Well on her way to building an impressive portfolio and with ambitious investment goals for the future, it might surprise some that Diana Lovasi comes from humble beginnings.
“I had dreamed of owning my own unit since I was 16 years old. I just wanted to have my own place that I could design the way I liked. That was my big dream.
My parents owned a family house that we lived in, but they didn't have any investment properties.
When I turned 23 I got a job as a branch manager in a bank. I thought that since I had a pretty good income I would be able to buy a place, so I started saving up. That same year I bought a studio apartment near where I was living, back home in Hungary.
I never actually lived in that apartment because by the time I bought it I had already planned to move to Australia. So I ended up renting it out.
I moved to Australia from Hungary eight and a half years ago.
About a month or two after I arrived, I got invited to a friend’s house in Bondi Beach for drinks. It was in one of those taller buildings in south Bondi.
I remember him telling me he had just bought the unit for $400,000. That was eight years ago – now there is obviously nothing in that price range in Bondi Beach.
But I was standing in the unit thinking to myself ‘Oh god, this is a one-bedroom unit that needs renovations and he paid $400,000 for it?’
‘I will never have this kind of money,’ I thought to myself.
Back home in Hungary, the average hourly pay is about $4 – before tax. After tax, it would be about $2.50 an hour. Imagine my shock when my friend told me he paid $400,000 for a unit.
I just thought ‘Oh god, there is no way I will ever be able to do this'.
The years went on; I was trying to sort my visa out to stay here and I got in touch with this educational organisation called Property Women. I found out they were doing a seminar so I thought I'd book in and see what I could get out of it.
I attended the seminar and saw a number of different presenters. There were buyer’s agents, mortgage brokers and property investors telling their stories.
Some of the stories I heard were about single women, even single mums, who were not in the most ideal position to buy a house – yet they were still able to do it.
So I thought if everyone else could do it, even single mums, then I’d probably be able to do it myself.
At the seminar they had an educational book for property investors to take home, which explained the whole process of purchasing properties – how to find them, how to purchase them, how to renovate them and maybe sell them on. It was so good for me to find out all this information.
It was in that moment that I realised I actually could buy something.
From then on I started saving – I wasn't spending on anything. After 10 months of saving, and selling my property back home, I had enough money for a deposit and I bought my first property in a suburb in Sydney called Hillsdale.
That unit is my home now. I bought it two and a half years ago and renovated it before I moved in. It’s a two-bedroom unit and I'm single, so I live in one bedroom and I rent out the other.
I am basically living there for free because the person that's renting out the room essentially covers my mortgage.”
Click here to find out what Diana has achieved since her first purchase.