Blandon Leung – Co-Founder of mortgagehq
Everyone loves big goals. But. Big goals don’t help you take immediate action.
But how do those dreams help you today, and tomorrow? They don’t. Use the Mortgage Lifecycle to break down big goals into actionable steps.
A few homeowners come to us because they want to become mortgage-free years earlier, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest payments to the bank! Most however wouldn’t dare dream of such an audacious goal. You may not even believe it is achievable – but we’ve helped ambitious homeowners achieve this crazy goal over and over again.
We’ve now gone full circle and described the path that these clients have taken to achieve their dreams. We’ve called it the Mortgage Lifecycle, and it is helping new clients follow through to achieve their own financial freedom.
You can use the mortgage lifecycle to assess where you are right now, and what you should be working towards over the long term. Most importantly though, you can use it to identify what you should do right now.
After talking with well over 5,000 people, we found that most people’s passive income goal was around $80,000 per year. So the Mortgage Lifecycle was created as a pathway from your first home through your first investment property and all the way to earning $80,000 of annual portfolio profit from property investments.
Unfortunately, the Mortgage Lifecycle is not the default path, most Kiwis never leave Stage 1. Instead of building a plan (or following ours) every 3-7 years they upgrade their home maxing out their mortgage again – this is the exact problem we are helping clients solve by introducing them to this concept.
Each stage in the Mortgage Lifecycle suggests a goal to work towards – which also acts as the ‘gateway’ into the next stage. Meaning that as soon you achieve your goal for Stage 1 you are then ready to work towards achieving your goal for Stage 2.
Entry point: Working full time and have some Kiwisaver.
You may find getting into your first home a near-impossible task and you may feel like life is not fair. Maybe you’re making little to no effort to progress financially, or perhaps you are saving frantically but feel like prices are going up faster. Your aim while in stage 0 is to gain control over your own finances through income allocation, setting up the right goal and having a proper plan in place. This will then get you into your first home significantly faster.
Goal: Build up a 10-15% deposit.
Win: Get the exact roadmap to get your friends in for a BBQ 3-5x faster.
Case Study: Martini and Vaea
Vaea and Martini was your typical hardworking Kiwi family working in the public sector earning $80,000 – $90,000. They had 3 amazing children ranging from 9 – 18 and they resided in Hamilton.
The objective – Owning a home for them meant security. It meant progress, it meant you own something you can call your own and enjoy with your friends and family.
The problem – Putting together a deposit seemed impossible. They felt like they have been saving forever but saw very little in their bank account, and property prices always seemed to be rising faster than they could ever save.
The facade – They told everyone that family was a priority and that was why they didn’t go for it. Truth be told, internally they felt defeated, and ashamed and did not feel like they had much control over their financial life.
The solution – Decided to get a strategy session with an hq adviser. They set up the right financial foundation by implementing income allocation in their spending habits. They also put a proper plan in place for their deposit goals and learned about what position they needed to be in before the bank would lend them money.
The result – Instead of waiting for another 3 years like they initially thought, they were able to get into their first home within 6 months with some proper guidance and advice from wealthhq and mortgagehq!
The celebration – They felt ecstatic. They took back control over their finances and were now making progress towards the future that they wanted.
Entry point: Owning your first home.
The honeymoon phase of owning a home is over. You now realize what you own is not a home, but a 30-year mortgage that you are a slave to and the bank owns you. Your aim while in stage 1 is to reduce your mortgage as fast as possible. This then creates two options for you. Either continue paying it down with your income, or recycle your home’s equity and start building your investment portfolio which can pay your mortgage off for you.
Goal: Build $150,000 or more of usable equity.
Win: Save hundreds of thousands of dollars of interest by slashing your mortgage-free timeline by 10-20 years.
Case Study: Aaron & Shirley
Aaron and Shirley were a young professional couple – an engineer and accountant in Christchurch, who were soon to have kids.
The objective – They wanted to follow their friend’s footsteps, to buy in prestige school zones and buy a house with a modern ‘island bench’ kitchen.
The problem – Not sure what to prioritize, whether to upgrade their home now or later. Their mortgage was already hard enough as it is and it didn’t seem to go down. They didn’t want to sacrifice the lifestyle that they had.
The facade – Felt confused and overwhelmed with the different directions they could take. They wanted to keep up with their friends, but were worried about taking on additional debt.
The solution – Decided to get a strategy session with an hq adviser. Their new goal was to upgrade without increasing their loan significantly. They ended up with a plan to immediately pay down their mortgage faster, got a small top-up to renovate their kitchen and started reinvesting their equity instead. So when they upgraded later, they had rental income to pay for some of the additional debt.
The result – They are on track to pay off their ’30-year mortgage’ within just 10 years without sacrificing their lifestyle and they can see how much faster they would build their equity faster to upgrade later without big debt stress.
The celebration – Felt determined and proud of their progress. Got clarity on when and how they could achieve their financial goals.
Entry point: $200,000 or more of usable equity* or cash.
