In the world of professional sport, you never quite know what’s going to happen next. It’s a fact NRL star Sam Perrett is all too aware of, and why he's using property to secure his future.
“I bought my first property in 2008 for $240,000, out in the Campbelltown area. A few of my friends laughed at me when I told them, but it was the only area I could afford at the time.
I ended up living in that first place with my wife, bought an investment in the same area and then another on the Gold Coast not long after.
I've never liked the idea of paying rent to somebody else, so the idea of not having to pay my own, and having someone else pay it to me on the other properties, was incredibly appealing.
In hindsight, they were all probably emotional investments and I could have maximised my returns elsewhere.
Having said that, the Campbelltown places were purchased before Sydney’s market made a massive recovery.
I recently sold that first place, after renovations, for around $420,000. That’s still a decent return, considering Campbelltown is one of Sydney’s more subdued markets.
I scoffed at friends purchasing apartments in Maroubra for $500,000 in 2008, but now that they’re worth over $1 million, the importance of choosing the right investment property has really hit home.
My next investment purchase was far more sensible – an NRAS property in Bundaberg. The returns and tax concessions on that property have been a real boon.
While I love investing in personal property, particularly getting hands-on with renovations, I knew that it wouldn't be enough for a sustainable financial future once I give the footy away.
I think the biggest issue when it comes time for professional athletes to plan out their future beyond the sport is that they just don’t know what they love doing.
It took me a while to figure it out, but I finally realised that I wanted a career that was practical, where I could build somethng.
All of my high school classes revolved around manual arts. When I was 14, I would help my uncle out with his paving business, and as we’d go around transforming houses I’d always get this incredible feeling of satisfaction.
So around a year and a half ago I established The Perrett Group. It’s a company with three divisions, all based around constructing and selling residential properties. It’s a really practical business, allowing me to get hands-on while also making strategic decisions.
In the off season I gained my carpentry qualifications and builders licence, and I sought mentors out to assist me with the business structure.
It’s ticking along smoothly now, with three directors and a good partnership with a major housing company. We’re in the process of getting investment in the business, and have plans to build a display home out in Campbelltown.
At the moment I’m trying to dedicate as much time to the business as I can, while still keeping up with training and playing commitments. I’m hoping to get another three or four seasons of play, but you never know what’s around the corner when it comes to sport.
Luckily for me, property has provided me with a second career to be passionate about.”