Women in Focus – Jo Chivers
This month’s Woman in Focus Jo Chivers is a married mum of 2 gorgeous boys, who left the corporate world 7 years ago to turn her passion for property investing into a blooming business. Despite the backlash from an Agent when she submitted her first property offer, Jo has persevered and managed to grow her own property portfolio to over $4 million!
Most recently Jo has already spoken at a few of Property Women events and is one of the 11 authors who contributed to the new book, Property is a Girl’s Best Friend.
A Stressful Success
Jo Chivers used to be a part of the corporate world. In those days, she would work long hours marketing big cosmetic brands. She was climbing the corporate ladder and when she finally reached the top, she asked herself,“…what am I doing? Is this it? Yes, I had a high flying job that took me back and forth to New York, but really after the first few trips the reality of spending 24 hours travelling from door to door and then backing up for a full day of meetings before getting back on a plane soon became obvious. I was working long hours, stressing out and putting up with office politics.”
Jo felt like a rat on a treadmill and began thinking about her future and how she’d ever be able to start a family and balance it with her career. Looking around at other women in her office, she noticed that juggling motherhood and work was really hard.
A Light Bulb Moment Put into Action
When Jo was pregnant with her first son, she began to worry about their future. Jo and her husband had no investments apart from superannuation and that’s when Jo picked up a book that changed it all…Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. She felt like a light bulb flicked. It prompted her into action and she took an intensive course to make herself more financially literate. It didn’t take long before she began building up a property portfolio.
For her first property investment, Jo researched the market for 6 weeks and asked tons of questions. When she finally made an offer for her first property, she was shattered by the agent’s response!. Jo says, “I put my offer in writing and then received a call from the agent abusing me! He actually told me to nick off as I’d pestered him so much with all my questions and then I’d put in what he perceived to be a low offer. I was shattered! It had taken me 6 weeks to build up to this point only to be told to nick off – the agent actually hung up on me!”
Despite this, Jo made sure that her offer had been delivered to the vendor. She learned that there was a co-agency agreement on the property, so she put her next offer through the other agent. In the end she was able to negotiate a 6% discount and 12 months later after completion of a small development she made $155,000.
“I was bitten by the property bug, there was no turning back.”
At first, she was developing property for herself. Later, when her friends started asking her to manage the development of their properties, she realised that there was a real need for a project management service. Now, she runs her own business where she finds the right properties that can be developed, runs the feasibility reports, researches with council and other authorities, obtains the builders and other contractor quotes, manages the DA process and building process and even finds tenants after the completion of the development. Visit www.propertybloom.com.au to find out more about Jo’s company, Property Bloom.
Here are some of the properties Jo has been involved in developing:
A Case Study – build two x 2 bed villas behind an existing house
|Purchase house on 1012sqm corner site:||$270,000|
|Set up costs:||$11,431|
|Renovation to house:||$15,206|
|Cost to build 2 x 2 bed villas||$222,882|
|2 Lot Torrens + strata subdivision||$19,072|
|Renovated House on 512sqm:||$240,000|
|Two x 2 bed villas @ $245,000 ea:||$490,000|
|Total End Value:||$730,000|
|Equity Created: (35%)||$191,409|
|Rental income $300 house, $230 each villa||(p.a) $39,500|
|Suburb 10 Year Annualized Capital Growth rate:||13.6%|
House on corner block pictures:
Villas behind front house
A Peek into Jo’s Portfolio
Jo’s strategy for investing is to buy, add value and hold. “My goal is to continue to build up my portfolio as I have seen benefits of one full property cycle. Generally, if you build multiple dwellings you will achieve a gross yield of 7% + so your property should be at least cash-flow positive and you can use the equity created to keep moving forward.”
Here is a look at Jo’s current portfolio:
Curl Curl Principal Place of Residence (PPOR)
|March 8, 2002||$370,000||$460,000||$520|
|June 25, 2003||$150,000||$250,000||$250|
|October 5, 2004||$320,000||$380,000||$410|
|August 6, 2004||$687,000||$800,000||$820|
|November 18, 2005||$620,000||$720,000||$650|
Jo’s Property Investment Tips
- Research. Make sure you have all the information you need and if everything stacks up, take the plunge.
- Buy in a good location and boost this by adding value through developing the property. You will create equity as well as receive natural capital growth.
- If you’re unsure about your research, engage a professional to look over the deal for you. You should have a good property specialist accountant who will be able to look at the figures and tell you if it is feasible or not.
- Nothing is concrete with any investment. There is always an element of risk and it’s how you perceive this risk that will help you move forward.
- Look for a good mortgage broker with well established relationships within the main banks so you can still get a good loan. It all comes down to how you present yourself to them.
- When buying commercial properties, do a lot of research. It’s ALL about the lease so negotiating a strong, long term lease is really important or consider buying property with a strong lease already in place.
Jo’s Words of Wisdom
“It is scary the first time you buy property but it gets easier and more fun once you know the process.”
“Go for it, I think this is a great time to be purchasing and adding value through development, in a few years time you will look back on 2009 and say why didn’t I buy more!”
What Jo Says About Property Women
“I love interacting with other women interested in property and coming to the Property Women seminars is a great way to do this. I think Rachel and Judith have done a great job in bringing together so many women with similar goals.
If you are looking for a way to network with other like-minded women and feel comfortable in the process and learn more about investing in property then I can’t think of a better way than being associated with Property Women. The thing I most admire about PW is that they are not pushing any service or trying to sell to the women, everyone is generally wanting to help women and to me that’s unreal. I wish they had have been around 8 years ago when I was starting out. PW is just a great way to learn more, stay in touch and chat about property with chicks that are equally as passionate in property as you are.”