Neville and Christine Lewis

Using the equity they had built up in their family home, Neville and Christine Lewis started investing in property in the early 1990s as a strategy to help fund their retirement.

Neville and Christine Lewis

Working closely with their Smartline Adviser Tony Leggett, Neville and Christine started investing in property in the early 1990s. Taking a sensible approach to managing their money, the couple now own seven properties in and around Hobart, where they live – and have bought and sold a few more along the way – with retirement in sight.

As Neville is a keen handyman their strategy has been to buy ‘value properties’ they’ve been able to improve and add value to, and which they then hold onto long-term.

“Ensuring we had the right finance structure in place from the outset was important and a key focus when we started working with Smartline,” Neville said.

“Using our own home as the starting point to fund our portfolio, Tony has worked with us along the way to ensure that we had the right finance structure in place to be able to purchase additional properties and, importantly, to be able to service the loans on them.”

While Tony’s advice and their own hard work have made it possible for the couple to build up a healthy level of equity in their properties, it hasn’t been without sacrifices.

“We haven’t lived like hermits but we perhaps haven’t had as many holidays or indulgences as we could have, or would have liked, along the way,” Neville said.

“But we’ve always had the end game in mind and wanted to put our money into assets, knowing the benefits would be there long-term. We’re just really pleased Tony has understood our vision and that we’ve had the relationship we’ve had with him so we can reach our goals.”

Having recently turned 60 and with retirement likely in the next few years, Neville is now mindful of managing the process of exiting out of some of their investment properties and paying down the associated debt.

“We will look to sell some of the properties in the coming years to wipe out the debt on our own house and fund our retirement,” he said. “But the aim is to also hold onto some of the properties when I’m not working, when I’ll actually have more time to put my handyman skills to good use.”

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