You know the old saying: Kate should have made room for Leo on the door. Every relationship needs some compromise to succeed.
Research by ME found half of Australian home buyers are making personal sacrifices to buy their first homes. They’re not titanic ones either, but simple ones that really prioritise getting their foot on the property ladder.
If you’re hoping to buy your first home but you’re not smashing those savings goals, following their lead could help you get there faster.
Put other plans on the backburner for now
Of course it would be nicer to watch your savings grow from a tropical beachside vista, but let’s be realistic. Dialling back other big expenses will help you reach your savings goals faster. We’ve found that one-in-two wannabe buyers are putting a pin in key plans when thinking about how to buy a house.
One-in-three have put off or downgraded holidays, while one-in-five have opted to buy a cheaper car. And 14% have even postponed plans to start a family while they save. Could you wait to replace the fridge? Or get your full-body tattoo after the SOLD sign goes up?
This doesn’t mean going completely without in the meantime. Why not take in the sights in your own town? Take a few extra long weekends throughout the year to give you the excitement of a holiday, without the overseas splurging. Or just create a Spotify playlist for your pillow fort and ‘holiday’ in your living room.
Choose a new hallway over a trip down the aisle
Marriage rates are the lowest they’ve been in decades, but it’s not just commitment-phobia. Younger first-time home buyers are putting doorbells ahead of wedding bells. One in four Gen-Y home buyers are either shelving plans to get married or scaling back their weddings in order to save for a home.
Among those who are tying the knot, 21% are bypassing the Costa del Sol for their honeymoon and heading to Costa-notta-lotta destinations instead.
Cut down on being out on the town
Poetry aside, you can save a fortune by eating and entertaining at home. You get to choose the music and the company, and you know exactly who’s been sitting on the couches. Pull out the fancy dinner plates, a box of frozen spring rolls and show your friends how it’s done.
Think about other strategies for buying
If you feel like you can’t get ahead of the market, consider other ways to get a leg-up. Could you buy with friends or family? Are you fixed on your location, or are there other options to explore? Could you keep renting but buy a smaller investment property to help build equity? How about a fixer-upper you can get into now and restore later?
It’s okay to draw the line on compromise
Buying your first house is an important goal, but some things are non-negotiable – and that’s okay.
For you it might be Friday night brews with mates or getting your monthly Harry Potter mani-pedi. For home buyers with children, only 7% are willing to send their kids to a less expensive school and only 6% have put buying their first home ahead of starting their own business.
Keep sight of the goal: it will feel great to be in your own home
While saving can seem endless, and making compromises even less appealing, the result is worth it. Everything you’ve put on hold for now is waiting in your secure new future.
Almost everyone who buys a first home makes sacrifices to achieve their goal. We believe in you.