In this QS Corner – I’ll reveal my first property deal…

I was about 25 years old (a long time ago!) when I did my first property deal. I was the quantity surveyor on a project converting the Balmain RSL in Sydney into residential apartments.

I approached the developer and told him I was interested in buying an apartment. I did not have a lot of cash, so I had to go halves with a friend. We put in $1,000 each as a holding deposit to secure a one-bedroom unit, with a loft, for $220,000. It was a good start – we didn’t even need to fork out the 10% deposit.

Then the builder went broke halfway through the construction. It was a nightmare. It took another 3.5 years to finish the project. What a headache, for me the QS and more so for the developer!

In the meantime, however, while construction was being delayed, the value of the property almost doubled. So, our $220,000 one-bedroom plus loft apartment was now worth around $400,000. We had signed a contract on the original price which meant our $1,000 initial deposit returned quite a handsome profit for my friend and I.

I wish every deal was like that one!