The Man Who Owned 80 Acres of North Sydney

I love a good story, especially over a beer with friends. Recently I was treated to one I’d never heard and couldn’t help but think how it related to property.

First things first, I take no responsibility for the “facts” of this tale (as I’m just sharing with you what was shared with me), though as the man who so eloquently recited the tale said to me… “Chris… you never let the truth get in the way of a good story”.

Enter Billy Blue.

The man who owned 80 acres or over 300,000 sqm of what is today known as “Blues Point” stretching back up towards current day North Sydney.

Yes. 80 acres of North Sydney real estate. Current day value? I can’t even imagine.

Unfortunately, Billy was not a reader of my book “The Effortless Empire” which encourages a long term “buy and hold” strategy. You can click here to download the book for free 😉

Can you imagine what his family legacy would have been had the land have not been sold piece by piece over time?

Yes, yes, I know. Billy has long since passed, but the story remains so relevant today. People told me when I first purchased property in 1994 that I was crazy. They said it again in 1999, 2004, during the GFC in 2007 and still say it to this day. In the time being, property has continued to rise. Slowly. Steadily.

Back to Billy’s story.

Billy Blue was an imposing figure of a man who was sent to Australia as a convict in 1801 to serve the last few years of his sentence “down under”.

Serving his term, Blue left quite an impression on the powers that be and as a gesture of good will following his sentence, Blue was gifted 80 acres of land on the northside of Sydney Harbour by Governor Macquarie.

People laughed. The land on the other side of the harbour was next to worthless as the only way to cross the harbour at the time was by boat.

Blue however was a clever man and somewhat entrepreneurial. He also went on to start the first official ferry operation from north to south. As the story goes, Blue would sometimes negotiate a fare prior to boarding the ferry boat on one side, row to the middle of the harbour, then insisted that there be a “re-negotiation” of the fare.

Blue passed away in 1834, though the land he owned that people laughed at, is today some of the most expensive and desirable real estate on the face of the planet.

The moral of the story…

Some people will laugh at you. They laughed at me. Some people will try to talk you out of investing. To this day, people tell me real estate is a poor investment. However… if you are confident blue chip real estate will continue to slowly rise (as it has historically done) for decades to come, then the only advice is…

BUY AND HOLD.

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