Career & Money

How To Get Into The Property Market According To 3 Millennials Who’ve Done It

By Courtney Ammenhauser
29th Dec 2022

Woman with a sold sticker outside a house

Buying your first home can be a pretty daunting task. There's so much to get your head around, from interest rates, insurance, legal fees, pest inspections, offset accounts, and stamp duty—not to mention actually searching, inspecting and settling on a property you like enough to go into heaps of debt for. 

To help alleviate some of those first-time nerves, we've linked up with the home loan pros at Bankwest to speak to people from our community who have already made inroads in the home-buying game. Here's what three Aussie millennials have to say about getting prepped to purchase, the mistakes they made along the way and what they wish they knew earlier.

Lei, WA


What type of property did you buy and where? 
A two-bedroom, two-storey townhouse in Perth, WA. 

What's your number one tip for people who want to buy their first home?
Don't wait to seek professional advice—if you're considering buying a home, go and talk to a mortgage broker or a bank. You might be surprised at the incentives available and could be able to buy sooner than you think. 

What strategies did you take to get yourself in a position where you were emotionally and financially ready to buy?
As soon as I found out there were programs and incentives that could allow me to buy sooner than I thought, I did my research by speaking to friends who had recently bought a home, reading articles online and listening to podcasts by reputable financial advisors or 'fin-fluencers'. Then I met with a mortgage broker to discuss my learnings and the options available to me based on my personal circumstances. 

What do you wish you knew before you started your home-buying process?
I wish I knew how certain things could affect the home loan products available to you. I work in a position where I earn commission and there are rules around how this can be assessed as income. I also didn't understand what can have an impact on your credit rating and how lenders take this into consideration when determining your eligibility for a home loan. 

Do you have any other learnings that you will use next time you buy a home?
In addition to the financial side of things, I learnt about how to make an offer and negotiate with a seller, as well as working with a conveyancer on processing the sale and settlement which will help next time I buy. I would also suggest doing research (in my case, I listened to podcasts) on what to do after you buy, for example, the pros and cons of refinancing.

Did you get any bad advice along the way? If so, what was it?
I was told that you need a big deposit (20%) to buy property when in fact, I was able to access government incentives that allowed me to buy a home with a 5% deposit without needing Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with first-home buyers?
Do your research then seek clarity and professional advice from multiple brokers or institutions to find out what works for you. 

Maddy, Qld


What type of property did you buy and where?
Actively looking to buy an apartment in Melbourne.

What's your number one tip for people who want to buy their first home? 
I've only just dipped my toes into the property market, with my home loan having just been approved in the last few weeks (!!) so I'm very much at the start of my journey to secure my first home. My number one tip has been to work with a mortgage broker that you trust and feel comfortable with. Having started my journey into home ownership with very little knowledge about where to begin, my broker really handheld me through the process, answered my silly questions and we were able to have an open discussion about my goals and the realistic steps for me to get there.

What strategies did you take to get yourself in a position where you were emotionally and financially ready to buy? 
I made it a goal of mine at the beginning of 2022 that I wanted to make steps to purchase my first home. From a mental point of view, I told my close friends and family that this was what I wanted to achieve so it made me more accountable and saying it out loud made it feel more real and affirming in a way.  From a financial perspective, after my lease at my sharehouse ended mid-way through the year I was fortunate enough to have the option to move back home. With my expenses significantly reduced this really helped me to shave costs and save for a deposit.


What do you wish you knew before you started your home-buying process? 
I can only speak to the home loan process as I'm still on the hunt for my first place, but I always overlooked home ownership and didn't think it was for me because it felt completely daunting and unachievable as a single person. However, I found that making those first steps and booking a consult with a mortgage broker early on in the process was incredibly eye-opening and made the idea of home ownership so much more obtainable. 

Is there anything else you'd like to share with first-home buyers? 
There is never a right time to buy, you can try and time the market but it's really about when is the best time for YOU. 

Anonymous, Vic


What type of property did you buy and where?
We bought a house in regional Victoria.

What's your number one tip for people who want to buy their first home?
My number one tip for people who want to buy their first home is that it doesn't have to be your forever home. 

What strategies did you take to get yourself in a position where you were emotionally and financially ready to buy?
There are lots of ways you can approach it. I think for us, it was about not rushing the process. We probably took an extra few years [to buy], and still enjoyed life in the process.

What do you wish you knew before you started your home-buying process?
I wish we knew about the impact of interest rates in monthly monetary terms. Getting the actual numbers on that sort of thing and calculating what impact that will have on your monthly budget is pretty game changing. 

Do you have any other learnings that you will use next time you buy a home?
Yes definitely. Next time we buy a home we'll try and leverage our bank's tools and knowledge a lot more. For example, we understand the value of having an offset account to bring down your interest but there are lots of other tools and products on offer that could be helpful—you just have to ask the right questions and do a bit of digging. 

Did you get any bad advice along the way? If so, what was it?
People would tell us, "property always goes up" a lot. Like politics and parenting, everyone has an opinion when it comes to purchasing a property. It's worth listening to some of the advice from experienced buyers but remember it's your money, life and future so do your research and make your own decision.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with first-home buyers?
I'd say that first-home buyers need to be clear on their deal breakers, they need to be open-minded about where they want to buy and live and they should avoid overextending themselves.

Ready to get your foot in the property market door? For more tips and information on how you can, visit the Bankwest website.  

Editor’s note: this article was produced in partnership with Bankwest Thank you for supporting the partners who make Urban List possible. To read our editorial policy, click here.

Images: Top @leilanivakaahi via Instagram; in-article Urban List.

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