Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Say Goodbye to Renting

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Say Goodbye to Renting

Article excerpt

Byline: Janine Hill

IF you think you cannot afford to buy your own home, Tracy Harvey has a message for you - you can.

She did.

In nine years, Tracy has gone from being a single mum on welfare living a hand-to-mouth existence on the Sunshine Coast to owning a portfolio of 14 properties.

The question many people ask is "how did she do it?"

Her book on how to do it, Goodbye Renting, has been named Money Magazine's book of the month. But Tracy wrote her own success story with simply guts, determination and self-education in huge proportions.

Tracy, who lives in Brisbane these days, has her now adult children, particularly her daughter, to thank for inspiring her to break the welfare cycle.

"I have a daughter who's academically gifted," she said. "I thought 'I've got to break this cycle'. I had to do what I could give her a start. She deserved it."

"All I wanted was a place where my kids had stability, instead of always having to move. I was always behind the eight-ball and never had any money, and when I did, it didn't last long."

Tracy was on a single parent's pension when she first applied for a home loan. After being knocked many times, she eventually obtained a high interest "co-op" loan and bought a run-down two-bedroom unit at Mountain Creek that had been on the market for two years for $64,000 in 1999.

She studied at TAFE, enrolled in a social work degree at university, got part-time work and began knuckling down with saving, putting everything, even her daughter and son's birthday money, into the loan to bring the mortgage down.

A year after she bought the unit, the market began to move. She took out another loan and bought another unit, using the balance of the loan to buy another unit within a month, and on it went from there.

Tracy is about to add to her portfolio of 14 properties with a six-pack unit block, and a house on the Sunshine Coast is on her shopping list. And she is hot property when it comes to the media.

A production company has filmed pilot episodes for a television series, soon to be pitched to stations, in which Tracy plays a "super nanny" role in helping others break the welfare cycle and sort out their finances. …

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