One family's journey from a helping hand to 100% equity
To most people, buying a house is the biggest investment they’re ever likely to make. Naturally, with the weight of this decision comes doubt, anxiety and perhaps even a little reluctance.
This is especially true for young families who are on a single income. We recently caught up with Barb, a mother of two, who sought our assistance nearly ten years ago.
At the time, Barb, her husband Andrew and their two young sons were renting in Willetton. With a growing family and a single income, they began the journey of finding a home that offered enough room for the young family to grow.
A helping hand
With very little knowledge of what they would need financially to get into their own home, Barb enlisted the help of Keystart after visiting a booth at the local shopping centre.
"I didn’t know how it was going to happen. When you look at your bank account and you look at your finances and how much money you pull in each week, you go, wow I have no idea," said Barb.
Her Keystart point of contact at the time was Karen. Right out of the gate, Karen recognised Barb’s nerves and walked her through every step of the way - from helping her source and submit banking records, to offering guidance in filling out forms.
"It’s funny how you think back in years, you don’t really remember a lot, but you remember that feeling of warmth - that person really looked after us."
"We signed the papers for the house just before Christmas in 2007 and moved in on Australia Day 2008 – we’re still in the same house,” said Barb.
A long, and bumpy, road
A few years into home ownership, the family was rocked when the company Andrew worked for went bankrupt – leaving them without a steady income for eight weeks.
"We contacted Keystart, told them the situation and they gave us like 6-8 weeks with smaller repayments. They were fantastic. I remember feeling like they really understood – they worked with us," Barb explains.
It goes without saying that it’s prudent to have a plan in place and put away whatever you can should the unexpected happen. Luckily Barb and Andrew had done exactly that, and by getting in touch with Keystart early they were able to find a solution.
"Every so often you get a huge bill and you think how on earth am I going to pay for that? Keystart made it easy to ring in and ask to change the next couple of payments," said Barb.
Time to move on
Barb and Andrew had decided on a Keystart shared ownership loan. Their loan helped them purchase 60% of the loan with the Housing Authority owning the remaining 40%. As time went by, the couple were able to increase their equity in their home. What is shared ownership?
"About six years ago we bought another 20% out. We looked at buying the full 40% out but it was not the right time for us, financially. So then we bought 20% which took us to 80-20 ownership. I wasn’t earning at the time either. But I have been working for 4 years now, part-time."
"Having a little bit more in our pocket this year we were able to purchase the remaining 20% that the Housing Authority still owned. We did have the freedom to stay with Keystart if we wanted to, it wasn’t because of Keystart it was more us. We wanted a fresh start," said Barb.
Barb and Andrew have now transitioned their loan out of Keystart and are with a new lender.
"We count ourselves really blessed that we were able to come into a home of our own when we were not making that much money at the time," said Barb.
Want to talk?
Keystart has helped over 100,000 individuals and families to find a place to call home in Western Australia. If you would like to find out if home ownership is possible in your current situation, reach out for a chat. We're ready when you are.