May 4th, 2012
Hello and welcome to another Thursday blog.
Look I know how you feel. You have only been getting a blog once a fortnight and you have been worried sick as you fear that this is the sign of a dying blog. I assure you, it is not. It is a sign of a very stretched life. Let me fill you in as best as I can but to do that I need to take you back 3 years to the start of this 3-part series called:
Unheard of – Part 1
Here I find myself living with my Princess in a nice small unit in a suburb called Lilyfield which is at the of the start of Sydney’s Inner West. It was a lovely unit, our very first place we lived in as a married couple. I described it before as small but to us it was massive, 100 square metres of fun times. As many people do in Sydney we were renting, as buying a place of our own was an impossible dream. Well it turns out that we are related to a God that likes to eat the impossible for breakfast.
Now I was working in mobile phones earning a very modest salary indeed, whilst my Princess earned over twice as much as I did as a nurse. With a double salary we tried to save and if we could continue down that track it looked like we could afford to buy a house in the future. There was one problem to that plan – we decided to put all that aside for a bigger dream of starting a family.
Having a family is our biggest dream and if it meant renting for the rest of our lives so be it. A small price to pay for the joy of bringing life into this world. With my Princess wanting to be a full-time mother (when she earns twice as much as I do) the thought of buying wasn’t even entertained. But the awesome God I mentioned earlier had other plans.
In the year of 2008, when the global financial crisis happened, people lost their jobs and there was heartache all over the world; my salary doubled. Now this is mind-blowing because here I am, only been in full-time employment for 2 years, untrained, unqualified, and yet found myself in the role of an assistant manager……… of a bank! That is unheard of but it happened, now the option of home ownership seemed a bit closer. I started looking for potential places to buy to test the waters.
Well the waters all of a sudden got a bit warmer and things started opening up. My bank offered me a staff loan that allowed me to borrow 90% of a house (instead of 80%) without paying expensive insurance premiums for the bank (called Lenders Mortgage Insurance). The state government offered an incentive of $14,000 cash payment for people to buy their first home, as well as free stamp duty tax that could save us up to $18,000. On top of all that, the interest rates were at an all-time low. The only problem was, we needed to find a place to buy.
They say you need to look for about 6 months until you can find the right place and they are not wrong. We looked, and looked, changing our preferences and potential plans over and over, trying to get a feel for the market. We were totally lost but were giving it a go. Then after 2 months we found a place we really wanted to buy. It seemed perfect, lovely building, a resort-style complex and it was three bedrooms (small ones but still). This place could be big enough for the next 5-7+ years. But it was a bit out of our price range. The bank would lend us the money but we were a bit short on the deposit, plus the levies to keep the place looking that beautiful were really expensive.
We had been looking at two bedrooms and three bedroom places and this was the first three bedroom place that we liked and could possibly afford. We were planning to have a family (we got pregnant during this process) and we have always wanted a big family and a two bedroom place was not going to be big enough in the near distant future. It would last us about 4 years max. Now here is the dilemma, most real estate professionals say you need to hold onto a property for at least 5-7 years to make money on it. This gives enough time to ride out any bad market and soar with the good to have the value of the property go up. So we were stuck. We had the deposit for a 2 bedroom place but had the future plans that needed a 3 bedroom place. What in the world did we do?
Well you will have to wait for part two, but if you are really desperate just contact anyone of my friends that have come to my house in the last 3 years and they can tell you.