Love your friends, just don’t listen to them

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How many times have you been told by your friends ‘why would you want to invest?’ That’s why friends make the best mates but don’t always give the best advice.

By Lauren Day

I recently caught up with some friends I hadn’t seen for awhile. I told them I had gone back to work after having a baby last year but my husband and I were going through a bit of a tough property patch – we seemed to get dozens of ‘urgent repairs’ at around the same time and some tenants also did a runner. Nice.

My friends, who obviously care very much and are gorgeous people, listened for about, oh, five seconds, then urged me to sell it all and be free of the mortgages. It’s not worth the stress, they said. You can invest later. Just enjoy life.

For a split second, I did wonder if they were right – is it all worth it when the chips are down?

Our friends influence our lives so much, it’s easy to take their advice on board.

But the friends who tell you to sell everything, just enjoy life, are also sometimes the people who don’t actually own any property. Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course, some people can’t afford it or simply have different priorities.

But for me, it has always been a case of sacrifice now, enjoy later. We’re such an instant generation and life always seems to be about instant gratification. But property is a different ballgame. It can take years for the plan to be fulfilled.

Nevertheless, I would hate to think what life might be like 20 or 30 years down the track without investing, and the prices you might have to pay by then. If you’re still ‘enjoying life’, chances are you’ll still be paying someone else’s mortgage. It’s those who invested who will in fact be ‘enjoying life’ while those who did nothing might find they have to start making sacrifices.

That’s why I love Australian Property Investor magazine so much. I can listen to the real property experts and learn from them – the people who have actually invested.

Those who invested often made sacrifices and it can take a long time for property to become cash flow positive, but I truly believe the best thing is to listen to those who have already done it and simply copy their recipe.

I know my friends mean well, but let’s face it I’m now in my early 30s. If I keep just ‘enjoying life’ I’ll be doing the same thing when I’m 40 and that’s another whole property cycle away.

I’ve always loved property and always wanted to invest. I would hate to look back with regret, knowing I never tried or never did anything for my future.

After having a son last year, there’s now a lot more at stake too. I’d love to be able to help him out when he decides to buy his first investment (and after having a father, a grandfather and a great grandfather who were all property valuers, there’s no doubt a love of property is in the family and in the blood! ‘No pressure’ though!)

Love your friends, just don’t always listen to them, especially when it comes to your financial future.