Daniel Walsh

Garbage train driver reveals how he built up a 13-home property portfolio worth $12MILLION

PHOTO: Daniel Walsh & his wife Sophie.

  • Daniel Walsh, 31, bought his first investment property in 2011 at the age of 19
  • At the time the former garbage train driver was earning $254 a week
  • Today Mr Walsh, from Sydney, owns 13 properties worth $12million 
  • He advises borrowers to focus on capital growth over rental yields for the gains

A former garbage train driver has built up a property investment portfolio worth $12million in just 10 years – and he started doing so when he was earning just $254 a week.

Daniel Walsh, from Western Sydney, bought his first property in 2011 at the age of 19 after dropping out of high school in year 10.

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At the time he was working as an apprentice electrician earning $39,000 per year, and today the 31-year-old owns 13 homes with wife Sophie.

The rent of the properties covers the expense of the mortgages and provides an additional cash flow of $100,000 per year in profit.

Daniel Walsh, from Western Sydney, (pictured, centre) bought his first property in 2011 at the age of 19 after dropping out of high school in year 10

Daniel Walsh, from Western Sydney, (pictured, centre) bought his first property in 2011 at the age of 19 after dropping out of high school in year 10 

Mr Walsh started his portfolio with a $342,000, four-bedroom house at Thirlmere, 90km south-west of Sydney, as he continued to live at home with his parents and earnt $254 a week

Mr Walsh started his portfolio with a $342,000, four-bedroom house at Thirlmere, 90km south-west of Sydney, as he continued to live at home with his parents and earnt $254 a week 

Mr Walsh started his portfolio with a $342,000, four-bedroom house at Thirlmere, 90km south-west of Sydney, as he continued to live at home with his parents and earnt $254 a week.

The income was considerably low and Mr Walsh said he could’ve made more by ‘working at McDonald’s’.

At the time interest rates were 7.79 per cent and house prices had slumped, according to Info Choice.

This week the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) increased the cash rate from 0.35 per cent to 0.85 per cent following a monthly meeting on Tuesday.

It was the biggest rate rise since February 2000 and the second since inflation hit 5.1 per cent in the March quarter.

For Mr Walsh, he was able to purchase his additional properties while working as a freight train driver at the time.

He told realestate.com.au the key to building his successful portfolio was making sacrifices when he was younger.

‘I knew I was going to be a tradie and I’d never be able to get this massive income so whatever I did with money I had to be good it,’ he said.

‘I realised that if I invested in property early I could compound my wealth.’

A year later, he bought another house in the same semi-rural town near Picton for $303,000.

‘As a 16-year-old apprentice I didn’t want to be a worker for the rest of my life,’ he said in a book about investing in real estate.

‘I spent three years saving hard, working overtime and on weekends: short-term pain for long-term gain,’ he said.

In seven years, his property portfolio grew to nine houses and a block of land worth $4million, with Mr Walsh’s equity in that now worth $2million. He still owes $2million.

‘I now make money while I sleep, with my net worth growing by $150,000-200,000 per year before I get out of bed,’ he said.

Mr Walsh (pictured with wife Sophie) left school in Year 10 to study at Wetherill Park TAFE in Sydney's outer south-west. Now aged 28, Mr Walsh gives property investment advice as the founder and director of Your Property Your Wealth , a buyers' agent

Mr Walsh (pictured with wife Sophie) left school in Year 10 to study at Wetherill Park TAFE in Sydney’s outer south-west. Now aged 28, Mr Walsh gives property investment advice as the founder and director of Your Property Your Wealth , a buyers’ agent

Apart from working to save for a 10 per cent mortgage deposit, Mr Walsh advises those wanting to build a property empire to avoid car loans

Apart from working to save for a 10 per cent mortgage deposit, Mr Walsh advises those wanting to build a property empire to avoid car loans 

Mr Walsh gives property investment advice as the founder and director of Your Property Your Wealth, a buyers’ agent.

Apart from working to save for a 10 per cent mortgage deposit, Mr Walsh advises those wanting to build a property empire to avoid car loans.

‘I realised that if I borrowed money to buy things like new cars, they’d lose value,’ he said.

‘Property, however, grew in value over time – more than most people save in their lives.’

He has been able to build his portfolio and make a profit in the face of a volatile property market.

House prices in Sydney and Melbourne have plunged by 17.4 per cent and 14.8 per cent, respectively since 2017, going by CoreLogic data.

In the five years before that, Sydney values surged by 68 per cent as Melbourne prices climbed by 54 per cent, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed.

While the property market fluctuates, Mr Walsh’s strategy is based on the observation that house prices tend to double, on average, every seven to 10 years.

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