I’m just an ordinary girl from Brum who’s absolutely making the most of the very short time we get to live on this beautiful planet.
I was born at the back end of the 60’s into a very working-class family who lived in a council house in Birmingham.
I can’t even recall when I fell in love with planes but it’s as long as I can remember that’s for sure. After A Levels I applied to be an airline pilot but was rejected for being too short!
I had always had an interest in forensic science however and following a fateful trip to the careers library where I opened an A-Z of careers on ‘forensic scientist’ – true story – I applied and was accepted.
I worked there for nearly 15 years and absolutely loved it.
One of my friends and colleagues had invited me to join Amway (network marketing company). I’d never come across anything like this before and thought why not.
Myself and my then boyfriend (now husband), Stuart, knew we wanted more out of life and our respective jobs, well paid as they were, weren’t going to give us that but we had no clue where to start.
I genuinely didn’t even know anyone self-employed let alone a fully-fledged business owner or investor and I didn’t know anyone who owned anything other than their own home.
Joining Amway was the first time I had EVER read a motivational book. It was a real eye opener. I knew I had ambition and wanted more from life but I didn’t know how to achieve it or if it was even possible for someone like me.
Amway itself wasn’t for me but I loved the endless possibilities of something better. Not that what I had was bad. I was in an enviable well-paid job in the Civil Service many people would give their right arm for.
Stuart and I had booked our first big holiday together in 2000; we were off to Australia for 4 weeks. I grabbed a few books I hadn’t read for the holiday and one of them was Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. A property investor staple now but back then very few had heard of it.
It was the last week of our holiday before I grabbed it to read, and I devoured it in an hour or so.
I gave it to Stuart and said you have to read this now! He did the same and we spent the rest of the holiday and flight back planning what to do next.
That holiday was doubly special and significant as Stuart proposed to me on top of Sydney Harbour Bridge.
On the way back from the airport we stopped to fill up for fuel and while I was in the queue I glanced at the newspapers and there was an Exchange and Mart; on the top the headlines said ‘Cars – Jobs – Property’. That was enough for me, so I bought it!
One of the ads was for a ‘Start Your Own Letting Agency’ pack. I sent off for it and within a month we had launched our own Letting Agents.
However, we soon realised the ones making the money were the landlords and certainly not the agents.
So, what to do now; we had an endowment for our mortgage. It hadn’t done particularly well and it was unlikely to be sufficient to pay off our mortgage. At the time companies were purchasing these endowments so we made enquiries and were offered £40,000 for it so we took it.
We found a house we liked the look of; a 3-bed semi in poor condition.
We used the endowment money to put down the deposit and pay for the refurb and when we sold it we doubled the money we had invested.
We were hooked!
By now I had built up a good rapport with the sales manager of a new build site nearby and he contacted me to say an investor had just withdrawn from a purchase of 4 properties. He said if I could complete by the year end (less than 4 weeks away!) I could have them at the price he had agreed nearly 2 years prior and they’d pay for my stamp duty, carpets, curtains and light fittings.
That was the start of a complete whirlwind. After another year we had both packed in our jobs and were full time property investors, traders and developers.
Within the next five years we completed on lots of property deals, retaining a number for our own portfolio. I pioneered strategies in the UK such as lease options, rent to own, sale and rent back, assisted sales and many more. There’s barely a scenario I haven’t come across.
We also designed and patented a security product following a fire at one of our properties; you can read all about it at www.letterblox.co.uk
Then in 2007 two things happened that would send our lives in yet another direction; we got married and the credit crunch!
While on our honeymoon, back in Australia for 8 weeks this time, we decided we’d had enough of being landlords and wanted to enjoy life a bit more. So, we made a plan to sell up much of our portfolio on our return. However, when we got back the bottom fell out of market, so we just sat tight.
I was bored though and while helping one of our builders with his mortgage paperwork he said “you’d make a good mortgage broker”. I thought why not and in 2009 I launched Keys Mortgages.
