Last year I was sitting alone in my inner suburban rental, tying my shoelaces ready to run off to yoga with a friend. As I closed the door behind me the gentle ‘ding’ from my phone signalled a calendar reminder. Rental Inspection. Tomorrow! How could that be? I was positive it had only been a few weeks since the last; it couldn’t possibly have been six months. Could it?
After a quick call to my yoga buddy explaining the situation, I ran back inside and threw off the shoes I had just neatly tied. The next few hours consisted of a good spring clean of the entire two-bedroom unit. I am not a messy person by anyone’s standard, however I also frequently choose drinks at the local bar on a Saturday night before wiping down the walls, or heading to brunch of a Sunday over cupboard organisation. Almost four hours later I sat carefully on the couch hoping not to mess anything up, and spent the rest of the night reorganising my plans for the following morning.
After the inspection I headed off to lunch with a close mate. Matt and I had been friends for a while and both lived the rental lifestyle so he didn’t mind my tardiness. Over a couple of beers I filled him in on the last 24 hours and he sympathised having been through the same a couple of weeks earlier. Eventually the sympathy turned into an idea. Matt suggested we look into buying a property together. Having never considered the option of buying a house with someone other than the future husband I had carefully crafted in my imagination, I had to think about it.
Over the coming weeks that’s all I thought about. After speaking with another set of friends who had ventured down the friendship-property path, I realised my outlook had shifted. Purchasing a property is no longer the middle step in the lifelong plan between marriage and children. Property ownership is an opportunity that may come in the most untraditional of ways.
Three months later Matt and I signed our names on a three bedder in Melbourne’s inner North and I had never felt happier. After a bit of planning we hired a real estate buyer’s agent and spoke to a legal representative, the purchase couldn’t have been easier. Gone were the days of rental inspections or the regular fear of receiving a letter to inform the owner was planning to sell. With a bit of strategic life redesigning I was a homeowner with a great friend by my side along for the ride.