What have the Somersoft Forums meant to you?


Even though there's already been a lot of short comments about the impact of the Somersoft Forums in the "End of an Era" thread, I thought I might start a dedicated thread for longer testimonials about what Somersoft has meant to people. I'll start off ...

I joined the original Somersoft forums back around 1999/2000 not long after having relocated to Sydney leaving an unintentional IP of our ex-PPOR in Adelaide.

I discovered the forums through reading Jan's books and was delighted to find people with a passion for property and a willingness to share their knowledge.

Through some of the early meetups that were organised in Sydney, I made some very good friends - people who I am glad to still call friends today.

The forum community helped me to learn how to identify a good deal - and more importantly helped me through my early phase of analysis-paralysis where I couldn't see the IPs for all the houses.

Some of the key things I have learned from the forum community which still stick with me today:

  • how experience is the best teacher because it cements all the theory into reality
  • the importance of starting with the end in mind
  • structuring your finances for maximum flexibility without limiting your borrowing capacity
  • how to not try and predict the market, just adjust to it
  • how to not judge the quality of an IP by my own expectations for where I personally would live
  • the magic of thinking big
  • not to ask questions like "is this tax deductible?", but rather "how can this be tax deductible?"

I have had great conversations with many people from this community - through the forums, the chatroom, at meetups and in person.

All of my mentors and advisors have come from this community - and there are people here who have gone well out of their way to help me far beyond my expectations.

It is the community which has made this site so great - so, thankyou to the people of the Somersoft Forums. I hope we can keep in touch in other ways, but if not, best wishes and thankyou for helping to make something so special.

The Somersoft Forums have become a part of my life - as sad as it is to say goodbye, it will always remain a part of who I am today.
I've made a lot of friends, and gained some great professional contacts.

One forumite went way beyond the call of duty a few years ago, when I was in a short-term difficult spot, and when I was talking to her about it via PM, she offered to lend me several $000. I can't recall if we'd never met, or met only once at that point, but either way, she really didn't know me well, and showed exceptional trust. I was absolutely blown away. (I accepted and repaid per our agreement, with interest.) The trust that she demonstrated meant even more to me than the money; her faith in me gave me hope that there was a way out of a particular mess, and sure enough, there was.

I'm sure she wants to remain anonymous, but gosh, thank you, thank you, thank you.

I've met a number of SSers in person - Dazz, wylie, Player, JamesGG, LilSkater, Spectre, marg4000, SteveAdl, WinstonWolfe, GoAnna, UrbanCowboy, Sailesh_Channan, Andrew_A, MichaelW, joanmc, LynnH, josko, boomtown, TinHua, aaarghhh, natmarie73, Horizon, sue78, and I know I've missed more than a few others. Spectre is my trusty broker and I can't recommend him highly enough.

There are also some, like AaronSice, Simon, INVSTOR, depreciator, Terry_w, skater, TokenFunder, RPI, topcropper, BayView, thatbum, and Rixter, who I haven't met in person but feel that I know.

I've been here 8 years and I've spent two-thirds of that in flood recovery mode, having our PPOR flooded in May 09 - requiring 6 months out of the house and about $200K to fix - and just 14 months after moving back home, our renovated PPOR was destroyed (structurally damaged) in the Jan 11 floods. Then we had to fight our insurer for 2 1/2 years before the Ombudsman ruled in our favour, knock down our old home and re-build, and we've only moved back home at the end of March: 4 years, 2 months, and 15 days after the second flood.

Both of my kids developed post traumatic stress disorder as a result of the floods, resulting in school refusal, poor sleep, depression, anxiety, and a whole lot of therapy. (Insurance doesn't cover that expense, at about $300 per hour! :rolleyes:)

I'm now in a great place, and don't want to sound like I'm whining, I just want to put it in context: it really has been a pretty trying past five years, and Somersoft has been a great outlet for me. Thanks in particular to wylie and marg4000, who have been kind enough to check in with me frequently, even when I was absent from Somersoft for lengthy periods. It was very much appreciated. :cool:
I came to Somersoft via Jan's books. I read a couple of them and somebody told me there was a forum. I didn't even really know what a forum was. They explained it and I said, 'You mean a bunch of property investors talking to eachother on-line? Pffftttt. How lame.'
Eleven years down the track and I'm still here.
Like everybody, I have learnt a lot from many people. I like to think I have contributed a bit, too. (And I forgive everybody for their unkind comments about my lime green kitchen.)
I think one of the main things Somersoft did was broaden my horizons. If it wasn't for this place, I would not have bought a block of flats in Tassie or Inverell. I only looked there because people were talking about those places.
I've been wondering the last few days how many people have changed direction because of this place? There are people who have been saved from making possibly terrible mistakes because of what they have read here. Plenty of people have made career changes and become BAs, brokers or property managers. Others have just been helped to look at investing beyond their own suburb.
I think that is the biggest legacy for Ian and Jan. What a generous and selfless thing they did in setting up this place and changing so many lives.
And what an amazing job Sim has done wrangling the IT and the members - he'd be a good and patient dad, I suspect.
I have not met many people from here in person. And of course, very people use a photo as their avatar. For a while there it was just Sim and Geoff who had a photo, though others do now. (I think Jacque should use a photo, by the way.)
It's interesting, I travel a fair bit especially during tax season and I'm never tempted to look up SS people and have a coffee or something. I kind of like this parallel universe staying parallel. I am going to try and get out to this Saturday's farewell, though.
Despite rarely meeting people from here, I know many far better than I know close relatives. I know what their successes and failures have been. I know their fears and their foibles. I know about their property holdings and their businesses. I know their religious beliefs and their politics - and am constantly amazed at how otherwise sane people can be so wrong.
The new place is good. It's just going to take a bit of getting used to. But it's the people who make these places what they are and the people over there are the same ones as here so all is well.
Where to begin.

