A foot in the door is no small ask for young home buyers


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Elsie Killick and partner Ethan Rea of West Hobart who recently purchased a property together. Picture: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES

TO get a foot in the door of the tight, booming Hobart property market was no easy task for Elsie Killick and Ethan Rea.

While thrilled with the West Hobart home that they moved into earlier this year, the couple — like many young Tasmanians — struggled through a bit of bad luck and some failed attempts to buy a house.

The 24-year-olds had trouble with long delays, developers changing a project’s plans, and property valuations, to name just a few of the speed bumps along the way.

Ethan said before locking down their current home, he had been in the “under contract” stage with four different properties, and Elsie was in the same boat with another as well.

Today, they are excited to have nabbed a great property, and they have big plans for renovating it in the future.

Elsie is an engineer, Ethan a sparkie, his brother is an apprentice chippie, and both of the couple’s fathers are builders. Their forthcoming renovation project? Pretty much got it covered!

Elsie Killick and partner Ethan Rea of West Hobart who recently purchased a property together. Picture: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES

Ethan said when they sealed the deal on their home there was no big party or popping champagne corks at settlement’s completion.

Instead, he got to work.

“The house was pretty rough at first, so I spent a couple of months working on it before getting some renters in,” he said. “Elsie was living at home with her parents and I was renting.”

The couple’s property is a two-unit duplex with a three-bedroom home upstairs and a single downstairs.

This was key for them in being able to live in the increasingly expensive Hobart city market.

“The unit downstairs, it was the only way that we could afford to live in town,” Ethan said. “I don’t think we could do it without the decent rental return that it generates.”

Elsie said young buyers needed a bit of luck when house-hunting for a first home in a market as competitive as Hobart has been.

“However, everyone struggles when they first start out,” she said.

“We are thrilled with the end result, even if getting there was tricky.

“I would say we underestimated how hard it would be.”

The couple say the sacrifices that come with home ownership start with saving a deposit, but there is a lot more to learn after that.

Ethan said young people can make choices about what their expectations are for the type of home they hope to buy and where it is located.

“And there are other choices like, do you want a new car or an overseas holiday,” he said.

“There won’t be any holidays for us for a while!” Elsie added.

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