‘We saved a house de­posit in two years’

The Western Star - - GAMES & GADGETS - SO­PHIE ELSWORTH

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

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