Money

Four Unexpected Things I Learned From Buying A House

There’s not going to be any shortage of people giving you tips on buying your first home. Everyone thinks they’re an expert when it comes to property and everyone wants to impart a little bit of their wisdom upon you, even if said wisdom was gleaned back in 1935 when houses cost a nickel and Fitzroy was the arse end of Melbourne. EMILY KELLY gives us some real estate real talk.

After purchasing a home in late 2016, the most valuable lessons I learned had nothing to do with penny pinching: they arose in unexpected areas and were often learned the hard way.

Oh you’re able to buy a house? You might wanna keep it to yourself.

An inevitable by-product of the oversharing, insty-famous generation we live in is the inclination to be constantly comparing ourselves to one another. So when your mates catch wind of your purchase, don’t be terribly surprised if they’re unimpressed by a discrepancy in your financial situations. Particularly if they, like so many young Australians, feel completely and utterly blacklisted by the current property market.

You may be overjoyed to be a homeowner, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to keep your jubilance on the down low.

Some of the professionals in this process won’t have YOUR best interests in mind.

Realtors can be damn charismatic and will often try and give you well-intentioned advice about a property but it’s kinda important to remember who is paying them to do their job.

They have been hired by the seller to achieve the best possible result (ie make the most cash possible) for them. The way they achieve this is by convincing you that the property is perfect for you, an impeccable buy, unlike no other, and worth every single cent you have to your name (and then some).

You may want to recruit a Buyer’s Advocate who will literally do your bidding for you, sometimes in a manner far more er, curt than you were anticipating.

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Many news headlines are designed to prompt property-induced hysteria. Skip them.

Real Estate is a hot topic at the moment. Look at the space it occupies in the modern media landscape. Clicks abound on articles that talk of bubbles bursting, suburbs skyrocketing and interest rates increasing. As a result there’s a lot of hysterical headlines demanding that you “BUY NOW, BUY NOW, DEAR LORD HELP US ALL IF YOU DON’T BUY RIGHT NOW OR FOREVER WALLOW IN REGRET AND/OR AN ETERNAL RENTAL HELL!”

Suffice to say it’s best to skip these pieces. No one likes to be scared into their first purchase, and although your entry into the market is relatively time sensitive, it’s probably best not to bolt at the proverbial finish line.

Older relatives will get really excited about your new-found debt

When you finally make a purchase, the number of zeros on that home loan form might feel like the biggest kick to the crotch you’ve ever experienced. Like, so painful that you may need to have a little sit down so you can breathe heavily into a paper bag for a couple days. It feels totally disorienting then, when your older relatives are absolutely beside themselves with joy on your behalf.

The truth is there is still a generation kicking around that holds home ownership in completely different regard to you and your mates, assuming it to mean ultimate adulthood and the relishing of responsibility. It wasn’t just about the attainment of a financial goal: for generations before you, homeownership was akin to marriage and meant settling down. You don’t need me to tell you how much your parents just want you to bloody well settle down.


Emily works in PR and writes for a bunch of music publications on the reg but her greatest life achievement to date is an Instagram profile (@emkeezy) that doesn’t ENTIRELY consist of photos of her baby.