Some people would argue that the defining feature of Generation Y is their laziness, entitled attitude or tendency to overspend on luxury items – but we think the defining feature of Generation Y just might be their ability to weather a barrage of unhelpful advice with regard to buying property!
Some may wail that “the struggle is real”, but even though prices are higher now than they were 20-30 years ago (for pretty much everything except tech gear, anyway) interest rates are low and there’s plenty of affordable housing stock in Canberra, particularly in the realm of off-the-plan developments.
So the difference between Generation Y achieving their property ownership goals or falling victim to their monthly lifestyle expenses is probably just the right advice. Let’s have a look at the issue from all sides. We’ve created some characters to tell the story – they’re fictional, so there’s no need to take them too seriously!
The Boomer Perspective
“They could buy a property if they really wanted to, but kids these days are just so lazy. They just want everything handed to them and don’t want to work for it! In my day, we worked 23 hours a day and had to walk 83 miles barefoot to get there, and we still managed to buy a house! Oh, and we didn’t waste our shillings on any of this fancy portable phone and flat screen computer nonsense!” – Bev, 60
We’re sure there are some members of Generation Y that don’t have the greatest work ethic and spend all their shillings on portable phones. But tarring a whole generation with the same brush seems a little rough to us, especially when we see so many successful Generation Y entrepreneurs emerging, particularly in the start-up industry.
Also, has anyone told Bev that the money required to buy a top of the line smartphone wouldn’t even buy a square metre in an apartment these days?
The Gen X Perspective
“They think property’s expensive now? Hah! They should have seen the interest rates we had to deal with! They may be our kids, but they’re a bunch of entitled whingers! Stop buying those blooming kale lattes from cafes with insufferably pretentious names like ‘Plãce’, and save some money, you little brats!” – Roger, 46
Let’s do the math. A kale latte from Plãce costs around $3.50 a day, maybe $4 if you have soy (and we do, because we’ve gone vegan, duh). So even if you have one 365 days a year, you’re spending $1460 a year. And a 10% deposit on a $300,000 apartment is $30,000.
So if you stop drinking kale lattes for the next 20.5 years, you could have a deposit on an apartment. Yup, that definitely seems like the most efficient way to enter the market… not! Roger, we think you need to settle down.
The Gen Y Perspective
“Will the world really stop turning if I don’t own a home by age 30? I mean, if I can’t buy a home, at least I can buy Michael Kors, right? I’d rather live my life and have fun than spend my 20s stressed out over something I can’t change. The system is totally working against us. And these ‘elders’ of ours… they do nothing but tell us we’re useless!” – Alison, 25
Well, sure. This is true. The only problem is, the longer you wait, the more expensive it’s likely to get. While it’s absolutely not necessary to own property by the time you’re 30 (certainly, many people don’t in this day and age), it pays to plan towards it.
The Expert (aka Perspective’s) Perspective
So how can Generation Y break into the property market? Well, there are a few ways to save that deposit, and you might be surprised how simple they are:
Put Away 5-10% of Your Income
Aiming for a small amount of your income such as this makes it achievable. It will also mean you’ll develop a good habit of saving. Extra points for sticking that hard-earned cash into a high-interest savings account.
Cut Back on Higher Priced Luxury Items – But Don’t Cut Them Out
There’s no use living a miserable existence with no fun, but do you really need three new handbags in a week? We’re gonna go with no – unless one of them is edible. That could really save you some grocery dosh!
Look at Sales Offers
Plenty of off-the-plan developments offer a savings plan. Often, as little as $1000 can secure your property, giving you 3-12 months to save the remaining 5% deposit. This provides both a manageable in-road to the market and an extra incentive not to buy those 22 pairs of shoes during the month of August.
Sell Your Old Stuff
You’d be surprised how much you can make by selling off old clothes, furniture, accessories, books, DVDs and other things that are cluttering up your house. Got an old iPhone? Sell it!
And what about finding the right home? You can’t just sit around and wait for a copy of the Allhomes liftout to magically beam down from the heavens. You’ve gotta do the footwork (well, it’s probably more like backside work, as you’re likely just to jump online!).
Do Your Research
And that doesn’t just mean jumping on Allhomes once a month! Keep an eye on the newspaper, be on the lookout for display suites and set up property alerts on all the major property websites. You can also get in touch with a Sales Consultant in your local area so they can help you in your search.
Be Open Minded
Your first home needn’t be your dream home – and likely won’t be. Keep an open mind and work on finding something that meets your needs now. It’s unlikely that you’ll find a home that’s so perfect you’ll never leave or upsize. The focus should be on finding something suitable and getting into the market. Besides – it’s both exciting and rewarding to go on that journey and work your way towards a dream abode.
Talk to a Professional
If you need some help finding the right first home, you can contact your local Independent Property Group office, or talk to Clarity Financial Group for some help on the savings front.
Disclaimer: Kale lattes are (thankfully) not an actual beverage that exists and have been included in this article for comedic effect only.