How I Became Financially Free – Karen Bock

Discover how a support worker for adults with autism recently became financially free by investing in property.

Karen kindly shares her journey from her first property…all the way through to freedom.

Learn how to do Rent To Buy for your properties in our 🏠  Passive Property Masterclass

If you enjoyed this episode or have a question for Karen, leave a comment below.

Transcript

Hi everyone
I’m George Choy and welcome to the Sarah & George Choy Property Podcast – the show that helps you to become financially free, so you can spend your time traveling, pursuing your passions and with your family.

So today in this episode I’m interviewing Karen Bock who recently became financially free and I just wanted to talk to her about her life and how it happened and what she invested in.

If you haven’t subscribed to our channel please do and let’s get on with the show so welcome Karen.

How are you doing?

Oh yeah fine yes thank you, lovely day.

Good, good. So thinking thinking back in time to the very first property you bought – which could be your
principal private residence – tell me about that one. What were you doing at the time? What kind of job did you have? What kind of property did you buy at the time?

I was doing the same job as I’m doing now which I’m a support worker for adults with autism.

I only do that part-time and have i’ve only worked part-time for a few years now.

I bought this big four bedroomed detached property because because it had an attached brick built garage.
Okay there are reasons behind this one.

My son is disabled he’s in a wheelchair and obviously having the garage attached structurally to the house
opened up plans to knock through and build him like a ground floor flat if he ever wanted me to.

So he’d be independent himself but still attached to the main house, which wouldn’t have would never be a
problem. He hasn’t done that yet and he’s 17 now.

I think i’ve looked after him too well.
Yeah.

[Laughter]
But it’s the opportunity still sits there.
So the second property I bought was a fluke really. It was just one of those things. This property came on the market
and it showed one picture on the cover. So I arranged a view and went round and they said be prepared for a bit of a shock, okay.

Well it wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting but the poor gentleman was alcoholic dependent shall we say. So there were bottles and untidiness everywhere. I know after a bit of a few offers here and there I did purchase the property and spent
roughly nine and a half thousand pound doing it up to become a lovely home.

And I put a friend of mine’s brother in there who suffers terribly with mental health problems and I’ve told him this is your home for life now. I’m not gonna ever kick you out. I don’t need because I’d use my pension money to purchase that property.

So he’s fine. I think I haven’t been in the house for three years because I know that that’s how he is. He’s spotless. It will be spotless – he’s a clean freak.

Oh that’s good.

OCDC very minimalistic very minimalistic.

yeah so he appears every now and again and visits friends

Right so did you withdraw twenty percent of your pension to to get the deposit on it?

No I bought it for cash order for cash.
Oh right, okay.

Yeah. Many, many years ago my father talked me into or would rather talk to me out of paying into the state pension and into a private pension, which had done very very well over the years.

But then all of a sudden it stopped as money was fluctuated here and there. There was a fair amount of money sat in there and it wasn’t proving viable. It was like oh it’s not making much anymore. What can I do with it?

Property. I’d always had this little idea of playing with property. It’s just like Monopoly – keep buying. So I bought that one and really enjoyed doing it up and helping somebody out.

Yeah and from this year alone – I started in January. So during lockdown I have purchased three properties. They’re all rented out on Rent To Buy.

Okay, so tell us, for people that don’t know what Rent To Buy is. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Yep fine. So basically it’s for people who never would never have thought about owning their own property – their own home whatever.

So what happenes with this strategy is they still go in as a rented tenant – but the minute they walk through the
door it’s their home. They they still pay the rent. There’s an agreement for either five, seven or ten years.

It can be extended if they need to. They will purchase the property at the end of that time period. They agree the price. So all the time they’re in there they’re paying the rent. They pay a top-up which will then become their deposit for their mortgage.
So it’s in a client account. They can’t touch it and neither can I – unless they default on rent or they walk away from it.

They take care of all the maintenance. They can do pretty much as they please to the property. Obviously they can’t just go and put a big extension on the back without permission, but if they do that’s fine by me because that’s if they walk away from it they increase the value of my property.

But but it’s a hands-free strategy. idon’t get any hassle from it at all and it’s giving people an opportunity to have their own home that probably would never have managed to make it on the mortgage ladder at all and especially in today’s yeah financial mess.

