First home buyer: Dreams realised by young family

MILESTONE: Dubbo couple Taylar Osborne and Jack Browne and seven-month-old daughter Hollie Browne celebrate the purchase of their first home with real estate agent Adam Wells. Photo: SUPPLIED
MILESTONE: Dubbo couple Taylar Osborne and Jack Browne and seven-month-old daughter Hollie Browne celebrate the purchase of their first home with real estate agent Adam Wells. Photo: SUPPLIED

FOR many young people, buying their first home while aged in their 20s may seem unlikely, if not impossible, but for Jack Browne it was imperative.

The 24-year-old father of one from Dubbo was determined to build a secure future for his young family.

His solid work ethic and savvy saving that made the most of two first home buyer policies stood him in good stead.

Within two years of "knuckling down" to save a deposit, Mr Browne recently realised his dream of home ownership.

The laboratory supervisor for Macquarie Geotech had been looking at the market for at least the past three years, but a major life event prompted him to make a move.

"Pretty well the past 12 months actually, and since my daughter's been born, I've been knuckling down and getting a deposit sorted," Mr Browne said.

[With the scheme] I salary sacrificed a fair bit of my wage into my super, which then allowed me to withdraw that and use that towards my deposit.

Jack Browne

"...tried to work non-stop, six days a week, overtime through the roof, putting aside pretty much every cent I had to spare into this deposit for the house, which has luckily paid off."

As well as hard work, Mr Browne took advantage of the federal government's First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme.

Introduced in 2017-2018 budget, the FHSS scheme allows people to save money for their first home inside their super fund, helping first home buyers to save faster with the concessional tax treatment of superannuation, the Australian Taxation Office website advises.

"[With the scheme] I salary sacrificed a fair bit of my wage into my super, which then allowed me to withdraw that and use that towards my deposit," Mr Browne said.

"So I used that to my advantage because I stocked it up real quickly, putting as much as possible in there and obviously I can't touch it, and my super fund that I used gives a greater return."

There was no overnight windfall, but perseverance paid off.

The flow of first home buyer incentives across NSW in 2019. Source: NSW TREASURY

The flow of first home buyer incentives across NSW in 2019. Source: NSW TREASURY

"Yes, to begin with it felt like you were getting nowhere, for the first couple of months anyway," Mr Browne said.

"But as time went on you see it building up and building up and if anything it became more of a reality the closer you got towards the final figure I was chasing."

A state government policy geared at first home buyers also proved valuable.

The First Home Buyer's Scheme eliminates transfer duty, also known as stamp duty, for first home buyers buying a new or existing dwelling valued up to $650,000, and provides stamp duty savings for properties valued between $650,000 and $800,000.

"That cut down the upfront cost at least, massively... that essentially saved months off saving up for a deposit," Mr Browne said.

The young dad considered his property choice as modest, but it was a day of celebration when the sold sign went up.

"It was great, I didn't opt in for a very expensive house [but] it was still a massive relief off my shoulders, to get a foot in the market, because obviously the housing market continues to rise...

"So start there, and obviously when the sold sign went up, I thought all the hard work's paying off, my foot's in the door, and essentially if anything, it becomes easier for myself to progress in the future."

Mr Browne also gave his verdict on the federal government's recently-introduced First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.

Under the initiative, approved applicants can purchase a home with a deposit of as little as five per cent.

Noting there were only up to 10,000 guarantees available across Australia each year, Mr Browne counted it out, saying he "didn't have a chance whatsoever".

He also suggested the eligibility criteria could be further restricted to "focus on low socio-economic people".

Having bought an established home, Mr Browne was not eligible for the state government's $10,000 First Home Owner Grant, which applies to new housing constructions.

"I know [the criteria is] to stimulate the economy and make more houses built, but I think it should be established homes [as well]," Mr Browne said.

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This story How a young dad achieved his home ownership dream first appeared on Daily Liberal.