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Five super simple steps to buying your first home in Australia

June 12, 2015

Our treasurer reckons that homes in Australia are affordable. Hmmm…

And he has offered the helpful advice that to get into the market you need a good job, with good pay, and security. Too right. Just a shame that Mr Hockey obviously has NO IDEA how hard those three points are to achieve. And how hard it is even then to break into the housing market in one of Australia’s major cities.

But we’ve done it, so here is my take on how it can be done. Very simple really.

  1. Get lucky at birth. I’m not just talking being born rich or at least comfortable, I’m also talking being born into a family that is supportive, well educated, financially savvy, healthy and non-abusive. Also best to avoid anything else that might cause discrimination against you – be it disability, race, looks or sexuality. You are going to want and need every advantage you can get along the way. Simple, right?
  2. Get lucky with savings. Start saving as early as you can. Preferably as a child. Seriously, I did. I wanted to be an artist, and everyone made me feel that that would mean being poor. I knew I wanted to own my own home, so I started to save towards a house when I was about eight. Also avoid natural disasters, illness, financial dependents, having elderly parents needing care, even being too generous to other people – any kind of financial drain. Financially you need to be both lucky and a little selfish too.
  3. Get lucky with a job. This one is a doozey! If you can find a job with good pay and job security that you continue to enjoy as you stick at it for years while you pay off your loan, then you are mighty lucky. It took me years to find one. But I count myself extremely lucky that I did.
  4. Get lucky in love. Strictly speaking you don’t have to buy a home with the love of your life. But if there is someone you can team up with, someone that you trust enormously, can live with, and who will contribute financially to your home-ownership dream, it will help hugely.
  5. Get lucky in the real estate market. Sure, you want a nice place, but you don’t want to over pay, and you probably can’t afford to. But prices just keep rising. Getting a break is hard. Getting a break on a place you really want is even harder. Once again you’ll be needing an enormous dollop of luck.

So there you have it. A blueprint for home-ownership. All you need is enormous luck five times over at least, plus a little selfishness. Too easy.

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