From $5,000 to $20 Million before 40 – The Ilse Wolfe Story

By Lighthouse | July 10, 2023 | 5 Min read

This week we’re joined by Ilse Wolfe, Director at Opes Accelerate. Ilse has over 16+ years personal property investment experience, owning a private portfolio with 25+ rentals valued at $20m+. She helps property investors improve their investments through renovations. Her time is focused to help aspiring investors begin on a similar path to wealth and passive income throughout NZ.

You can find out more about Ilse and Opes Accelerate here.

How it started

  • At first, Ilse and her ex-boyfriend used their money together to buy their first property. They weren’t sure about their future together, but they both wanted to start buying property.

Early challenges

  • Ilse knew a bit about fixing up properties but didn’t have a clear plan.
  • Things changed when she decided to learn from people who knew more and joined a learning program. This helped her buy six properties in two years.

Mistakes and learnings

  • After buying lots of properties, Ilse and her partner had a problem. They owned a lot of property but didn’t have much money in their bank. They had focused on increasing the value of their properties but had forgotten about having enough money coming in.
  • They had to change how they lived and then spent two years getting their money back on track by finding ways to get more money from their properties.
  • “Cashflow is king. You can’t buy groceries with capital gains”. What she learned from this: Having money coming in is most important. As Ilse said, “If you focus on having money coming in, the value of your properties will go up too. But it doesn’t work the other way round.”

Helpful tips for beginners

  • If you’re thinking of buying property, Ilse’s advice is to just start; everything doesn’t have to be perfect.
  • If you really want to change your life, you’ll find a way. She says it’s important to learn from people who have more experience. It can save you lots of money if you don’t repeat the mistakes that many people have made before.

In the end, Ilse’s story shows us that buying property can be tough, but if you have the right attitude, a good plan, and you learn from others, you can be successful.

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