When I make promises – usually in the form of public declarations these days – I use them as my ‘due-date’ for getting sh*t done. You see, it’s kinda like when you tell the Facebook world you’re going on a diet in an attempt to create some online accountability (not that I’ve ever done that), and end up hoping the same Facebook world forgets when you’ve given up half way through…yup.
So when I promised y’all I would write about my property journey, I knew it wouldn’t be perfect but I didn’t realise the warts and all it would actually become. Unlike other Instagram feeds, I love sharing my mistakes, my slips, my career frustrations, my salary nightmares and all that comes in between. Because you know what, social media land is already filled with enough highlight reels that making one about you and your money would go against everything I’m trying to create and empower women to do at Fearless Female Traders.
Therefore – warning – if you’re here for the perfect path to property moguldom, I would gently suggest you click away now. Because this path has been anything BUT perfect and to be honest has been the best thing – this is a good thing. It’s taught us so much and today, I’m going to share all my mistakes with you in PART ONE of FFT Finds her Forever Home (still working on the name, but that will do for now).
Mistake no. 1 – Assuming you and your partner want the same thing
Now, Ben and I are pretty much on the same page with most things but I did make one huge assumption – that we both had the same ‘list’ of non-negotiables for our forever home. We had been through 4 maybe 5 houses before I realised two things:
- “Ummm I didn’t realise you liked the Californian, ultra-contemporary look? I thought we were going for the traditional Victorian façade with renovated interiors…”
- “Oh, so the second bathroom is a non-negotiable for you? Well, I’m kinda prioritizing grass over the dunny…”
Shit. We have a situation. We hadn’t even discussed what each of us wanted before spending two weekends trawling realestate.com.au and open homes, nor had we created an actual written list of non-negotiables. Pretty sure this is house-hunting 101!
Mistake no. 2 – House-hunting without a house budget
We had a fair idea of what we could afford – more like a very wide guestimate, but we hadn’t done the actual numbers. We were spending our Saturday’s looking at houses we ‘thought’ we could afford without any number or proper calculations performed – what idiots.
Everything unraveled when we found what we thought was our dream home but was way out of our price range (another mistake). We spent all afternoon trying to figure out ways of pulling money from thin air – but you know what? It forced us to sit down, wine and chicken parma in hand, and write down every number that crosses our accounts in a month.
We followed my 70% (Spending), 20% (Saving) and 10% (Sacred) stashes, accounted for a slight change in income over the next 2 – 5 years and BOOM, we had our deposit value. What couldn’t have back, was the 2 months of searching for properties that we were either never going to renovate OR couldn’t afford. We’ve put that time down to exploration and learning!
Mistake no. 3 – becoming emotionally involved in 4 walls and a fancy kitchen
We’ve all heard this one. Heck you’re probably all sick of it by now! I accidentally put in the wrong price filters one lazy Friday night, which found Ben and I rocking up to what will forever be “the one that got away”. The house was immaculate. It had everything we ever wanted and was on 321sqm, which in Melbourne is palatial. It retained it’s traditional exterior but had been completely gutted inside resembling more of a Block finale than a house Ben and I could ever dream of living in.
Over the next few days, Ben entered the lotto twice – yes, TWICE. I crunched and crunched the numbers, and so did Ben…multiple times. We learnt that no matter how hard we tried to twist it, we were never going to live in Peel Street and more importantly needed to move on.
The great Australian dream of owning a house is somehow part of our DNA. We imagine ourselves creating memories, creating a future, growing old in four walls. It’s hard to separate from, but so important to keep the emotion out of it. If you’re emotion-free, you’ll always make a rational purchase. Always keep that front of mind.
Fearless Female Traders