I stumbled across this place looking up a company whose property seminar I'd just attended.

I don't quite know what happened from there.

I was sucked into an addictive void of information, strange acronyms and wonderful people.

I asked a billion annoying questions and got a trillion excellent answers.

I asked a billion more questions.

Then I started knowing how to answer some questions.

Somewhere along the line, without intent, I ended up connecting with people. Most of them reached out to me.

"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear".

Seems the case.

This forum literally changed the course of my life, more than once, in the most significant of ways.

I met selfless mentors, found incredible role models, made close friends and have completely changed careers-recently commencing work as a mortgage broker to help others on their investment journeys.

Strange as is may sound, the best human beings I have ever known are from Somersoft.

I cannot overstate the significance of the impact Somersoft has had on my life.
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My husband and I started seeking investment ideas about 16 years ago. We were going to start our own business and it was suggested to us by a business mentor to read, 'Rich Dad, poor Dad'. I had read Jan's book about 5 years earlier.

My husband lost interest in investing and I ended up on another property forum as, 'Millions', after purchasing our 2nd IP. I started attending monthly Perth investing meetings. The two girls holding them were hiring a room and charging a small fee which was running at a loss. A few other forumites migrated to this site from the other site and it became my preference and I became, 'INVSTOR'. As the girls organising the Perth Meetups hadn't heard of Somersoft before I suggested I could start advertising here to build the group up so the group could continue and at least break even. Aaron Sice and Dazz became valuable and informative speakers. Apart from being extremely shy I met a few other forumites and other networking groups along the way. The group expanded to bigger premises but after i moved over East i think it may have ended? I have really valued the friendships and experiences with all the people I've met or conversed with, also through PM's, emails and facebook. I met a few Brisbane forumites while living there also.

As much as this has been a really valuable experience to me I won't be migrating to the new site as I really want to focus on my own developments and feel my teachers from school have brainwashed me that I'm 'easily distracted'. :)

One valuable lesson I've learnt from this forum is to - Just do it. I wish I had developed earlier instead of being such a perfectionist. Westminster has been a huge inspiration.

I will have to meet up with Perp next time I'm over East!

Thanks to everyone, BOLA!
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I'm actually not sure how I ended up on this site. Maybe it was through google... not entirely sure. Either way, I'm glad I did.

I joined in Dec 2009 with my first post being a question on "Building a house at the back of an existing house".

The first reply was from twobobsworth - "you should look at doing a grany flat instead".... Timing on this was fantastic, the rules for Granny Flats had just come into effect.
@twobobsworth - I have never met you, but thank you for providing that post. :)

So with the assistance of other SS members, I designed my first Granny Flat. Drew some preliminary designs and got feedback from SS members. Then went to Serge (Brazen from the SS forums) from Granny Flat Approvals helped to get the design drawn up so i could get building quotes.

This was the changing point of my property investment journey. Up until this point I had no idea which direction I was headed.

Since then, I've met a quite a few members, some of which I worked together with them on their Granny Flat projects and have become good friends as a result. :)

I also had the opportunity to engage several members here for their professional services that I would like to give a shout out to:

- Alan (Propertunity) - To help me buy my PPR, but he did more than that, he taught me what to look out for and how to deal with agents :)

- Scott (Depreciator) - Still haven't met him in person, but he's done a few depreciation schedules for me and my family. And I'll keep coming back because him and his staff and great people.

- Serge (Brazen) - Helped me with Granny Flat developments and has been instrumental to me achieving the what I've got today.

- Mick (Mick C) - Only switched over to him recently for broking services. Has already helped me out more than what my previous broker did for me - and i still haven't met him in person despite his office only being 10 mins walk from where I live!

- Michael X - Helping my sister and her fiance out with their loan for their first PPR. I think we can both agree its been a challenging one with all the alternative strategies we've had to implement to get to the finish line!

But a final shout out The Somers who made all this possible and to everyone else on the forums who contributed. It is from the different point of views of all members that have enabled me to get this far. Not only have I benefited from the advice, but my family and friends have too.
Lots of interesting facts and opinions which permitted me to continue.
I stumbled across SS forum when a developer I bought through when starting investing was criticised here, so sometimes bad comments have good outcomes, right?
So be always open minded and check out everything before jumping into conclusions!!!!