If you would of asked me 6 months ago if I wanted to buy a house I would of told you of all the reasons why I didn’t want to buy a house. One being that it was to expensive, the deposit, being tied down in the long run and the list goes on. But one day we were driving around our neighbourhood and looking at the new upcoming developments and suddenly being a home owner sounded appealing to us. The thought of custom building our own home and being able to paint our walls whatever colour we wanted excited me.
So we decided to talk to someone about our options and how much we would have to sacrifice by owning our own home. We called one of our friends brokers and the following night at 7pm he sat at our table and discussed our options. We had to show him bank statements and explain our expenses and incomes to him. He said our borrowing capacity wasn’t an issue that it was our savings that was the concern (at the time we did only have $700 savings). He explained that we needed to have a deposit saved and in order to do that he said we needed to decrease our bills and make the minimum repayments to that we could save more each week. So once we figured out how much we wanted to borrow and the cost of repayments that we would be happy with the broker advised us how much we needed to save. He explained that the government was also giving a grant for first home owners and if we managed to buy a house before December 31st we could use the grant as part of our deposit therefore lowering the amount that we would have to save.
So we only had 4 months to locate a builder and land and sign a build contract. We started scanning the local areas and the display villages talking to numerous builders however the more we started throwing in the features we wanted the more expensive everything became. See most builders don’t include flooring, lights, stone benches, overhead cabinets, air conditioners, colourbond roofing etc. They give you a base rate of the build and then once you start getting down to the extras it can soon blow your build out by an extra $50K. We were looking at building a standard 3 bedroom house on a small block and by the time we added everything we wanted the cost was looming close to half a million dollars which was over our budget by a long shot. And not to mention land prices were increasing weekly, to buy a decent size 400m2 block without to many defects it was going to cost at least half of our budget.
We looked and we looked but it just seemed no one could give us what we were wanting within budget. So a few builders suggested that we look at land a little bit further out from where we wanted to build. See the further you are from the city the cheaper it is to build. It wasn’t ideal for us but it also wasn’t ideal to be in more debt then we could afford repayments on. So we went to a housing estate that we had heard a lot about, it was a family estate that had cafes, shops, local water parks, dog parks and more. It was about 15 mins further then where we wanted to build but at the same time if we were going to settle down and lay some roots I wanted to be in a family friendly area where I could take Z for a walk down to the water park or where we could go and get coffee together or have Sunday breakfast.
In this new found estate we found these pre built Terraces that were brand new, well under budget and had everything we wanted from stone top benches, a ton of down lights, natural light, tall ceilings, double bathroom vanities, butlers pantry and so much more. The only downside was the size of the backyard, it was tiny but when we lived in a unit we loved it so much and it didn’t have a backyard just a concrete porch but with no backyard it means no maintenance which sounded ideal to me (not that I’m the one that ever does any of the yard work or mowing, first and last time I mowed I chopped a lizards legs off it was a very traumatic experience).
So once we found our terrace we had to front up a $5000 deposit to secure it for 2 weeks then within 2 weeks we had to come up with the rest of our deposit and also the loan from the bank, and also another $700 for legal fees. So that’s where the fun began, we saved hard, we sacrificed a lot, we only ate out once a week and we planned every meal and our expense to our last dollar. We consolidated all of our small personal loans into one to decrease the repayment costs and we ended up saving an extra $400 a week. My brothers moved in with us to help us pay our rent so we could save more. When it came time to upfront all of the deposit we fell short by a few thousand dollars however we were lucky enough to have a family member help us out and lend us the money and then within 3 weeks we were able to pay this family member back.
It only took us about 6 weeks to buy our Terrace from when we first met with our broker, he did say to us that once the ball starts rolling doors open and all of a sudden it happens and he was right. We made some smart choices with our money and tightened our belts and researched areas and took advice and then it all just fell into place and now we couldn’t be happier where we laid down our roots.