For years Adam Miles was certain that home ownership was well and truly out of reach.
After all, the 30-year-old was living in Sydney — one of the world’s priciest real estate markets — and he had recently chewed through his savings during a stint living in the US.
But nevertheless, after returning home he started squirrelling away savings just in case — and then one day, a chance encounter changed everything.
Mr Miles, a restaurant manager at Sydney’s Porteño, happened to work in the same building as financial services company Pure Finance, and one day he bumped into managing director Brendan Dixon, and asked what the company actually did.
That’s when he discovered his goal of buying his own apartment was actually achievable.
“I walked in, I said this is what I have, this is what I want and this is what I’d like to do, and he said ‘leave it with me’,” Mr Miles told news.com.au.
“At that time I was also Uber driving after work to earn a bit of extra cash, and I was told if I could get my parents to help by acting as guarantors on the money I was borrowing it would work.”
Mr Miles, who earns approximately $90,000, only went to three auctions before snapping up a one-bedroom, one-bathroom flat in Dulwich Hill in Sydney’s inner west for $580,000 last July.
He had a deposit of around $30,000, which had taken him around two and a half years to save, and borrowed the rest.
He said he had used four main strategies to achieve his dream — moving back home to save money on rent, taking on extra work and a second job to maximise his savings, enlisting the help of professionals to make the process easier and using his parents as guarantors on his loan.
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“Four years ago I moved to America to live, work and travel but around a year into that I decided I actually wanted to come back to Australia, make some roots and settle down a bit,” he said.
“I thought saving and buying a house was unachievable but I started to take it a bit more seriously.
“I worked days in a warehouse, nights in the restaurant and I tried to save as much as I could.”
Mr Miles said in that time he had approached banks to discuss his financial position but found it to be a “nightmare” with conflicting information and many closed doors.
But after buying his property with the help of Mr Dixon, he said he was amazed by how “easy” the process had been.
“It’s been a breath of fresh air to be able to live independently as a 30-year-old man,” he said.
“I was sick of renting to be honest, and it’s good to know I have something that will hopefully appreciate a bit in a few years.
“It’s amazing to come home to my own place at night. It used to feel so unrealistic and there were so many scare tactics with people saying it’s impossible to buy in Sydney, but you just have to work your butt off and make some short-term sacrifices for a bigger gain.”
Mr Miles said he was previously saving over $1000 a week — or around 80 per cent of his salary — as he built up his deposit.
He was able to pull it off as he was working long hours, which removed the temptation to spend his hard-earned cash.
Mr Miles hopes to raise a family one day, and said he believed entering the property market now would ease that financial burden down the track.
“So many of my friends in hospitality who are older than me and have families are still renting,” he said.
“Don’t get me wrong, my place isn’t a mansion, but the fact that I’ve been able to afford my repayments for the last seven odd months without being kicked out or defaulting gives me peace of mind.”
Have you recently bought your first home, or are you about to buy? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and share your story.