The only industry I have ever known is property, so when the opportunity presented itself to buy my own property I jumped at it. This was back in 2008 before the market slumped from the GFC and when interest rates were still higher than today. I was lucky to have property peers guide me through the process and a good friend looking to sell her apartment, so the decision was a no brainer. I look back now and wonder whether I would have had the courage to do this if I didn’t have this help on offer.
It was without doubt one of the best decisions I made as a young woman. This small, daggy one bedroom apartment in Glen Iris became my prized possession, my sanctuary for a few years until I met my husband. This is where my story becomes more traditional. I kept my Glen Iris property as an investment property and moved into my then boyfriends home until we sold it to make a seachange to Mount Martha.
I have single friends who have taken the plunge and bought property for themselves and I take my hat off to them. As we are all well aware, getting into the Melbourne property market today is no mean feat, let alone going in solo. But this makes it even more important to push yourself to get the wheels in motion instead of taking the traditional route of waiting for your partner before buying. With 43% of women seeing home ownership as a ‘reflection of their success in life’, we really have done a 180 on tradition. Women owning property is becoming the new tradition.
As women we face many hurdles, pay inequality, corporate glass ceilings, the blessing (and burden) of children and therefore maternity leave effecting our earning power and superannuation and in some cases the expectation to care for elderly parents in later years. Property ownership needn’t be a hurdle, but a platform to springboard us back into the same financial position that men have enjoyed for years.
So how do we do this?
Think investment grade only. What you are buying today has to be a good quality property for long term investment success. It is investment suicide to risk your hard earned dollars on a property that hasn’t been thoroughly researched to minimise the risk. A buyer’s agent or Property Advisor can guide you towards the most astute property decision.
Think outside the square. Your budget may not give you scope to buy your ideal property, but this need not be a deterrent. In most cases, you are better off to buy the property that cosmetically needs some love but has better ‘investment bones’, than to buy the ‘pretty property’ with poorer growth potential.
Think bigger picture when buying a property. The last thing you want is to be in a position of having to sell before you’re ready. This is a major commitment and lifestyle changes that may arise should be considered before purchasing to avoid over committing yourself. This endeavour to about building financial independence, not taking your independence away!
Buying Melbourne property has been my bread and butter for the last 9 years. Whether it be assisting clients to buy a dream home or investment property, it is extremely satisfying when I have the opportunity to assist fellow women to take the reigns and buy their own property, their own sanctuary. One lesson I will be teaching my daughter is to make her financial dreams a reality by herself, her partner can come along for the ride!