‘So tricky now’: Family getting pushed out of the market
Four years of saving for a home, two children, a redundancy and a pandemic have taken a toll on Josh and Lee Chaplin.
The Brisbane couple have been renting for the past eight years, and finally have a deposit for their first house, but have found themselves up against stiff competition in a market that's "gone crazy".
"We've been on this journey for the past four years," Mrs Chaplin said.
"We started looking and realised we wanted to keep saving for our deposit, but it's been quite tough - also with being on maternity leave twice.
"We were looking to buy before COVID hit, then I was stood down from work, so unfortunately we weren't eligible to get a loan at the time so that's just delayed everything and it's so tricky now."
The Chaplins are hoping to find a house in Brisbane's west, but are acutely aware of how rapidly prices are rising in suburbs around there.
The median house price in Toowong, for example, jumped more than 10 per cent in the March quarter to just over $1 million, according to the latest figures from CoreLogic.
"We're looking around Corinda, Oxley, Seventeen Mile Rocks, Jamboree Heights, Jindalee," Mrs Chaplin said.
"My husband's a carpenter, so we're looking for something we can renovate.
"But we're scared the longer we leave it, we're going to be buying houses that aren't worth their value.
"When we first moved to Corinda over a year ago, old houses were around $500,000, now they're like $630,000 to $650,000.
"It's a really scary time for first home buyers because we're just being pushed further and further out of the market."
Buyers agent Michelle Lacey of Lacey & Co has been helping the Chaplins find a house by using her networks, inspecting properties before they hit the market and offering her negotiation skills.
"For buyers like Lee and Josh, it's really difficult to hold down the jobs (to pay for the home) and look after a young family whilst traipsing around the suburbs in search of a home," Ms Lacey said.
"Lee and Josh are also worried, since it's so emotional, that once they do have the opportunity to purchase a home, that it's the right decision, and not one made in emotional haste."
She advised building a relationship with a good mortgage broker and looking outside the big four banks for a loan.
"Outside the 'Big 4', buyers are getting faster approval and better customer service," she said.
Originally published as 'So tricky now': Family getting pushed out of the market