Australians face varying financial challenges at different stages of their lives. Your relationship with your biggest investment – your home – changes over time as well. When you’re in your twenties and thirties, you’ll be focused on saving up for your first property. By the time you reach middle age, you’ll likely own your own home and have additional family members to factor into the equation. You might move – upsize to accommodate a new family member – or downsize when you find yourself in an empty nest.
Part 1 of this series on life stages and property looked at how young Australians of the millennial generation feel about home ownership and the challenges they are facing. In part 2, we look at the financial questions and issues preoccupying middle-aged Aussies.
How do middle-aged Aussies feel about home ownership?
Whereas young Aussies are thinking about how they are going to land their first property, middle-aged Australians have probably already gone through this phase and are now focused on paying off their mortgages – Aussies in this age bracket are less likely to be first home buyers, according to ABS stats.
This doesn’t mean you’re not interested in buying, it just means that the properties you are purchasing are likely to be second properties – investments, or upgrades as your family expands.
ABS stats indicate that if you’re buying your second property, you’re probably spending less per week on housing than first home buyers, and a smaller proportion of your income, too, but it is still your biggest expense.
What challenges are you facing?
The main challenge facing younger Australians is entering the property market. Once you’re a home owner, the challenges don’t necessarily disappear, but they do shift. Depending on your personal circumstances, you could face changes in your property situation due to moving in with a partner, starting or expanding your family, or changing employment.
Another challenge you might be facing is the decision of whether to downsize. Once your kids have moved out of home, there can be a lot of empty space and you’ll need to decide whether to remain in your family home or sell it and move into a smaller space.
You may want to upgrade rooms or spaces in your home. Getting funding for renovations is a common issue for many Aussie households wanting to fix up that kitchen or bathroom.
How can you address these challenges?
When you enter middle-age, there are a whole host of financial challenges that you’ll face, but it’s also an exciting time. It’s a time of change – new additions to the family, changing employment, entering new partnerships and creating a home you feel comfortable in.
You’re more financially literate than younger Aussies, according to the ANZ Survey of Adult Financial Literacy in Australia, but it’s never a bad idea to expand your financial literacy and learn as much as you can about the property market. The more you understand, the better you’ll be able to navigate any issues that crop up.
Once you’re at the stage of wanting to downsize, buy a new house, or refinance your home loan, a mortgage broker can step in to help you with all the nitty-gritty paperwork and research of loan options. When it’s all getting a bit tough, a mortgage broker is there to help you through all the changes you’ll experience – at no extra cost to you.
You can contact a Smartline Mortgage Adviser on 13 14 97 for mortgage advice. Or complete our call request form and we’ll call you!