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With all the hype about property prices and how difficult it is getting into the market, for some it is not a priority in their 20s or 30s – plenty of people leave this purchase to their 40s, 50s or even 60s as they are busy living life!  Circumstances shape when that property purchase might happen and when you read Heidi’s story you will understand that later can definitely work!
Q.   Have you been looking for a long time to buy this property?
I’ve been looking seriously for a year.
Q.   If so, what sort of roadblocks were you facing?
The first roadblock was choosing which kind of game to play in the housing market. The decision I had to make was should I buy just for myself or buy something bigger that has additional bedrooms that could be rented out either to students or to Airbnb peeps which would help pay the mortgage. With that in mind, I looked at a huge number of properties within a four suburb radius as I played with all those possibilities. The roadblock to buying something bigger was the initial down payment (and quality of the property as I have looked in older suburbs) and the fact that I wouldn’t budge from that 4-suburb radius.
Q.   Were you always interested in an apartment?  As opposed to a townhouse, house.
Yes, I was for three main reasons – I had lived overseas for 10 years in apartments and much prefer that lifestyle without a garden, choosing instead to visit local parks and gardens and give gratitude every time as someone else has done the gardening (funded through our water bills mind you :). I also thought that now and in the future, I am my target market to rent the place out to, if and when I want to move, so choosing something that I would opt to rent out in the future made sense. And lastly was for investment reasons – to buy as close to the city (with a car parking space) as I could afford.
Q.    What area did you want to buy in and why was that?
South Yarra or Prahran. Walkability to the CBD where I work was a key factor, as are the two amazing huge parks in that area (Botanic Gardens and Fawkner Park), as well as access to the M1 & Dandenong Rd (family live in the SE suburbs), and Kingsway out to the west and the airport.
Q.  You are in your early 40s.  Is this the first time you have been in a position to or wanted to buy and if so, can you explain your circumstances?
A mix of reasons. As I mentioned I had 10 years living overseas which took me a while to catch up from financially. Then I felt updating my skills and investing in professional development took more of a priority, to give me a stronger foothold on the career ladder, and then after living in a great area for the first time in like forever, I finally knew where I wanted to be based, so it was the first time I had wanted to buy (Sidenote – I have literally lived in every suburb in the SE and E directions as both a house sitter and renter as I couldn’t decide which suburb – Port Melbourne, Middle Park, South Yarra, St Kilda, Elwood, Elsternwick, Caulfield North & South, Malvern, Armadale, Windsor, Prahran, Toorak and South Yarra!!).
Q. Did you consider buying off the plan?
NO WAY!!!!!! Would rather live in a tent.
Q.   I believe the vendor has sold it to you for close to what he paid for it originally which I believe was off-the-plan for him.  Would it be fair to say that something a bit older (rather than the off-the-plan option) can sometimes work in your favour as the market has settled a bit and the size a bit bigger than for similar money for a new build?
Hell yeah!
Q.   Were there any issues for you with the size of your apartment and what lenders Louise suggested you use?
No issues whatsoever.
Q.  For some, an apartment is a great option as a lifestyle choice.  Close to the action, lock and leave attraction etc.  Is this something that was important for you?

Yes, especially as I am someone who is often out, I travel a lot, and the requirements for a garden are something I don’t even need to think about. The one part of living in an apartment I feel restricted by is I feel it is unkind to keep a pet, so I am choosing not to have one.

Q.   How did you find using a mortgage broker?
As an educated, intelligent, discerning kind of person, I was SHOCKED at the whole Real Estate industry – and gobsmacked at how many times it became apparent that there were many holes or traps one could fall into if it weren’t for someone “in-the-know” really being on your team. I would never, ever buy without using a savvy broker and in the case of Louise, I had been receiving her Newsletters and education tips for over 2 years before I was ready to approach her and had my deposit. 
Q.  Would you recommend this service to friends and family?
Absolutely. I would recommend broker services for the following reasons:

  • I didn’t know what I didn’t know! Having someone on my team has been the best support and saved me a lot of time, heartache and money.
  • In Australia as a consumer, there is only one side of the Real Estate industry that is represented (and many would argue represented not very well!!) and that is the seller, not the buyer. So imagine doing this by yourself, without help, advice and great questions to make you really think. A big potential trap is there for many, especially for those of us who are first-time buyers.
  • My family and friends, although property owners themselves, either didn’t have a current awareness of the market or they hadn’t purchased an apartment so didn’t really know how to advise me.
  • There is so much to do – it would have been a nightmare without someone to walk and talk me through it.
And lastly I’d like to share why I would choose going with Louise and her team specifically. They got me a better deal than through the Big 4 (yes, thank you for the savings!!!), they were available at all times of day and night and literally educated and coached me through some of the tough conversations like: when to sign, what to sign, what to agree to and what to avoid, what to go and watch on YouTube to prepare for bidding at auctions, what to check for in contracts, who to contact and research before buying and the final reason is the degree of knowledge Louise has about this industry and how generously she shared her knowledge, and how easy she has made this journey.
P.S. My conveyancers, who had never met Louise before, but who have worked with over 80 different brokers in their time, said that she is the best they have ever seen. Praise well earned.
If you are serious about buying yourself a place, do yourself a favour and get Louise on your team.

We’re very excited that we’ve been nominated for Best Customer Service in the Connective Excellence Awards 2018, an Awards program just for mortgage brokers.
Voting closes July 31 so if you haven’t already, we would love it if you would vote for us!
Please click HERE to vote.


As part of the Small Business Festival Victoria we are offering our Finance Stress Busting Tips Webinar on August 8 and Seminar in Melbourne on August 18

Both are FREE to attend.

With thanks,