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Buying your first home is a steep learning curve – whoever you are – and there will always be things you wish you had done differently.
 
We asked some of South Australia’s biggest AFL players and media stars what they would change if they bought their first home again. Here’s what they said…

 
Richard Douglas, Adelaide Crows Football Club
Buying your first home can be pretty daunting but if you don’t rush into it and do your research you should be well placed.
 
My best advice is to know what you want to do with your first property before you start looking.
 
For example, do you want to live in it straight away, rent it out or develop it?
 
Once you decide this and have a set budget it will help you narrow your focus.
 
I know it’s cliché but location is really important, so make sure you’re looking at areas with a potential for growth.
 

Angus Monfries, Port Adelaide Football Club
To be honest there’s not too much I’d do differently. I think the key is to research well and buy in an area close to the city with good potential for capital growth.
 
The other advice I’d give is to not be afraid to extend yourself. Get the best home you can with however much you can afford to borrow. All things being equal your ability to make repayments will only go up as you progress professionally.


Get into your own home sooner
 

Brenton Ragless, Channel 9 Newsreader
The best advice I ever received was to buy a place for its land value and location, don’t buy it just for the house itself.
 
Houses can be re-built or renovated over the years – and they’re always going to be a work in progress – but the land and its unique location is what you’re really buying.
 
Print off a map of Adelaide and shade in the areas of your lifestyle – anything that’s central to that will save you time and money in the long-run.
 
And not just central to your lifestyle, but central to all the basics – supermarkets, schools, public transport – but more specifically, central to the simple things that make life special – like parks, beaches and cafes. We all need to get out of the house now and then, so having these nearby adds great “soul value”.
  
Regrettably I underestimated the size of the land of our home. It’s just a standard property size from the 60s, and we wanted that space for kids and pets – which we do enjoy – but it’s about a third bigger than we need, and with full-time commitments and weekend activities, we haven’t been able to effectively maintain it and give it the attention it deserves. If we had our time over, we’d buy a place with a little less land to maintain.


Kate Collins, Channel 9 Newsreader
If I were buying my first home again, I would do a few things differently. The first would be to start saving for my deposit a lot sooner than I did - I think as soon as I was earning a steady income, putting a little away for the future would’ve been smart.
 
I would have also bought my first home sooner. I think I got caught up in the rent trap, when in reality that money could have gone towards repayments on my own home, for around the same price.
 
I would also change the fact that I bought with too much emotion and therefore paid a little too much. I think if I had taken a step back and not rushed into a large offer once I fell in love with the place, I could’ve still secured it for a little less than I ended up paying.


Hayley Pearson, Adelady
I wish we had bought earlier than we did. We kept hoping and waiting for the housing market to drop but it never really did. We still managed to make a good amount on it after we sold it (five years later) but I think we would have doubled our money if we had of taken the plunge and bought two years earlier.