Brianne works in the ANZ communication team and has shared her and her partner’s journey of becoming a first home buyer – amid a pandemic.
“I once got some advice there is never a right time to buy property, you just need to get into the market,” Angus remembers.
So what happens when you’re about to take the leap, the biggest financial decision of your life, and the worst pandemic in a century hits? It can start feeling like a really bad time.
My partner, Angus Mills, a 22-year old full-time plumber and I currently live with our families in the north east of Melbourne. He and I have been saving for three years to buy our first home.
In March the property market in Melbourne “was booming”, and we didn’t want to miss out. We decided on a block of land and the nerves and excitement along with face-to-face banker conversations, contract signings in the branch and frequent visits to the property began.
Then suddenly everything changed. COVID-19 restrictions on travel, social distancing, total unknowns in the face of virulent new virus, the whole process upended.
We were going to need help.
First home buyer journey pre COVID-19
Our journey started with the ANZ First Home Buyer Seminar at ANZ’s Chadstone Home Centre in Melbourne’s famed shopping centre. These seminars are pitched at first home buyers wanting to build their knowledge before purchasing a property. You receive industry wide information and experience from your ANZ banker as well as advice from a conveyancer, builder and real estate agent.
The seminars are usually attended by 20 to 40 would-be buyers. However, with COVID-19 restrictions these seminars have been put on hold for the time being. The team is looking into ways to host the seminars virtually.
Reservations on buying property through a pandemic
When the crisis escalated, we began second guessing ourselves, fretting about the rapidly shifting economic situation in Australia and the world. Our minds ran through every conceivable jolt to our plans.
Obviously, in a time like this, concerns about job security, financial security and whether the bank will lend the money creep in. We are lucky that we still have our jobs and hopefully through this pandemic we can roll with the problems we are given and find solutions for them.
The worries intensified when social media rumours swirled around the willingness of banks to lend during the crisis. Alarmed, we talked to our banker.
We were so relieved to hear everything was okay.
When the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a pandemic, we called the branch to ask how it would impact the process. They advised they were taking a more virtual approach to meetings and consultations.
Despite the shock and change, we embraced the new digital transformation of the world as we knew it, and it was a relief that ANZ had as well.