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Hard work in Hell pays off

At 18 Jacob Cooke-Tait has purchased his first home. PHOTO/ELI HILL

Jacob gets his early slice of the property market
Aiming for 10 properties by age of 21

ELI HILL
[email protected]

With one house already under his belt, 18-year-old Jacob Cooke-Tait is a man on a mission.

Cooke-Tait, who is working close to 70 hours a week as a manager at Hell Pizza Masterton, hopes to own real estate right across the country.

Cooke-Tait purchased a Coradine St property for $400,000 last week, halving the deposit with friends and property investing mentors Kael Blake and Trish Keogh.

The two-storey house has five bedrooms and requires renovation, which the trio plan to do themselves.

Cooke-Tait began working on a paper run aged nine but said he only became serious about saving in high school.

“When I was 15, I read a book called Rich Dad Poor Dad, which inspired me to live a life where I didn’t have to work until I was 65. I met Trish and Kael last year and helped them out with renovating.

“We’ve been friends since then, and they’ve kind of mentored me and helped me gain the knowledge I need to invest in property and that sort of stuff.”

Cooke-Tait said the secret to owning a home was simple.

“Don’t buy all the stuff you want, pretty much — work heaps of hours and stash your money away.

“With my mates, it’s really hard not to go out and get that cool car but I always saw this as, if I don’t buy the cool car now, I can have the cool car in future. And it’ll be a much cooler car.”

The trio plan to convert the house to seven bedrooms and Cooke-Tait estimates it’ll bring in around $300 a week for him and the same amount for Keogh and Blake.

Cooke-Tait saved up $50,000 before buying the house – $40,000 for the deposit and $10,000 towards renovations. He plans to convert the garage and live in it himself to save on rent.

Originally, Cooke-Tait planned to retire aged 30.

“I swear it goes down every year. My goal now is to have 10 properties by the time I’m 21 and then we’ll see where I am and what happens.

“If I just grind out the hours and put my money to work, I won’t ever have to do it again.”

Cooke-Tait said that his mum was partly responsible for his saving.

“Just because we grew up with not a lot. She’s taught me you don’t have to have the best stuff, you know?”

Despite jumping on the property ladder early, Cooke-Tait wished he’d started even earlier.

“I should’ve dropped out of school when I was seven.”

Cooke-Tait met his fellow house-owners last year after calling a property-finding agency.

The pair said they were impressed with Cooke-Tait’s motivation after he spent his school holidays helping them out with a renovation.

“We’re on the same path,” Blake said, “We all want to work ourselves into retirement.

“Technically, the key is to add enough value so you can release that value from the bank, and use that as a deposit for the next purchase.

“Increasing the value of the house, increases the equity, so the equity becomes the deposit for the next one.”

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