finance

How Felicia bought a house when she was 22 years old.

Housing affordability for millennials has been a hot topic since Bernard Salt suggested we all stop buying brunch and start saving.

But is scrimping, saving and sacrificing really the answer?

Well, it is and it isn’t, according to Felicia Coco, who at 22 years old bought her first home last year.

Listen: Are you living a lavish life of daily brunches? No wonder you can’t buy a house.

Yes, Felicia managed to buy a house for just less than $400,000 in Thomastown, about 30 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD, well before middle age – but she worked around the clock to get there.

The PR account manager told News.com.au she worked five jobs to save for a deposit. She also sacrificed her social life and stayed at home with her parents while her friends moved out.

“It shouldn’t be this hard to put a roof over your head,” she said.

Felicia said her determination to save for a house came from her parents.

“I recognised the value in investing in property at quite a young age, it was something reinforced pretty early on from my parents,” she told News.com.au.

“I had been saving for quite a long time, I was well aware it was quite expensive and difficult to get in the housing market and it did take many years of saving, budgeting, and trying not to be frivolous with money.”

Felicia’s top tip

Aside from working bloody hard and saving, not spending, Felicia shared her top tip for millennials to afford their first home.

According to Felicia, it’s about looking at your options. An inner-city apartment isn’t your best bet for a first home. Instead, look at buying house and land packages and building off-the-plan, she said.

“I know people who want to live in a cute house in the middle of Brunswick, but realistically more young people need to look at house and land packages, they are affordable options that get your foot in the door,” she told News.com.au.

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“It might mean buying in an area they don’t love but find somewhere you can invest your money. Look at building new, it is cost effective and you have so much more control and can make it yours.”

Felicia Coco thinks she had to work too hard to save for a house. (Image via Facebook.)

Millenials and spending

Far from judging her fellow millennials who haven't yet entered the property market, Felicia is sympathetic.

She said her university graduate and low income earning friends weren't spending big bucks of smashed avocado, but some did lack budgeting skills or motivation.

"Realistically people aren’t motivated to save for a house because they don’t think they have a chance of breaking into the market.

"If I didn’t think I had a chance, I’d be focusing on the now too. If you don’t think you have the option, what’s the point?

"It might take you 10 years to save for a house so you just go to Europe instead."

Felicia also pointed out that the ratio of the average wage to the median house price is out of whack compared to decades ago - and that's something many Gen X and Baby Boomers forget.

Did you buy your first home when you were under 25? How did you do it?

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