It’s 2014 and that means HomeStart Finance has hit 25. To celebrate 25 years and helping 65,000 households into home ownership, HomeStart went back to where it all began and spoke with its very first customers from 1989.

Our first family
Soon after HomeStart opened its doors in 1989, Gail and her late husband Paul became one of HomeStart’s first customers with a loan of just $53,000 to purchase a home at Smithfield for $56,000. We recently spoke to Gail about their story into home ownership and the difference it has made to their lives.

“The barrier for us was the deposit. Most banks at the time required a 20% deposit. At the time I was pregnant and wasn’t working, so we were only on Paul’s wage which made it impossible for us to save for a deposit,” she said. “The fact that we only needed a 5% deposit with HomeStart is what drew us in.”

“HomeStart made a huge difference in our lives. We were looking at renting for a long time – even the rest of our lives – so for us to take a leap into home ownership was a huge boost for us. To us, renting was dead money. We wanted our own home so we had something that was ours and we could put our stamp on. Something for our future as well, and when our children came along, something for their future as well.”

65,000 Households
Sound familiar? Gail and Paul’s story shares similarities with many of the 65,000 homebuyers we have helped into ownership since 1989. Owning a home has been the ‘great Australian dream’ for decades now and for just as long, there’s been a range of barriers standing in the way.

HomeStart was set-up in 1989 with a clear objective - to help people get into home ownership sooner - and we’re proud to have helped more than 65,000 South Australians achieve that dream. Even today where the barriers to ownership are arguably as great as ever before, our innovative loan products such as our Graduate Loan, where homebuyers can get started with as little as 3% deposit, and our Breakthrough Loan, which increases how much you can borrow without increasing monthly repayments, are providing pathways into home ownership.