Travelling couple building national property portfolio


A love of travel and the dream of early retirement has seen a young Mount Druitt couple invest in four properties around the country in the last four years.

A love of travel and the dream of early retirement has seen a young Mount Druitt couple invest in four properties in the last four years.

Plumber Ian Hopping and his partner Taela Sanders, an Aboriginal consultant for the Department of Education, both 27, set out on their investment journey after discovering that saving was something they were good at.

“We initially saved for a holiday in Europe and realised that saving came naturally to us and after the holiday kept saving,” Ms Sanders said.

“In a short time we found that we had a good chunk of savings.

“We still eat out, but we budget really well and have a set amount that we put away every week and stick to it.

“If we know there is an event where we need to spend extra money, we budget for it.”

State Suburb Year purchased Property type Purchase price Current value
QLD Kallangur 2019 House – 3 bedrooms $325,000 $440,000
NSW San Remo 2020 House – 3 bedrooms $427,000 $650,000
WA High Wycombe 2021 House – 5 bedrooms $485,000 $520,000
WA High Wycombe 2021 House – 3 bedrooms $530,000 $530,000 

When they first decided to invest in property, Ms Sanders and Mr Hopping took the advice of a work colleague who introduced them to mortgage brokerage MLS Finance and buyers agency Right Property Group. 

The couple have opted for the rentvestment approach, renting where they want to live for now while investing elsewhere as they build their finances towards their dream coastal home.

“The buyers agents buy the properties for us, doing the groundwork and finding the properties that are going to be what we want in the long term and they show us the properties and we say, ‘yes, we are interested’ or ‘no its not for us’ and the finance people then helps us get a good deal on the loan,” Mr Hopping said.

“We surround ourselves with experts and we trust them – they haven’t let us down yet.

Our goal is to retire as early as possible, around the age of 50 and to keep travelling.”

Their first property was purchased in the Moreton Bay region of Queensland in 2019.

“When we first had a talk with our buyers agency, they said the likelihood of us purchasing in New South Wales at that time was very slim and they were looking at other states due to what we could borrow.”

The property purchased in Kallangur was purchased for $325,000. The three-bedroom home is now valued at around $440,000.

Another three-bedroom home was purchased in 2020 in San Remo on the Central Coast for $427,000. The property is now valued at $650,000.

Go west

Two further properties were purchased side-by-side in May and September 2021 in the Perth suburb of High Wycombe; a five-bedroom home for $485,000 which is valued at around $520,000 and a three-bedroom home purchased for $530,000.

“The ability to sell to a developer in the future or develop the property ourselves led us to make the second purchase in High Wycombe,” Ms Sanders said.

“The way our loans are set up at the moment is cash flow neutral but our plan is to be cash flow positive in the future.”

MLS Finance director Sze Chuah said the couple were a great example of what is possible with diligent savings, focused investment strategy and good support team of mortgage broker, accountant and buyers agent.

“Everyone is working towards the same objectives for Ian and Taela,” Mr Chuah said.

“They have a clear plan and are executing on what they wish to achieve and their strategy.

“We structured their finance to align with their long-term goals and were able to maximise the use of their deposit, streamline their repayments and give them a cash buffer in case of an emergency.”

While purchasing a new property is definitely an option for the investment duo later in the year, they do not have any set plans for now.

“We are currently renting in Penrith and one day we would like to purchase our own home, but our preference to live by the beach is currently out of reach,” Ms Sanders said.

“We’d also like to travel to Japan as our next holiday destination.”


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