On this page you will find some of our extensive client client success stories. Please visit our client testimonials page to read our client testimonials.
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Please feel free to read some (or all) of them, and if you have any questions please contact one of our Property Investment Advisers to be put in contact with any of these clients.
My wife Nadia and I first heard about Destiny by watching Margaret Lomas on the Your Money Your Call shows on Sky TV. We learned quite a lot from these and other TV shows and books I had read, etc. - but we started to realise there was a fair bit more we could do to educate ourselves. So, we had a meeting with Bernie Iriks, the then-Destiny Perth branch manager, in September 2016. Bernie told us about the new online course and we signed up in October 2016. I took a week off work and we completed the course online that week.
We had already bought three properties before we joined Destiny. I had bought my first purchase in a town called Widnes just outside of Liverpool in England in 2001. I was born in Widnes and moved overseas for work in 2006, eventually ending up in Australia in 2008.
In Australia, my first purchase was in Seacliff in Adelaide in 2012, where we lived for a while before moving back to Perth in 2014. After the move, we decided to hold on to the property as a rental. We also had an investment property in Wodonga in Victoria, built in 2014, and we purchased our house in Sorrento when we moved back to Perth.
Fast-forward to 2019 and we now have nine properties.
After completing the online Essential Property Education course at Destiny, we purchased an investment property in Caboolture in Brisbane - settling in December 2016.
The Morayfield/Caboolture areas that we were researching appealed to us as we had identified them as future satellite hubs in local council plans. We felt property in these areas would make good, longer term investments, due to the improved infrastructure and potential for jobs and population growth. There is also a train line to the CBD and good road infrastructure north to the Sunshine Coast. The house we purchased was positive cash flow after tax and as it was relatively new, we got good depreciation benefits. Our building and pest inspector (who we got to know quite well) had very high standards, and he gave the property his seal of approval: "It's a 'good un' he reassured us."
The Caboolture property is a four bedroom, two bathroom home on 600m2. It is 11 years old. The home was tenanted when we bought it for $340 per week and we are now getting $365. There have been a few minor maintenance issues with this property, but nothing significant.
Prior to buying the Caboolture property, we had three others under contract - one contracted each week after the course (I guess you could say we went at it full on as soon as we finished the course). All three of these fell through on the building and pest inspections due to structural issues related to the reactive soils in the area.
At the time, I was getting frustrated at spending approximately $600 a time on building and pest inspections and then having to pull out; but, looking back, it was money well spent as it saved us buying something that would have cost us much more in the long run. It was also a great learning experience.
You learn much more when things go wrong, and we have had a few things go wrong along the way so far and have therefore learnt a lot.
Next, we settled on another Queensland property in Redbank Plains - just a month later in January 2017. We had been negotiating on a number of properties (something I always do) and got this one across the line just after we'd purchased Caboolture. Then we bought a 3x2 villa on a triplex block in Carlisle in Western Australia in September 2017 - closely followed by a three-bedroom, one-bathroom townhouse in Laverton in Melbourne in October 2017. We had negotiated on multiple properties in multiple markets at the same time and both came off so we signed contracts in the same week.
Neither of the townhouses have owners' corporations or common property, as this is something we try to avoid.
Property #8 was another Melbourne property in Melton, purchased in March 2018. Then it was back to Brisbane where we bought property #9 in Ferny Hills in May 2018.
So, I guess you could say we have been busy.
My best piece of advice to other property investors starting out would be to shortlist and negotiate on multiple properties at the same time. I'm so intense when I'm researching and purchasing that if I'm concentrating on just one property I'm never able to hold back if an agent doesn't get back to me within a couple of days. I contact them and might seem far too keen, which has probably resulted in me paying a few more thousand dollars on occasion than necessary.