Realising you can recycle equity out of your home into an investment property is a great moment to have, but caution, rushing into an investment property is not the fastest way to success. Your goal while in stage 2 is to buy properties that fulfill a specific goal in your larger plan. We’ve seen many people make property decisions that slowed them down significantly – unable to get finance additional properties for growth. We navigate you through this by looking ahead at how this investment will affect your future options. Will this purchase allow you to go on and buy another property – or will it stop you in your tracks?
*Usable equity in your home (Value of home x 80% Less your mortgage)
Goal: Buy your first 3 investment properties that will later transform into $80,000+ net cash flow.
Win: Sleep easy knowing you have created your financial safety net and certainty you’ll reach financial freedom.
Case Study – Keung and Candy
Keung and Candy were a young professional couple in Auckland with 2 kids in daycare. Keung ran a consultancy firm with high growth and Candy was an architect.
The objective – Wanted to build wealth to give their kids as many financial options as possible and retire their parents.
The problem – Time was money for them and they were simply too busy. Although earning more than the majority of their friends and had a lavish lifestyle, they had very little time for their kids, let alone the extra mental capacity to think about how to build their wealth.
The facade – Often overworked and at times burnt out. Felt like they were running on a hamster wheel to maintain what they had.
The problem – Decided to get a strategy session with an hq adviser. Got clarity on what their financial future should look like and what they needed to focus on. They put a plan in place to maximize their financial position to build wealth, set up tax-efficient structures and freed up more cash flow.
The result – Built a $2.1million property portfolio in 18 months to set up their financial future, knowing they are on the right path towards $150,000 passive income.
The celebration – Gained clarity and control of their financial future. Finally felt like their money was working for them instead of the other way around.
Entry point: 1 million dollars of property investment equity*.
Over time your plans change, the environment changes and bank policies change. Even if you followed a plan you need to continually reassess how you’ve allocated your capital. What are your new big goals? How can we transform your portfolio to achieve these goals? Do you need to trade properties (sell to buy again)? Do you need to restructure your mortgage to reduce cross-securities? Has your portfolio become lazy (high value but relatively low cash flow)? Your goal while in stage 3 is about carefully reshuffling lending, properties, and strategies to ensure your hard work is going to pay maximum dividends in the years to come.
*Total equity in your investment portfolio (Value of Portfolio Less Mortgages against Portfolio)
Goal: Unlock maximum cash flow from your portfolio while maintaining capital gains.
Win: An optimized portfolio that is achieving your new goals, whether that be cash flow so you can quit your job, or opportunities for large equity gains.
Case Study – Josie and Sandeep
Josie and Sandeep were hardworking Kiwis – an IT consultant and Lecturer in Wellington. They had 3 beautiful kids and one about to move out.
The objective – Had built a sizeable property portfolio over the years. They felt it was time to upgrade their home, work a little less and live partly on their investments.
The problem – They were asset-rich cash poor. Although lots of equity, the income wasn’t there. Still had to work to service the loan and the bank wouldn’t lend them more money to upgrade their home.
The facade – Although all their friends looked up to them, they felt stuck and defeated. Even though they seemed to be financially better off than many, in reality, they had fewer options because the interest rates were rising on their big mortgage.
The solution – Decided to book a strategy session with an hq adviser. They learnt how to set up a proper exit strategy. They also further expanded their knowledge in property investing and realize they can replace some of the lower-performing assets with higher cash flow assets.
The result – A mortgage restructure gave them both more financing options and cash flow. They also had a 2-year plan in place to turn their negative cash flow portfolio into positive $100,000+ passive cash flow and later downsize to their dream retirement home.
The celebration – They finally started to see how they can enjoy the fruit of their labour. Felt in control again and got clarity on exactly how to achieve what they wanted.
Hang was feeling frustrated. She was pulling serious overtime hours but still only earning around $50,000 per year…
2016 – First advice meeting with mortgagehq.
Portfolio Value (only her home): $665,000
Total mortgage: $320,000
Total equity/property net worth: $345,000
2017 – Bought first investment property for $190,000. Earning $16,640 rental income per year.
2018 – Recycled equity to buy second investment property for $180,000. This property was earning her $17,160 rental income per year.
2019 – Bought 3rd investment property for $285,000. Again she sourced this deposit by recycling equity from her home and previous investment properties. This was earning $20,800 rental income per year.
2020 – Bought her fourth cash flow positive investment for $334,000, which was earning $20,800 per year.
2021 – After discussing options with us, she eventually decided to sell her first investment to reallocate capital into a new property with development potential. She sold her 2017 investment property – doubling her money! Then purchased a $500,000 two unit property on a 2,600m2 section. This property is earning $31,200 whilst land banking!
Portfolio value: $2.8 Million
Portfolio equity: $1.2 Million (also her net worth in property)
Annual portfolio profit: $28,000+
She earns over $500 per week just from her investments.
She has achieved her dream of becoming mortgage free in just 5 years. Every day Hang wakes up knowing she is able to sell part of her portfolio to clear all her debt. Or if she sold all of her properties she would have $1,200,000 in her bank account.