But and I really haven’t had any problems from them at all their rent is paid on time there have been no problems.

because obviously when they when they
take the house on I as a landlord I

still have done
everything suitable to make it safe it

still has to have its electrics and gas certificates

yeah which I have to do every year while they’re a tenant, obviously.

yes but I do all that all the work I
mean one

one house was totally and utterly
refurbed you know new kitchen new

bathroom
plastered a lot so you know this lady

got a lovely home
yeah yeah I will get yeah but I will get

she will look after it and at the end
of it I will get a nice

sale price without having to do anything
else for it

yeah yeah it’s good yeah I like I like i
have got some print device as well

they just work they work ethically and
they work financially as well I

I do like this system yeah good for the
tenant good for the landlord

yeah definitely so
can you share any any figures on one

of these I can share yeah
the easiest one to share well I’ll share

a couple
was the second one I purchased now

I paid over the odds for that
it was a two bed three three bed

terrace
okay on offers around about £50k

but it was perfect it didn’t need any
work doing whatsoever

it was it was a walk-in put your
furniture in and then you were home

nice so I paid £56k for that so it was
it was it was a bit over the odds it

wasn’t on the best of the streets either
right but it was tenanted immediately

it gone in a week you know straight in
no

no hassle the paying rent the pen proper
market rent there’s no

you know it’s not reduced rent yeah so
that one went

for that the first one I purchased was
on at £62k.

okay that had quite a lot of money spent
on it because it needed it to bring it

up to standard
so it had around about £11,000 pounds

worth of work done on it as well
because it needed they love to put our

texts on
and of course you you have to cover it

or take it off due to the asbestos
yes so the whole house was skimmed and

plastered
new kitchen went in their bathroom and

everything
so that refurb was quite expensive

but it was a three bed semi
yeah so so you always have to be aware

of unexpected costs
in any property that you purchase um

obviously I don’t with purchasing the
properties for cash

i didn’t have any surveys done
i just put an indemnity insurance on

them yeah and they’re all insured
obviously now with landlord insurance

which you know it’s a security for
yourself

the third property was
I’d viewed that earlier on in the year

and they wouldn’t come down in the price
but eventually they did come down they

did come down yeah and I purchased it
for

okay again very lit I think a thousand

pound
and I did most of the work myself on

that one with the help of a friend and i
did pay get a friend to help she’s

making the decorative for me
so for under a thousand pound that house

was decorated
it didn’t need any carpets during which

i just paid for carpets to be cleaned
right and once again it was rented

within a week
wow that’s good was that another three

bed that was a two bed that was the two
bed terrace

two bed terrace okay two bed terrace

okay but it was in the better area
yeah

so and between all three of those
properties with the rent that they’re

bringing in they’re not massive rents
that you know their average

rents i’ve been able
I could to be financially free

i worked it all out and thought you know
what

i can do this I don’t have to work but I
really don’t want to work if I don’t

have to work
but I do continue to work simply

to keep the mortgage company happy
due to the fact of my business not

being a year old
so with in less than a year I am

financially free
they won’t I haven’t got the accounts

and the books to keep
the mortgage people happy yeah so they

they just want my wages
[Laughter]

well I have I have something else sat in
the

sat in the pipeline right that either by
by Christmas or just after Christmas in

the new year that will be it for me I
will never

work again yeah brilliant in
for anybody I can sack the boss that’s

it that’s it
i can stack up the boss yes the spot on

that’s it that’s good that’s really good
yeah

really good so and you know what
so it’s possible and and I haven’t

as a good okay it’s possible in less
than a year

so yeah I haven’t got loads of
experience or anything like that i’ve listened
i’ve listened and learned.

Education. Attending your Financial Freedom Masterclass was was an eye-opener it was like
oh I could do this.

So after you did my course and then suddenly you realised you were financially free – talk me through
that kind of moment when it kind of hit you.

What I’d been as you were doing the course – on the last day I started adding things up and totting
them up and thinking okay i’ve got that and i’ve got that.

Then added all the bills up for everything that was coming in and it’s like well that’s less than half of what’s coming in hmm okay.

We could do this one. I mean something just hit me at the end of the day on the last
day it was like. Re-did all the figures.

I think I did the figures about three times and kept coming back and I passed them across and went
“Is that right? Tell me if that adds up right” and then Karen went “yeah, yes”

so yeah it was it was like whoa thank you very much!

I know but it’s it’s quite a quite a shock when it happens it really

is it’s like you don’t realise you just don’t realise how how much people spend.

See because I haven’t got any mortgages I mean i’ve got five properties with no
mortgages on, which makes a difference.

But because I’m now putting mortgages on the properties that’s where I have to hop that’s why I
have to stop slow down and be sensible, be sensible.