Once I started negotiating on more than one property at a time (I tended to try and have three on the shortlist) the power came straight back to me. I was able to tell agents (in a nice but firm way) that as I'm an investor I don't care which of the three properties I have shortlisted I buy, because it's all about the numbers. I would tell them that this is my final offer and their vendor needs to get back to me in 24 hours or I'm signing a contract on property #2 or #3. This gives me such a feeling of being in control of the negotiation and, in any market that isn't hot, the agents tended to respond pretty quickly.
Ideally, we wanted to build a portfolio that gave us growth as well as cash flow. But when we first started, if we had to choose one it would have been cash flow as we wanted to ease into investing and not have properties that cost us too much to hold. With the first few, the fact that depreciation was still claimable on plant and equipment also helped this strategy.
It became apparent, the more we learnt about investing, that the strong cash flow positive properties we held were probably not going to get us any amazing growth in the short to medium term. As we were still good from a serviceability perspective (in part due to the strong cash flow position), but getting close to 80% on our LVR (which we had agreed we would never exceed as part of our strategy at the very beginning), we decided to focus more on growth. This is when we purchased in Perth. Although the timing of that one was not great, we are still confident that once Perth turns we will see some good solid growth there. Although we only got the back end of the cycle in Melbourne, when we purchased the properties in Laverton and Melton, we still created enough equity to get us to our final purchase in Ferny Hills.
Probably like most people, we don't want to work forever. The plan is to retire early and live off the rental income. I'm hoping to finish work within 10 years at a stretch target, 15 at the absolute maximum. So, if we've picked the right properties and we get some good capital growth we should be able to sell a few off and pay down all our debt and live off the income from the remaining properties.
I used to love the PAT sessions and the face-to-face meet ups, when the Perth branch was still open, and I was a bit sceptical when everything went on line. But the cloud rooms have been great as well and I really enjoy them. The support from the whole Destiny team has been amazing. I know I'm pretty full on and a bit of a pain in the backside because I need to know how, what and why everything works in detail - I ask loads of questions and double check everything to make sure I fully understand it.
I would definitely recommend Destiny to other property investors. The knowledge you gain is invaluable and who wouldn't want to be informed and educated when making some of the biggest financial commitments they will ever make? The ongoing support Destiny offers is great as well, and it's good to have a network of other investors to be able to talk to about the one thing we all have in common.
We had been saving up to purchase our first home for a while. We had missed out on the stamp duty exemptions that the New South Wales government was offering and we were starting to worry that we had missed the boat on the property market. A friend then recommended Destiny to us and we made an appointment.
We had been looking to buy a place of our own for a while and frankly were frustrated with the whole process of buying property in Sydney. Every time we thought we had saved up a 20 per cent deposit the market would shift and prices would go up. We got to the point where what we thought we could afford at a 20 per cent deposit in Sydney was not where we wanted to live. In fact, we lost our holding deposit a few times as we were never confident of where to buy and if the price was right. We were flying blind.
We purchased our first property in 2014, just nine months after our son was born.
After Destiny's education, we decided to buy an investment property first - before our own home. What's more, we decided to buy interstate. We had never thought of investing interstate until we spoke to Destiny. They took us through the pros and cons and guided and supported us through the entire process. They were great in that they kept reminding us to reference Margaret's 20 questions through the purchase process and almost ingrained them into our thinking and evaluation.
Our first property was a four-bedroom house in Crestmead, Queensland. It is 440m2 and we purchased it for $312,500. The property was already tenanted at $380 per week, which was an added advantage. Also, the property was only six years old, and with plant and equipment deductions still an option, it gave us a really gave us a good cash flow. Since then, the property now brings in $100 per week and so far we have not had to make any major repairs - touch wood.
Fast-forward just four years and we now own seven properties.
Later in 2014, we bought two more properties - another in Crestmead and one in Redbank Plains. The following year, we purchased in Caboolture.
All our properties in Queensland are 4 x 2 x 2 and have a positive cash flow return.
Later we purchased three properties in Victoria: one in Deer Park in 2015, one in Corio in 2016 and the third in Kurunjang in 2018.
