HOW TO FINANCE A LARGE PROPERTY PORTFOLIO?

Nathan Birch often says, if it weren’t for the problem of getting finance, he would own twice the amount of properties he has today. For many Aussies, however, getting finance to purchase over 180 properties is mind boggling enough. So, how did he finance a large property portfolio?

PRE-GFC

When Nathan first started investing in properties, lending was a different kettle of fish. Before the Global Financial Crisis reared its ugly head, Nathan was able to get loans with 5% deposits, and he had access to his equity. “At that point I was trying to harvest my equity and be able to have as much equity in the deal as possible,” he says. To maximise equity meant buying below market value – giving him a greater buffer in the deal.

POST-GFC

After the Global Financial Crisis, lending criteria tightened. A 5% deposit was no longer enough to secure a loan. Nathan found himself needing four times that amount to secure finance. The banks he was borrowing from refused to lend him any more because his income was too low. He was told he had maxed out on what he was eligible to borrow.

A DIFFERENT APPROACH

Since Nathan had access to the equity in his property portfolio, he began using it to buy properties in cash. He also tapped into his own ‘sweat equity’ to renovate them, increasing both their value and cash flow. He now had unencumbered titles under his belt, which changed his financial status in the eyes of lenders. Nathan was able to get more finance to purchase more properties.

AN EVOLUTION

According to Nathan, his strategy for obtaining finance has been (and will always be) an evolving journey. Criteria for lending changes, the market changes, your situation changes and different lenders assess things differently. When he hit a brick wall, Nathan was able to think outside the box and find another way through.

His experience shows that with a bit of clever thinking and a strong asset base behind you, there’s no telling what you can achieve.

If you have any questions you are dying to ask Nathan about his investment journey, you can ask them at fb.com/binvested.com.au.

What strategies have you used to finance your property portfolio? Please share your experiences with the Binvested community in the comments section below.