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Are you struggling to buy a property?


If you haven’t had the best of success acquiring a property, you’d be justified by blaming it on things like increasing competition from cashed up retirees and a complete lack of suitable/livable/affordable properties.

Whatever the reason you’re struggling to get a foot in the door of your first property, there are some things you can do which might just make all the difference. Starting with the following:

Widening your property search

If you can’t afford to live in your favourite suburb perhaps you can find something in a comparable suburb. For example, if you like the beach but can’t afford a popular one consider moving a few suburbs north or south (if you’re in WA or NSW for example) where your dollars will go further.

Consider a smaller property or a 'renovators delight'

If you really want to live in a particular area you may have to start small and work your way up. Consider an apartment, terrace or semi that you can add to over time.

Properties that are dated or in need of renovation can be a cheaper option. Get a building report to confirm your future home is structurally sound and then clean it to your standard. You can make small or major improvements as your budget allows.

Consider an investment property rather than living in your home

Buying a property to rent out is a popular form of investment. In fact, 1,811,174 people own an investment property and 2 out of every 3 investors are negatively geared claiming tax deductions on their costs. It’s no wonder the tax office don’t like it and we do.

You could start out small, with an apartment for example, and use this as a springboard to fund the purchase of your home. If you’d like a starting point read our article Is an investment property a good investment?

Buy with someone

If you can’t afford to buy your own home, consider buying your home or apartment with a friend or relative. This is known as ‘co-borrowing’ and you’d do this to increase your buying power. Pooling your money with someone increases your deposit and may give you access to a greater range of properties.

There are some issues with this however. For example, only one of you will be eligible for the first home buyer grant and ensure you understand the differences in how a property can be owned.

If you own it as tenants-in-common and you die suddenly, your share passes to your estate (where it can be dealt with by your will, if you have one). If you own it as joint tenants (and die again), your share passes to the surviving owner and not your estate. This might upset a few loved ones you leave behind who were expecting to inherit that property.

The last resort

If you can stand it, move back home with your parents (if they’ll take you back!) or consider renting a room with others rather than forking out rent for your own place.

Using a buyer's agent

A buyer’s agent uses their connections in and knowledge of, real estate to find a property on your behalf which fits the criteria you’ve given them, and then negotiate a good price for it.

Why you’d use a buyer’s agent: Saves you a lot of running around looking at properties, some of which might not be listed (so you wouldn’t know about them). They can also make an offer or bid at the auction on your behalf which is great if you like to avoid that.

Why you wouldn’t: The cost of their services adds to the expenses of buying your home. Like brokers, they work on commission which eat into the price of the property you are buying (unless you pay them an upfront fee which then reduces your deposit saved).


Just under 71% of the Australian population own a home, either with or without a mortgage so take heart, you’ll get there. Your patience will eventually be rewarded, so too will your savings and hip pocket – the more deposit you have, the less you need to borrow and repay. More money for you, that’s what we’re about.

If you’ve got your home loan organised, you might like to review our articles about how you can repay it sooner, and remember to check your savings are still working for you.

Now get back out there and look!

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