Couple’s $40K savings they can’t use

 

Despite having $40,000 in savings, mum Nicolette Mewing is starting to think her family will never achieve the Aussie home ownership dream.

The Queensland mum has a two-year-old daughter with her husband Brett. She works in public relations and he is a pilot, but because he is paid in foreign currency, his income won't be counted by the bank.

Recently, they went to find out their options for a home loan and were told that a 20 per cent deposit would be needed.

"There was a house here in Burleigh Heads, with a price guide of $1.2 million and it went for $1.6 million because of a bidding war from a Melbourne person that hadn't even seen it," she said. "So when you're talking about 20 per cent loan at that sort of price range its quite crazy."

Nicolette Mewing is wondering whether she should give up on the dream of home ownership. Picture: Supplied
Nicolette Mewing is wondering whether she should give up on the dream of home ownership. Picture: Supplied


But the family isn't looking to splash out millions on a home. Ideally they are searching for a three bedroom house in the $650,000 to $700,000 price range somewhere on the Gold Coast.

"We have already made peace that we won't use the first home owners grant as it's for new builds only, but ours would be an older style home that would probably need to be renovated as we are going for location over a luxury interior," she said.

But with $40,000 in savings the couple discovered they aren't even eligible to borrow $550,000. Ms Mewing was told by the bank that they would need a $55,600 deposit, as well as government fees of about $11,000 and bank costs of $2000 on top of that, which would add up to $68,000.


"There are no houses around here that are $550,000 anyway," she said.

Chasing the dream to become home owners has come with one huge sacrifice in particular, which has surprised family and friends.

"We are not expanding our family either. We are one and done," she revealed. "We recognise we can't really afford a house as we would need a bigger house if we are going to expand our family and with all the other costs associated with having a child, we decided it was more accessible to us and easier to manage with just one child."

The couple run a tight budget too with a spreadsheet documenting the money spent each month, with one date night a month their biggest splurge.

The Gold Coast is becoming popular among people from Sydney and Melbourne looking for a sea change. Picture: Supplied
The Gold Coast is becoming popular among people from Sydney and Melbourne looking for a sea change. Picture: Supplied


Activities must be cost free so there's lots of picnics in the park or on the beach and entertaining at home so they don't have to hire a babysitter, Ms Mewing added.

"We are sacrificing," she said. "There is a lot of cooking at home, we don't buy new clothes, we only have one car and just make that work. Brett drives me to work and he drives the bubs to day care and it's challenging having one car, but another car would mean double the rego and double the fuel.

"Brett surfs rather than goes to a gym. I dyed my hair brown - I used to be a blonde - and I don't have to go and get foils and go to the hairdressers as much, it's a big one, I couldn't believe how much I saved. I've stopped getting acrylic nails, mani and pedis are a special treat, and we have a coffee machine."

They are even considering moving out of their current apartment to somewhere with cheaper rent.

The 31-year-old said home ownership is constantly on her mind and she is anxious about whether they are going to be priced out of the market.

"It feels like it's not even viable to get into the market as houses in Queensland are being bought out by people who are interstate and want to move up and work from home and live the lifestyle," she said.

"I'm wondering if it would be better to start a business rather than buying a house as it's too hard to enter the market. Maybe its just never going to happen - maybe we are better off buying a business and getting into a more accessible investment option."

The Gold Coast offers a beach side lifestyle, which is what Ms Mewing wants for the family. Picture: Supplied
The Gold Coast offers a beach side lifestyle, which is what Ms Mewing wants for the family. Picture: Supplied


Ms Mewing added that it is frustrating that the bank only cares about earnings from the past six months.

"It's funny the bank doesn't care about the overall history of your income and employment over the last five to ten years. They just care about proof of payslips over last the last three to six months and what you've got in the bank," she said.

"We also have no debt. We are clean slate, we are in the green - it's not like we have credit cards. I find it incredibly frustrating we could service a loan instead of paying rent."

Tell us about your efforts to buy a home. Comment below.

Originally published as Couple's $40K savings they can't use



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