How I bought a house at 19

How I bought a house at 19, including tips to help you save for your first home


That’s right, I bought my first house at the age of 19.  It wasn’t technically a house, it was actually a unit, but it’s much the same thing.  Looking back now it was such a young age to take such a big step, but it was also the best thing I could have done.  It was a 1 bedroom unit in a great location, nearby public transport, plenty of shops and the university I was attending at the time.  Despite the great location, everyone told us what a bad idea it was to buy a 1 bedroom unit.


We lived in it for 18 months before deciding to sell, and while it was a little squishy it was still fine for 2 people.  We sold it for a profit of $67,000 18 months later, and did absolutely no work on it in those 18 months, it was already fully renovated when we purchased it.  While it might have been a case buying in the right place at the right time, buying small until we could afford something bigger really paid off.


So you want to save up a deposit for your first home?  These are the money saving tips and tricks I used to save up a deposit, and then pay extra off my mortgage once I bought my home:


Don’t waste money on eating out and drinking all of the time

There is nothing wrong with going out now and again for a meal or drinks, but if you make a weekly habit out of it you might find it begins to eat up significant amounts of your income, which makes it very hard to save.  This was an easy step for me because I have never been big on going out drinking, and when I eat out I’m just as happy eating somewhere with cheap meals as I am an expensive restaurant.


If you are serious about saving up for a home deposit, try socialising at home rather than out.  Get everyone to bring food and drinks and you will still have just as good of a time, without blowing the budget on a single night out.


Stop spending money on unnecessary expenses

There are countless ways to cut down your expenses, and every dollar saved is a dollar toward your new house; it all adds up!  Go through the last few months expenses with a fine tooth comb and work out what expenses can be cut.  Start with the easy to cut expenses, and add a few more expenses to cut or reduce each month.  This might include cutting your grocery bill or getting Netflix instead of pay tv.


Up your income

There are so many ways to earn money in addition to your main income.  If you have a little spare time, consider finding a way to earn a little extra cash.  This could include:

  • Selling things from around the house that you no longer need.
  • Starting an Etsy shop or eBay store.
  • Doing odd jobs on Airtasker.  There is a constant stream of both online and local tasks uploaded, and some people are making thousands per month from it.


Be sure it’s something you really want

Like any savings goal you might make, it’s very hard to make real progress toward that goal unless your heart is 100% in it.  Make saving up that deposit your number 1 priority and do anything you can to make it happen.  Sure, it might involve a few sacrifices in the short term, but it will all be so worth it in the long term.


Start small

It’s advice you have probably heard before, but that’s because it’s so important when joining the property market.  The best thing you can do is find something that suits your budget, and that’s probably going to be something on the smaller side, and sometimes in a less desirable suburb.  There is no point getting so far into debt that you struggle to afford anything other than mortgage repayments.


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