I'm back after a two events. Event 1 - I had the flu for the first time in my life. I pretty much lost all appetite, lost weight, lost my voice and thought I was going to die. I am a tough one though and survived. The good thing about getting the flu and staying home however is the fact that you can watch Judge Judy at 3pm! Event 2 - I bought a house.
I bought a house.
Now, I didn't think buying a house would ever be achievable for me. I wanted to do it, but everyone said how hard it was and the media told me it was impossible.
But it's not impossible!
The idea of this post is to share some of my house buying experiences and some information that may assist others in going ahead and buying their first house.
There's also a brownie recipe in this post:)
Please note the below are based on my experiences and are to be treated as very rough tips and tricks. Do lots of research before you buy a house:)
First you will need a house deposit. Here's how I saved for one in under 3 years.
Live with the parentals
Living rent free with my parents for 2.5 years whilst working full time allowed me to save for a house deposit. If you have the opportunity to live rent free with your parents, do it.
Or, live somewhere cheap
Here in Sydney, I live one hour from the city in a suburb that people seem to like making fun of. But it's ok as I pay $80 a week in rent!
I save every dollar I can. In the last three years I never went on a serious holiday. I wore the same shoes for five years. I took lunch to work 99.99% of the time. I never owned and still do not own a car. I do not have a sparkly new phone that has the internet inside of it and costs $200 to fix each time I drop it. Nor do I own any other sparkly stuff that sits on a shelf and collects dust.
That's how I saved money.
Once you have a deposit, you need to find a house and work out how to make the repayments.
Make a friend
I made a friend called Alan who agreed to buy a house with me. There is no way I could buy a house by myself. I would not be able to sleep at night knowing I had so many hundreds of thousands of dollars over my head. If you buy a house with someone, please make sure you can trust them and get along with them...for possibly the next thirty years... Also, have an 'if things go sour plan'. What happens if you end up hating one another in five years? What will you do with the house? I call this being realistic.
Do some budgeting
How much money do you spend each month? What repayments can you afford? Can you make the repayments and still eat proper food or will you be on two minute noodles for the next thirty years? Can you put up with noodles for that long? Once you know how much you spend each month, talk to a bank or mortgage broker about arranging a loan.
Find the house
Look online, attend the inspections and ask questions. Google Maps will tell you if you're moving around the corner from a petrol station or sewer treatment works. Look for mold, drainage problems, exhaust fans in bathrooms, bad neighbours, big trees near the house and light levels. Find out who built the home and google them. Do you want to live in a torrens or strata title property? Do you know the difference? How much work will you need to do on the house if you buy it and can you afford it? Does the house feel like a home to you? If it feels like a hospital, then you probably do not want to live there. Get a building inspection! Do not let a real estate agent pressure you into buying a house! You have to be happy with the house as you'll end up living there, not the agent.
Int he end, we bought something we could afford that needs zero work. This means we can easily make extra repayments each month and pay the house off quicker.
Another stressful part. Not because of the money but as a result of the administration. If you have an English name that does not match your actual name on your birth certificate, this could slow down the loan process. You will need to prove who you are and if your various forms of ID do not match one another, well have fun! If you do not have a credit history (this was my situation), this will slow down the process as the bank will think you have changed your name as you committed fraud in the past. You would think banks do all this administration stuff when they pre approve you for a loan. Well, they don't. Once you have the loan, call the bank and check they set up your repayments correctly. Our bank set up the repayments incorrectly.
Those are my tips and tricks for buying a house. Kind of basic, kind of common sense but that is how I did it.
Now I've got a recipe to share:)
These are grain free!
Makes about 3/4 of a 30cm x 20cm baking tin worth of brownies.
Adapted from the choclate chia brownies recipe on The Chia Co.
I didn't use chia seeds and chia oil because they're expensive items and I don't know if my digestive system can tolerate them.
What you need
- 300g sweet potato, peeled, microwaved for 4 minutes and mashed
- 3 egg whites
- 3/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 100g dark chocolate, melted using a double boiler system (place a little water in a saucepan and boil on the stove, place a bowl (bigger than the saucepan) on top of the saucepan and throw the chocolate into the bowl. Mix it and watch it melt.)
What you need to do
- Line a baking tray (I used 30cm x 20cm but there was not enough mix to fill it completely) with baking paper and preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
- Place mashed sweet potato into a large mixing bowl.
- Beat egg whites in another mixing bowl until stiff peaks form.
- To the mashed sweet potato, add and combine the coconut flour, cocoa powder, walnuts, brown sugar, coconut oil and melted dark chocolate.
- Fold the egg whites through the potato mixture, until the white streaks disappear.
- Spread the mixture into the baking tray.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- One cool, cut into squares or rectangles and store in a container.
This was the first time I had cooked with coconut flour. It was a little hard to find as it does not seem supermarkets sell it. I found a 500g bag at a health food shop for $6.95. Seems expensive but if you had to buy these brownies, they would set you back more than that. Coconut flour smells fantastic!
The brownies have a nice coconut taste to them and are so soft and moist. They do not taste like potato:) I shall be making these again.