Family of 3, Travis working full time and Bex working part-time, had invested in a couple of land banks in their portfolio and have made significant gains. However, with the elimination of interest deductibility and the rise in interest rates in 2023, they began questioning their investment strategy and needed guidance.
The client booked a free strategy session with us to explore alternative options for their portfolio. During the session, we introduced them to the concept of building a more balanced portfolio to mitigate the impact of interest rate changes. Despite having cash reserves to weather the interest rate rise, we proposed adding a block of units to their portfolio to further enhance its performance. He felt he really need to expand his knowledge so he joined our property formula workshop as well.
The client decided to proceed with our recommendation and acquired a block of units at a cost of $598,000 which included all healthy homes cost and finders fee. This property generated a remarkable rental income of $1,100 per week from social housing, resulting in an impressive yield of 9.55%. To optimize their overall portfolio, we strategically shifted the debt from the land banks to this new property, allowing the client to reduce their interest expenses and make the property’s interest tax deductible. This significant boost to their portfolio has given the client renewed confidence.
With the success of this transformation, the client is now considering offloading one of their land banks to acquire two additional multi-unit properties. This strategic move will further diversify their portfolio and create a more sustainable income stream for long-term wealth building.
Joe, the breadwinner of a family of four, had diligently paid off their mortgage and was on the verge of becoming mortgage-free. However, he faced the question of what to do next. Living off a mortgage-free family home wasn’t enough to fulfill their long-term financial goals, and they lacked investment and retirement plans to secure their future.
Challenges and Concerns
Despite considering new builds and the government benefits associated with them, Joe had reservations. He questioned the cash flow negativity of these properties and doubted the capital growth potential due to their small land size.
To address Joe’s concerns and guide him towards a financially sustainable future, he participated in a free strategy session with us. We developed a 10-year plan that leveraged his existing resources and focused on building secondary income through property investments. Joe also joined our property formula workshop and became part of our tight-knit community for ongoing support and knowledge-sharing.
The results of Joe’s journey were remarkable. Within just eight months, leveraging our network and expertise, he successfully acquired three blocks of units in regional main centers with a total acquisition cost of $4.2 million. These properties were 100% financed using their freehold owner-occupied property. The portfolio comprised 17 rental units, generating a substantial rental income of $7,340 per month.
Notably, each purchase was cash flow positive, despite the challenging interest rate environment and the recent changes to interest deductibility rules. Joe now has full confidence in his investment strategy, even assuming a conservative 6% annual capital growth. Over the next 10 years, this portfolio is projected to add an additional $3 million in equity, providing Joe with financial security and ensuring he will have more than enough for retirement. Additionally, it offers him the flexibility and options to support his children’s future endeavours.
Take the quiz below to discover what mortgage lifecycle you are currently in.
Why numbers? A clear understanding of your life’s numbers and your investing numbers causes them to become your guiding light and enable you to take action, even when others are fearful or can’t see any opportunities.
As humans we are not inherently good at statistics or numbers based decision making. Most people would feel uncomfortable taking a 10% chance on an investment and not do it. But let’s get statistical look at how “bets” like that eventuate…
Imagine that this chance costs $1,000 and you have 10 opportunities like this. What will happen?
This is of course an extreme example of investing. Fortunately property historically does not come with a 90% chance of your investment becoming worthless :). But the point is important, when you understand the numbers you are empowered to take actions that can earn you a lot of money – even in opportunities that at first glance don’t look good. In fact often these bad looking opportunities are the best available because they have been passed over by most people which lowers your purchase costs. But only if the numbers stack up for your goals and situation.
Right now I encourage you to focus on three things:
To talk with someone from our team, book a 10-minute introductory call. This is a no-pressure, no-obligation call. Our team will help you clarify your situation and goals, and then when you are ready he will match you with an adviser from our team.
We have a free article video library with a huge variety of content to learn from. But the clients who see the most dramatic financial success go a step beyond and take advantage of our structured education.
We have three masterclasses, each one tailored to a stage in the mortgage lifecycle. Each masterclass delivers you relevant strategies, structures, hacks and advice to achieve your immediate goal as fast as possible.
Each masterclass is around an hour long, available on demand from our site and has a small cost to purchase access. Included in the masterclass is a condensed PDF slide deck you can download for studying and a spreadsheet calculator to facilitate your number crunching!
The 3 Property Accelerator is a 7 day sprint. It serves as an introduction to the Property Formula Workshop as students upgrade at any time – receiving a credit from this course’s cost to the investment into Property Formula Workshop. Over the 7 day sprint you will learn the core principles and strategies at a deep level to progress through Stage 2 | Expansion.
The property formula workshop is a 8 week course, delivered online at your own pace. The 8 week format allows you to get step by step instruction on how to achieve your goals and propel yourself through the Mortgage Lifecycle to financial independence. This course equips you to master Stage 3 | Optimization. APPLICATION ONLY.