“I had to change careers to afford a house”

A young couple who faced more than 50 homes open in two years have revealed exactly what they did to be able to afford their first home.

For Danielle Davis and her partner Chris, buying a home was more than an investment — it was “having a place to call home.”

“My partner and I both left home when we were very young. We never really had stability growing up, or really had a place to call home,” Danielle explained.

“So now that we have a home – a place where we know we won’t have to move in 12 months, or ask permission to hang a picture – it’s a huge, huge thing for us.

“It’s important for us as an investment, but it’s certainly more important for our mental health.”

Getting a foot in the door of the property market is one of the biggest challenges facing young Australians. That’s why news.com.au shares the success stories of real first-time home buyers, revealing exactly how they did it. If you managed to get your foot in the door, share your story with kassia.byrnes@news.com.au

It’s this sentimentality that could explain why the Melbourne couple never gave up looking for their first home, despite visiting more than 50 open houses over a period of around two years, and ended up buying their home of three rooms at Bacchus Marsh blind. The couple even sacrificed their marriage, and Danielle undertook a complete life change – retraining and changing careers just so they could save their deposit.

“We never gave up. It was really very hard. But for half our lives, we were always tenants,” Danielle said. “We never knew what we were going to do when the lease ended, so we were pretty obsessed with buying a house.

“It was just something we knew we needed to make our lives more stable.”

Danielle and Chris started watching the real estate market for about two years before they had enough down payment to buy a house for themselves. Meanwhile, real estate prices skyrocketed and everything they had in mind quickly became out of reach.

“The longer it took us to save, the more house prices exploded. It was also during Covid, so obviously everything was going up,” Danielle explained.

“In the beginning, we could afford where we wanted – very nice new houses or very well renovated houses. With three or four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a backyard. The longer it took, the less there was.

While the couple had searched the western suburbs of Melbourne, where Danielle had lived all her life, the price spike that has occurred over the past two years has pushed them out of Melbourne completely, eventually landing on a property in Bacchus Marsh, about 50 km northwest of the city.

“There really wasn’t much we could afford towards the end, nothing that fit what we wanted and needed,” Danielle said.

Even then, saving for a deposit required sacrifice, and even a complete career change.

“I completely changed my career,” Danielle said. “I’ve been in retail for most of my life, but we couldn’t afford a house on that kind of salary. So I left home for 10 months, across town to train for the police.

In addition to the career change, the couple made other life changes specifically to be able to save their down payment. They chose to live in sharehouses and avoid replacing broken furniture, and even put their marriage on hold.

“We’ve been engaged for two years, but we couldn’t even think of a wedding,” Danielle shared. “Putting our money in the house is more important to us.”

Even with the reduced lifestyle, Danielle still acknowledges that a security deposit probably wouldn’t have been possible if she and her partner hadn’t saved together.

“We lived on one salary as much as possible,” she said. “I don’t think I could have (saved the deposit) if I wasn’t in a relationship. Certainly not this house.

“Without the homebuyers first place for a five percent deposit, we wouldn’t have been able to afford it either.”

Now that they have their house, neither Danielle nor her partner regret anything. But they were surprised at how difficult it had been to find a suitable home in their price range.

“We had to lower our standards a bit,” she said. “The house is great, we absolutely love it, but there are a few things we need to fix – which we considered before buying it.”

The very unique (and hopefully never-repeated) circumstances of trying to buy a house during lockdown have also taught the couple to befriend the right people, because you never know when you’ll need them. of additional help.

“When we got our first drop-in spot, we only had three months to use it and everywhere we got stuck,” Danielle explained.

“Nobody was able to have houses open and nobody was going to the market – so I think making friends with the agents as much as possible really helped us. We wouldn’t have heard of our place if we hadn’t.

“We didn’t even get to inspect it before buying it, which was crazy.”

In the face of recent interest rate hike announcements, Danielle says they are also very pleased that they have chosen to lock in their interest rate for the next five years.

“After that, I hope things calmed down. I know the interest rates will be higher, but hopefully it won’t be the 10% and 15%. 100 that people advertised. We will have to wait and see.

“We are not too worried about the future.”

#change #careers #afford #house

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