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First Home Buyers Case Study: Real People, Real Stories

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Is purchasing property unachievable for young people living in East Coast Queensland? With so much news about skyrocketing housing prices in Australia, many feel home ownership is an out of reach dream for any First Home Buyer. But, here to alter your thinking are two examples of young First Home Buyers who’ve recently purchased their first home in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast. Read about their strategy, goals and their journey to achieving their dream first home purchase.

CASE STUDY 1:

Tom (26 years old) & Jessie (26 years old)

Recently purchased their first home in Queensland, located 24kms North of Brisbane.

What was the percent (%) of a deposit you needed to save for your first home?

10%

Did you use a parental guarantee? And, if not, did you have to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance?

No, we did not use a parental guarantee. So yes, we did pay for LMI. This cost us an additional $7,760. But, Jessie and I felt as though this was worth it in order to make the jump into property ownership sooner.

How long have you been searching the area for a property to purchase?

We purchased our home in October, but have been looking for the right one since May. Tom and I wanted to make sure we weren’t just settling on what we could afford and instead waited for the right house to suit our needs and lifestyle.

Was the amount you offered on the property more than what you originally wanted to pay?

The property’s original asking price was $520,000, and as we liked the place we were originally going to offer close to that price. But, after discussing this with our mortgage broker as well as a real estate agent friend we decided to start with a lower offer. Our first offer was $480,000, but as it was new to the market the owners were reluctant to accept. After a few back-and-forth negotiations, we ended up offering another $15,000. The owners accepted the offer after giving it some time. We are really grateful that we listened to advice and started with a lower offer.

What advice would you give to other First Home Buyers in Queensland?

We had no idea that buying a home at our age was even possible. Jessie’s mother actually suggested we speak with a mortgage broker about a year ago, basically saying “how could it hurt to find out your options?”. We discussed what kind of deposit we would need to save, what benefits we were eligible for and what the repayment amounts would most likely total. It was a lot more affordable than expected. We didn’t have the money saved up then, but knowing what we needed and that we weren’t far off, we started putting a lot more effort into saving. We were able to buy so much sooner than we ever dreamed. It has really jump-started our finances and has brought us a huge amount of peace of mind for our future.

CASE STUDY 2:

Geoffrey (33 years old) & Sarah (30 years old)

Recently purchased their first home in Queensland, located 9kms North of the Gold Coast.

How long did it take you to save enough to buy this property?

My husband and I got married a couple years ago, and we have been re-building our savings since then. We have travelled a little bit here and there throughout the last two years, but our main focus has been saving to buy a house.

Were you given any advice on how to save for your deposit?

Both of our parents own homes, so they’ve given us plenty of advice. We have a couple of friends in the property industry and we’ve asked them heaps of questions throughout. Plus, we sought out financial advice from both our accountant and different mortgage brokers. We were pretty clueless when we first started, but we were eager to learn and wanted to understand the process as best we could.

Some of the best advice we received wasn’t what you’d expect, such as how best to present ourselves to potential lenders. But, also advice that you would expect, such as reducing credit card limits and stop making any withdrawals from our long-term deposit savings account.

Prior to this purchase, were there any other homes you made an offer on?

Yes. Sarah was a little disappointed that our private sale offer a couple months ago – on a house a little closer to the heart of the Gold Coast – didn’t work out. And, I was a little disappointed that the auction bid on the house about three months ago – a little more North of this one with a little more land – didn’t work out either. But, in the end we’re both very happy with this purchase. It’s not Sarah’s dream home, as she wanted to be a little closer to the city, nor mine as I wanted a bit more land, but I think this house suits a little of what we both wanted perfectly.

Each offer was a nerve-wracking process. But we always knew exactly what we had to spend and we were really strict about sticking to it. It meant, no matter the outcome there was no uncertainty as to what we owed or what our repayments would be.

What are your plans for this house, will you hold onto it and sell in a few years, or will this become your forever home?

At this stage, we’re just very happy to have a house we can start a family in. I don’t think it will be our forever home, but who knows what the future will bring. We’re both very happy with the house and believe it was a great investment choice. Who knows what will happen to the market or what our future finances may look like in a few years. With equity and so many other options that may be available to us in the future, there’s a lot more open to us now.

If you are thinking about buying your first home, there’s no better time than now. Becoming a First Home Buyer in Queensland’s Brisbane or Gold Coast is easier than you think!

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