Comedian Vs Economist for economic insight.

“We’ve decided, with increased interest rates, that we’ll flip one of our properties from being positively geared to negatively geared and although we can handle the financial pressure this brings, it certainly raises questions about the money we have invested and what we ultimately want that money to do for us, so we’ll likely sell that property when that takes effect around the end of 2024.”

In debt for the five properties to the tune of $1.4 million, the couple are spreading their risk.

She said she views investing as a holistic practice, with a complementary focus on superannuation, owning a diverse range of stocks and setting up the children with managed funds.

“Managing all of this is almost a full-time job in itself, add in working for the police, four children aged five and under, but I love it, to be balancing this level of drive and direction along with work and money helps me feel like I am a better parent and role model to my children,” Ms Wright said.

The practical day-to-day management of their properties relies on the support of Mandy Hall, agent at Hall & Co in Mackay and LJ Hooker in Roma.

“Owning properties can be stressful so having a good real estate agent manage the place for you is not to be overlooked.

Financial security equates to freedom of choice

While focused on the now and creating investment portfolios for the entire family, the next step for these regional investors is to progress in the police force to increase their salaries.

“The more I earn the more I can invest – and that excites me, plus my super is well and truly on track, currently being four times the average for my age and gender and I’m buying dividend-producing stocks, enjoying that portfolio growth and loving the power of time watching the investment properties slowly paying themselves off.

“Because we have four children, we will look to sell all our investment properties prior to or at retirement, when we’ll slot that money into shares.”

Danielle and Josh regularly table and discuss their goals to ensure they’re in unison.

“Our goal is raising children with love and happiness, a high work ethic, good financial literacy, and to provide them with generational wealth so that in life they never need to feel stuck in any place, job, relationship, or situation that they don’t want to be in.

“Investing for us means freedom.

“I’m 33 now, I’ll probably work another 30 years purely because I want to and I want to accomplish great things, not because I have to for financial reasons.”

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