Working in the mortgage broking industry is hugely rewarding. We love working alongside clients who are passionate about helping people secure their first home. We know the joy that comes with working hard to become a homeowner, and many of our team members have gone through the huge process of saving for a first home themselves.
Here, our Recruitment Consultant Justin Geaney shares the story of how he came to own his own home.
I bought my first home with my now wife three years ago, and it was a lot of work. We both remember saving our butts off to be in a position to do so. That’s why I think that Scott Morrison’s recent announcement about the Government’s plan to help first home buyers get into the market is a great initiative. It could really help make the property market more accessible for many.
How we saved for our first home
At the age of 22, my girlfriend (now my wife) and I had worked part-time jobs while studying at uni for some time. We’d saved up some pretty decent coin in the process. We were so torn between getting into the property market or going on a long trip overseas.
Being millennials, we obviously went for the overseas trip.
Sarah and I travelled to Europe and the United States for six and a half months on a backpacking adventure of a lifetime! Aside from our recent honeymoon, it was the best trip of our lives and one of the most rewarding decisions we’ve ever made.
When we finally got back and secured full-time jobs, we had the same financial motivations to save up again. We still wanted to own our own property. I remember working my Monday to Friday full-time job, as well as working part-time late weekday evenings and on weekends in retail to save as much money as possible. At one point, I remember working 22 days straight!
At the time, we also had the luxury of living with my in-laws, which no doubt helped us tremendously when it came to limiting our overheads.
It took us well over two years, both working full-time jobs (plus some), to save up enough money for our first home deposit. We weren’t even paying for full rent expenses, which isn’t the case for most people.
Saving for a home is a slog, and I applaud anyone who manages to achieve it without getting help from relatives!
What the future holds for first home buyers
The cost of living has only gone up and up, making it increasingly difficult for first home buyers to get a foot in the door of owning their own home. While five years ago it was fairly achievable to purchase a home for $300–$400k, the same properties are now valued at $500–$700k. Saving up a 20% deposit in this market is huge and most people don’t have a cool $100k lying around. While it is possible to save this up over several years, housing prices are only continuing to rise in the meantime, making it even more difficult.
But times are changing, perhaps in the interest of first home buyers.
Scott Morrison’s new initiative will allow select first home buyers to enter the property market with a 5% deposit without having to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (which is generally an additional $10k+). Typically with most lenders, you need to have a 20% deposit to avoid incurring this cost.
To illustrate the difference this will make, under this new scheme a young couple looking to purchase a $500k house will need to save a $25k (5%) deposit instead of $100k (20%). This means that people could shave a good two or three years off the amount of time it takes to save for a deposit!
Let’s be frank, though. This policy is far from perfect and probably still needs some work. After a detailed review of the policy you’ll find that it’s only available to ‘select’ individuals. This includes people earning under $125,000, or under $200,000 for couples. Property values eligible under the scheme will also be “determined on a regional basis”. That being said, it’s a great start and a step in the right direction. This move could really help change the game for first home buyers in Australia, giving young people the opportunity to own their own homes sooner rather than later. This initiative has the potential to give the property market a much-needed boost from a buying perspective.
Hard work pays off
Still to this day, when I drive past a local auction, I’m always barracking for the young first home buyers to win. I know how hard it was for us to get our foot in the door… not to mention the six months of ongoing disappointment and so many near misses.
But as my wife and I have proven, persistence certainly pays off. Three years on, and we’re now a family of three (a golden retriever puppy counts right!?). We’re currently renovating our small suburban home to include a new deck extension for entertaining guests over the summer. The hard work was all worth it in the end when we were handed the keys to our very own place. It’s a feeling of achievement that I truly wish everyone could experience.
Looking for mortgage broking recruiters who understand what your clients are going through? Our team has a wealth of experience, and we’d love to chat – whether you’re looking for a job yourself or you’re hiring. Get in touch today.