ABOUT HEINER & KARIN KARST
- Heiner: Executive Coach
- Karin: Small Business Administration
- Age: Both 59
- Family: Three Adult Children
- Began investing in residential property (year): 2001
- Property portfolio value (including principal place of residence): Approx $3.5 million
- Number of houses you own (including principal place of residence): 7
Heiner and Karin Karst own their own home and they built a property portfolio of six investment properties between 2001 and 2004. They are currently reviewing their portfolio and goals.
When Heiner and Karin migrated to Australia 20 years ago with three young children, they started their new life with almost no net wealth. After 20 years in corporate life living in South Africa and Germany, the Karsts had some superannuation and a small deposit for a house after selling their home in South Africa. Effectively, they had what Heiner describes as ‘high executive income, no wealth’.
Within a year the Karsts bought a house to live in. They were well aware that the move to Australia had been at a financial cost and nearing their forties they were looking for ways to build wealth to secure their retirement.
Heiner and Karin joined a multi level marketing business in 1991. While they did not build any financial wealth, they expanded their minds, thanks to numerous self development functions and reading lots of books.
Ten years later, they were in a better financial position: Heiner was on a good salary, working as Chief Information Officer for the technology company Siemens. However, their accountant was unhappy: he told Heiner that he was paying too much tax and advised him to leverage his equity and tax to build a substantial investment portfolio outside superannuation.
The accountant encouraged Heiner to borrow money to buy shares but Heiner says, “I was scared of shares – their volatility and the threat of margin calls.” The accountant then got Heiner and Karin thinking about property and suggested several books about investment property. They spent months looking at properties within a 15 kilometres radius of the Melbourne CBD.
The more they learned about investment property, the more they learned about its traps. That was before reading John Fitzgerald’s Seven Steps to Wealth. The book make such an impression on them that Heiner made an appointment to see Custodian’s then Victorian State Manager wanting to buy an investment property immediately. He tried to convince Heiner was ready. So the Karsts traveled to Brisbane, which at that time was approaching its next growth cycle, to look at properties before attending a Custodian seminar. They signed up for two properties in Sunnybank Hills using the equity in their home for the deposits.
Heiner is grateful he read Seven Steps to Wealth because when he and Karin first considered investing in property, they were thinking of buying a 100-year-old terrace house in Fitzroy. “We would have made all the classic mistakes and lost all the taxation and depreciation advantages that a new home provides,” reflects Heiner. Also, using Investloan meant the Karsts were able to investment in three properties within the first year compared to just one investment property their own bank was prepared to finance.
Heiner and Karin bought six houses between June 2001 and February 2004 because, as Heiner says, “We wanted to, we need to and because we could.” They used the equity in their own home for the first three properties and then the equity in the first two for their fourth and fifth. The sixth was financed using the equity in the first three properties. Without a doubt, Heiner and Karin say that their best investment decision was ‘building a property portfolio in a proven, fool proof system with other people’s money to leverage compound growth of assets secured by growing asset value due to supply shortages and population growth.’
HOUSING DEMAND IS LINKED TO POPULATION GROWTH WHICH KEEPS GROWING AND IT’S SECURE. OUR PROPERTIES ALL MAINTAINED THEIR VALUE DURING THE GFC.
In 2014, when the Karsts started building their sixth Custodian investment property they hit problems. There were unexpected ground works and bureaucratic delays for almost a year which usually has financial consequences. However, the effect of those delays was virtually eliminated by the Custodian fixed price contract and by the insurance they had with Custodian which covered the extended construction interest payment until the property could be tenanted. Despite this set back, the capital growth, in the property continued.
“People need to know that Custodian is different,” says Karin.”The fixed price contract and insurance saved us. Custodian kept their word and did everything they could to help get the house finished.”
The Karsts like property as an asset class because it is ‘unsophisticated’.”You can leverage using the houses as building blocks to wealth. Housing demand is linked to population growth which keeps growing and it’s secure. Our properties all maintained their value during the GFC,”explains Heiner.
By 2004, the Karsts achieved their goal of owning six investment properties. Since then those properties have been growing in equity while Heiner has been working on another important goal – reinventing himself as an executive coach and growing his business. Heiner and Karin are now at an age and point in their lives where they will revisit and adjust their short-and long-term goals.
PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THAT CUSTODIAN IS DIFFERENT. THE FIXED PRICE CONTRACT AND INSURANCE SAVED US.
MANAGING CASH FLOW
Managing cash flow is vital and it is important to have a financial safety net in the form of an equity loan in case of emergencies. It is also important to have a good real estate agent who will ensure appropriate rents are set and keep vacancy periods between tenancies to a minimum. Heiner and Karin advocate finding an agent who will be proactive on your behalf, working to your agenda, not their own nor the tenants.
Heiner, who is now an executive coach asks, “What are you waiting for? An investment portfolio would put you in that very small group of Australians who have sufficient alternative sources of income to allow them the freedom to do what they want to do, not what they have to do. I meet a lot of high income, no wealth people. I encounter this all the time.”
Heiner is passionate about being the best one can be and he regularly coaches his clients on personal development. He and Karin both read widely, and Heiner is constantly and constantly expanding his network and ‘associates with positive and uplifting people who are going somewhere in their lives’. Karin and Heiner also attend Custodian events such as client conferences, breakfasts, and summits which give them an avenue to link up with like minded others. They also take a lot of people along to John’s seminars.
“It’s impossible to stand still when associated with a person like John Fitzgerald. He’s growing and expanding his mind all the time so we couldn’t help being ‘infected’. And he very generously shares his insights with his Custodian clients and inspires and challenges us all the time,” enthuses Heiner.
As a results of the Karsts wealth building journey, with the financial security it brings and the personal growth it engenders, Heiner and Karin can look forward to a financially secure future that gives them choices. This complements Heiner’s coaching practice, which is a journey of constant exploring and learning.”Now I can do what I was born to do, not what I have to,”he says with great satisfaction.
Their wealth building journey has also been an important lession for their children and associates to watch, appreciate, and want to emulate.
Using Investloan meant the Karsts were able to investment three properties within the first year compared to just one investment property their own bank was prepared was to finance.
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*extract from Custodian Millionaire Case Studies magazine printed in 2012.