Our most recent purchase has been in Modbury, South Australia - we settled on this property in early September this year.
All our investments are standalone houses as we wanted to minimise overheads related to strata fees and we liked the idea of owning the land.
Together with Destiny we developed a strategy to build a portfolio that was always going to be bigger than the average two or three investment properties. Not having an existing mortgage was an advantage, but we knew we wanted another child and so we factored in that we would slow down when that happened.
We were very focused on acquisition and cash flow for the first three properties to ensure that when we did have our second child (we had our daughter three years after our son) we had investments that were self-sustaining while Ajanta was on maternity leave.
After our first three investments, we wanted to diversify our portfolio and looked for medium-term growth, which led us to purchase in Victoria. This has already paid off, as was confirmed by recent valuations.
We were, however, still keeping an eye on the cash flow to ensure we weren't putting ourselves under mortgage stress. Also, we made sure the houses were all in relatively good condition which meant: (a) We could rent them out as is; (b) We didn't have any immediate outlay of cash over and above the purchase process.
We are looking for long-term growth from our latest purchase in Modbury. It also offers us the opportunity to diversify our portfolio geographically. We want a footprint in South Australia, which is a steady growth market.
We have loved all the support we have had from Destiny. We appreciate the guidance on which areas to look at, how to identify a good property, getting help on valuation to find the ballpark to make an offer and guidance during negotiation. Mostly, Destiny has taught us to be unemotional when dealing with agents.
This was particularly helpful as we bought all properties interstate and without seeing any of them. In fact, we have not seen any of the seven houses in our portfolio!
One very important thing we learned from Destiny was to negotiate on three or more properties at a time when making an offer - and to let the agent know that we were shopping around. This showed that we were not wanting to muck around. We sent our offers in writing and requested an answer within a deadline, and if we didn't receive a response by that time our offer would be withdrawn.
Don't be in a rush or get too attached to any property - agents can gauge that. And if you have to withdraw, do not burn bridges with the agent as they might have other more suitable properties.
To give you an example… We negotiated on the property at Redbank Plains for almost two months. Over this period, the deal fell through twice because the vendor was not happy with our final offer and we were not budging since we had other options we were looking at. The agent finally convinced the vendor to accept our final offer, which was $35k lower than the vendor's asking price.
To us, Destiny feels like family. They are always available to hold our hand when needed and guide us when we are in doubt. We were unsure about our latest purchase in Modbury, but after speaking to Michael, he gave us the confidence that even though we were paying more than we had intended to this was a good purchase. We had anticipated a rental income of $390 per week based on the property manager's estimates. However, Michael had mentioned this was a highly desirable street and he was proven right. We ended up renting the property for $440 per week.
We plan to acquire another three properties over the next three years, including a family home. Then, we will focus on debt reduction and loan restructuring including cross-collateralisation.
It's funny how some things stick with you. I once heard a speech from the late Jim Rohn that resonated with me. In this speech he was talking about how risky life is, and in one part he said 'If you think investing is risky wait 'til they hand you the bill for not investing'. This acted as a bit of a call to action when starting our investing journey.
I used to think that investing in shares was the way to go so I would watch Sky News Business channel 602. One evening after a show discussing shares had finished Margaret Lomas's 'Your Money, Your Call Property Edition' started. The way Margaret was able to simplify what I thought was an incredibly complex process got me interested.
Unfortunately, I didn't act immediately and spent the next 12 months trying to find evidence that investing in property had a lower return-to-risk outcome than other investment vehicles. I failed to find evidence for this, but in December 2016 we joined Destiny's Crows Nest branch in Sydney.
At the time we joined Destiny, we owned our family home in Sans Souci, Sydney. I (Spiro) had bought our family home in 2003 when I was still single, then in 2013 we knocked down the old home and rebuilt.
In March 2017, we purchased our first investment property in Dragon Ave, Morayfield, Qld. With Destiny's help, it was a very straightforward, painless transaction. We dealt with an upfront agent who made settlement within the 30 days easy. We bought this property for $340,500, it's a 4x2x2 and currently rents for $365 p/w.
