There’s no one-size-fits-all in the property investing game, but multimillion dollar investor Mario Borg spills his secrets to success
After purchasing his first property at just 18, Mario Borg’s appetite for property investing has grown well beyond the one-bedroom Thornbury flat that launched his portfolio.
Now, 30 years on, the entrepreneur has an impressive property portfolio of units, apartments and houses. He has also branched out into subdividing and building homes.
At the completion of his next project, Mr Borg will own a total of 15 properties with an approximate value of $15 million – three in the bayside area and 12 in Melbourne’s north.
Like any businessperson faces their highs and lows – Mr Borg is no different. A divorce 16 years ago was the trigger for re-considering his property strategy and the beginning of snowballing success.
Living in Coburg in the 90s gave the entrepreneur an insight to the surrounding suburbs and their potential for growth.
“There was a lot of infrastructure coming in, the government was spending money on roads, tram upgrades and the demographic was changing – it was no longer just a family neighbourhood,” he says.
Mr Borg, who now lives in Melbourne’s southeast and runs Mario Borg Strategic Finance, strongly advises against buying an investment property just because it’s close to home.
“Don’t just invest in your hood,” he says.
“I’m investing where I see growth and most of my properties and future projects are all in the north.
“I could see the north was the same distance to the city as suburbs like Elwood and Brighton but the houses came at a discounted price.”
Mr Borg has his sights set on some of the budding suburbs in the City of Moreland.
“Brunswick and Coburg have done exceptionally well and eventually places like Glenroy, Oak Park and Fawkner – only a further 10-minute drive – will get that flow on effect,” he says.
“These suburbs will do well in the next few years. They are starting to show really positive green shoots.”
Brunswick’s property prices have skyrocketed over the past five years, with the median house price rising 27.8 per cent from $780,000 to $996,500, according to CoreLogic data.
Neighbouring Brunswick West has performed even better, the median price up more than 40 per cent in the same period, from $750,000 to $1.095 million.
This compares to a 51.4 per cent increase in Fawkner, which remains relatively affordable at $651,000, and a 35.8 per cent rise in Glenroy, where the median house price sits at $645,000, while Oak Park’s median is $785,000 after 35.3 per cent growth in five years.
Mr Borg bought his first development site in Brunswick West from Brad Teal Real Estate in 2005 and has switched his investment focus to building townhouses in response to growing buyer demand for this style of living.
“I manufacture my own equity, money makes money,” he says.
“I built five townhouses, retained one and sold four.
“On the next project I developed seven townhouses, kept two and sold five, and so on and so forth.”
Mr Borg says he saw the potential in townhouses about 10 years ago.
“I’m a big fan of townhouses, they suit all demographics: the upgrader, downsizer, professional young couples, singles and families,” he says.
“They have their own privacy, more room than apartments, and you can still maintain a small backyard.
“People are time poor and don’t want to spend their weekends mowing lawns on quarter-acre blocks.”
Mr Borg says choosing the right location and the right type of property is key.
“Asset selection is fundamental and critical for wealth creation,” he says.
“Buying the right type of property which is going to outperform the market and not banking on the $100 rent you’re receiving each week – the latter isn’t necessarily creating wealth, accumulating property is.”
Patience is another tip. “Plant the seeds today and reap the rewards later,” he says
“Too many people get impatient – they see a quick dollar on the table and cash in without considering the selling costs and taxes, they have just given that growth to someone else.
“Time is the magic ingredient to wealth creation through property.”