What do these three young home buyers know that you don’t?

Independent 11 December 2020 66
Young Canberra women Holly, Tammy and Emily.

(From left) Holly, Tammy and Emily share insider knowledge that has enabled them to secure their first home before they turn 25. Photo: Supplied.

The dream of home ownership seems to be getting further away for many young people, with Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing that the age of an Australian first-home buyer just keeps going up.

In 1996, 13.2 per cent of first-home buyers were aged 18 to 24, but in 2018, only 3.1 per cent of people in that age group closed on a first property. However, young buyers are still out there, signing on the dotted line and getting ready for a landlord-free life.

Meet three young Canberrans who all exchanged on their own place before their 25th birthday. None of them had a trust fund or a large deposit from their parents. For anyone who is stuck living at home or renting a shoddy apartment and wondering how these women did it, they have one answer: insider knowledge.

Emily exchanged on her first property at the age of 22. She wanted to live near the city and was lucky enough to score a top-floor unit in an off-plan development in Dickson.

“I never wanted a garden,” she says. “I knew I wanted a central location so an apartment was ideal. Most of my friends rent, but because I work in real estate, I saw the positives of being a homeowner.”

Being young, Emily didn’t have a huge stash of savings for a traditional deposit.

“For most properties, you need at least a five per cent deposit,” she says. “For this property, that was $21,000, which I didn’t have. But because it was off-plan, I could secure my unit with a $2000 holding deposit and then have another few months to come up with the five per cent.

“Now that I’ve exchanged, I’ve got a lot of motivation to save. My goal is to have the whole 20 per cent deposit before settlement so I don’t have to pay mortgage insurance.”

Emily’s job also helped her zero in on exactly what she wanted.

“When I started looking, I remember thinking I wanted a development with a pool and a gym,” she says. “But because of my job, I knew those things mean higher strata fees. So I chose somewhere that would have lower ongoing costs. My plan is to eventually upgrade to somewhere bigger and keep this as an investment property so I chose a location I knew has good rental yields, great amenities and is attractive to tenants.”

Tammy wasn’t working in real estate when she exchanged on her property at 23 years old, but her Dad was.

“My dad is an agent so he found a place for me and said if I didn’t buy it, he would,” she says. “I knew he wouldn’t steer me wrong, and that gave me more confidence than I would have had otherwise. As a first-home owner, you don’t really feel like you know what you’re doing so having that inside knowledge helped a lot.”

Tammy, who now works as a property manager, considers her ground-floor apartment to be the best decision she’s ever made.

“I moved into my place in 2017 and now I have $100,000 in equity,” she says. “I’ve even been able to save. I’m looking at townhouses now so I have more space. I wouldn’t have been able to do that as a 28-year-old if I hadn’t already got on the ladder.”

Holly was even younger when she took on the title of homeowner. At just 19, she’s exchanged on her first apartment, a one-bedroom unit overlooking Parliament House. Even better, she’ll be able to get the $25,000 HomeBuilder grant when she settles in 2021.

“I had some money saved up because I was planning to go travelling,” she explains. “When COVID-19 hit, obviously that was off the table so I thought, ‘What else can I do with this money?’ Because I work in real estate, buying a property seemed like the obvious answer.”

Holly bought off-the-plan with a small deposit that her savings more than covered. With another nine months to come up with the balance to take it up to 10 per cent, she’s feeling like she’s got this.

“I’m really loving the idea that I’ll have my own space, and my own little bubble where I can do what I want,” she says.

Visit Independent’s First Home Buyer page to find more insider information to help you buy your first home.

This is a sponsored article, though all opinions are the author’s own. For more information on paid content, see our sponsored content policy.


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66 Responses to What do these three young home buyers know that you don’t?
Fraser Doverty Fraser Doverty 9:20 pm 17 Dec 20

Share your secrets please Will Mcgregor

Sarah Jones Sarah Jones 9:37 pm 16 Dec 20

Good luck to them but I’m glad my kids waited a bit longer and bought houses rather than units or appartments.

