But it can also be a perilous time financially, when the lure of credit cards and buy-now-pay-later offers – combined with uni student impulsivity – can have lifelong consequences for financial security.
Sounds a bit serious, but it is. Sometimes we learn financial lessons the hard way – but avoiding massive debts in your early 20s will make the road to home ownership a much easier one.
Here are some tips, courtesy of Property Update, to help Gen Z make home ownership an attainable goal.
- Know how to budget. Living within your means is not something our consumer credit culture promotes these days, but getting a handle on your income and expenses is the most valuable first step you can take towards saving for a home deposit and eventually making mortgage repayments.
- Be realistic about what you can afford. That plush inner-city penthouse apartment might be a great lifestyle fit but you can probably only afford it as an Airbnb weekend escape if you chip in with some mates. Be realistic about where you can buy on a first home budget and what lifestyle features you’ll prioritise now, versus work towards later in life.
- Look for potential not perfection. Buying a property with potential to add value is a great way to get ahead. While money might not be in huge supply as a 20-something year old, time and energy – plus friends with trades – can be invaluable if put to good use on a cosmetic reno.
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate. This can be really scary as a first-time buyer. But it’s your money and it’s your future home. Stick to your budget and don’t be afraid to put in an offer below the asking price. Also don’t be afraid to walk away if you can’t reach agreement on a sale price. A mortgage you can’t afford is a far scarier prospect.