oc | Sunday 5th April

Glen Iris gain a $million – Southbank lose a $million – Simply your decision

Over the next two months in James Masterclass (www.james.net.au), in association with THE AGE Domain and The Weekly Review, you will see as a young person how you can make decisions that will put a into your pocket by doing nothing other than simply making a decision. A good one that is.

Recap Week One.
3 real people made 3 real decisions in the year 2000. 2000 was time of spruikers, of “financial planning” and of some big “reputable” firms urging all to buy into Melbourne’s new ; the High Rise Apartment market. Many young buyers did so under the lure of no stamp duty, easy payments, depreciation schedules and promises of riches.

Many of those people paid and are still paying a very high price for that one decision.

Young Apartment Buyer
In 2000 a young home buyer could have bought an apartment in Docklands at 15 Caravel Lane for $507,500 and resold it for $576,000 in 2014.

Young Buyer
Around 2000 you, as a young home buyer could have spent similar money on a family home in Celia Street $493,000 and sold again in 2014 for $1,500,000.

Young Outer Melbourne Buyer
Around 2000 you could have spent a lot less money on a home and still got some in Barrington Drive Pakenham ($134,000 around 2000 and resold for $285,000 around 2014).


Week 2 – How to begin a $Million Plan
If I told you I could give you a million dollars, no strings attached, would you be interested? In the next few weeks, I will give you advice that will be worth a million dollars in your pocket – seriously.

Last week, in the first instalment of our series to help young people enter the property market, I outlined three fundamental wisdoms:

  1. There are good and bad homes.
  2. It is largely your good and bad decisions that control your property destiny.
  3. If you have intent and a sound plan, the money you need will most likely follow.

This week I promised to a three-point plan to help you work out exactly what you want. After all, if you’re not clear on what you want, how can you expect to find it?

First, the internet is not a plan. Used well, it is a tool like a hammer or a calculator. Used poorly, it is a distraction like a gossip magazine. Yet many of us begin home-hunting by jumping on the net and reacting to superficial feelings and urges, then we react to advice from agents and so on, like a mouse on a wheel.

Is that what you want? What you really want from a home are good emotional and financial outcomes. These outcomes can be boiled down to what we call the three “Ps” price, property and position.

Consider this scenario: you wake up in your new home feeling good and head off for a walk in the park or by the water (you’ve bought in a good position), before picking up a coffee (near shops – position) and back home to make breakfast with the sun on your face (this means a good orientation and floor plan – property). Ideally you’d like the time to talk about an overseas family holiday (you’ll need a manageable mortgage – price), then perhaps walk with the kids to school (there’s a good one nearby – position). Sprint back home, feed the dog (you’ll need yard – property) and catch the train to work, which takes less than 45 minutes door to door (position). Back home before dark (manageable mortgage – price) as mum and dad and some friends are popping around for a meal (position). It’s summer, so it’s a barbecue (indoor/outdoor living – property). After dinner, kids off to bed and time to relax (you want a floor plan offering separation and privacy – property).

People have PPP NOW outcomes they want from their home, and homes have PPP characteristics – the PPP connectors help connect the right homes to the right people.

As you think about the financial and emotional outcomes you want from your home, I suggest listing them under three headings – Price, Property and Position:


  • Don’t want a big mortgage.
  • We can save only a certain amount for a deposit before we have kids.
  • That’s all the banks will lend us.


  • Need bedrooms for the kids.
  • Don’t want to renovate too much.
  • Need a yard.


  • Don’t want to drive to work – need train.
  • Like to walk kids to school.
  • Need to be close to grandma.

The first of two parts of your plan will end up something like this:


PRICE : $800,000 to $1.2 million.

PROPERTY: Four bedrooms (or room for), some yard, minimal renovation.

POSITION: Walk to school, walk to train and proximity to friends and family.

Your PPP NOW plan shouldn’t be any more complicated than three sentences. It may change, but this is your starting point. It’s so simple, yet many people don’t stop to work out what they want before buying.

Get the plan right from the start and you won’t waste money changing houses. Each time you change homes, it costs about 10 per cent of the property’s in stamp duty, moving costs, fees, etc. If you change homes in the first few years, a lot of your deposit is lost; move a few times and all your hard-earned starting savings are gone.

By setting out a simple three-sentence plan, you’ve saved yourself the first 10 per cent of that $1 million I promised you.

Read the Domain and articles here:



Next week how to begin to get the full free $1million through finishing off a good plan with one(1) good decision.
We covered the PPP NOW part of the plan – next is the FFF (Five Year, Flexible, Future proof) part 2 of your plan.

Most of us go through these stages in life:

  • Stage 1 single,
  • Stage 2 couple,
  • Stage 3 young family,
  • Stage 4 family with teenagers,
  • Stage 5 mid-life crisis,
  • Stage 6 kids left home,
  • Stage 7 early retirement,
  • Stage 8 later retirement  and then we all go to
  • Stage 9 – mine I’m told will be a very hot place as I’m a buyer advocate.

So to put a further $200,000 – $1,000,000-plus in your pocket, all you need to do is buy a home that will last you through a few of those stages.

This we call the FFF (Five Year, Flexible, Future proof). This is the 2nd and final part of the plan before we get started on the fun stuff of looking, valuing and negotiating.

Additional Reading

  • Any Jan Somers (Australian Author) Books
  • Brian Tracy Book – Goals

More in The Age, Weekly Review, James Buyer Advocates Young Homebuyer series

Article One: Good Home and Bad Homes – Simply your decision. Glen Iris gain a $million – Southbank lose a $million CLICK HERE

Article Two: Clarity Plan – PPP’s – get the best out of now  CLICK HERE

Article Three: Futureproof your plan FFF’s and put a $million into your pocket – CLICK HERE

Article Four: Due Diligence. Boring but very profitable. Great hourly rate work – CLICK HERE

Article Five: Value Concepts that can work for you – CLICK HERE

Article Six: Practical Valuing – CLICK HERE

Article Seven: Negotiation at the Pointy End – CLICK HERE

Article Eight: Walking the Walk – CLICK HERE

Subscribe to our Market News Newsletter

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Be with James

Would you like to talk to us about finding or negotiating on your next home?
We buy 100 homes for our clients every year.
We buy Inner East and Bayside over $2m.
View more MasterClass Articles

Inside James Market News