"Eighteen years old and own an IP," announced the North Shore's Theo Hancock on Friday to social media about his debut investment property.

But he didn't tell the whole story at the outset.

Hancock said buying the Whangārei property was a "big goal achieved" and he now plans to have three properties a year from now.

At his age, to have saved $30,000 to contribute to the purchase price of the do-up, he certainly was proud and had good reason to be.

The house Theo bought. Photo / Theo Hancock
The house Theo bought. Photo / Theo Hancock

Landlords say Govt plans will make it harder to get rid of bad tenants
Now and then: Landlord/tenant law overhaul, how 1.5m lives could change
'We're going to appeal': Hamilton 'landlord' to head back to Tenancy Tribunal
Nine Tenancy Tribunal cases involving one Hamilton landlord in 2 years, $15,000 awarded to tenants

"I spent almost four years working 30-plus hours at McDonald's at the age of 14, along with high school and odd jobs to save money," he told the Herald.

He is now working on renovating the place to freshen it up.

The teen landlord handed out fresh advice on social media for the knockers and doubters: "Don't ever let anyone tell you that nothing's impossible. If you want something badly enough, it will happen," he said, forecasting a 6 per cent-plus net return. "So exciting just thought I'd share the news."

The house cost $280,000 but unlike most house buyers, he didn't need to go to the bank for the balance.

"My dad loaned me about $260,000. The rest came out of my pocket. I will be paying him 4 per cent interest most likely when I'm around 25 to 30 years old. At this stage, he doesn't want any repayments yet as that will affect my cash flow which could hinder my future affordability assessment from the banks when I go for number two and three," he told the Herald.

Theo Hancock delights in his achievement. Photo / Theo Hancock
Theo Hancock delights in his achievement. Photo / Theo Hancock

After the part-time work, Hancock left school and worked full-time to boost his savings "spending almost nothing. No fancy gadgets or new stuff. All second-hand stuff nothing that's not necessary. Basically I lived on the bare minimum."

And his father loaned him a further $10,000 for the renovations, putting him in an even more fortunate position. Hancock said he would renovate the house himself to increase its value.


Immediate tasks are doing up the deck, water blasting, renovating a bathroom, painting and fixing a fireplace.

He then plans to borrow against his equity in that home to get the second rental.

"The plan is to just keep growing as many as possible then pay back my father when we are ready. My main goal is to secure financial freedom by 25. Might be a stretch but it's the idea. I'd like to add a few [properties] to my portfolio each year. Just want to be able to live and travel and leave something nice for my future kids and family."

But he also revealed how he doesn't live at home but himself rents, paying $180 per week for boarding. He has been travelling via a 50cc moped which costs a maximum of $10/week in petrol but now has a car to get to Whangārei to do up the house.