A lot can happen in 14 years: Jo Chivers

A lot can happen in 14 years: Jo Chivers
A lot can happen in 14 years: Jo Chivers

For those of you who follow my writings (I am grateful), you may be aware that I started my property journey 14 years ago.

Lately, I’ve been reflecting on what’s happened over that time. It’s nice to allow time to remember because life can be so hectic.

14 years ago I purchased my first Investment Property. I had purchased two homes (principal places of residence – PPRs) before then but one of them hardly counts.

I’d bought a house with a boyfriend who decided a few weeks after we settled on the property and moved in together, that he wanted to ‘explore’ a relationship with an old flame.

Well that went down like a ton of bricks!

Here I was working crazy hours in a product manager’s role, studying at university three nights a week and just invested all of my hard earned savings into a home with someone now thinking the grass may be greener elsewhere.

Needless to say I ‘asked’ him (very loose description) to move out, giving my blessing for his so called ‘exploration’ project. I then put the house up for lease and moved home to mum and dad – thank goodness for parents.

After a couple of years, I sold my 50 percent share to him, recouped my savings and promptly used them for a deposit on my second home, bought with a husband this time. I’m still living in this home and it has served us well.

Back to my investments…it all started when I was pregnant with my first son and picked up the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. This was life changing for me and literally a light bulb moment.

I put the book down, booked into an intensive property educational course and whilst studying, working, pregnant and highly motivated, bought my first Investment Property. It settled around the same time my beautiful son was born and I couldn’t have been happier. I was now a property investor and a mother.

This led to buying four more within two years. Sydney was in a growth phase – it was 2002 - but still property seemed very expensive, pretty much like right now! I quickly learnt that whilst the properties were increasing in value, the yields in Sydney were decreasing. I needed cash flow and the properties I’d purchased were negatively geared. Not bad for my tax returns, but still draining.

I’d already started researching large regional areas outside of Sydney where properties were cheap, rents were strong and land size large. I purchased a property, renovated the house, added two dwellings and subdivided it. Now I was a property developer as well as an investor.

I loved the idea of adding value and creating equity, rather than passively waiting for growth.

This led to my property development project management business; Property Bloom. I had two friends who saw what I was doing and wanted me to manage a development for them. And so I started a system that I’ve never stopped refining. My first two clients/friends lead to many more and now I’ve developed over 100 properties for happy investors who wanted to take their first step into property development but needed some help.

What else has happened?

I had another beautiful son 9 years ago. This was interesting times with a little baby and a 6-year-old to care for and a growing business to run, I worked harder than ever. There was no napping when the baby slept, I’d jump into the office when he napped during the day and work into the nights. I was tired but determined.

My determination came from watching my parents retire on very little. There was no Super in those days. They had some money from selling the family home and downsizing to a sea change location but had to rely on pensions. No grand world trips to celebrate years of hard work for them. They were still happy, but had less options. I wanted a lot more for my retirement. I wanted the freedom and options that comes from having money.

My property portfolio appreciated and my business grew. I felt I was finally building wealth. Then, 3 years ago the worst thing happened.

After almost 20 years, my marriage crumbled and I found myself in the most difficult time of my life. I was scared. I didn’t know how I could get through it or what the future held. I focussed on one day at a time and thank goodness my business kept me focussed.

Guess what? I did get through it, my financial situation actually improved even after the property settlement with my ex and I am happy. I coped because the energy around me changed. I know this sounds a bit new agey but the energy in my life during the final stages of marriage was not good. As soon as things changed, I literally felt positivity radiating around me. I have awesome friends, awesome sons and awesome family that all helped me and I am very grateful.

I have learnt that gratitude is paramount. When you feel grateful, you feel great. Try it. Think of something you are really grateful about and I guarantee it’s put a smile on your face. You can also attract things and people into your life with the right focus and energy. Trust me it works.

When I read that book 14 years ago, I had no investments and were about to start a family. Now I have a portfolio of investments and feel secure about my future. My pride and joy – second to my two sons of course - is Property Bloom, my business. I get to do exactly what I love every day, help others and have flexibility and time for my boys and special friends.

Life is good. 

Jo Chivers is chief executive officer of property development project managers Property Bloom.

Jo Chivers

Jo Chivers

Jo Chivers is director of Property Bloom, which manages property development.

Tags: 
Residential Development Investment Portfolio

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