Page 1


T H G I R Y T P H O G I C R © Y T P H O G C I R © Y P O C ©

From broke to 12 properties Just seven years ago, Zaki Ameer was a broke student living in a foreign country with a debt of $80,000, while trying to juggle full-time work and full-time study. Today he owns 12 properties worth more than $3 million and bought 11 of those in the space of just two years. SARAH MORGAN

aki Ameer, 31, moved to Australia when he was 18 for university studies, but he has since gone on to achieve citizenship and says this is the place he calls home. “I came on my own to Australia,” he says. “At 18, Australia seemed like an exciting, bright place where I could make my dreams come true, but it wasn’t easy and there were plenty of challenges. “Often, the most challenging parts of our lives lead us to the greatest reward.” One of those challenges came just months after Zaki had arrived in the country, when he ran into financial difficulties and was no longer able to fund his studies. He was forced to make the choice of returning home, or staying and attempting to stand on his own two feet. “I made the choice to stay back, probably due to my persistent nature that I learnt from my dad who was always open to new ideas and taking a shot at it,” he says. “I went broke by the age of 21 and had about $80,000 owing in loans to the bank because I was borrowing to fund my fulltime studies, however I was working fulltime at the same time. “This was made even more challenging when I failed university for two years in a row, as I was working and studying full time. This was a priceless lesson in having your priorities straight.” Zaki was again in a position where it would have been easier to cut his losses and return home, but he once more decided to take the difficult option to stick it out and try to make things work in his new home country. He followed a lead given to him by a friend and bought a two-bedroom display unit in the Sydney suburb of Hurstville for $300,000, even though he had no personal savings. “My friend was buying in the area and said it was a good deal but I didn’t know any better,” he says. “Considering I was already in debt, I was

like, ‘why not add to the pile?’ It didn’t scare me and the vendor lent as a separate loan the deposit to purchase the property. I never had an issue with borrowing money from the banks because I always paid on time, which is a very important lesson in investing. “The unit was rented from the start, as I was living in a little shoe box room paying $90 a week in rent and it was okay to continue living in it. The biggest lesson at the beginning was that it’s okay to make some short-term sacrifices to invest in your own future and success.” Zaki only became aware of the possibility of purchasing more properties using the equity he had in his unit four years after initially entering the property market. Once he discovered the power of equity, Zaki launched what seems like an all-out assault and bought 11 properties in a 24month period from August 2009. “My dad and Uncle Dudley were both huge inspirations that steered me towards adding to my portfolio,” he says. “My dad taught me the importance of business, investment and financial freedom. “My Uncle Dudley taught me the importance of saving, investing for the long term, delayed gratification and cash flow management. “Growing up surrounded by the right conversations is always a powerful influence, however I believe this is something you can cultivate within yourself through education and inspiration.” Many of Zaki’s properties are located in the western suburbs of Sydney and he chose that location because it offers lower prices, bigger land sizes, high rental yields and improving infrastructure. “I look for properties that are under market value; houses that are in bad condition and require renovation,” he says. “Some of my properties have required renovations, though I’m yet to lift a paintbrush and believe in leaving that to the experts.


“I also look at repossessions where the bank is looking to offload at a lower price; bulk buys, which involves gathering a group of investors together to purchase at a lower price; buying a block of units that could be strata titled; and blocks of land that could be developed into houses or units. “I would definitely recommend people follow the ‘creating value’ strategy, combined with the power of equity. You can continue to purchase properties without significantly increasing your income or savings. “The most important part is to manage your cash flow: you don’t want to be too negatively geared in which your serviceability is impacted and the banks don’t allow you to borrow further. “Capital growth is for the long term, however it has to be balanced with great rental incomes

API Connect Do you have a question for Zaki? Email it to and we’ll do our best to publish the answer in a future issue.






Purchase date

Hurstville, NSW*

2-bed unit

Fairfield, NSW Punchbowl, NSW


The Entrance, NSW Willmot, NSW Mount Druitt, NSW



so it’s not your job that’s funding loans on the properties. “Partnering is also a powerful tool in property. There are many opportunities if we’re open to it and I believe when you partner with others for win-win deals the returns are even greater. “The property market is filled with tricks of the trade which are hard to figure out on your own – property is a market that benefits from strong partnerships and the sharing of knowledge. “Property is only a vehicle in achieving your dreams. My personal financial goal is $200,000 coming out of assets that produce income while I’m sleeping, on holiday, with my parents, or doing charitable work.” With a portfolio worth more than $3 million, it’s safe to say Zaki, who now runs a consulting and coaching service, must be sleeping a lot better now than he was seven years ago when he was a broke student. “This journey has taught me about persistence, perseverance, patience, having a strong dream and beginning with the end in mind,” he says. “All these lessons have assisted in my investing journey in property and in life.” api


Purchase price

Purchase costs




2- bed unit




2- bed unit




2- bed unit




3- bed house




Renovation costs

Current value

Loan-tovalue ratio %

Rent per week



















2- bed unit







Tregear, NSW

4-bed house








Willmot, NSW

3- bed house








Kempsey Coffs Harbour, NSW

3- bed house







Southern Regional, NSW

3- bed house








Southern Regional, NSW

3- bed house








Sydney West, NSW

3- bed house












$310 $3,640

* Also Zaki’s principal place of residence



Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

Give your content the digital home it deserves. Get it to any device in seconds.