Windfall spurs property aim

An aspiring home owner talks to Susan Hely


NAMES: Georgia Darling

AGE: 26

STATUS: Inherited $40,000, wants to buy a property to live in.

QUESTION: Can I afford it in inner Sydney? How much more do I need to save for a deposit?

SOLUTION: Save more for your deposit. Take your time and start your market education.

Buying a home is a huge stretch for young people. The median price of a home in Sydney is around $642,000, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia. “None of my friends has bought property on their own,” says Georgia.

She has always wanted to buy her own place but couldn’t see how until – out of the blue – an elderly aunt left her a windfall of $40,000.

Georgia’s total salary package is $52,000. She wants to buy an older-style, two-bedroom apartment with a balcony, or a small house in inner Sydney that needs renovation. Georgia doesn’t need parking and wants a place close to work with good transport. She doesn’t want an investment property.

Will she be able to afford a mortgage on her salary? What areas close to the city can she afford? How much more should she save to add to the deposit? Does she qualify for any government assistance?

Georgia lives at the family home so she can save some of her earnings. “It’s not ideal but I can’t afford to save and pay rent.” If she was renting she calculates she would be paying $200 to $340 a week in a shared apartment. While she admits she spends much of her earnings on her social life, clothes and travel, she can save diligently if she has a goal.

She saved $20,000 in nine months for an overseas trip while working in a pub – but she was earning more than she does now as a landscape architect a few years out of university.

Georgia does not have a car, preferring to use public transport and spends around $100 a week on taxis. She has no credit cards and recently returned from a month’s holiday in the US. She has HECS debt of $17,000. She has a Bankwest TeleNet Saver account for automatic savings and a transaction account with Bendigo Bank.

*Georgia is related to a Money staff member.


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