• Cynthia Nobrega

The highs and lows of millennial home ownership

There was a point in time when I gave up the idea of owning my own home. I'm sure many of you have felt (or feel) the same way.

After realising how expensive the whole process would be, I momentarily gave up. That is until the stamp duty exemptions were implemented and I would no longer be asked to pay a ridiculous amount of money on top of an already ridiculous amount of money.

A glimmer of hope resurfaced after recalculating my expenses and savings. Without an extra $20,000ish government tax to pay, I could just afford a home. It seemed to surprise older people around me; although I've occasionally eaten smashed avo, I can still, as a millennial, afford a property on my own.

It may not have been the whole smashed avo thing that was stopping me in the end, just saying.

The thought of an apartment by the beach with secure underground parking, a pool and tennis court excited me... that is until I realised what sort of price tag was attached to those properties.

Not to worry. I never had these things before and didn’t need them now.

Imminent inspections excited; I wrote down every single apartment I wanted to visit. At first, inspecting five different properties in a day was thrilling and one step closer to finding something I could purchase. Until every day involved looking at apartments and obsessing over prices/perceived lack of funds and every Saturday was filled with inspecting apartments in person.

Going to inspections as a single person either garnered too much interest from a real estate agent or none at all. It was either assumed I was with the family who entered before me (because who the hell looks at two-bedroom apartments on their own? I do, that’s who) or I was perceived to be so rich because I was on my own and looking at apartments that were out of my price range for “research”.

Admittedly, in the beginning I just enjoyed seeing different interior designs and have a voyeuristic tendency to see how others live (yes, I opened other people’s wardrobes. You need to make sure there’s enough hanging space!)

After a whirlwind of fantasising where I was going to live, I began looking solely at apartments in my price range and fuck, that was disappointing. They were old, they were gross, they were small and sometimes they didn’t even look like the photos online.

“Just wait,” people would always tell me, “prices will drop”. And they did, somewhat, but looking at previous property prices from ten years ago compared to now, really pisses me off. I couldn’t do anything to make up for that, except be born earlier (bring me a damn time machine).

When prices dropped a little, I looked at other properties that were in my price range that were mostly decent. They were never going to be perfect or near an expansive, sparkling body of water and I’d probably have to park on the street but it’d be my property to do whatever I wanted in. After all, when you're renting you're just paying off someone else's mortgage, why not make it your own?

With that new determination in mind, I suddenly began taking the process a lot more seriously... which introduced a lot more anxiety. I tried my best to find something where I could make an early offer and bypass an intimidating auction and was lucky enough for that to happen.

Making an offer is very intimidating however and although I had power in the price I set, I felt entirely powerless.

A few frantic calls to a solicitor and I was assured my offer wasn’t legally binding until I put down a deposit. It was nice to hear, especially with my commitment issues (I could retract said offer and run away).But I didn’t run away. I purchased it the place instead.

The worry still hits me in waves. Did I make the right decision? Will I be in too much debt to handle on my own? Will I enjoy living in my chosen box? I certainly don’t want to go through all the anxiety of purchasing a property again, so I’ll take my chances and say yes, I will choose to enjoy it.

Cynthia Nobrega is a trivia enthusiast, using her annoying competitive streak and useless knowledge about random shit to yell out answers before anyone else can. She is also often called a cynic but still cries tears of joy when people find love on reality dating shows, “They (sob) found (sob) each other! (flood of tears). Lurk her @shitstagram._

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