How I Got My First Property
During our early 30's, my husband and I didn't have enough savings. We have decent paying jobs but our savings rate was so marginal. We are not big spenders but still our savings weren't enough. I guess back then, we were not in control of our financials.
I remember it was almost after GFC when we decided to buy a house. Renting was not working for us. It seemed that we were the ones paying for the mortgage of the owners of the property we were renting. So, we made a decision to buy a house and get a foot on the property ladder.
Fast forward a couple of months, we saved a small amount that could be used for house deposit. During that time, the banks allowed 5% deposit and the government gave first home-owner grants. Most of our friends bought new houses with 4 bedrooms, large living areas, cozy rumpus and a sparkly kitchen. That was the dream house!! Unfortunately, we knew that we can't afford it. And we knew that living beyond our means will just set us up to failure.
After a couple of house viewings and inspections, one property stood out - an 8 year old small townhouse, 30 kms out of Sydney. It wasn't too bad, the size of the living area was decent, clean bathrooms, 3 bedrooms and a small courtyard. We did our research, knew how much the property is worth, and decided on the purchase amount we were willing to pay for. However, the property was for auction!!!
The auction was horrifying. I wasn't ready for that - nerve-wracking as hell, I will not bid in another auction... ever again. Well, an auction is when prospective buyers bid for a property in public. Once the hammer falls, and you are the highest bidder, you must sign the contract right then and there.
However, once we have goals in life, we need to be decisive and ready to take action.
Anyway.... we won the bid but the purchase price of the property was $30,000 above our set price **sob**. You know what, surely it could have ended way better but come to think of it, it was a learning experience and we were glad we took that leap. Today, that property gave us a good amount of equity that provided us the leverage to purchase another investment property and house that we are living in today.
Key factors to take into account when we bought our first property was the condition of the Australian property market (start of the property boom) and bank lending was not heavily restricted, which is not the case in the current market. However, once we have goals in life, we need to be decisive and ready to take action. If we fail, consider it as a lesson and make sure we don't do it again.
Now, you have to decide... Rent or buy? When is the best time to buy? Buy your dream home or buy what you can afford?