Meet Jess. She’s 28, has a kickass job in Advertising and makes mad bank. After forgoing avocado toast for the past few years, she can finally afford to put a deposit on a fairly crappy house, in the undesirable outer burbs of Brisbane. First homes are always a bit wonky, but she’s watched every episode of The Block and she’s got BIG plans. She’s moving in with Cody. It’s love. It’s official. After a year talking about it, it’s finally time to leave his share house idiot flat mates and their foul personal hygiene behind. Cody doesn’t have the savings that Jess has (he’s working in cafes until the band makes it big so the mortgage will be on Jess’s income alone), but he’ll help with the payments and you know, he’s the one… so it doesn’t matter who brings what… it’s not like they have any plans to marry and breed, so what does it matter? It might not. It might be a relationship that lasts the ages. It might be a great little renovator’s dream that sets her up for life. It might be the first step on her next chapter – or it might be the biggest mistake of her life. You can never know. So here’s what you CAN know.
What an Investment Advisor will say
First home buyers are stuck buying in less desirable locations because it’s very difficult to meet the deposit requirements on a more expensive property. This leaves them vulnerable to buying in a location going nowhere, and with the market at such a peak, they run the risk of buying in a location that will actually fall in value. This means being locked into a debt for more than the asset is worth. Jumping on the property ladder is a massive risk. Young women should find a suitable financial advisor before making the leap.
What a Property Inspector will say
The reason a first home is affordable is important. Why the area is undesirable is important. If it’s just distance or lack of infrastructure, then it’s an equity issue but if it’s a flood plain, or fire hazard or there’s an issue with subsidence, then the undesirable area could cost Jess her financial future. Similarly buying the cheapest house on the best street might make financial sense but if the house needs to be knocked down and rebuilt, hidden issues like asbestos can make those costs skyrocket. Jess is planning to do some DIY renovations.
“A property with ‘good bones’ is vital for first home buyers. While they may need to compromise on issues like size and layout, a solid build with issues that can be corrected is the only good investment for first home buyers in this market” said Andrew Mackintosh, Building Inspector Brisbane.
What a Brisbane Family Lawyer will say
It doesn’t matter if you officially tie the knot or not. When you live together for two years, you’re afforded the same financial settlement rights as any married couple. So, if the relationship turns sour a couple of years from now, Jess’s hard earned, avo toast sacrificing deposit will set Cody up for life. The modern woman needs to protect herself financially, with a binding financial agreement, otherwise known as a pre-nup.
“If Jess and Cody do part ways, a binding financial agreement will go some way to protect Jess’s deposit – every case is different and there’s no guarantee but if Cody loves her, he’ll understand” says Jennifer Hetherington, Divorce Lawyer Brisbane.
Sliding Doors Moments
This is the big sliding doors moment in Jess’s life. In one future, Cody’s career takes off and they live happily ever after. In the other, things turn sour and Jess is left footing the bill for her mistakes for decades to come.