Young businessman Mark Bainey is proving age is no deterrent to property development.
At 18, Mr Bainey bought some vacant land at Lawson, and by 19 he had submitted a proposal for an over 55s townhouse complex to Blue Mountains City Council which he later adjusted to two separate house and land packages, which earlier this month were approved.
Working as a trainee accountant and studying a Bachelor of Commerce part-time at Macquarie University, Mr Bainey worked hard to save up his dollars to fund the land purchase.
Now he's started his own property development business, Capio Property Group Latin for "to understand and seize", and already has another project on the agenda. The next one is developing a heritage home and six units in Parramatta.
While he admits "taking the leap" was never easy, "It took some guts, I had a few restless nights early on", he says it's who you choose to surround yourself with that makes the difference.
"You need to surround yourself with the right people," he said.
"Don't be afraid. I look to older people people that have been there and done that, and you've got to have enough money that's always good.
He said mentors like Century 21 Australia chairman Charles Tarbey who lives in the Mountains, had been particularly helpful.
"He started by himself, a bit like me," Mr Bainey said.
"He's a down-to-earth guy, I'd give him a buzz every month and we'd catch up.
"It's about finding the right people to associate with. Not being scared to put your name out there and talking to people ... building that network."
Raised in Parramatta, Mr Bainey has long enjoyed visiting the Mountains at the weekends, so when he saw the vacant land advertised in a real estate magazine he seized the opportunity.
He will start advertising the house and land packages shortly and expects building to commence in a few months' time.
And for anyone wondering how Mr Bainey manages to fund the project his living expenses are reduced as he still lives at home.