Vicki Wusche, 51, was once living off benefits but now lives in west London close to her family with a property portfolio worth over £2 million, three Amazon best-selling books and two property businesses to her name. Here Vicki, mum to daughters Charlie and Kimberley tells sellyourstoryuk.com how she did it…
“When I got divorced in 1991, I had two children under the age of three and no home. I realised I had lost my identity, and I felt emotionally vulnerable after years of verbal abuse.
“We went to live with my parents and eventually I moved into my own place with the help of the local council. I ended up living in social housing in Brent. I know now that a landlord had leased his property to the council for a three year term with guaranteed rents – something I now do in my own portfolio!
As I started her new life as a single mum, I decided to take control of my destiny and enrolled at the University of Westminster in Harrow for a degree in business and computer studies. I studied while holding down five jobs – just to make ends meet.
After my degree I ended up working at the University – until the funding came to an end and I was once again looking for a job.
It wasn’t until 2008 that I finally took her first course in how to invest in property.
I ended up spending £20,000 on that one property course! I certainly wouldn’t recommend anyone spends that much money. But the course did pave the way to my current life and I would not be where I am now.
Buying my first sourced property in August 2008 I thought it would be easy … four months later my commitment was being put severely to the test.
I started investing just as the property market decided to nose dive. When I joined the property training I dragged Bob my other half, Nicki my sister and Lawrence our brother in-law along to join me ….poor things.
We had board meetings in our kitchen and agreed that we would all put £20,000 in a kitty together, they would continue with their jobs (which made them mortgage-able) and I would do all the day-to-day work of finding the properties.
A year later and we had six properties. The first house was easy really – we offered and the vendor accepted but then the market crashed and property investing got really serious. The first mortgage I arranged on Valley Road (our first joint property) turned out to be right on the edge of mortgage fraud !!!! It was terrifying and a real lesson designed to make sure I understood every mortgage agreement I entered into!
Then the next four months I failed to buy a single property, but I was incurring costs; mortgage surveys and brokers fees – it was really stressful and certainly nothing like they taught on the course. I suppose that is what prompted me to write my first book – to explain the reality (as I experienced it) of investing in property.
In the end my success now is all to do with effective pricing, understanding the maths of an investment, combined with a lot of hard work, risk, stress, tears and fun.
It’s ironic that I started out in social housing as a single mum, so when I started to invest I really wanted to house families, especially single parents so the children could have a stable home. In the end, however, it was difficult as so many of the women either could not handle their money, or their love lives. Strange boyfriends, violent relationships, unpaid rent and even some property damage. All very sad as every family included children! Now though, most of my tenants are great and pay on time as I get rents paid direct.
I now have twenty-two properties, with a couple in London although the bulk of my portfolio is in Liverpool.
My exact net worth in monetary terms is irrelevant, I am rich in so many ways, with my two daughters, my partner Bob – a real saint – of 15 years, life experience, my friends and family. I am able to do what I love and am passionate about. The money is just the cherry on the icing on the cake. I have never lost perspective of what’s important which is, and always been, my family. That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learnt of all.”
Vicki is a successful property investor and author of ‘Property for the Next Generation; preparing your family for a wealthy future’ and ‘Make More Money from Property’ and she runs website vickiwusche.co.uk
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