Casey Taueki Casey Taueki 6:08 am 16 Dec 20

Great work ladies!

Taylor Breen Taylor Breen 5:50 am 16 Dec 20

Hayden Breen take note

Dylan McCracken Dylan McCracken 10:51 pm 15 Dec 20

Zachary Jarvis tell me your secrets

    Zachary Jarvis Zachary Jarvis 9:04 am 16 Dec 20

    Dylan McCracken I shall give you the run down 😉

Lizzy Veasey Lizzy Veasey 2:49 pm 15 Dec 20

This is as a result of hard work and dedication. A lot of young people could take a lesson or 2 from these girls. Great job girls!

Matt McCormick Matt McCormick 2:22 pm 15 Dec 20

"If you don't buy it I will".... she fell for the oldest real estate agent hook

Shane Krystafer Shane Krystafer 1:25 pm 15 Dec 20

Australia’s obsession with property ownership is such a lol

Makayla-May Brinckley Makayla-May Brinckley 1:22 pm 15 Dec 20

Naveena Movva the real reason I haven’t bought a house yet is because I don’t work in real estate 😩🙄

Jack Dean Jack Dean 12:56 pm 15 Dec 20

All 3 work in real estate and lived at home im shocked Angela Brown

Kalem Fernando Kalem Fernando 12:38 pm 15 Dec 20

Not about handouts, try paying rent at market price and saving .. couldn’t do this without living with parents.

    Amanda Dunn Amanda Dunn 8:10 am 16 Dec 20

    Kalem Fernando my daughter has just brought a house and hasn't lived at home since 19 so yes it's possible she is 26

Michael Wittman Michael Wittman 12:23 pm 15 Dec 20

How to live with mummy and daddy until your 25

Edwin Prihanggoto Edwin Prihanggoto 11:46 am 15 Dec 20

Emily Varga yeah not bloody behd 👌

Vladimir Svoboda Vladimir Svoboda 10:00 am 15 Dec 20

Don't worry, housing is affordable, see these people entered in to crippling debt and could barely save a deposit! Imagine saving in a time where interest rates are lower than CPI AND you're taxed on interest. Shills, never change.

Kelly Garske Kelly Garske 9:49 am 15 Dec 20

My 23 year old daughter just moved into her new 3 bed brand new home. All off her own back with saving, no help from us. Has been living out of our home for 4 years paying rent. Very proud of her

Steve Smith Steve Smith 8:25 am 15 Dec 20

Apartments in Canberra are terrible investments.. you could hold on to it for 10years and sell it for less then you bought it.

    Igor Srbinovski Igor Srbinovski 12:32 am 16 Dec 20

    Steve Smith sold an off the plan apartment to a close friend of mine 3 years ago. Recently I sold it for him as he was upgrading to a house. We got $600k from his original purchase price of $489k. $111,000 in 3 years isn't too shabby. All depends on what you buy, where you buy & what your intention for the property is.

Mich Elle Mich Elle 8:05 am 15 Dec 20

My daughter and her partner are both 21 and bought their unit a few months ago. He is 2nd yr carpenter and she works as a casual at the hospital. It all came down to hard work and commitment xx

Tobye Deaton Tobye Deaton 7:45 am 15 Dec 20

Sugar daddy 😂

James Ellis James Ellis 7:43 am 15 Dec 20

I know a few who have done this. The key not being trust funds or large gifted amounts from parents, but living rent free somewhere (like at home). A luxury many don’t have.

    Karen Joshua Karen Joshua 7:54 am 15 Dec 20

    James Ellis I agree. Rent is such a huge chunk out of a pay packet sometimes. Living rent free is a great help when trying to save.

Claire Abigail Claire Abigail 5:39 am 15 Dec 20

Holly Smith I’m coming to you when I wanna move

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