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Buying your first home is still possible


Meet the 20 year olds who just bought their dream first home with a little bit of sacrifice and a lot of saving.

Zach and Alora have wanted to buy a house ever since they started working full time more than 4 years ago.

Knuckling down while they lived at home, they managed to save $44,000 for a deposit and recently bought their dream home in Buttaba at the age of just 20 and 21.

“We’ve both been putting $50 a week away ever since we started working full time. I would limit myself and always know how much I had to spend, then everything else left over at the end of each pay would just go in to our savings,” Alora said.

“We did have to sacrifice things but it’s just about being smart with your money and looking for the cheaper option of everything. Instead of going on big trips we just did weekends away camping, or we’d have friends around instead of going out.”

A lot of people do assume if you’re buying a house at 20 and 21 that your parents helped you out, but we did it all ourselves and are really proud of that.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the young couple. While staying home during the pandemic helped them to save, it also caused a spike in the property market.

“We did have trouble finding houses we liked within our budget. Getting in first and saving at the rate prices were going to was crazy as well,” Zach said.

“We’d save to a certain amount and then have to keep increasing our limit in line with the market. There were hardly any houses for sale and there were so many people at open houses.

“At the start we were set on the area, but ended up looking all over the place for almost a year. We probably looked at more than 50 houses before we got this one and never thought we’d get anything this nice.

“A lot of the ones we looked at were really run down compared to this – they were tiny and needed a lot of renos. We got so lucky and are over the moon.”

In the end, Alora said it was a combination of being in the right place at the right time with the right people that helped them secure their 3 bedroom, renovated home just streets away from where they both grew up in Lake Macquarie.

“We went to the open house and put a holding deposit down that afternoon. The real estate agent we had was amazing and we wouldn’t have gotten it without her. She was really transparent with us and told us the amount we had to go to for our offer to be accepted,” Alora explained.

“Putting the deposit down that day was the only way we secured it. Luckily, we had pre-approval in place and had just been extending it, so we were ready to go.”

Already Newcastle Permanent customers, Zach and Alora secured their loan with the help of a mobile lender.

“We had no idea what we were doing when we first started. We just called Newcastle Permanent and Robyn was the one who called us back and translated the whole process for us,” Alora said.

“She was amazing, especially at the end when we’d paid our holding deposit and only had a few days to get everything done. Zach and I were both working full time so it was really hard to try and sort out things from the real estate to the solicitors, but Rob stepped in for us to line everything up and would text me updates of what was happening.

“She was just really helpful and never talked down to us or made us feel like we didn’t know what we were doing.”

Zach and Alora moved into their house in March along with their three month old kitten, Bonnie, and have enjoyed every minute of it.

“We’re really close to our family so there was no reason for us to move out, we were just ready to have our own place,” Alora said.

“Coming home to each other and having the freedom to do our own thing is the best. It was also so nice to be able to delete the real estate app off our phones!

“We’re super proud of what we’ve been able to achieve being so young and it was so worth it. We still can’t believe we were able to tick all of the boxes for what we wanted straight up. It’s definitely our dream house.”

Zach and Alora’s top tips to buying your first home:

  • Set up a separate account and start saving early
  • Get finance sorted and pre-approval in place so you’re ready to go
  • Download real estate apps and register for alerts to stay across new listings
  • Get in quick if you see a property you like
  • Get in touch with a lender sooner rather than later. They can help explain and guide you through the process.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. Information in this article is current as at the date of publication.

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