Investor in Focus: Helen Delaney

Investor in Focus: Helen Delaney

We’re always keen to share success stories here at Ripehouse, and our regular Investor in Focus series is already shaping up to be a treasure trove of actionable insight. Regular readers will have enjoyed our exhaustive four-parter with Guy Williams where the prolific DIY property investor shared a host of valuable tips while describing his long journey to owning an impressive 35-house portfolio.

Today’s showcased investor is a big fan of Guy’s approach, and keen to match his extensive holdings over the long haul. NSW South Coast resident, Helen Delaney has been investing in property for over a decade, and made the move to Ripehouse just over a year ago with a view to substantially upping her overall game. The results so far have been impressive, and she was recently kind enough to sit down and talk us through them. Let’s meet Helen!

Helen’s investing background

Helen’s story is one that will resonate with many investors. Initially priced out of the local Sydney market back in the day, Helen took the plunge on her first investment property fifteen years ago in Newcastle.

Like many first-time investors, her initial effort was based more on instinct and gut feel rather than extensive research and due diligence, but her intuitive sense of the market ultimately served her well. Showing admirable patience and calm in the face of ever-changing market conditions, Helen held firm for a total of eleven years and recently realised a nice return on the property as a result.

With one successful investment under her belt, Helen was keen to take a more structured approach on subsequent purchases. She set about researching property investment programmes that would give her the skills and knowledge she needed to move quickly and confidently into the next stage of her investment journey. After a couple of false starts with “old-school” approaches, she found the combination of hard data and strategic insight she was looking for with Ripehouse.

Helen’s 2016 purchase

Though she’s only been using Ripehouse for a little over a year, Helen’s already sprung into action and recently secured an attractive investment property in Queensland. As many investors have discovered the hard way, looking to buy interstate properties sight unseen can be a tricky business. By using Ripehouse’s detailed local data sets to close the information gap Helen was able to move ahead with confidence.

Helen decided to work closely with a buyers agent throughout the process, but was careful to fully vet all suggestions put in front of her. As she put it, this was an approach that involved her “tactically and strategically going back to Ripehouse and checking if potential properties were located within a Ripehouse Sweetspot”. 

First and foremost, Helen’s requirement for the purchase was that the property would not cost to hold - being either neutral or slightly positively geared as her family is currently supported by her one income. Of course capital growth was not far behind as a consideration as Helen aims to build equity quickly and go again using the built up equity within that property (within a 2-3 year timeline). While Helen did not renovate straight off the bat, she does intend to at the first break in tenancy, most likely within 3 years.  Helen also was hoping to obtain a property with Yield around the 6% mark.

 Ripehouse Purchase One: 3 Months, >9% return.

Purchased: May, 2016

Council: Beenleigh,QLD

Purchase Price: $290k

Current Rent: $330pw

Yield (at cost): 5.9% (gross)

Current Est Val: $319k (08/2016)


To quote Helen, “The property was purchased in May 2016 for 290k and this month’s bank valuation is back at $319k - I am pretty happy with that in 3 months!”

Next steps and future goals

While committed to a buy-and-hold strategy over time, Helen’s positive experience with the recent Queensland purchase has given her the confidence to opt for an accelerated buying approach in the short term. She’s actively pursuing further investment targets and, armed with the detailed data that Ripehouse provides, is strongly considering buying direct the next time around.

Helen’s come a  long way as an investor, and there’ll be no stopping her anytime soon. We’ll be sure to check back in with her as she progresses on her investment journey, and share more lessons learned along the way! 

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