Jenna Bradwell is a 33-year-old graduate of The School of Renovating and social media manager, passionate about using property and renovating as a stepping stone toward her dream of living on the beach in North Bondi, and one day owning a wine shop.
Jenna’s renovating strategy proves that it is possible for young women with determination and a clear strategy to break into the property market. She lives in her properties, renovates, and then sells after a few years, moving along the path to her dream property.
Jenna hasn’t let her relative youth or lack of experience hold her back but instead has seen it as an opportunity to learn and grow. She is an inspiration who shows that young women can still achieve their property investment goals with persistence and the right mindset.
It’s a shame that young people, particularly in Sydney, think that they can never get into the property market and are gonna be renters forever. It does take a change in mindset to be able to make that leap”
– Bernadette Janson
Jenna Bradwell’s experience proves that with a change in mindset, it is possible to take the leap into property ownership.
Jenna’s Genius Side-Hustle Helps Manage Rising Interest Rates
Like many, Bradwell has been worrying about how to pay her mortgage on her own as interest rates have risen. But she hasn’t just rested on her laurels. Combining the lessons of The Barefoot Investor and Bernadette’s $100K Reno course, she made a list of all her skills and things she could do to increase her cash flow.
Bradwell stumbled upon inspecting properties as a side hustle on Airtasker. She accepted a task after realising that she could inspect properties for potential renters who lived interstate or had clashing open homes to attend. It began with one inspection for a Melbourne-based business person who was looking to move to Sydney. Jenna says he was a good client and gave her positive reviews. She enjoyed the task and was well paid for doing something she loves on her weekend in her own suburb.
After doing several other, similar jobs, Jenna advertised her services on Facebook, and word of mouth led to more business. She enjoys the process of property inspections and feels that it is a great way to increase her cash flow. She loves being able to help people who may not be able to attend the inspections themselves, particularly in Bondi, where rental inspections are notoriously hard to schedule.
Because you’re renovating in Bondi, the information you are gathering is invaluable, because one of the things that you’ve gotta know when you’re buying and selling property is what people will pay for.
You’re building a very solid foundation”
– Bernadette Janson
Jenna has now completed over 50 property inspections in Bondi and has become quite knowledgeable about the local real estate market.
Jenna’s First Property A Triumph After A Relationship Break-Up
Jenna Bradwell, a 33-year-old social media manager, is passionate about using property and renovating as a stepping stone toward her dreams of living on the beach in North Bondi and owning a wine shop.
For many years, she rented in North Bondi and saved for property ownership with her English partner. After a sudden and unexpected relationship breakup, Jenna’s life was turned upside down from one day to the next. She was in a difficult position, both emotionally and financially. She had to move out of their shared home, and her intention to own a property with her partner was dashed. On top of that, as a single person again, her buying power was diminished. She realised it was a turning point and made a commitment to herself.
I decided that I wasn’t going to let him dictate the future of my life and I wasn’t gonna leave the community and the friends and everything that was home for me”
– Jenna Bradwell.
The Power Of A Vision
She was starting from a low base, but Jenna uses visualisation to keep herself motivated. As a result of an activity she did in one of Bernadette’s programs, Jenna regularly visualises the apartment she wants to own on Ramsgate Avenue in North Bondi – right down to the particular building. Although the property is currently priced way out of her reach, Jenna uses visualisation to sustain her.
Sometimes I go down there and practice in my head, walking down from my (dream) place to get a coffee and sit on the beach and, go to the bar across the road”
– Jenna Bradwell
A Little Step Closer to Her Dream Every Time
To achieve her dream, Jenna decided she was going to have to take a series of steps. The first step was to buy a small apartment, live in it and renovate it.
A lot of people seem to want a turnkey or a house with a backyard, and they wanna be close to the city. They want it all, and the only realistic way that you’re going to get there is to start small and gradually build bigger
– Jenna Bradwell
Jenna describes her first property as a teeny tiny shoe box apartment in Bondi. She purchased it about 5 years ago for $770,000 and spent between $80,000 and $90,000 renovating it. She sold it late last year for $1.1 million last year.
Then, applying her strategy again, she paid $1.25 million to upgrade to a bigger place on the same street with a balcony and undercover car parking – very sought after in Bondi. For a second time, she renovated from top-to-toe, largely with the same team that she used the first time around. Her apartment has just been valued at around $1.6 million – quite an equity gain.
Navigating The Property Market As A Young Woman
Bradwell admits it can be difficult and overwhelming. She felt like she was being “eaten alive” by the competitive market until she serendipitously met another future in the form of buyers’ agent, Amanda, Gould.
Jenna met Amanda while waiting for a property inspection when she was looking to buy her first property. Amanda was talking on the phone in no uncertain terms to the real estate agent, who hadn’t shown up to the open for inspection. It turned out she was a buyers agent – a job that was new to Jenna.
I ended up asking her for her card, and we met the next week. I just decided I needed all the help I could get. And so, enlisted the help of Amazing Amanda, and within a week of meeting out the front of that property in Bondi, I had bought it”
– Jenna Bradwell
Bradwell emphasised the importance of having a mentor or a buyer’s agent to help young women succeed in the property market.
The gender pay gap also has an impact on women’s ability to invest in property. It can be difficult to save for a deposit when earning less than men. However, Bradwell emphasized that it is still possible for women to invest in property if they are determined and have a clear strategy.
Building a Renovation Support System
When she knew she wanted to renovate, Jenna got educated. Building a support system when embarking on a renovation project is important. Having a mentor can help one avoid costly mistakes and make informed decisions, especially in a highly competitive market. It’s crucial to find someone who has the necessary expertise and shares similar values and goals.
While some people might be afraid to engage tradies and renovate themselves, Jenna recommends trusting good tradies and doing it yourself. Jenna shared her experience of attending Bernadette’s School of Renovating, where she learned valuable skills and met like-minded individuals who provided support and advice.
The 100K Reno Program was great to be a part of. I met other people with similar goals to me who were renovating properties. Allie was somebody who was selling her place at the same time that I was selling my first place”
– Jenna Bradwell.
Jenna’s first renovation was during the Covid lockdowns. Although she couldn’t physically go to all the suppliers, she chose every finish, tile, and colour online and completely trusted the team. Amongst the lessons she learned was the importance of quality when deciding which tradies to engage. The cheaper quotes didn’t have the attention to detail that the more expensive ones had.
As a result of the care she took in selecting her trades, she was able to use largely the same group of trades in the second renovation.