Mike and Richard are a couple who have been in a sexual relationship for nine years. Typically, they’ve been in a home rental relationship for almost as long.

Having come into some money recently, they’ve decided to take the plunge into a mortgage. Both men are professionals and in their early 30s.

We decided about 12 months ago, having enough money together for a deposit, it was better to do it sooner than later, Mike said.

As insane as the market is, it’s only going to get worse.

That was the easy part. When the couple approached a lending agency familiar with the gay community and got approval, they faced a range of decisions they had never considered before.

There’s a lot about different loans and different variations of loans we didn’t know, he said. That included paying back either the interest and principal or just the interest. That was just one of about 20 variations they offered us. It was pretty confusing.

After looking for a few months, the couple have altered their expectations, from a house in the inner west to an apartment by the beach.

A large part of what we want is based on location. We want to live in an area where we want to live and we won’t compromise on that. While it’s not impossible for us to get a house for what we want to spend, it’s really difficult to find one in an area we like.

Finance broker Peter Welsh told the Star the earlier the purchase the better, as long as the buyers could afford to pay back the mortgage.

There’s an element of truth in what the agents say -“ if you think it’s expensive now, just imagine how expensive it’s going to be in 10 years’ time, he said.
Welsh said there were serious considerations to make when buying a home or an investment property.

Besides getting the deposit together, buyers should be prepared for the ongoing financial burden of paying off a loan. If it’s an investment property it needs to be in an area where the owner is going to be able to tenant it.

There’s a lot of empty units in Sydney at the moment.

The abolition of stamp duty was a bonus for a small section of the buying market, Welsh said: That was a massive cost and in that regard it’s really made it pretty good now.

Despite poor auction clearance results in recent months, buyers who are thinking of holding off for a property bust might be waiting a very, very long time. John Symonds from Aussie Home Loans said in late 2003 he was not expecting one any time soon.

There has been some cooling in the property market over the last three months, which is healthy as parts of it were becoming over-heated and price growth was unsustainable, he said.

Another interest rate rise will accelerate the cooling of what has been a sellers market. It may become a buyers market.

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