Matthew Harris is an established New Zealand businessman, property investor and property tax advisor. Founder and Managing Director at Lighthouse Financial – a full service financial firm based in Auckland City.
Harris grew up in rural Hawkes Bay with his twin brother and solo mother. As a teenager he and his brother spent most of their time performing chores such as feeding livestock, fixing tractors, and other farm work.
Harris was working at Inland Revenue in Napier when he purchased his first home in 2010 for $244,000. He immediately began renovating the property, adding value wherever he could. According to Harris, he didn’t realise he was adding equity until a real estate agent offered him an appraisal, which valued his home at $300,000. This was the catalyst for Harris’s interest in property investing.
By the time he was 30, Harris had a portfolio of 5 properties, most of which were purchased at mortgagee sales and renovated. Following the Christchurch earthquakes, he, along with his brother and cousin proceeded to purchase 19 more properties in the area. Despite the properties being marked as earthquake damaged, Harris saw an opportunity to add value. After moving to Auckland to start Lighthouse Financial, Harris bought 6 Auckland properties, then naturally steered into property development. Completing his first successful development of 5 townhouses in Papatoetoe, a suburb in South Auckland. Harris currently has a property portfolio of 30 with another 21 under development for sale.
Harris received mentorship from friends and utilised his 9 years of experience to start Lighthouse Financial in 2014. Initially offering accounting services to business owners and property investors, the business quickly expanded to offer mortgage and wealth services. Lighthouse now looks after around 4,000 clients both nationally and internationally.
Harris regards his success as a result of the work ethic instilled in him while he was young, coupled with the idea that opportunity is always around us if we’re willing to take action. He notes that most of his successful purchases were in economic downturns or uncertain times. Harris is passionate about securing Kiwi’s financial future, believing financial literacy and action are the keys to financial freedom.