Six ways to get into the property market without a really good job
It’s tough for my generation to get into the market, but it’s not impossible if you’re prepared to make a few sacrifices. Here’s how I did it.
Give up your privacy
I moved home with my parents just before I turned 30 in 2012. I know this is not a luxury that many people have and I’m lucky my parents were happy to take me in at 30. It was hard, but it wasn’t easy for my folks either. They don’t need their adult daughter in their space, so I saved my heart out to make it quick and painless.
Your social life will take a hit
I gave up a lot of things that 30-somethings might not be prepared to. The list includes: brunch, taxis, expensive social events, new clothes, hair appointments and shouting rounds at the pub. Nights out were often replaced with coffees and visiting friends at their house with a cheap bottle of wine under my arm.
Work all the time
Before I bought my home in February 2014 I had multiple sources of income. I held a full-time job, supplemented my salary with freelance writing and I still do. I write on my weekends. I have a great job. I’m fortunate that I enjoy the ways that I generate my income, but despite it being a good professional job, I couldn’t have saved the deposit, settled, or commenced the routine of mortgage payments, body corporate expenses, rates and living costs on a single income alone.
Don’t go to auctions
I looked for properties that were selling privately. I also looked in January, when people selling are generally doing it because they have to. Give spring a miss and wait until everyone’s relaxing on the beach to get a good buy.
Move out of town. Way out
I bought a two-bedroom apartment in Mordialloc, 22 kilometres out of Melbourne. It’s a long way from my family and friends in the inner eastern suburbs and sometimes I felt isolated. For the first few weeks I got lost driving home. I had to pull over and check Google maps to work out where I lived. I made peace with the commute eventually.
Buy with your head, not your heart
I live in my apartment for now, but it could become an investment later. If I have to rent it out and rent closer to the city I can. It’s better to be in the market in my humble little abode than not at all.
This post originally appeared in Domain in 2015. Author Nicole Haddow now rents her apartment and lives closer to the city as planned.