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Two Former Property Investing Aussie Expats Share Their Expertise

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Former Aussie expats and successful property investors, Richie Ragel and Michael Cleary, have bought, renovated, and sold countless properties over the last decade and have a genuine love for real estate.  After having lived abroad in North America and Europe, Richie now resides in Sydney’s Inner West (with his wife Nikki) and Michael lives in Sydney’s South.

Understanding first hand of the difficulties for Australians living abroad in purchasing property, they have joined forces in a new business to support Aussie expats build their property portfolios.

property investing aussie expats milk chocolate

The founders of Milk Chocolate – Michael Cleary and Richie Ragel

Tell us about your property investing strategy?

We started purchasing property individually and combined over 10 years ago. When we started it was for our individual property portfolios and have bought and renovated a mix of residential and commercial properties.

Our property investing strategy is predominately to buy, renovate and sell for an increased return or hold for capital growth and rental yield. We started investing in the Sydney market and over the years due to different factors have now invested in Brisbane and Melbourne. Our search for the perfect property has even taken us as far as Fiji and Spain.

Our property investing strategy is primarily to buy – renovate – hold – sell.  Our portfolio consists of approximately 80% residential property and 20% commercial, and we assess how long we hold each property based on the current market conditions.   We have undertaken a mix of basic renovations right through to subdivisions and major structural renovations, and have, on average, acquired one property per year.

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How successful has your property investing been?

We have had great success with our property investing.   All our property purchases in Sydney’s Inner West have achieved returns of over 50%.

Our current commercial property was purchased in 2014 in Rosebery, an area 6kms from the Sydney CBD.  We predicted Rosebery would be a growth business hub and new ‘foodie’ centre of Sydney.  We purchased this property for 275K and after some minor cosmetic renovations are now receiving a rental yield of 11% and have a recent valuation on 400K.

Our property investing portfolio has included the following investments :

 

Location

Investment Strategy

Returns

Annandale, NSW

Buy, renovate (cosmetic), hold and sell

Capital Gains >60% over 8 years

Annandale, NSW

Buy, renovate (cosmetic), hold and sell


Capital Gains >67% over 6 years

Croydon, NSW

Buy, renovate (cosmetic), hold

Gross Yield : 5%pa

Earlwood, NSW

Buy, hold

Gross Yield : 7.3%pa

Burwood, NSW

Buy, renovate (structural), sell

36% capital gain in 1 year

Chippendale, NSW.

Buy, hold

Gross Yield : 5%pa

Roseberry, NSW

Buy, hold

Gross Yield : 11%pa

Harris Park, NSW...

Buy, hold

Gross Yield : 4.5%pa

What has been your biggest learning from your property investing careers?

The biggest learning for us both is the power of research and doing your homework. It’s so important to be diligent and thorough in your approach to buying property. There are so many factors influencing the success of a purchase. You need to know every little detail about the property, the street, the suburb, the city, the state and the overall stability of the country that you are purchasing in. Over the 10 years that we have been buying property we have built up a great network that we are in constant communication with – enabling us to have our finger on the pulse all the time.

aussie expat

 

How are Australian Expats now able to benefit from your experience?

Having lived overseas as Australian Expats we have experienced first hand what it’s like to purchase property back in Australia from a far. This led us to establish Milk Chocolate, a bespoke Property Concierge business that takes away the stress of purchasing an investment property at home in Australia.

The name Milk Chocolate is not easily forgettable and comes from the fact that everyone needs life’s necessities mixed with some fun and that’s exactly what we do.

Using the power of data and research we provide our customers with the best advice on where to purchase an investment property or principal place of residence, that will allow for capital growth and higher rental yields.  We facilitate the purchase of property and project manage renovations, ensuring our clients have the best experience throughout the process.

Milk Chocolate is a true Property Concierge. Whether our clients are purchasing a property for investment or their home – it’s one of the biggest purchases they will make. We take away the stress, offer objective advice and are our client’s eyes and ears on the ground in Australia, exclusively looking after their interests. We don’t just find property – we offer an end-to-end service and experience.

How is your service better than your competitors?

Milk Chocolate uses the latest technology to ensure our clients are fully informed throughout the property search and buying process.  We setup a dedicated website for each client that will “house”  the brief from the client, all paperwork and the current short list of properties identified for the client.  We recognise the value in research and due diligence, and won’t promise to find the client a home in 3 days.

Unlike our competitors we also offer a range of other services.  Such as project management of structural or cosmetic renovations.  If the client is intending to move into the property, we can manage this process for them also using our ‘Moving Concierge’ service.  We also have an in-house interior designer that we bring on for each purchase. Our designer will give top-level design and style recommends to our clients. Perfect for both investments and their principal place of residence.
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Can Richie & Michael Help You With Your Property Investing In Australia?

Take the stress out of property investing in Australia by working with Milk Chocolate Purchase Concierge. Milk Chocolate specialise in purchasing property and undertaking renovations for Australians living abroad. They work exclusively for the buyer.

Milk Chocolate offer a true concierge service, taking care of every last detail of your property purchase. Using the latest technology, data and communicating in your time zone ensuring the experience is rewarding and enjoyable.

Mention the Australian Expat Investor when contacting Milk Chocolate, or complete the form below, and you will be entitled to not only a free initial consultation to discuss your needs and to see if Milk Chocolate is right for you, but you will also receive a free voucher to the value of A$500 to treat yourself to a celebratory dinner in your country of residence when you sign up to use their services (and pay your initial fee).

  • Milk Chocolate Property Concierge Inquiry Form

Want to share your unique Australian Expat story?  Send me an email.

Interested in property investing in Australia?  Here are some related articles to this story that might be of interest to you :

Disclaimer : This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute financial or taxation advice. As this information is not advice and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness for your circumstances. Independent advice should be obtained from an Australian financial services licensee before making investment decisions, and a registered (tax) financial advisor/accountant in relation to taxation decisions. To the extent permitted by law, we exclude all liability for any loss or damage arising in any way.  We may receive referral commissions from companies referred in this article.

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Location

Investment Strategy

Returns

Annandale, NSW

Buy, renovate (cosmetic), hold and sell

Capital Gains >60% over 8 years

Annandale, NSW

Buy, renovate (cosmetic), hold and sell


Capital Gains >67% over 6 years

Croydon, NSW

Buy, renovate (cosmetic), hold

Gross Yield : 5%pa

Earlwood, NSW

Buy, hold

Gross Yield : 7.3%pa

Burwood, NSW

Buy, renovate (structural), sell

36% capital gain in 1 year

Chippendale, NSW.

Buy, hold

Gross Yield : 5%pa

Roseberry, NSW

Buy, hold

Gross Yield : 11%pa

Harris Park, NSW...

Buy, hold

Gross Yield : 4.5%pa

About the author

Craig

Craig is an Australian Expat and the founder of The Australian Expat Investor. Craig is passionate about investing, and while Craig cannot give personal financial or tax advice, Craig enjoys sharing investing, tax, and other tips for Australian expats to help them to build their wealth while living abroad and get the most out of their time living overseas. Get his free ebook on 9 Financial Surprises That Could Cost Australian Expats Thousands of Dollars

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