‘We saved a house deposit in two years’
CHLOE Beer and her partner David Tong, both 26, were so determined to buy a house they packed up their rental and sold everything they had.
For two years they lived out of suitcases, escaping having to any pay rent and utilities.
Instead, they hopped between dozens of different properties as house-sitters, caring for other people’s homes and pets.
“We did 32 house-sits with only one or two nights in between in two years,”
Ms Beer said. “You have to drop everything, put your entire life on hold and sell everything that you have and make it a business.”
Ms Beer said they managed to save a 10 per cent deposit and bought a two-bedroom apartment in August last year.
ME Bank head of home loans Andrew Bartolo said many first-home buyers were trying desperately to save deposits, but could often be set back by trying to juggle paying rent and saving.
“One of the best ways to close the deposit gap is by tracking savings and sticking to a budget,” he said.
“As well as helping you save the deposit, spending tracking and budgeting gives you clarity about your minimum monthly expenses and can help you demonstrate your ability to service a loan to a lender.”
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows first-home buyer figures hit a six-year high in October, climbing to 18.1 per cent of all buyers.
This is up from a decade average of 17.7 per cent.
House-sitting website Mindahome.com.au’s cofounder, Sue Coombs, said it had thousands of members on its database, many of whom house-sat to try to fast-track their ability to save for big purchases such as property.
“If you are prepared to work hard, be flexible and have somewhere to go between your house-sits, you can save $20,000 or $30,000 quite easily over a couple of years,” she said.
“Travel light so you can easily move between place to place.”
Ms Coombs said about 40 per cent of Mindahome’s users were aged between 18 and 35, while some retirees did it to save for a holiday.
‘We did 32 house-sits with only one or two nights in between in two years’ Chloe Beer
SITTING PRETTY: Chloe Beer and David Tong house-sat for two years to save a deposit for their first home. Picture: Ian Currie