QUESTION

My wife and I are in a bit of a quandary. We have $80,000 in the bank (in an online savings account), $20,000 in shares and aim to save $4000 a month, which is 35 per cent of the approximately $11,000 we take home each month. We'd like to buy a house, but feel the market is too hot in the places we want to live, and also feel like our money is going to waste in the bank.

Would you suggest we just take the punt and buy a house (up to about $850,000)? Or continue saving for the forseeable future until we find our dream home (at our dream price!)? Or, something completely different?

ANSWER

Congratulations on how well you’re doing. I always feel home ownership is a worthy goal, and have always told people it’s often better to “bite off more than you can chew and chew like hell”. I think you should continue to save furiously, but take the time to research the market in depth so you will know a bargain when you see one. Ideally it would be good to have a $170,000 deposit to avoid costly mortgage insurance, but you need to weigh the cost of mortgage insurance against any increases in house prices that may occur while you’re saving.