You’ve still got to be able to have the rents cover the mortgages.

but then I think it but if the rents are

covering the mortgage
I’m losing x amount of income so I still

do have to do
income would you say it’s important then

to to
go would you would you have invested in

property in the first place if you
hadn’t gone on some courses

and thought that you could even
become financially free

in the first place

I might have carried I might have
toyed with the idea

but I would probably have come unstuck
drastically on stock

because I’d already got this little one
in my own name

and but because of the person that’s in
there I get no problems from it

yeah I wasn’t silly I wasn’t
unaware of that there could be problems

involved in property
and but I thought I need to learn more

about all of this stuff
and I didn’t know where to go and I

think you have to learn to
judge the people that you’re going to be

working with um
yeah find out about them it took me a

while
i didn’t do it straight away it did take

me
five months five months to make that

leap
yeah and it’s a big investment and you

have to get over the mindset
as well of learning it’s changed my

mindset drastically
i was always I was brought up to if you

can’t afford it you don’t have it
you save up for it you know if you can’t

pay cash for it you don’t have anything
on credit

you don’t you know so so it’s changed me
in that way

that i’ve learned about good credit and
bad credit definitely

you’re going to teach him to invest in
property yeah

yeah I’m good he’s going to take over
this business he’s um

yeah though I don’t want him I’d like
him to get

an apprenticeship with somebody to so he
learns from the bottom upwards a little

bit
but I don’t want him to be dependent on

on that person
I don’t on on a wage yes I don’t want

him to
I call it a wage slave that’s it he just

need to know
yeah he’s a wage slave I i he needs to

know
the ins and outs of things and as all

kids do they don’t listen to their
parents

no what you don’t know what you’re
talking about yeah

yeah my children are nine and ten and
they have absolutely no interest really

at the moment
every time I you know talk to them about

property investing they just kind of
switch off

yeah but they’re not unintended they’ve
got better things to do there’s a

computer
yeah exactly

rob’s 17 and this is like he just looks
at me going out but I just keep telling

him oh
telling him what’s going on for what I’m

doing yeah and every now and again he
perks up and he’ll ask a question and oh

god he’s interested

he’s sat in he sat at school doing a
levels

he’s doing english language history
and I t

and he gets he’s very focused and
adamantly he’s going to do these

A-levels but he’s very adamant he doesn’t
want to go to university as well

I’ve had enough of education yeah he
said I’m sick of education

so because he’s a right little
trooper he really does work hard and

it’s things don’t always come easy to
him

yeah so I can’t blame him and i’ve said
to him I said well you’re not going to

go to university
this year surely you know you’ll take a

gap year
because you might as well stay at home

but you’re not just going to sit playing
games you’re going to learn something

yeah so I will push somewhere down the
line to say right

let’s have a couple of days doing this
and doing that yeah

so you could build him a call
yeah not with this book well

yeah the books are all sat there lined
up yeah this is your reading list for

this week
yeah I keep just I keep sort of leaving

them lying around and say have a look at
that one and

have a look at this one no he needs he
needs a different he needs a mindset

change
i think he needs a brain transplant with

mindsets concerned
[Laughter]

