‘I developed a duplex to make my dream come true’

Josh Yeo volunteering

Josh Yeo’s dream is to spend his days volunteering overseas building schools for those less fortunate, so he has turned to property investment as a way to achieve his goal.

“When I was 17 I joined a youth group and did volunteer work in third world countries. One trip I went on was to the Philippines where we built a house with our bare hands, because we couldn’t afford the tools required. I instantly fell in love with the place – the people there are so lovely – and I developed a passion for helping others.

When I started my career in the corporate sector I managed to go on a few more volunteer trips to Thailand, where I got experience building houses and also looking after orphans. I’m married now and my wife and I want to return to the Phillipines and build schools to help with the education side of things.

Obviously money is an issue, so I got to thinking about what I could do to free up my time and allow me to do more of what I love while still getting by financially.

I started attending some of those free events to see what options were out there and decided to get into property investment, because it would provide us with a passive income while volunteering, and I’ve never looked back.

I bought my first investment property about two-and-a-half years ago and now have a portfolio of seven – three in Brisbane, one in Sydney, one in Newcastle and two in Melbourne where I live.

After my first four investment properties I decided to buy a large corner block of land in Brisbane and build a six-bedroom house. Then I decided to actually subdivide the land and turn the residence in to a duplex. Because the block is on a corner the two residences have different frontages and different addresses, even though they share a common wall.

By doing this we manufactured $123,000 in equity in the 10 months between purchasing the land and finishing the duplex. Both properties were rented out almost instantly with a 5.2 per cent rental yield and I was able to draw out about $90,000 equity to purchase another investment property.

By turning it in to a duplex we were able to manufacture the $123,000 equity straight away rather than just waiting on the capital growth from the market, which may have taken one to three years, or even five years.

The plan now is to hopefully quit our corporate jobs in two years and start volunteering in the Philippines with the passive income from our investment properties supporting us.”

‘I developed a duplex to make my dream come true’
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