Case Study: ‘We Want To Spend More Time With Our Kids’
Christine and Dion Manson want to be free to work only part-time using rental properties.
8 October 2021
“Growing up as a Kiwi Chinese in New Zealand, my parents were already investing, so that’s something we talked about at home,” says Christine Manson.
The Air New Zealand flight attendant says when she met her future husband, Dion, a vehicle consultant, they talked about what was important to them.
“The question was, what is the long-term vision for us?” she says. “Do we want to be stuck in the rat race for the rest of our lives, paying more tax, and missing out on things that matter?
“Or should we do something that will generate income for us to the point that we could go part-time?”
In 2015, before the pair married, Dion bought his first house, in Christchurch, and they lived in it.
Then in 2018, they thought of buying a second house and making the first a rental property. And just like that, the perfect house popped up.
“I’d said to Dion: ‘All I want is a house with a big back yard for the dog to run around in.’ He found it.”
Says Dion: “This house had been on the market for quite a while. The husband had bought it as an investment property, and he had had been doing it up, but he passed away.”
The pair bought it for less than the capital value (CV), but they knew it would be a hard slog to renovate it.
Says Dion: “Properties were going up so much that we knew the only way we could buy another house in Christchurch was to buy something that needed work and do it up.”
They had the support of Christine’s family and advice from her dad, a carpenter.
Another complication was that the pair bought the house while they were travelling in Europe, using FaceTime for the lawyer and hotel scanners and printers.
Once the house was theirs, the pair rolled up their sleeves.
They kept up their fulltime jobs and renovated on their days off and until 10pm after work, sanding and painting.
Says Dion: “We’d always wanted to invest again, using the equity from the houses.
“We went on a property course and looked New Zealand-wide at returns.”
They liked Invercargill. “We looked at so many houses and put in so many offers. Every day, another offer.
“We saw a place there and got an offer accepted subject to a valuation of the property. We could have bought it, but that meant there'd have been no money to renovate, so we had to pull the pin.”
They tried again at the end of 2019 and had pre-approval to buy in Invercargill. Then Covid happened. Because Christine works for an airline, the couple faced strict rules and spent months trying to get a mortgage.
“I got so frustrated! I could see the house working financially. I got so hacked off that the bank was saying, ‘Not good enough’.” But he had a goal and was determined.
The pair got their house revalued, and a second mortgage broker pushed it through.
They settled on the house in Invercargill in September and Christine still has her job. They’re finishing their own renovation in Christchurch and professionals are doing up the Invercargill house.
The best part? The demo, says Christine: “I’m the queen of demo!”
The hard work’s been worth it, says Dion. “The thing we keep reminding ourselves is why we’re doing it. We wanted to make sure that when our kids come, we’re both working at least part-time. We want to watch our kids grow up and be with them.”
Informed Investor’s content comes from sources that Informed Investor magazine considers accurate, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. Charts in Informed Investor are visually indicative, not exact. The content of Informed Investor is intended as general information only, and you use it at your own risk.
Informed Investor's content comes from sources that Informed Investor magazine considers accurate, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. Charts in Informed Investor are visually indicative, not exact. The content of Informed Investor is intended as general information only, and you use it at your own risk.