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01 November 2009


My husband and I will pay off our mortgage at the end of this year.

Hi Neil

My husband and I will pay off our mortgage at the end of this year if all goes well and we keep our jobs.

We started to think about interest-only loans to assist with tax and investment properties for retirement.

We went to a night where they wanted us to sign up for a house and land package in Queensland (that have not been built yet – about six months time) in the “boom areas”, as they put it, where gas has been discovered or close to the theme parks.

I carried out some research but could only find reviews on their site which, of course, were wonderful and which I questioned them on. They were very good at evading the question and telling me “we’ll get back to you on that”.

My husband and I had plenty of questions, about being ripped off etc.

Then we were ushered into another room where the Financial Guru did some wonderful creative accounting. He went on to say, if we buy both properties we will be paying $14 per month for one property and receiving $7 per month on the other. I asked several times for the print out to take home but by the end of the night we went home without it. This man said “you can call me any time at night”. He called several times over the next few days and was keen for us to phone at 11pm if we made up our mind, which I felt was desperate. He advised that the next lot of house and land packages will be rising in price significantly. They look after everything for you, from construction to giving you the keys. We don’t lift a finger, just give them the money. I asked about maintenance costs and they said very minimal, about 7%. This was a concern as we own another small house where my husband carries out the maintenance to save on costs.

He said all you have to do is sign tonight and you are under no obligation to buy. He said you have a six week cooling off period but at least you have great properties. This was about 4 weeks ago and of course we still haven’t contacted him.

We want to invest but do not know anybody in our lives that has invested in a property of this type.

Anyway, Neil and whoever looks at this email will more than likely know what I am talking about immediately.

We would love to hear from you about this type of investment. Is it a wise investment in your opinion? What would you be looking at?

Thank you kindly

Ron & Sharon


Dear Ron and SharonThanks for your message.

What you have described as happening to you is a ‘classic real estate rip-off’. Without even knowing the name of the company or where their recommended properties are located, I estimate that you would have been ripped off by at least $50,000 per property. I’ve been in real estate for more than 40 years and, believe me, I can smell a scam a mile away.

I am so pleased that you resisted their tactics. For now, I suggest you go to and get a wonderful report for first-time investors called ‘Getting Started’. I think it’s free but even if it costs a few dollars, it’ll be one of the best real investments you ever make.

And then, when you are finally ready to buy a property, always do FOUR things: 1) Stay away from those one-stop-shop property companies. They will ALL rip you off. 2) Go to a normal average real estate agent and buy a normal average property. 3) Pay an independent valuer to inspect the property for you BEFORE you pay any money or sign any document. And, finally, 4) Select your own solicitor. Never use a solicitor recommended by the people who are selling you a property. Such solicitors are almost always dodgy.

For your sake, I hope you follow my suggestions.

Kind regards



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