“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them,” Walt Disney said.
That has certainly been true for Amanda Orr, a Property Woman of the Year 2014 nominee.
Four years ago, Amanda decided she didn’t want to sit behind a desk working on someone else’s dream. She set a goal of completely replacing her income with property investments so she could quit her job and become a full-time renovator in just 18 months. She studied, planned, scrimped and saved, and stayed true to her ideals – despite family and friends who thought she was crazy.
Amanda accomplished her goal, just as planned, in only a year and a half. During the next few years, she purchased 10 properties, renovated and sold three properties, and now has a property portfolio worth over $2 million. She even realized her dream of owning a holiday house free of cost. (More on how she accomplished that feat later in the article.) If all that wasn’t enough, she started her own company last June and now employs her partner as a full-time carpenter along with her brother and future father-in-law.
Whew! What’s this 34-year-old’s next dream?
Amanda reveals that and more in this month’s Woman in Focus article:
Why property investing?
In one word: freedom.
Amanda spent most of her twenties as a bit of a nomadic traveler, but when she moved back home to settle in Australia, she soon discovered she hated the corporate world.
“I think I’m allergic to working for someone else. I just can’t do it. I had a fantastic job, an amazing boss, amazing pay. It was easy but I still hated it. I guess I’m a control freak. I like to have direct control over my money. I like to see it, feel it, I like to create it literally with my hands and my mind.”
How did Amanda get started?
Amanda and her partner were sharing one small room at his parent’s house when they purchased a small house and started renovating. That’s when Amanda discovered her passion for renovation projects. Next, she purchased a property nicknamed “House of Horrors.”
“It lived up to the name. I lived in that house and had over an hour commute to my full time desk job. Working long into the nights and all weekends, I made sure to keep renovating this house with the intention that once this property was done and sold, I would parlay those profits into cash-flow positive property that would replace my desk job and enable me to quit my job.”
Right on schedule, “The House of Horrors” sold for a hefty profit after 18 months. Following her heart, Amanda quit her job and within just one month purchased three residential properties.
What was Amanda’s strategy?
Amanda’s property investing strategy was two-fold. First, she wanted to purchase cash-flow properties to give her a steady weekly income. Second, she wanted to start her own company which would focus on profits made from quick cosmetic renovations funded by investors.
Moving ahead with her plans, within a year, Amanda started her own business, purchased eight properties, sold one, and completed two renovations. This provided the proof potential investors needed that Amanda had the ability to generate a good return on investment (ROI) on their capital.
Any mistakes along the way?
Like most property investors, the short answer is yes. Amanda says one of her biggest mistake was buying a property based on emotions. She was sucked in by pressure to buy on the spot.
“I made an emotional spur-of-the-moment decision and bought a property in an up market and sold it in a down market. I lived in it whilst I renovated, so it took three times as long as it should have.”
Another mistake was choosing an individual agent, who said all the right things, but made every mistake in the book, including going on holiday when auction day arrived.
What is Amanda’s proudest moment?
She is most proud of her free holiday house mentioned in the beginning of this article.
“I wanted to have a house by the beach, but cash-flow positive properties were hard to find. I found two units in a great location. I managed to turn one of the units into my own free holiday house by putting in place a tenant whose rent effectively covers the mortgage – therefore costing me nothing to have a beach house!”
How sweet is that?
What are Amanda’s top 3 tips?
- Learn as much as you can.
- Research and conduct due diligence. Become an expert in your chosen area. When renovating, get three quotes on everything.
- Consider joint venturing with others. By combining your strengths with experienced investors, you can become better as a team than you are alone. However, use caution and get everything in writing before you start.
What’s Amanda’s next dream?
As promised in the beginning of the article, we’ll now reveal Amanda’s next big dream.
Of course, she wants to keep expanding her business and help make money for other people as well as herself.
But property investing will also make her next personal goal possible. Amanda plans to wed her partner, renovate her dream house, fill it with children, and live happily ever after!