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These 3 women bought a home before they turned 24. Why haven’t you?

October 31, 2020

There are plenty of reasons why you haven’t got into the property market yet, right? It’s too expensive. It’s too complicated. You don’t know what to buy. And if you have to read one more magazine article that profiles a ‘hard working young property investor’ and then casually slips in the fact that their 18th birthday present was $200,000 and a job at Dad’s brokerage, well…

But you can’t dodge the fact that people in their twenties buy property every day. Are you falling behind?

We spoke to three young women, all of whom exchanged before they turned 24, to find out how they did it. None of them had a trust fund to help them out. The only thing they have that you don’t? Insider property knowledge.

  • Emily: Exchanged on an apartment at 22, settlement due 2021.
  • Holly: Exchanged on an apartment at 19, settlement due 2021.
  • Tammy: Exchanged on an apartment at 23, moved in at 25. At 29, she’s in the market for a three-bed townhouse.

To help you pull the ultimate flex and be the first of your friends to buy, our three young women share their insider tips.

Insider Tip #1: Off plan purchases give you longer to save

Emily: “For most properties, you need at least a 5% deposit. That felt like a lot of money to get together! From working at Independent I knew that some off plan developers will let you secure an unit with a $1,000 holding deposit. That way, I had more time to put down the 5% which was much more doable. My goal is to have the whole 20% deposit before settlement, so that I don’t have to pay lenders’ mortgage insurance.”

Holly: “The whole reason I decided to buy was because I had saved a few thousand dollars to go on an overseas holiday. When COVID-19 hit, I looked around for something else to spend it on. I didn’t want to waste it, but it wasn’t enough for a traditional deposit. Instead, I put it down as a small deposit on an off plan apartment. I have another nine months to come up with the remainder to make it 10% with a goal to get to the 20% by the time settlement comes around.”

Insider Tip #2: Get clear on your goals to pick the right property

Emily: “I work in property management, and some of our landlords who started with one property now have five or more. When I get older, I want to be building a passive income stream like them, so I can choose what I do. Because of that, I was looking for something that I could use as an investment property down the track. I work with tenants all the time, so I know what they look for and I made sure my unit ticked those boxes. It had to be a re-ally great location, high tenant demand, with low overheads so I could get good rental yields. That did mean I have to give up on my fantasy of having a complex gym and a pool, but I’m definitely happy with my decision.”

Holly: “I wanted location, views, and something that was affordable. I had my eye on a particular development. It’s the Kiara complex in Narrabundah, which I found out about because it’s an Independent project. I was able to get in early and have my pick of apart-ments. Mine’s on the fourth floor overlooking Parliament House, which I’m excited about. Wayne Harriden, who handles project marketing for Independent’s developments, confirmed with me that it would be eligible for the HomeBuilder grant. That was a huge help – I’ll be using it to pay off a chunk of my mortgage in advance.”

Insider Tip #3: Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Holly: “I was definitely nervous. Being so young, I’m the first one in my friend group to be-come a homeowner. My friends couldn’t help, and things have changed a lot since my parents bought a house! But I worked really closely with Mark Wolens of Independent Woden. He took me through every step of the process and made it a lot less scary.”

Tammy: “My Dad’s a real estate agent, so when he recommended I buy a place I knew he wouldn’t steer me wrong. It was when he said ‘if you don’t buy it, I will’ that I knew it was the right decision. No first homeowner ever knows what they’re doing, so it was great to have that inside knowledge.”

Emily: "Independent offers buyers consultations to help first home buyers choose the right property. I didn’t really need that though, because I’m getting non-stop advice from my colleagues, but I can see how buyers who don’t work in real estate could benefit."

Insider Tip #4: It’s all worth it

Holly: “I’m really loving the idea that I’ll have my own space. It’ll be my own little bubble, where I can do what I want. I don’t know what I’ll do down the track, to be honest. I might keep living here, or rent it out and share with friends. Right now, it’s just nice to know that I have a place that’s really, completely mine.”

Tammy: “Buying young has given me so many more options. Over the three years that I’ve owned the apartment I’ve been able to build around $100,000 in equity. Added to my savings, it’s enough that I can buy a nice townhouse, which is pretty good for someone who’s 28!”.

Want the insider knowledge but don’t work in real estate? Find out everything you need to know about buying off plan with our how-to series or sign up for our first home buyer email course.

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