Grant & Lisa Innes
- Grant: Auto Electrician
- Lisa: Social Worker
- Age: 50 and 54
- Family: Two grown sons from Grant’s previous marriage a daughter (16), and twin boys (14)
- Began investing in residential property: 2011
- Number of houses you own*: 4 (*Including principal place of residence)
Grant and Lisa Innes own their own home and have three investment properties. They aim to buy a bigger family home in the next 12 months and then concentrate on building their investment portfolio.
In 1994, Grant and Lisa met in the southern New South Wales coastal town of Batemans Bay. Grant grew up in ‘the Bay’ and worked as a fisherman. His parents owned and ran a local business. Lisa was in her mid twenties when she arrived in town and met Grant soon after. “I was a bit of a free spirit, living in different cities and doing office work or working in pubs. I was enjoying what life had to offer,” explains Lisa.
Their relationship grew and they soon married, living as a family with Grant’s two boys from his previous marriage, who were then nine and ten years of age. Lisa says, “The boys are great and I consider them like my own.” In 1996 a daughter was born, then in 1998 twin boys arrived. The Inneses lived in the small house Grant owned and concentrated on paying down the relatively small mortgage. “We didn’t know anything about investing but we did know it was important to pay down our debt – and we paid off a substantial amount,” says Lisa proudly.
While Grant and Lisa didn’t have any investment goals, they did take the opportunity to buy some acreage from Grant’s family’s business. They refinanced but couldn’t afford to build, so instead bought a house in Sydney and moved it to their new land. They then sold their first home to renovate their new house to suit a family of seven (a mix of teenagers and toddlers). They completed the renovations themselves during some hectic family times.
Grant says that while they didn’t make a conscious decision to start building a portfolio, they both worked hard to get established and focused on paying off the mortgage. He says, “We still work hard, but we’re better paid now and are more settled.”
In 2003, Lisa felt it was time to study. She enrolled in a four-year social work degree in Newcastle. The family moved to Newcastle and their Batemans Bay home became an investment property. In 2004, they bought Lisa’s grandmother’s small home and again concentrated on paying down that mortgage.
Late one night in 2009, Lisa was having trouble sleeping. While she was watching TV, she saw one of John Fitzgerald’s infomercials. She liked what she saw and soon after, a friend lent her John’s book Seven Steps to Wealth. Lisa says, “We wanted to invest. Grant was very keen but financially, the timing wasn’t right.”
In March 2011, Lisa attended a Kurek Ashley motivational seminar where he talked about John Fitzgerald as his mentor and friend. This inspired Lisa to ring Custodian the next day to enquire about going to a seminar. She attended one, and Grant read Seven Steps to Wealth. They met with a consultant who helped them look at their finances and they then looked at property in south east Queensland. By the end of June they had bought their first Custodian property in Goodna. Lisa says, “It went very smoothly. We’ve had experience building and we knew how it was.”
Grant and Lisa got their finance through Investloan. George at Investloan and Peter, our Custodian consultant, were so supportive. We used the capital in the Batemans Bay property for the deposit on the first property. In 2012 when we bought the second in Windaroo, we again used capital from Batemans Bay and a little from our home in Newcastle, which we’re paying off now,” explains Grant. “We had a couple of challenges with the second loan, but George was really helpful and got it through. Dealing with both George and Peter was so reassuring. They explained what would happen every step of the way as well as foreshadowing possible problems – but they also explained that they knew how to solve them. We’re very happy with their service.”
The Inneses like property as an asset class because as Grant says, “The figures don’t lie. It’s constant. My father believed that real estate is the best investment, and it worked for him. Having someone living in your investment property paying off your loan is too sensible!”
Both Grant and Lisa believe their best investment decision has been the time they have spent with their Custodian and Investloan consultants – although Grant is quick to say that Lisa is by far his best ‘investment’.
FINANCIAL AND PERSONAL GOALS
With their Batemans Bay property and the purchase of two Custodian properties in a year, Grant and Lisa are now focusing on their personal goal of buying a bigger family home. Lisa explains, “The twins are still sharing a bedroom and they still have a lot of growing to do! We’re aiming to buy something in the next 12 months.” Grant adds, “We have a 10 year plan to build up our investments and then retire. We want to do it sooner rather than later, but we don’t have a fixed number of properties in mind at this stage. What we do know is that Custodian is a good fit with our goals and that we’ll be looking to invest in other states.”
“One of the things we really like about Custodian is that they have embraced the importance of our family goals as well as our investment goals. It’s given us confidence in the Custodian way,” says Lisa.
MANAGING CASH FLOW AND INVESTMENT ADVICE
Managing cash flow and investment advice Lisa says, “We’ve had some tight years but it’s taught us discipline.” It is important to live within your means and keep focused on your goals. Grant adds, “When you’ve got a family, nothing else matters. You know you’ve got to go to work. You just put your head down and do it. There are the usual bills and some things we like to do cost a bit but we also have simple pleasures. For example, I love to surf and it’s great when the kids come too. Lisa often joins us at the beach.”
Grant is very clear about what investment advice to offer, “Stop procrastinating. Start as soon as you can. You can get nervous but at the end of the day, Custodian offers consistency and peace of mind. Eight years ago when I read Seven Steps to Wealth I felt like it was written for me. There’s a better way to get ahead than just slogging away at your job, trying to pay off your home and save some money. John Fitzgerald and Custodian have proven to me that it’s a great way to invest and that I can do it too.”
If you are looking to invest, take a long hard look at what Custodian offer. We’ve experienced both personal and financial growth.
Lisa believes that being open to new information and learning is key to living a successful and happy life. She says, “I believe we can always improve on things. It’s how I see the world.” Grant is also committed to improving life for himself and his family. In 2007, after years working as a fisherman, he sought an adult apprenticeship with the company where he was then working as a trades assistant. He is now in his final year training as an auto electrician. “Fishing is a very physical job. I needed to retrain for myself and for my family. With the GFC and a family to support, I needed stability and a better income.”
Grant and Lisa value the regular updates from Custodian and the client events. Grant says, “We enjoy the breakfasts. We’re both morning people. It’s great listening to the speakers and talking to other Custodians. And John’s vision is not just about making money. It’s also about developing yourself to your full potential.” Lisa adds, “His passion for Toogoolawa and personal development really spoke to me, especially with my sense of social justice and the social work I do. I’d love to visit the school one day.”
Grant admires John’s loyalty and commitment to help ordinary Australians build wealth and achieve personal growth, which in turn improves our society as a whole. At home, Grant and Lisa are happy to be setting a good example for their children. While the teenagers are too young to be aware of the financial plans they have in place, they are guided by the couple’s belief in constant improvement. Grant talks regularly to their older sons about investing and provided a lot of guidance to one of them when buying his first home, which has since become an investment property.
Grant has also encouraged friends to invest with Custodian. In fact, one of his work mates has just bought his second Custodian property. Grant concludes, “If you are looking to invest, take a long, hard look at what Custodian offers. We’ve had both personal and financial growth. When you’re surrounded by good people, you can see life is good. You’ll be in touch with all the right people throughout the investment process. I recommend them with absolute confidence.”
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*extract from Custodian Millionaire Case Studies magazine printed in 2012.