Andrew Winter shares his tips on finding your next home later in life

Here are some things you should consider...
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First home buyers were typically aged around 24 years old 20 years ago. Ten years ago that age rose to 29. Fast forward to 2022 and a first home buyer is typically aged around 35 years old.

In today’s real estate economy – especially in the major cities – a first house purchase could easily be in your early 40s.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to buy a home of your own and are in your thirties, forties and even fifties, is it still worth bothering? I would say it is. In fact, I believe there are numerous benefits…

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House buying positives

A home is a place to call your own

When you own a home you have your own space to decorate, renovate, hang a picture or get a second dog without asking anyone. You’re also in control of how long you live there. Anyone who has lived in a rental when the landlord needs to sell, forcing you to move, will appreciate this advantage.

Buying later in life often means you are settled

This means you can consider moving somewhere more affordable. Generally, your work life gives you more flexibility, and you don’t need to be in stumbling distance of clubs and bars anymore.

Home ownership forces you to save money

While housing values do decline marginally occasionally, they generally rise over the long-term, unless you buy somewhere high risk. A decade on, there is a strong chance you will be financially better off than having stayed in rental accommodation.

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Embrace the advantages of a place to call your own. (Credit: Getty)

House buying negatives

Your home loan will possibly be the same or more than your rent

Plus, you will have council rates, water rates and any strata fees to pay, if applicable. Plus, that leaky tap or failing aircon is on you to repair now. Home ownership for the first time is tough on your finances, so expect pain for the first two to three years. You’ll probably have to reduce your cafe attendance and there’ll be no trips to Europe.

Concern over the right time to buy

No-one wants to buy at the peak of a boom and watch their home value freefall months later. In my experience, if your finances permit a purchase, that should determine the answer to this dilemma. If values do fall, just don’t sell until they bounce back– and ensure you have a way to fund yourself through the tough initial years.

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