Investing in Australian property while you’re living overseas…
It’s not really the done thing, is it?
It certainly isn’t the typical path that most property investors take. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t work.
You just need to have the right guidance and enough determination to make it happen.
Natasha is an investor who’s lived in Indonesia for most of her investing career. She’s the walking definition of the saying “if there’s a will, there’s a way.”
This is her story.
Natasha and her husband, Zane, moved to Indonesia because the cost of living in Australia was too high for them.
Investing in property isn’t something that most people in their position would even think about. And in Zane’s case, it wasn’t.
Natasha was the driving force for their property journey.
But let’s backtrack for a moment. Before moving to Indonesia, Natasha had dabbled with investing before. Unfortunately, some bad decisions led to her acquiring two properties with negative cash flows.
The journey could have ended there.
However, she had a passion for real estate that came from her stepfather. Even with the family now in Indonesia, she maintained her interest in property. While her husband went to work in the mines, Natasha spent her days browsing realestate.com.au.
That’s when she came across I Love Real Estate (ILRE).
Natasha watched the free webinar and decided that she needed to get back into the property game. After a little negotiating with her husband, she got the go-ahead to sign up and restart her journey.
Before moving onto any new deals, Natasha had a bit of work to do.
The couple had a principal place of residence (PPR) in Australia at the time. This was before joining ILRE. They’d sunk about $100,000 into it but couldn’t find reliable tenants.
First things first, she sacked her current agents. Then, she started to build a support network in Townsville, which is the property’s location. She also managed to find some more reliable tenants.
Still, the plan was to renovate and sell, which Natasha managed while generating a little bit of positive cash flow.
The second project was another that she’s started before joining ILRE. It was a standard four-bedroom house that she felt would do well.
But it turned out that the agent that sold it to her hadn’t told her about the tenants they’d put in place.
Those tenants turned out to be drug dealers.
After a lengthy court battle, Natasha got rid of the tenants, renovated, and turned it into a rent-by-room property. Again, she managed to get a positive cash flow going.
Onto deal number three. At this point, Natasha is in the ILRE fold and she’s ready to do things properly…
So she buys another property sight unseen!
But this was the first major success. She bought the property for $201,000 and spent $90,000 on renovations.
That brought the value up to $340,000, which is a near-$50,000 uplift.
But the masterstroke came when she tried to take on tenants. Natasha struggled to rent the property out at first. Then, she decided to put it on Airbnb. Within a couple of days, she’d rented it out for two weeks.
Now, that property’s generating $17,000 per year after expenses.
The fourth deal was another that she bought having not visited the property. But she’d made some good choices and got the building inspections done. She picked that one up for $275,000, did some cosmetic renovation work, and got it revalued at $390,000.
She even managed to sell the backlot that she intended to work on for $100,000 as part of the deal.
Finally, she has a co-hosting deal with another family. She managed the Airbnb side of things for their property, which puts another $6,000 of positive cash flow in her pocket.
During her journey, Natasha’s managed to go from negative cash flow to $71,000 per year of positive cash flow.
But here’s the best result.
That income replaces the money her husband earned from his job. That means they’re able to move back to Australia and continue the investing journey together.
Natasha’s learned plenty of lessons along the way, including the following.
What you don’t know about Natasha’s stepfather is that he’d always discouraged her from investing.
He had an old-school mindset of it being “men’s work”.
While supportive, her husband was also very wary. At first, he wanted nothing to do with her investing beyond signing on the dotted line for loans.
But Natasha knew that she could succeed and she pushed past those negative mindsets.
You may need to do the same. Don’t let people who think that you can’t do something convince you that you shouldn’t.
Natasha obviously had some mitigating circumstances that prevented her from viewing properties.
Living in Indonesia makes that side of things difficult.
But even so, she got caught out by the dodgy agent who allowed drug dealers to move into her property.
This is where another area of due diligence becomes important. Look at the tenants as well as the property.
After all, it’s going to cost you more to deal with the aftermath if your tenants aren’t on the level.
Natasha’s Airbnb strategy turned what could have been a struggling investment into a real money-earner.
She’s even using the model to make some money on a property that she doesn’t even own.
Airbnb provides you with an alternative if you’re struggling to find long-term tenants. Consider it as an option, even if it does mean you need to put a little more work in.
Living in Indonesia couldn’t stop Natasha from becoming a successful investor. Her success has even convinced her husband to come onboard.
The most important lesson is that nothing can hold you back from creating the life you want to lead. All you need is the right support, education, and dedication to see it through.
Natasha took action even though she lived in a different country.
What’s stopping you?