I bought my first house five years ago. After years of wandering the globe and getting into adventures, I suddenly had the desire to put down roots or at the very least unpack my backpack for just a little bit.
I joined the throngs of would-be buyers in early 2007 (thankfully before things got particularly heated) and soon realised that buying the property that I truly wanted was a little out of my financial reach. My brother’s rented unit was put up for sale about the same time and over a couple of beers one evening we decided that we could be a buying super-power – or at least afford more than a studio on the ground floor – if we joined forces financially.
We went to countless open homes, and back in those days there were often queues of people also keen to have a sneaky look through. Our budget was $350,000 but the places we looked through never really struck a chord. After a couple of months of searching – and me living with my mother, which I must say was a trifle inconvenient when you are in early 30s – one Saturday morning when we were both nursing quite serious “headaches”, we decided to take a look at a property that was technically outside the 5km boundary we had set for ourselves like concrete. We went to look because, well, because I liked its colour (which was blue).
There is a saying that “when you know, you know”. This can certainly be true about a potential partner and I learned that day it can also be true about property. As we were driving up the street, my brother and I looked at each other and magically our “headaches” disappeared. Then we had to try and contain ourselves while the agent showed us through, smiling at each other almost secretively as he did so. It had groovy angles, oodles of space, three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a huge balcony overlooking spectacular greenery. There is no doubt we were well and truly smitten.
Within two hours we had put in a formal offer via a written contract (there really is no other way if you are serious and you know it is the place for you) and two months later we held a house-warming party the likes of which I’m confident the street had never seen before or since for that matter.
It was a good, fun house which over five years created a lot of memories for both of us. Obviously brothers and sisters can’t live together for ever – even if they share the same taste in music and men – so these days my brother and I live separately close to the city. That first home of ours now belongs to me and I have a wonderful tenant living in it. Plus, it helped me finance my next property purchase. Not a bad result for a former quasi-gypsy I must admit.
The latest REIQ data shows first home buyers are back in the market after two years of waiting on the sidelines. Welcome back!
By Nicola McDougall, Media and Communications Manager, REIQ