Couple in their twenties earn £80k by renovating four rundown properties

When Oliver Bennett, now 23, was just 18 years old, he worked full-time in a factory so he could buy his first property.

He went on to buy three more homes – one with his girlfriend, Chanel Wallace, now 22, for £63k.

But rather than just living in the houses they’ve bought, Chanel and Oliver have managed to earn a profit of £81,870, by buying rundown homes, renovating them, and selling them at an increased price.

Oliver said: ‘Our lives have changed a lot!

‘We went from working for other people in jobs we hated to earning an income and doing something we love.

‘We are on the right track but it hasn’t been easy.

‘We’ve had to be tight with money to get to where we are today.

‘We still go out with friends but we will stick to a budget and we’ve only been on two holidays in four years.

‘We rarely buy clothes or unnecessary items as everything we earn goes towards the next project.’

Oliver says he has always been an entrepreneur, from selling sweets in school to buying his first property at 18.

He inspired Chanel – who was set to study nursing at university – to become a property developer too.

Oliver, then 19, and Chanel, 18, purchased their first property for £63,000.

They spent two years renovating the two-bed terrace house as they did most of the work themselves.

Chanel said: ‘I was so impressed when Oliver said he rents out two houses at 18. I wouldn’t want to do anything else now!

‘We brought our home in 2016 and spent £23,000 to renovate it.

‘It was an ongoing project as we used our monthly wages to pay as we go.

‘We ripped everything out and didn’t even hire a skip to save on costs. We’d fill our cars up and do multiple trips to the tip.

‘It wasn’t great living on a building site as there was dust everywhere. But it was nice to have our own space.

‘At one point, we had to use the bath to wash up as we didn’t have a kitchen.

‘We had help from friends, as well as hiring a plumber, and Oliver’s dad is an electrician which definitely helped.

‘We waited and brought all the kitchen appliances during the Black Friday sales too.’

In 2019, that home was valued at £110,000. The couple remortgaged it and used the profit to pay £66,000 in cash for another property.

‘Our home value had increased a lot,’ Oliver explained. ‘I sold the two houses I was renting out for three years and used this profit to put towards the fourth project.

‘I made over £15k in profit from those houses alone – which was split with my dad as he paid half of each deposit.

‘The fourth one we purchased was an unmortgageable house.

‘The roof was leaking and squatters had previously stayed there as it was empty for five years.

‘It was the worst of the worst.

‘We wanted to take a more efficent, business approach and hired a main-contractor.’

That property ended up being sold for £178,000, and in 2019, the couple set up a limited company called Oben Developments.

The money breakdown:

  • Oliver’s first property: bought for £65,000, spent £3,000 on renovation, sold for £75,740
  • Oliver’s second property: Bought for £65,000, spent £6,000 on renovation, sold for £81,000
  • First joint property: Bought for £65,000, spent £23,000 on renovation, valued at £110,000
  • Second joint property: Bought for £66,000, spent £61,000 on renovation, valued at £178,000

Total profit: £81,870

They’re now expanding their team and plan to start building properties from scratch on large pieces of land.

Oliver said: ‘We want to buy large plots of land and build multiple houses on them. We are passionate about minimalistic design and want to build homes that work better for people.

‘Our aim is to manage multiple developments at once!

‘We are on the right track, our next project is a very exciting one!’

To other young people keen to get on the property ladder, Oliver shared this advice: ‘Don’t rush into something – you shouldn’t do it just because someone else is.

‘Becoming a home owner and taking on debt is a big commitment, everyone is in different positions.

‘You should always have confidence in yourself and be certain about what you are buying.

‘The profit is made in the purchase – always make sure you buy right.

‘Lastly, if you are moving out for the first time – try and have somewhere to live whilst renovating, as it is overwhelming living on a building site.’

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