When Brisbane doctor Anthony, 31, began searching for his first home, he wasn’t specifically looking for a brand new property.
He did know, however, that he wanted a central location that wasn’t too close to the city.
He had also decided it would be a low-maintenance apartment – due to the long hours his job demanded – but one that had many of the lifestyle benefits which a home with a big backyard afforded.
“I started looking and keeping an eye out for possible properties in the newspaper and online,” he says.
Then, after a few months of browsing Brisbane real estate pages, Anthony bought a two-bedroom apartment at Parklands at Sherwood, a master-planned community of 110 units and villas, located around 8km from the Brisbane CBD.
Anthony says he was attracted to the suburb’s popular village atmosphere, as he was keen to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and have open space where he could relax and unwind.
“I’d been interested in living in Sherwood for some time, and the Parklands development really suited my lifestyle,” he states.
“I intended to spend my spare time exercising and I was impressed by the fact that the development had its own lap pool and gym – plus, it had cycle and walking tracks virtually on the doorstep.”
The public reserve around the place was also “a huge drawcard”, Anthony adds, as it gives residents access to widespread green areas, without the associated maintenance responsibilities.
Anthony bought the apartment off the plan for $472,200 and used his 10% deposit of $47,200 to reduce the amount he would need to borrow.
Originally, Anthony was pre-approved by Commonwealth Bank for a home loan of $422,200.
However, since buying the unit, he was thrown a huge ‘curve ball’. Just weeks after exchanging contracts and while still confirming the details of his mortgage, he was transferred out of Brisbane to another job elsewhere.
The change in location meant Anthony was forced to use what was to be his first home as an investment property – and forfeit the First Home Owner Grant
He describes how being unable to live in the property and consequently stripped of the additional cash flow the grant provides have been the biggest challenges during his experience as a first homebuyer.
“Because I had to move to Toowoomba over the New Year period to begin work, I won’t be able to live in the property or get the first homebuyer’s incentive, so it’s all very disappointing,” he relates.
“But I’ve overcome these challenges by reminding myself that the position I’m in now was too good to refuse, and it’s an exciting time for me as I’m moving forward in my career.”
Due to the change of plans, Anthony’s mortgage requirements also changed and he is now in the process of reviewing his original arrangement to suit his new property situation.
“Obviously that has now changed – and, therefore, so has the application for my mortgage. I’m now putting in less capital to buy the property, as it’s going to be an investment,” he says.
Anthony was lucky enough to have a smooth ride into the original application due to his impressive savings and solid income, and he still doesn’t foresee any problems getting the appropriate home loan approved by his lender.
He says his mortgage broker, Denise Scorey of Pinnacle Finance Brokers, made the process of getting the loan much easier, and recommends the use of a mortgage broker with a good reputation to others in his position.
“I discovered Denise when she arranged a home loan for my brother,” says Anthony. “She was fantastic – so I contacted her, and it certainly made life a lot simpler.”
Anthony says he plans to rent the unit out to tenants and estimates his rental income at between $400 and $420 a week. He’s currently waiting to hear back from his lender about alternative methods of finance for his property. YM