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Why I Love Being A First-Home Buyer In My 50s

By Alex Fedortchouk

When Elizabeth bought her first home almost six years ago she became a first-home buyer, with a generational twist.

Bucking the idea that first home buyers are aged 20- or 30-something, the grandmother of three was 58 when she signed her first property contract of sale.

A registered nurse, she had worked virtually all of her adult life and always aspired to one day come home to a property she owned.

Various personal and professional factors delayed her real estate purchasing dream. Several decades of life passed.

But, in early 2010, after more than six months’ searching for a suitable home and saving her deposit, she bought – in partnership with her husband – a three-bedroom house on a lofty perch of land in Banora Point in northern New South Wales. The couple paid under $430,000.

“I was very excited and appreciative as it was my first time at trying home ownership,” Elizabeth says.

“Being in my 50s (meant) we really tried to pick something that met our needs and that I could see potential in, but within our budget and not compromising on position, which was important for both work and lifestyle reasons.”

Asked about the positives of buying her first home on the flip-side of her half-century, Elizabeth says: “There is definitely comfort in the security that home ownership brings, the joy in making it yours by renovating things and just the comfort in knowing you can dig a hole or hammer a nail and no one can stop you.

“After renting all my adult life, buying a home in my 50s was a huge achievement and brought me a lot of personal satisfaction.”

Options: City, country or suburbs – What does your money buy you?

Perks of being a middle-aged first-home buyer

According to director of Cate Bakos Property, Cate Bakos, the advantages can include:

  • Saving a bigger deposit;
  • A crystal clear view of the type of property you want;
  • More confidence in negotiations;
  • More financial backing;
  • Potentially easier to secure finance.

It’s never too late to start buying property and the potential rewards are big.

“Sometimes (older buyers) will have heftier deposits after years of saving and a stronger deposit can enable a higher purchase, thus more options are open,” Bakos says.

“Also, you’ll usually have a better idea of long term needs and that the buyer can pinpoint a good set of (buying) criteria and you’ll have more life skills so they can possibly navigate their way through the inspections and dealing with agents to get a better result.”

Buyer’s agent Miriam Sandkuhler of Property Mavens says it’s never too late to start buying property and the potential rewards are big.

“It is very important you do so, if you can, as long as you aren’t borrowing too much money and can pay it off in approximately 15 years,” Sandkuhler says.

More first-home buyers advantages if aged 50 or older:

  • Security of tenure (removes the vulnerability of being a tenant);
  • Owning an asset that can grow in value over the longer term;
  • Enjoying the emotional and physical security than can come with owning your own home.

Asset rich: What is Popi (Property options for pensioners and investors)?

So why buy any sooner than 50?

While every purchaser will have their own unique set of circumstances – and it’s impossible to sum up an entire demographic of buyers – common disadvantages of buying your first home in your 50s (or older) include:

  • Having to curb well-established lifestyle and spending habits to pay council and water rates, insurance and possibly owners’ corporation fees;
  • Fear of stigma or judgment from peers and/or agents – feeling out of your comfort zone.

Bakos says older buyers may also feel more pressure to pay the loan down quickly if their projected working life is less than the standard 25- or 30-year loan term.

“They may also feel frustration if their budget is not adequate to keep the buyer in the area they have become accustomed to living in,” Bakos says.

“Having to work around older children’s needs if the first-home buyer still has children living at home can be another challenge.”

Original Article by Caroline James found on

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03 9568 2000

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