For nearly twenty years, Mark Lemon, has quietly got on with the job of building a serious property portfolio in regional South Australia.
Starting with his first purchase in Tailem Bend in around 2001, Mark has tackled four major renovations to build an impressive portfolio today.
‘I bought my first home when I was 38, for just under $40k, and set about fixing it up and paying it off’ explains Mark.
‘It was an old concrete Railway Home and it needed a tonne of work’.
At the time Mark was working in Santa Teresa in the Northern Territory and he would fly home for holidays to spend them on his latest renovation.
‘I would go away for work, save up my coin, and then come home and work like crazy on my holiday’s to finish a kitchen, floors or the laundry.
Pretty quickly Mark was able to finish this first home, so that when a neighbour and mate called him to let him know that another house #14, in the same street, was available, he grabbed it.
‘My second buy came with tenants and those guys have been there for more than 15 years’.
But Mark, didn’t really need to do much to this home, so when a third home came up in the same street, he was ready. ‘About nine (9) years ago #17 came up for grabs, so I jumped on board again’.
And, this renovation proved to be a big one, with Mark gutting the home, and again replacing kitchens, bathrooms, sheds and landscaping.
‘I took a bit more time with this project, but it was still a big job’ says Mark.
‘I have been really lucky in that I am handy in all fields of house renovating and I know a lot of tradie’s and mates that help me out as I do the renovations.’
Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognise them.Anne Landers
With three projects under his belt, you would think that Mark had, had enough. But his last project bought about five years ago has been one of his biggest yet.
‘I was lucky enough to pick up this final project, off market, from a deceased estate. The family were finished with the home, but unsure what to do next, so I made them a fair offer’.
The fourth home need a huge amount of work, but it has been a labour of love for Mark, with nearly everything being replaced in the home.
Mark has also been fortunate to rent two of his homes as serviced accommodation over the last two years during the construction phase of both The Bend Motorsport Park and the Tailem Bend Solar Farm.
‘I set these homes up to accommodate workers here for a long stay during these big projects and this has worked financially for both me and them’ says Mark.
So what is next for this property investor? Likely some travel and time with a new grandchild early next year.
And, while we would like to believe Mark that he is finished, we reckon that there is at least another project in the pipeline yet.