Melbourne property: 20-year-old ex-KFC employee scores $510,000 at home

The uni student used to earn just $14 an hour, but a change in fortune now means he owned multiple properties before age 21.

A former KFC employee has shared how he managed to score a three-storey house in Melbourne despite being only 20 years old.

Rashira Fernando bought his first property when he was 19, after working at the fast food chain for three years starting at just $14 an hour.

“I was rejected by 10 banks,” the homeowner told news.com.au. “It was annoying. I would give up until I found the best broker.”

Finally, he found a bank willing to give him a loan to cover the cost of a $280,000 plot of land in Pakenham, Melbourne.

In March last year, he made a 10 percent down payment of $28,000 and used mortgage insurance (LMI) from lenders to cover the remaining 10 percent down payment needed to secure the 678-square-foot derelict site.

There was no way Fernando could have predicted that he’d bought a home at the best time in 30 years, with real estate prices skyrocketing in 2021 since the housing boom in the mid-1980s.

The property’s value rose 25 percent in as many weeks, and when the then-teen sold in September, he was $70,000 richer.

This allowed him to buy his next home where he now lives.

Fernando got a job at his local KFC when he was 15 and quit when he was 18 after scoring a better part elsewhere.

The uni student studied a health certificate at RMIT and got a job in the industry.

He worked as a contractor working with many aged care facilities and would earn over $3000 a week if he worked 55 hours.

The track was unaffected by any of Melbourne’s many lockdowns as it was deemed essential.

“I worked at KFC. I saved quite a lot from that and from my new job [to buy the block of land],” he said.

The young man acknowledged that not having left home made it a lot easier to meet his savings goal.

He had no bills to pay and only spent $100 a week. The rest would all go into his savings accounts.

“I would say the only way I could save was because I lived with my parents,” he admitted.

“Obviously, when I got my new, better-paid job, it became even easier. A lot of the savings went in [to my bank account] fast.”

Mr. Fernando used a first-time homebuyer’s scheme, which meant he didn’t have to pay any stamp duty or tax on the purchase, and walked away with a hefty profit.

“Then I went house hunting for two months,” he said.

Fernando thinks he got lucky in finding his next home when he came across a bargain.

Last November, he snatched a three-storey terraced house in South Melbourne’s Dandenong, Melbourne, for just $510,000.

A recent property appraisal by his bank indicated it was worth about $580,000.

The sellers were “in financial stress and had to sell quickly,” Fernando said.

Although his offer wasn’t the highest, he was able to pay the fastest, in just 30 days, so they agreed to his price.

For this purchase, he made a 10 percent down payment with LMI to cover the rest. This time he also had to pay stamp duty.

The 20-year-old has moved his family into the property, who are paying their share of the rent to cover the mortgage costs.

He plans to move tenants there in the near future.

Mr. Fernando also plans to continue buying real estate.

“It’s easier to get another house, it’s easy to use equity [from this one],” he said.

At the beginning of 2023, he wants to use the excess money to start a catering business with his brother.

The young man graduated from university in December.

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