• How to be a Smart Property Investor

    Lifestyle |
  • For 13 years, Simon De Rosa has been investing with Mirvac. He tells us why the right property partner is key to successful investment.


    Despite it being over a decade ago, Simon De Rosa clearly remembers what it felt like to be a first time property investor.

    “I definitely had reservations and moments of doubt prior to purchasing. It is nerve-racking and there are always people who will question your decision, but I am an accountant by trade, I have a background in economics and so I trusted my rational analysis rather than listen to my doubts,” says Simon.

    It was a wise move. Simon’s 2004 purchase at Mirvac’s B2E in Chatswood set him back $595,000, which at the time he thought may have been too much. A recent, conservative valuation of the property, however, of over $1.4 million allows him to put those initial doubts into perspective.

    In the intervening 13 years, Simon has followed a carefully considered investment plan. He recently reset his self-managed super fund (SMSF) investment strategy and although he considered shares he wanted the emotional security of property where he understands the risks. This year he invested again with Mirvac, buying two properties off the plan, one at St Leonards Square, the other at The Finery in Waterloo. With the benefit of long term experience, Simon sees similarities between purchasing now and in 2004.

    “I truly believe if you have the fundamentals right then property will always make a sound investment,” says Simon. "By fundamentals I mean the right mix of location, infrastructure and most importantly partnering with a property company committed to quality.”


    “In terms of quantitative measurables I see real similarities between Chatswood in 2004 and current day St Leonards.

    “Chatswood was nothing like today when we initially invested, but the right infrastructure, retail, great restaurants and the availability of well-paid work have given the area a unique cultural blend and real buzz.

    “That is what makes me so optimistic about my recent investments. Chatswood-style rejuvenation is the way of the future and I see the same thing happening at St Leonards and Waterloo".

    “Governments at all levels have really lifted their game and are working together to deliver well thought out infrastructure and amenity into the right areas.” Another key rule of thumb Simon uses when investing, is more intangible than data such as population growth and infrastructure investment.“My wife and I will not invest in a property unless we can see ourselves living in it or unless we have a very clear vision of the type of person who will live in the area. There has to be a market for the property,” he says.

    Critical to attracting the right market is floorplan. “Never underestimate the importance of the design and flow of the floor plan,” says Simon.

     


    “I don’t think I truly understood how important it was until we bought in Chatswood. The apartment just works, it is a really efficient use of space, nothing is wasted and there are no nooks and crannies. “I’m not an architect so I can’t tell you the technical reasons why the space feels so right – I just know it does,” he said.


    So renowned is Mirvac’s design capability that Simon says the B2E apartments (designed by Mirvac’s in-house architecture practice Mirvac Design) have their own distinctive brand in the Chatswood area.

    “B2E’s reputation in Chatswood is second to none, the market knows it is a fabulous place to live, so it is an incredibly easy place to rent. In 13 years our longest vacancy has been 5 days, and the property only once made it to a second inspection!


    “When I saw Mirvac was coming back to the lower north shore of Sydney, I knew I had to invest again. It is really hard to fault them as a property partner.”