This was a great introduction to property investing as we have great tenants and everything in the home works as it should without the need for any repairs to date. It's been tenanted with the same tenants since day one!
Two months later, in May 2017, we bought our second property in Lyndon Way, Bellmere, Qld. It's another 4x2x2 (which tenants love in the area) and we picked this one up for $328,000. It currently rents for $375 p/w and hasn't been untenanted since we bought it.
In August 2017, we bought another 4x2x2 on 600sqm in Kallangur, Qld. We paid $396,000 and it is leased for $430 p/w. Again, this one has remained tenanted since day one.
In September last year, we purchased property number four. This one was slightly different, a 3x1x1 house on 690sqm in Abelia St, Alexandra Hills, Qld. Michael Weir suggested this as an area we may want to look at and we're thankful for the advice. We purchased this property for $425,000 and it rents for $420 p/w.
With Destiny's help, it was a very straightforward, painless transaction.
When we started out we wanted to buy properties with good yields - strong yields would help us to continue to add to our portfolio of properties - but we also wanted growth potential. At this stage it looks as if our Kallangur and Alexandra Hills properties have the best growth potential.
You will notice that we have focused mainly on the northern suburbs of Brisbane. We did this for a few reasons, including the government's infrastructure spend in the area, improving statistics for incomes and very low vacancy rates. We are looking at Melbourne for our next purchases. Our long-term plans are to continue to build our property portfolio with assets that have strong potential for growth with the aim of being able to replace our income in 15 years.
We have welcomed all the support provided by Destiny over our property investing journey. We're still very much in the student phase and have a lot more to learn.
We have found all our interactions - whether it be with Margaret, Vanessa, Michael or Jodie - have slanted our day towards good! I really do have to give a special mention to Vanessa who has been absolutely tenacious in arranging finance in this difficult climate, she is perseverance personified!
(Spiro) I really enjoy our Cloud Room meetings, too, where we catch up monthly with a great bunch of likeminded people and exchange experiences as well as receive Margaret's advice.
I would highly recommend Destiny to others, not only for their credibility and the results they achieve but for their focus on educating their clients. Destiny doesn't throw you a fish but instead teaches you how to fish.
I became interested in property at about the time I converted my principal place of residence into an investment property in early 2013, and I moved in with my brother and his wife. Two years prior I had begun to take control of my finances by setting myself a budget, getting rid of debt, saving up for the next month's expenses and selling things I no longer needed so that I could stop living from pay cheque to pay cheque.
I had been reading books like Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover and Get a Financial Grip by Pete Wargent. I also met a friend from church who already had a few investment properties and she happened to be a bookkeeper. She got me thinking about engaging the services of an accountant who knew a thing or two about property, and I began to allow myself to believe that I could learn what I needed to about property investing and go and do it.
I was daunted by the concept because I am not really a numbers' person or particularly business savvy, and I've never been one to negotiate, but I figured I could learn. I also felt as if I was in a good position. I had set myself up with an offset account attached to my home loan, where I had deposited a nest-egg and I was using a credit card to buy myself an extra 50 days of free credit each month - all with a view to paying down that loan as quickly as I could (something I later learned from Margaret was called 'mortgage reduction').
I had purchased the house I mentioned above off the plan from a builder who sold me the land and the house package. I was able to move in October 2011. It's a townhouse-type unit on its own block, even though it shares a wall with houses on either side of it. It is located in the Esplanade area of Caroline Springs in Victoria.
I got involved with Destiny in November 2015. Margaret's name was mentioned in Pete Wargent's book and he had only good things to say about her. In particular, he described her as someone who was the 'real deal'. She wasn't afraid to talk about her bad investments. So, I bought three of Margaret's books and started reading. She was so down to earth and made complicated ideas very easy to understand. I was excited to learn that she had a business to help people invest in property.