So much for taking it easier! I was working longer hours than ever and still had a large portfolio to look after as well as the Letterblox business. I was run ragged.
I then went on a motivational course; it was one day that changed my life yet again.
I’d been wanting to build a massive business or so I thought but that wasn’t in fact what I wanted. I actually wanted a lifestyle business, so I set about creating one.
I wanted to tick things off my bucket list, I wanted to travel.
We slowly started to sell some of our properties, and I set about creating businesses that enabled us to travel.
In the last 5 years I’ve travelled all over the world including taking a 2-month cruise from the UK to Australia.
You can see some of our travel pics below.
I’m obsessed with ticking things off my bucket list; some of these things are simple like seeing Duran Duran in concert to more ambitious goals like going through the Panama Canal and going on a full world cruise which I have now booked.
I also love the simpler things like going away in our touring caravan. I adore living in the UK, the country is so diverse and so stunningly beautiful. While I’d love to live closer to the coast, as I love all things water, being in the Midlands does mean we are very conveniently located.
I also bought a classic car during the lockdown, a Morris Minor Convertible called Meg! It’s an absolute joy being out in her especially with the roof down in the sun or enjoying a cup of tea or a picnic by a river or beside a canal.
Everywhere you go people wave or toot and everyone wants to talk to you about her. She often pops up on my social media posts.
I have now retired from my mortgage business and I’m onto pastures new as I’ve got itchy feet again.
Firstly, I’ve wandered into the world of consulting and collaborations. My aim; to help homebuyers, property investors, mortgage advisers, lenders and businesses using my experience and expertise, you can read more about these services here for consulting and here for collaborations.
I’ve been involved in social media since before it was called social media and have always enjoyed helping others and sharing my knowledge and memoirs, so I just decided to do it in earnest and thus I guess you would now class me as a ‘influencer’.
My objective is to bring lots of help and guidance on all things property, mortgages and finance with a sprinkling of inspiration, a dash of Lisa and it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t throw in some travel exploits.
What’s so great about this newfound adventure is I can travel at the same time; I could be writing this in my caravan overlooking a Welsh valley or on a cruise ship in the Atlantic. I’m not, I’m writing it in my dining room waiting for Stuart to finish his emails so we can go in the hot tub!
I’ve loads of things I still want to achieve both in my business (No1 on You Tube and 100k Instagram followers would be good!) and personally; I’ve still a whole load of places I want to visit and things I want to experience. I wrote a bucket list 20 years ago when I started this journey and I found it recently having not referred to it since I did it. I was surprised and overjoyed to see I’d done 75% of the things that were on it, so I’ve just added a whole load more. Proof, if ever it were needed, of the power of writing stuff down! Going into space might be a bit of a stretch now but you never know however that world cruise is definitely happening.
I’m so excited to be on this next part of my journey and above all to be sharing it with you.
Please do get in touch; drop me a message or come chat to me on Instagram or Facebook.
Life is a journey; travel it well!
If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life you want you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don’t want.
by Kevin Ngo
I will forever believe that buying a home is a great investment. Why? Because you can’t live in a stock certificate.
by Oprah Winfrey
Go to your grave with a heart full of experiences not a bank full of cash.
by Lisa Orme
If you don’t own a home, buy one. If you own a home, buy another one. If you own two homes, buy a third. And lend your relatives the money to buy one too.
by John Paulson
The ache for a home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
by Maya Angelou
I genuinely believe your outlook on life has the biggest effect on your success above all else; more than money, education and privilege.
by Lisa Orme
Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.
by Mark Twain
The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago, the second best time is today.
by Chinese Proverb
If your dreams don’t scare you, they are too small.
by Richard Branson
Real estate cannot be lost or stolen not can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full and managed with reasonable care, it’s about the safest investment in the world.
by Franklin D. Roosevelt
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