How to travel the world and buy a house

MILLENNIALS are told time and time again, if they want to buy a house in our nation's ridiculous housing market, they'd better be ready to give up on everything else.

Forget jetsetting around the world, forget the morning coffee and most importantly forget eating smashed avo for breakfast.

But one young NSW paramedic has proved you can have both, telling news.com.au she put an offer on a house in western Sydney a day after she flew in from her two-month European holiday.

Raquel Abrahams, 24, and her partner, a schoolteacher, settled on a Riverstone home in March after months of rigorous saving.

The couple inspected the home a day after their two-month trip and decided to put a $600,000-plus offer on the northwest Sydney house.

The couple offered enough to be in the threshold of the first homeowners' grant which meant they were exempt from stamp duty and awarded an extra $10,000 grant.

"We had the stamp duty waived but we still had to pay for a whole house," she said.

 

Raquel bought a house despite having just spent two months travelling.
Raquel bought a house despite having just spent two months travelling.

Less than 12 months ago, becoming a homeowner was the last thing on Ms Abrahams' mind - she was more interested in paying off her credit card debt.

But the young paramedic insists her rapid finance turnaround can be credited to an online program called Make The Most Of Your Money.

Dominic Aarsen, a 24-year-old entrepreneur and financial adviser, is the founder of the company, which allows customers to plug what they earn and spend into a program.

The program, which also gives customers access to financial advisers, then spits out how they could be saving and how they might be able to put their money to better use.

Mr Aarsen said his company's budget tool could be tweaked regardless of how much you're earning or what you're saving.

"It's a robust framework, you can change it to what you want. I use it with clients who are worth $50 million and then for people like Raquel. You put in your money, it spits out the numbers and then you can chop and tailor it to what you want," he said.

"My biggest success story is a client who works as a lawyer. She earns about $200,000 a year and with the tool she saved $50,000 in eight months."

 

Dominic Aarsen claims his online program is helping people save.
Dominic Aarsen claims his online program is helping people save.

 

Ms Abrahams admitted that before she started the program, she was a bit of a spender.

"Not that I was outrageous, but in such a short period of time to be going to Europe, paying off a house - I've come a long way," she said.

As soon as customers sign up for the program, Mr Aarsen can see everything they're doing - including if they're keeping up with their saving goals and whether or not they're staying on budget. If they aren't, Mr Aarsen supports them to get back on track.

Before her house purchase, Ms Abrahams said her biggest goal was to have $10,000 to spend in Europe.

She hit that goal - and didn't have to skimp on any bucket list items.

"I did everything I wanted to do. In the seven or eight countries, I went to Disneyland Paris, I was in London, I met family in Ireland, I saw fireworks on the river in Prague.

"It isn't cheap over there but I felt comfortable being there as long as I did," she said.

After a handful of renovations on the Riverstone house, the couple moved in two weeks ago.

While there always seems to be some caveat with young people buying their first home, Ms Abrahams insisted all it took was hard work and finally sorting out a proper budget with Mr Aarsen.

"Our family has helped us out with the renovation, with the materials and the labour but that's it," she said.

"Money isn't that hard if you understand. So many people think it's out of reach," she said.

"Numbers were never my forte and it had me running scared but now that I have that support, I'm OK."

 

Raquel spent two months in Europe and bought a house a day after she got back to Sydney.
Raquel spent two months in Europe and bought a house a day after she got back to Sydney.

 

Ms Abrahams did admit things are "a little tighter than usual" but the couple are still making ends meet.

"Obviously renovating a house is an expensive project as well as owning a house and paying the mortgage every month. But I'm following what I was taught and aligning my goals with what I want to achieve," she said.

"My partner and I plan each week and we budget and we're able to see long term if we can afford the things we want," she said.

The ING Millennial Homeownership Report, released last week, crunched the numbers on exactly what young people are sacrificing to enter the housing market.

It found more than half are curbing their spending on eating out; a third (33 per cent) are cutting out big-ticket items like travel, and one in 10 are delaying a major life event like a wedding, honeymoon or starting a family to achieve their dream of owning a home.

Cutting back on luxuries to save for a home deposit means more than a third (38 per cent) are working towards buying a home within the next three years.

The average deposit needed to become a first homeowner is around $76,000.



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