When diagnosed with an untreatable disease Vin Govindan took to property investing full steam ahead in order to shore up her future financial security.
“In 2013 I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints and unfortunately has no cure as of yet. Worst case scenario is I may end up with deformed and immobile joints, which would prevent me from being able to work.
I was 36 at the time, single, with a long life ahead of me and it was quite frightening. I thought, if one day I can’t work I’m going to be in a bad situation financially so I started thinking about how I could secure my financial future if the worst case scenario did occur I would at least be able to get the help and support and medication that I would need.
I had actually purchased one investment property back in 2008 but when I started getting sick and didn’t know exactly what was wrong I sold that property. When I found out the truth about my sickness I knew property investing would be the best way forward and I had to get back into it as soon as possible.
In June 2014 I used what savings I had and the money from selling my first property to purchase four investment properties within one month. It seems crazy but I obviously had a very strong motivation to do it.
I bought three houses in western Sydney. They were all very similar – three bedrooms, one bathroom, one garage and all on the older side. I also bought a two-bedroom, one-bathroom, one-garage unit in south-west Sydney.
They were all slightly negatively geared which was fine at the time because I was still working and could afford to pay them all off but I have since renovated one of the houses and the unit to make them neutrally geared. Two of the houses are on corner blocks that have the potential to build granny flats in the backyards, which would increase the cash flow there.
Obviously the goal is to have a positively geared portfolio so that if one day I can’t work, they will all pay themselves off and provide me with a passive income.
I’m currently in the process of actually selling one of the houses so I can pursue two business purchases I’ve made in Brisbane, but the other ones I will hold on to for another 10, 15 or even 20 years. They’re my retirement nest egg and my safety net for if my health deteriorates.
Obviously I’m hoping that I’ll still be okay down the track, and I’m learning to manage it as best as I can, but I didn’t want to take the risk of not looking after my financial side now while I still can.”