[Margaret] was so down to earth and made complicated ideas very easy to understand. I was excited to learn that she had a business to help people invest in property.
I was also looking at other similar property investment groups but, in the end, I chose to go with Destiny because they were not 'salesy', rather they seemed quite the opposite - conservative and confident in what they were offering. The team were not in their twenties wearing a suit and slick haircuts, instead they looked and sounded grounded, normal and intelligent. To be honest, as I said, I had already read three of Margaret's books so I was as good as sold. I also understood that I was purchasing support and education and experience, so that I could go out and purchase my own property, I wasn't being talked into purchasing a property.
I purchased my first outright investment property in Forest Lake, Queensland. I negotiated the sale price down to $348k with the help of Michael, Jodie and Brendan in Destiny's Melbourne office. This was a huge learning curve. I had looked into a few properties and made offers before landing on this one, and the circumstances really worked in my favour. I learnt along the way that the selling agent was showing signs he'd had enough of this property and really wanted it off his hands. The current tenants had kids and so the place was not as presentable as it could be, which meant fewer open homes, which meant fewer inquiries. That's why I was able to be a little bolder with my offers. And I was making offers on several other properties so I had options. My confidence had also increased because I knew Destiny was just a phone call away. I'd always talk to one of the guys after I made a move.
Since then, I have purchased two more properties: a house in Deception Bay, Queensland for $367,500 in July 2017 and another in Sunshine North, Victoria in January 2018 for $736,000.
The property purchase in Deception Bay was a real challenge. I had almost bought one before it, also in Deception Bay, which was located in Admiral Drive.
It was such a steal. I negotiated it down from over $400k to $375k… I was so proud of myself, and so were the guys at Destiny. The house looked modern, too good to be true really. The contract was drawn up and I only needed to sign. I then had Alana Barry from Realway check out the place for me and it turned out that Admiral Drive was prone to flooding and that property had flooded before. I checked out flood maps and to my horror this was true. So, I pulled out. It definitely made me look carefully at the flood map for the next property!
Next I plan to purchase another property for around the $400k mark. Hopefully before the end of 2018.
I'd like to be independent of government support in my retirement. I think it's important to know something about investing, to understand and be able to compare the value of things. I think investing is a good way to keep my mind sharp and put it to good use. I don't know anything about shares, which is why I've stuck with property, but I also like that property is tangible in a way that stocks aren't. I'm not a risk-taker so I like to physically own stuff.
Property investing is a great way to get your mind thinking about money in a more prudent, useful and creative way.
In the short term, I like to put my money to good use rather than just have it sit in a bank account, or spend it frivolously. Property investing is a great way to get your mind thinking about money in a more prudent, useful and creative way. My long-term goal is to set myself up with property so I have options: whether I decide to live off the equity, keep some property, sell some to pay off debt, live off the passive income from the rent - it will be up to me. $100k a year is a reasonable goal.
Andrea officially joined Destiny in 2014 after downloading Margaret's podcasts religiously every Monday night and deciding that it was time for her, as a single woman, to secure her financial future.
My interest in property started when my partner at the time and I purchased our first home in 2003. It was a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house on a block in Chelsea, Victoria. I had been living in Amsterdam for 10 years previously and when I arrived back in Australia everyone was talking about property, saying that it was a good time to buy now. We had the fear of missing out, so we took the plunge and purchased what we thought would be our forever home.
After our relationship broke down, and an increase in interest rates, it became increasingly difficult for me to afford to live in that house on my own. I moved out for a few years, lived with my brother, and rented the property as that was the only way I could afford to keep hold of the property and I was determined to hang onto it.
I moved back in around 2012 and got back on my feet, having a better, more stable job. As I was approaching 50 years of age, I started to worry that I wasn't ever going to be able to re-pay my mortgage on my own, so I sought out ways to improve my financial position. I did some online research and found quite a few (what I now know to be) property spruikers. These companies were encouraging me to buy certain properties in certain locations, but it never sat right with me.
