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A lifestyle solution for first home buyers

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First home buyers often get caught up in the notion that their first property purchase needs to be their dream home. The reality is that many people will purchase more than one property in their lifetime and apartment living may be just the ticket for you to get your foot in the door and it may even improve your lifestyle. Apartment living has long been the norm in Europe and by some accounts, the Europeans have lifestyle down pat.

With property process skyrocketing in Sydney and Melbourne the likelihood of snagging a 3 bedroom home near the city without a hefty inheritance is getting slimmer and slimmer. But in inner city suburbs, you can still have the city lifestyle with enough in your pocket left to pay for a decent night out.

Growing up in Australia means many of us have all been conditioned to think we should be striving towards the Great Australian Dream of home ownership and a quarter acre block.  However, it might just be time to reconsider and take a leaf out of the European lifestyle book.

Reclaim your time

When we dream about buying a house a common cost that we don’t consider is our time. It’s easy to overlook the amount of time that it takes to maintain a house and garden. Mowing lawns, emptying gutters and weeding might be therapeutic for some but for those who like to make the most of their weekends, it may be time for a rethink.

Inner-city apartment living might just mean that your weekends can be spent catching up with friends for long lunches or heading to your favourite yoga class instead of becoming at one with the whipper snipper or spending your Saturday afternoons in Bunnings.

Walk don’t drive

More often than not in areas where there are apartments you will find increased public transport services which mean you may not need a car at all. With the weekly cost of a small car coming in at $175.26 (Source: RACV 2015), it doesn’t take much to see how that saving could impact your lifestyle. Perhaps that money could be better spent paying down your mortgage or saving towards a European holiday.

With high accessibility to public transport, you will also find you tend to walk more and that comes with obvious health benefits.  A 2007 study of inactive women found that even a low level of exercise – around 75 minutes per week – improved their fitness levels significantly. (Source: Better Health Channel VIC GOV 2007).

Whilst property prices are pushing more and more first home buyers out to the suburbs; the jobs are just not following. This means that you may have your dream home but with some Sydneysiders commuting more than 90 minutes a day for work you might soon find your leisure time quickly eaten up looking at the bumper bar in front of you as you sit in traffic each day.

Just what is possible?

So just what are the options when it comes to lifestyle near the city?

Increasing house prices

In Sydney, the land of skyrocketing property prices, you can get into an apartment for less than half the price of a house in leafy Cammeray. With a plenty of cafes, public transport and just a hop skip and a jump to Mosman, Crows Nest or the city, it may just be for you. The median house price of Cammeray is $1 810 000 with the median apartment price coming in at almost a million dollars less at $865 000

In Melbourne, where property prices are tracking not too far behind Sydney, based on median prices, snagging an apartment in St Kilda will ensure good coffee and a nightlife but will save you  $357 000 with the median house price coming in at $830 000 and the median apartment price at $472 350.

In Queensland, New Farm is a playground for grownups. Not only do you have restaurants, bars and an awesome farmer’s market, the beautiful riverfront New Farm Park is your backyard.

The median house price in New Farm is $1 400 000, but the median apartment price comes in a first home buyer friendly $579 375. Saving you a whopping $820 625 with no compromise on leisure. (Source: www.realestate.com.au Retrieved 24th August 2015)

So this weekend when you pull out the property guide or flick through the real estate app over your morning coffee, don’t just hit the search houses option. Check out apartments and consider the improvement it could make to your lifestyle.

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