Pulling together savings to buy your first home is certainly no easy task but The Queensland Times recently reported how an RAAF couple saved their deposit in three years, then bought their first home in Brassall (Brisbane, QLD). First National Action Realty (Ipswich, QLD) was pleased to help them secure their ‘great Australian dream’.
Ashlea Waight and Jesse ver Steegan offered some tips to other first home buyers, saying they should ‘cut smashed avocado from the breakfast menu, be smart with money, and look outside the square’.
As Defence Force personnel, the couple wanted to buy in Ipswich and spent weeks criss-crossing Brisbane before settling on a $475,000 Queenslander at Brassall in November. Mr ver Steegan says the home has a large yard and shed and although there were cheaper houses on the market, the rustic charm and prominent heritage features of the old home helped them make up their minds.
"It has a bit of character in the house. It had everything we were looking for," Mr ver Steegan said.
Sitting on a quarter-acre block outside a flood zone, the purchase of a four-bedroom, one-bathroom home was a significant one in the couple’s lives, given they’re still just in their early 20s.
"I started saving three years ago. It takes a while, it's hard," Ms Waight said.
"You have to decide if you want to go on holidays or save for a house. My partner is much better at saving than I am and that's the main reason we could save for a deposit."
Mr ver Steegan - a self-appointed "frugal person" - cut back on the extras in life.
"I tried minimising how often I went out for food and things like that - little things like coffees," he said.
"Slowly the money comes together."
In the end, the couple - who have been together for two years - had a $95,000 deposit for their first home.
The experience of entering the property market has been a mixed one, but largely positive.
"I didn't find trying to save as fun."
"Looking at homes was kind of fun because we'd look at them on the app and then go check them out," Ms Waight said.
"Sometimes it was disappointing because it would look really good and then terrible for real.
Mr ver Steegan has been living in Canberra for the past six months and flew up for the weekend to inspect the home.
"We went out to a few properties and decided which one we liked the most," he said. “Look outside of the inner city. There are a lot of affordable houses here. We ended up buying probably towards the top end of North Ipswich but there were some other very tempting houses we almost bought for a lot cheaper than this one," he said.
"That would be my number-one piece of advice - look outside the city."
With their foot now in the property market door, Jesse will relocate from Canberra to Amberley.
SOURCE: The Queensland Times