I discovered Margaret Lomas around this time when, after I heard her being interviewed on the radio, I started listening to her speak about property investing in her podcasts. I rang Destiny's Melbourne office and made an appointment to go in and have a chat. The Destiny team presented me with all the relevant information and, as someone with a background in the arts (I wasn't very financially literate), I was grateful for the solid advice and support they provided.
I attended Destiny's Essential Property Education (EPE) course in 2015 and purchased my first investment property in January 2016. The property is in Morayfield, Queensland, and even though I am based in Victoria, the team at Destiny assisted and reassured me with the purchase, giving me the confidence to invest interstate. The property came with a wonderful tenant who is still happily living there.
It was just one year later that I purchased my second investment property - this time in Sunbury, Victoria. It's a two-bedroom unit on a small block of eight and it also came with a tenant. I was quickly learning how to be a landlord, which was exciting.
For my third investment property, I searched a bit further out and bought a corner-block house in Paralowie, a suburb of Adelaide in late 2017. My fantastic property manager found a tenant and the property has subdivision potential as well, which is a long-term goal of mine.
The changes to lending laws could affect when and how many more investment properties I purchase in the future. However, originally, we were thinking that I would only be able to buy two and now I have three properties in my portfolio, so never say never.
For someone who knew nothing about property investing, who was scared to commit and take on financial risk, to now being someone who is building a successful investment portfolio, I'm very proud of the steps I've taken to get here. I would never have been able to do this without the supportive safety net provided by Destiny - the team there have been very patient with me, especially my many phone calls about potential property purchases!
When I start to think about retiring in 15 or so years, I will look back at the decision to join Destiny and congratulate myself on taking that step. I'm a single woman in a one income household and to have financial security for my future, well, that's more valuable than anything.
The best piece of advice I have been given about investing is to research, research and do more research! And to start as soon as you can. We all procrastinate with these things, but there's no time like the present and I wish I had started my investment journey sooner.
Being long-time investors, like many others, we made mistakes along the way. We knew we needed to do better and to do better we knew we needed to engage industry experts.
With so many companies and so-called experts out there providing property investment advice, it's hard to know who is 'the real deal' - particularly as it's an industry that is unregulated.
When we started looking for a property investment company to support us, it was important for us to partner with a reputable company that would enable growth, not just in growing our portfolio but also our learning.
We were seeking a company that:
We chose Destiny because it met these criteria and we have been clients since 2014.
We commenced with Destiny's education course and shortly after this began researching areas and acquiring investment-grade properties. We leveraged the resources offered by Destiny and actively participated in all the events to build our knowledge and then acquire more.
Destiny's recent move to a new digital system is a valueadd with Margaret Lomas personally connecting to clients more often. We can now access Destiny in many ways - through Destiny Chatter, a platform we use to connect with other Destiny clients and the Destiny team, by watching the monthly investor webcasts and quarterly investor updates which are hosted by Margaret and provide us with useful information, updates, market reviews and area hotspots.
Our personal favourites are the guest speakers. They cover many different subject matters from tax affairs, strata laws and small developments to just about anything related to property investing. The new Cloud Rooms have been beneficial too. This is where we connect with a small group of investors and share information and get first-hand advice from Margaret. If we ever have a question, we can use these forums or send an email and we always get a response.
No matter what stage of the property cycle you are in, there is always something to learn. Through education and connecting with people we see different opportunities. It's these opportunities that bring us the most reward.
Since joining Destiny, we have added to our portfolio and now have a solid and diverse property portfolio with property in four states. We are better equipped to make informed investment decisions but, more importantly, we continue to build knowledge and it's this experience that brings growth to our portfolio and to us personally.
Margaret is a great mentor - her expertise and firsthand advice makes all the difference. We are grateful to Margaret, who is truly inspirational, and the Destiny team - they are the 'real deal'. We know we are getting the best to bring out our best.