so assuming then the in in December
then that’s that’s it for you then

what do you
what do you plan to do from now on

have you thought about it I’m building a
second I’m yeah yeah no I’m built this

is how this is I’m doing this I’m
building a second business

okay all right which is
yeah it when it’s still still involves

property it still involves property
but it’s i’ve joined up with a with

another lady
and she has we’re both very much

interested in helping
people with mental health problems

the homeless
yeah and very much so

for the children coming out of care
i don’t know you know they’ve been in

the foster care system and when they get
to 18 they’re just kicked out

and left yeah they get
left so we’re both very much interested

in that
so we are looking at

purchasing hmos type buildings
properties yeah and providing housing

for these guys
and putting teams in there that will

help them
move forward you know mentorship people

and some of them some of the guys ladies
and gentlemen that

are possibly coming out of the mental
health

hospitals right um
and again they just get kicked out and

left
so they need to go back in um

and providing them with some with a home
a room you know like an HMO

with stability with care and guidance
so that is where my next stream

is disappearing off to okay so is that
assisted assisted living

is that is that it’s it’s called
supported housing

housing right yeah supported housing
as well but obviously we’ll

just be the boss and put it and employ
staff

so which will still be I’ll still be
financially free I don’t have to

have a day-to-day input in the in it but
because I

love that thing
i love doing that that’s that’s where I

my care is
I’ll carry on building that business

up that way
yeah that’s something but I’ll also be

enjoying life
yeah exactly so what do you what do you

want to do with your with your life then
in terms of enjoying it

what are your plans travel when
restrictions are lifted obviously I want

to travel more
a lot more okay so yeah

rob with with him now he would have
finished school he could travel with me

oh he can stay
yeah yeah no I want to do the the

train
ride over the orient over the rockies

around the Canadian Rockies
oh nice yes

yeah uh probably do the yeah
not the usual sightseeing stuff some of

the off off stuff
so I can go go sit on a beach anywhere

can’t you
yeah I prefer active and unusual yeah

yeah just like you yeah
yeah yeah I did I did a train ride from

china all the way to hong kong
that was quite interesting in a in a

cabin oh brilliant that was really good
loved it gosh yeah oh yeah

i want to see some of the some more of
the yes out you know east

east Asia places like that you know and
Korea and yeah those places fascinate me

their history is amazing and the
architecture is

oh that is nice architecture
definitely yeah I’m with you on travel i

love travel yeah
it’s it’s a shame with this one that we

can’t move about as much as we used to
be able to

yeah plus we got Switzerland as well
you know look at the Swiss alps drive

around through there
yeah I wouldn’t want to go on one of

those coach rods because they look too
hairy

whiz down those Swiss mountains

just be able to have the time to to
jump get on a plane hire a nice car or

something at the end of it and just
travel around and stop off where you

felt like you know
you could do Austria Germany places like

that you just
just go and stop where you please

definitely
that sounds good I like that

so just thinking back to your your
property investing um

if you were to to to give one one
tip something something you learned that

you think
anyone new coming to property needs

to know what would you say
is a big learning bitcoin it’s just the

whole education stuff and don’t
and don’t be afraid to ask the questions

even if it sounds a silly question to
you don’t be afraid

to ask it because if you think if you
don’t know just

somebody else there might not know
either but be brave enough to ask

that question of what do you mean by
that

i mean a lot of I found a lot of
property people use

abbreviations yeah when you first go in
it’s like

what what’s that about who’s that you
know what

what’s a BMV what what
[Laughter]

I thought a BMV was a car not a BMV

yeah just education is the biggest thing
i would say

just just learn learn yeah and be
patient

be patient okay watch listen
and learn yeah that’s

yeah so see see whatever but don’t just
run after everybody else

make your own path

definitely and I can see you’re doing
you’re doing things that you

you believe in and that you you you know
in your in your heart I can see that

there
there’s there’s a link between the kind

of work you do and
the investing that you do so I can

see a bit of
passion there as well yeah yeah don’t

property will bring you wealth
it can bring you money but if you

don’t enjoy doing the bit that you do
it can be a heart it’s hard work you

don’t want to do it for hard work you
want to do it because

it’s something you love and you care
about yeah

you know that’s that’s other people
might be making an awful lot more money

out of this than I am
probably you know they are but

have they got they might have passion
for money financial you know

gain and whatnot but i’ve got passion
for

other things I want I want to be able to
help

somebody else yes be the best they can
as well

you know it’s yeah I just love what I
do

yeah that’s good that’s good that’s the
way to

well then it’s never a chore is it it’s
not a chore of go I mean who wants to go

tramps around viewing houses
in the pouring rain yeah you know

but I if it has a has a fantastic ending
at the end of it crap love it go for it

yeah exactly good well
thanks thanks very much for coming on

the show karen it’s been really great
that you’ve shared your story with us

and how how simple it was as well
you know a lot of a lot of people get

into property and think it’s you know
very complicated

in terms of how to become financially
free but you’ve you know you’ve

demonstrated
it’s you know it can just be a couple of

properties and you know
getting the right knowledge and so on um

it can be as simple as that
and that’s brilliant you know

congratulations again

oh no I mean everybody’s helped me along
the line as well it wasn’t just me that

i hadn’t you know
people like yourself sarah and others

you know they’ve all helped
to get me where I am yeah and it isn’t

difficult
it’s not as complicated and complex as

people as you suddenly think it’s going
to

be yeah the complex things come later on
but by the time you get there

hopefully you’ve got the knowledge to
help you

forward and the contacts to turn around
and say help

yeah that’s really important having that
having that contact network isn’t it

yeah definitely people you can rely on
yeah

good so if people wanted to contact you
what’s the best way for them to do

that
via facebook’s fine I’m on facebook

um
great okay I’ll put it in a message I’ll

put a link a link in so people can just
click on that and contact you directly

then
yeah thank you sounds good all right

well thanks thanks everyone for
watching the show make sure you

subscribe at mycastleproperty.co.uk/subscribe
and we’ll see you all next week thanks bye.

Live your Dreams,
George Choy & Sarah Choy (Financially Free at 39)

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How I Became Financially Free - Karen Bock
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How I Became Financially Free - Karen Bock
Description
Discover how a support worker for adults with autism recently became financially free by investing in property. Karen kindly shares her journey from her first property…all the way through to freedom.
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My Castle Property Training
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