After strolling about the two-bedroom unit that we could never afford, we started chatting to the real estate agent. No, we weren't really looking for a place to buy now. Yes, we were hoping to buy in the next 12 to 18 months and wanted to get an idea of the market.
"Well," he said, "we have a development that won't be ready for another 18 months that you might want to have a look at. Its in Lyneham..."The development looked really nice, and even though the townhouses there were more than we had considered spending, we arranged to meet him at the site the next day.
To cut a long story short, we saw the place and it looked perfect. We did the sums, studied the market, looked up rates and body corporate fees, negotiated with our parents and ended up at the bank making a mortgage application on Wednesday morning.
The meeting didn't go so well. While being extremely nice and helpful, the gentleman at the bank suggested that we were probably trying to borrow too much and would probably need a guarantor to secure the loan. He also broke the news that the ACT government's first home buyers stamp duty concession only applied for properties under a certain amount and that we would be faced with a pretty hefty stamp duty fee that neither of us had calculated on. I asked him to send the application up to Sydney for approval anyway, expecting it to be rejected, but both of us were getting cold feet.
We spent part of that afternoon looking at smaller places in the inner north that might be more affordable. They were horrible and tiny. It was depressing. We went home and tried to make the Lyneham place work, but ultimately decided that we would just be taking on too much debt. It was sad, but also a bit of a relief.
Today Paul called the real estate agent to break the news. Apparently he was very sweet about it. Then a few minutes ago I just received a call from the Bank. They approved our loan application...
Oh, how the universe likes to torment us!