Buying your first home in Sydney? It can help to slightly adjust expectations down. Think less “apartment from Friends” and more “house from the Flintstones.” Believe me, you’ll feel better and won’t actively recoil when the first weekend of looking fails to meet your elevator loft expectations. You have to… compromise.
Sydney ranks number 2 in the whole world for housing unaffordability, just behind Hong Kong where $1m USD buys you the right to have fruit thrown at you by estate agents. So when embarking on your first foray into Sydney property, my advice to you is to brace yourself.
Estate agent (EA): Now, strata will be more than mortgage repayments per quarter, but that’s because this unit block has a gym, and I can tell you work out eh-eh! *punches me in the shoulder*
Prospective home buyer (PBH): *rubbing my shoulder* Is this apartment north-east facing?
EA: Well, “aspect” only really applies if the unit has windows in the living area. Which this… does not. But, if you want to look out a window please follow me to the guest bathroom where a wall is missing. Now, it also doesn’t have a toilet, which I know was on your list, but the ‘hole in the floor’ is how they do it in South-East Asia.
PBH: *looks out missing wall* What is that out there?
EA: *Consults sales notes* That’s a tire fire, sir. But if you look beyond you can see the local state school if, you know… you guys are thinking of having kids! 😉
PBH: *squinting* “Yasmar Juvenile Justice Centre?”
EA: Yes, they’re tough but fair!
PBH: Do you know why the previous owner is selling?
EA: Oh, you can ask her yourself! She haunts the master bedroom on full moons 🙂
EA: Because she’s a ghost now.
Yep, if you want a nice two bedroom in the city before you turn 40, you’ll need to be characters in a TV sitcom. But if you’re a real person like I often am you’ll have to set your sites further a field. And so it was, that this past weekend my lady and her second income and I, found ourselves signing a contract of sale for a beautiful place in the Eastern suburbs.
I BOUGHT A FUCKING HOUSE!!!!
Yaaaaaaay! Never mind that it’s still theoretical in that it’s off the plan, it just goes to show, that young(-ish in my case) people can buy a nice house in this inflated market. And all it took was 15 years of scrupulous saving, stick-to-it-ivness, and a very substantial loan from my parents which I will pay back assuming they live long enough.
I am so. Lucky. To be an only child. Imagine if I had to split any potential heredity cash windfalls with ugh, siblings. As an only child, everything was mine growing up. He-Man action figure with fist pump and torso twist? That’s mine. Nintendo? That’s mine too. Leonardo Ninja Turtle with dual katana wrist spin action? Oh, you better believe that’s mine! And on it went throughout my life, with my parents helping support my various university fees, first car, rent and finally the purchase of a home. What a spoiled asshole I must be.
That’s not to say that I didn’t work throughout. I know humility. Through uni I had two jobs: serving as a cater waiter to the campus dons and fellowship during semester, and tending bar in an Italian restaurant in a wealthy resort town to wealthy tourists and their jerk children over the holidays. Pro tip: Never order your kids a “babychino” so they can pretend to be like daddy. The milk “froth” is just phlegm.
Since then I’ve been working in a professional capacity with a wheely-chair and everything, but with all these advantages did I have enough to service a mortgage for a livable, 2 bedroom, toilet-having, city apartment on my own? Did I fuck. Besides the parental loan I still needed my girlfriend’s second income to both bump up the borrowing capacity and survive the monthly mortgage payments. God knows what happens to single people in Sydney, I presume they live in share-houses, getting on each others nerves (“FORKS DON’T WASH THEMSELVES, GREG!!” *stabbing Greg*) until they’re old enough to qualify for aged care.
Man, that is bleak. But, to even it out let’s instead think about how my new house with its big open terrace will provide gamboling space for my bunny and possibly a new puppy! They will best friends like Milo & Otis (R.I.P) or, Batman and Robin. Who can say?
So, in closing: Move to Greece.