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These two sisters started investing together. Now, they own 6 properties between them.

It’s not just about growing wealth, it’s about giving them both financial independence. They want to stand on their own two feet.

But it all started by working together.

Here’s how Christine and Miriam worked together to grow their wealth, and how they make it work.

What got you into property investment?

Miriam, 30, bought her first investment property at 21 with her parents.

Miriam: I always had the drive to invest and get into property.

“It actually started, not as a sister investment journey. I started investing with my parents.

“Growing up, Mum and Dad didn’t have a lot of money. We saw them having a house as kind of the lifeline to having additional options in life.

“If a car broke, or an expensive cost came out of nowhere, that was put against the family house. It’s what got us through.

“I was acutely aware that having property was a really good fail-safe option to have options in life. That’s what drove me.

“But divorce has a fun way of changing the direction of life. So when our parents broke up it was a great opportunity to bring Christine and her husband, Josh, on board, and we started our investment journey.”

Christine:I purchased Mum and Dad's share [of that property].

Miriam: “The property has been really good. We were really lucky. Our parents not so much, that the property didn’t go up much in the first few years.

“My parents bought it for $217k; when Christine came on board this had gone up to $240k.

“Last year it went up to $850k, but it’s dropped down now to around $600k with the market.

“It’s giving us that lifeline to keep investing. When the property market went up, it allowed us to continue borrowing. To continue to purchase more properties over the last few years.”

What’s happened to your portfolio since that first property?

The trio continued to buy several investment properties in the following years.

Christine: “Miriam and I went along to a FoxPlan seminar. It had [Opes Partners’ Managing Director] Andrew Nicol as a speaker.

"And we suddenly heard about New Builds, and what a financial investment strategy through property might look like.

“Previously we’d just been saying: ‘Oh, we’ll do that and see what happens’.

“That’s what kept us coming back. All of that knowledge, and that pathway. [To] understand the potential in property. That really changed the trajectory of our investing.”

Miriam: “We purchased [in May 2019], one of the Armagh Street properties through Andrew.

“We were weighing it up against a 4-bed in Rolleston. Looking back now, Rolleston may have been the better purchase, but Armagh Street has still gone up $100k.”

How challenging is it to invest with members of your family?

Sharing properties with others can come with unique challenges.

Christine:One of the things I was keen on was understanding my own wealth.

“We own – between Miriam, myself and my husband – at least 6 properties and a piece of land. But if I look at my wealth, I only own 1.5 properties.

“And although I don’t plan on my husband divorcing me or dropping dead, I want to be financially independent.

In an ideal world, we'll have our joint wealth, which is three properties, but I don't want to be in a position where I am reliant on someone else for my financial future.

So, using Opes [My Wealth Plan] calculator we worked out what I want, what my husband wants, and ideally what we want together.

“And what is the best and worst case scenario for our financial futures.

“We also have a Google Doc that we are going to get formalised at the end of this year now that Miriam has a new partner.

“We’ve written all that out. What happens if we separate, if there is a medical emergency and who gets first right of refusal.

“So, we have been really clear at making that quite explicit.

Miriam: “We [my partner and I] became official in February. One of our conditions of going official was that he signed a relationship property agreement. He knew pretty early on.

What are your plans for the future?

Christine and Miriam feel as if their time of investing together may be drawing to a close.

Christine: “We’re probably coming to the end now. We are going to do a big re-look at our finances at the end of the year when our fixed terms are up.

“We have got to the point where Josh [her husband] and I will want to purchase one or two more in the next few years. Miriam and her partner will look to do something different because he’s a builder.

“We’re not against investing together, but we’re probably at the point now where we’re privileged enough to be able to do it separately.”

Miriam: “We have found that having different properties with different people starts to restrict you in terms of your overall debt. So where it helped us grow initially – especially for me as a person on a single income – now it’s become something that holds us back.

“So that restructure will be key for going into that next stage”.

You might be like Christine and Miriam. Maybe you started out investing with others, but now you feel a bit stuck and want to start your own portfolio.

Maybe you want to be financially independent like Christine.

Do you want the same service as Christine and Miriam? Your next step is to book a Portfolio Planning Session with us here at Opes Partners. Click here to learn more and book.

Opes Partners
Laine 3 001

Laine Moger

Journalist and Property Educator with six years of experience, holds a Bachelor of Communication (Honours) from Massey University.

Laine Moger, a seasoned Journalist and Property Educator with six years of experience, holds a Bachelor of Communications (Honours) from Massey University and a Diploma of Journalism from the London School of Journalism. She has been an integral part of the Opes team for two years, crafting content for our website, newsletter, and external columns, as well as contributing to Informed Investor and NZ Property Investor.

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