You’ve read all those articles about how millennials can’t afford to buy houses because they love avocado toast too much. The media paints them as frivolous never-savers who can’t resist dropping hard-earned cash on new trends. We’re here to tell you that they’re all wrong, and that you can have both. Your dream Pinterest home is within reach, and with these tips you can start bringing that dream much closer.
First, start keeping an eye on property websites (like this one) to get an idea of the kind of place you’re going for. If you’re a first time home buyer, it’s probably a good idea to start small. A small apartment in a good part of town is a great way to get your first step up on the property ladder.
Second, you will need to start saving. The more you put away, the quicker you’ll be able to reach your goal, but any small bit will help. Be smart about where you save your money, as certain types of savings and investment accounts will earn you higher returns and ultimately more money in the long run.
Your two biggest upfront expenses will be the deposit, and associated fees (transfer fees, bond registration fees, lawyer fees, etc). The more you can pay into your deposit, the less your monthly bond repayments and overall long-term cost will be. A good credit score is also a key factor in not only receiving a bond, but one with a favourable interest rate (come on, prime minus 1!)
Third, don’t disregard ‘free’ money. That’s money that comes to you via tax returns, inheritance, contest wins, hidden treasure chests, etc. It’s easy to think of this money as separate from your main income, and therefore use it to splash out on something you don’t need. It’s hard, but it’ll serve you much better in a savings account. That goes for raises too. Instead of upgrading your lifestyle, think about saving or investing the difference instead.
Fourth, couple up. This is obviously an optional point, and you definitely shouldn’t get into a relationship just so you can buy a house. But that being said, double the income also means more money to put into a deposit, or a slightly better and bigger property than you would have been able to afford by yourself. Note, that if you do go this way, be sure to set up a contract between you and your partner to protect both of you if things ever go south.
There are a few more ways you can earn and save money, like selling stuff you don’t need, downgrading your car, setting up a side hustle to earn extra income, sticking to a strict budget, etc. but the above tips are the important basics for saving before you buy a house.
Once you’ve reached the buying stage, there will be a few other important purchases to consider. You’ll need life insurance (and we’ve got more info about a great deal with Indie for you below), and you may want to renovate. The saving principles for renovations are the same as above – know what you want and take steps to achieve said goal. But that’s an article for another day.
With regards to life insurance, it’s something you’ll definitely need when you reach your goal. It’ll protect your dependants and yourself if anything should ever happen to you and you can’t pay your bond. But not all policies are created equal. Some will help you in more ways than others, and an example of one of these ‘going beyond the call of duty’ brands is Indie (more on them here: www.indiefin.com).
Indie is a financial services company that’s posing a challenge to an otherwise traditional category. They don’t just offer life insurance (and funeral plans, and dread disease cover, and and and…), they give you and investment too. For free. It works like this: Every Indie policy comes with a built-in Wealth Bonus. That means they match up to 100% of your monthly premium into a growing investment account on your behalf, at no extra cost to you.
What that means is that you can buy any policy, even before you’ve bought a home, and start saving with no effort from your side. This investment grows until you’re 70, at which point you can cash out and enjoy being a millionaire. If you’re not keen on waiting, you can also cash out 10% of the invested amount every 5 years, which you can use for whatever you want (think about the difference that could make to a deposit!) The only catch? Stick with Indie. That’s it.
So don’t stress, owning your own home is definitely possible. With some smart saving and a little help on the side, you’ll be kicking back on a sunny balcony of your own in no time.
For more info on Indie, and how they can help you build wealth, check out www.indiefin.com