The common narrative of Australia’s first home buyer tends to tell the same story- young Australians pushed out of the market, forever beaten at auctions, squirreling every cent and perhaps a spanner thrown in of foreigners “pinching property” from under their noses. But is this a reality for the 6, 500* odd first home buyers today? The preceding research performed by realestateVIEW.com.au, for example, revealed the average age of the Australian first home buyer to be 38 years old- a small stretch from the youthful picture that tends to be painted for us. Does first home ownership today really does come at the cost of 2 minute noodles and cold showers? If it’s that difficult, how have new home owners done it? In this series, we sit down with some of Australia’s freshest new home owners and learn first hand.
The DINK (double income no kids) couple
Tee and Josh
Occupation: Project Manager and Sales Manager
Mortgage saving time: 18 months
Time in market: 6 months
For Teresa (29) and Josh (29), home ownership was an inevitable next step in their relationship. “While we love having space to call our own, I think we were also swayed by cultural and family influences- we’d been together for 5 years, and it felt like the right thing to do”. Teresa saw a window of time of them earning a double income and having no children as an opportunity to work towards buying their first property. “I didn’t enjoy the fickleness of renting- I like being able to tweak and alter my home which you can’t do in a share house”.
Finances: How did they afford it?
Like many first home buyers, Teresa and Josh knew that getting their foot on the property ladder meant sacrifices needed to be made. This primarily meant moving back in to Teresa’s father’s house, as well as forgoing spending disposable income on outings, clothes and dining out.
“We would never have been able to afford our deposit if we didn’t have the luxury of moving back in with family”
Searching: What helped them in finding their dream home?
The couple credit the assistance of experienced friends and family for their relatively seamless search experience. Challenges such as strata fees, negotiating final offers and dealing with legal and bank staff were all mitigated by having the advice and support of family.
“While helpful- opinions don’t always help- if someone else doesn’t see the potential that you do, it’s really not their concern”
Requirements: What were they searching for?
This was a home we were to live in, so location was a top priority. The suburbs the pair decided on admittedly expanded as their search progressed, but due to limited budget and renovation experience, another crucial feature was that the home was functional and required little maintenance.
Advice: What recommendations do they have for current first home buyers?
“If you can, take someone you trust to look at detail you may oversee like leaks and potential repairs – anything which may result in more money which you may not have upfront.”
Are you a Melbourne first home buyer? The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) are hosting a FREE seminar this month where home buyers will gain professional advice about the current property market, how to choose the right home for you, relevant laws and more. To secure your place, click here.
Source: *Australian Bureau of Statistics, September 2014.