One of the biggest life events you’ll face when making your own way in the world is moving out of home. Thankfully, there’s lots of support available.
Depending on your budget, there are a number of options to consider. For instance, how much space do you need? Do you need an entire house, or will a studio apartment be enough? Do you want a yard? A garage? Do you need a place that’s already furnished? What suburb(s) would you like to live in? Public transport is essential for many people, so it may be worth keeping in mind where the closest train stations and bus stops are.
Most of the decision making process boils down to how much you have to spend and how remote you’re willing to live. Renting in the big city may your dream but astronomical living costs may put this out of reach. Just 45 minutes from the centre of town, you’ll find rental properties to be much more affordable and the cost keeps falling, the further out you go.
Group homes are affordable options and may even teach some useful life skills. Another way to close the gap is subsidised housing, where the amount of rent you pay is determined by a sliding scale based on your income. Organisations that provide group homes or subsidised housing are often tailored to a certain demographic, such as young people, people experiencing mental health issues or people fleeing domestic violence.
Splitting the rent with a flatmate is a good way to keep things affordable. If moving in with a stranger concerns you, ask your social circle and relatives whether they know of anyone who may be interested in living with you. When sharing a place, it’s important to agree upon how you’re going to split the utilities before the bills arrive.
A mortgage may be well out of reach but you may want to look into what you’d need to do to become eligible for a home loan.
Department of Housing is the most affordable housing option. Unfortunately, the waiting list is colossal and if you don’t accept their first few offers, back to the bottom of the list you go. Many people have their names on the list despite already having a safe place to live and are just waiting for their dream property to be offered.
Centrelink can assist with your bond and other forms of support. It’s worth arranging a meeting to find out exactly what you’re eligible for.
By Grant J Everett, Panorama Magazine
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