Four tips to beat first home buyer fatigue: ME Bank's Patrick Nolan

Four tips to beat first home buyer fatigue: ME Bank's Patrick Nolan
Four tips to beat first home buyer fatigue: ME Bank's Patrick Nolan


Some days saving for a first home can feel like running a marathon, and as any distance runner knows, at some stage you could hit the wall of fatigue.

In running terms that’s the point where energy levels start to drop and athletes have to fight the urge to toss in the towel and head back to the change rooms. 

If you find your enthusiasm for growing savings is starting to flag, it can pay to adopt the strategies used by professional runners to forge ahead even when the wall tries to slow them down.

Keep a consistent pace

Throwing as much cash as possible into your savings without allowing for fun stuff is a sure fire way to burn out. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and you still need to able to head out on the town occasionally, take a break on vacation or chill out with friends. 

Aiming to stick to a consistent pace of saving can help you avoid saving fatigue. Crunch the numbers to work out how much you need to save on a regular basis to reach your first home deposit target. Once you have the numbers in place it’s just a matter of maintaining the momentum. 

Fuel your head space

Marathon runners often use visualisation techniques to stay motivated. They imagine themselves crossing the line first or breaking a long-held record, and that can be the tonic they need to keep going.

If your enthusiasm for savings is flagging, stay motivated by picturing how great it’s going to feel to look at your home and think “Yep, I own that”. Sure, you may not win a gold medal but remember, your home is a tax-free asset and an excellent investment. Property values across Australia’s eight state capitals have risen by around 5.3% each year over the last ten years. Buying your first home could certainly put you on top of the winner’s podium when it comes to growing personal wealth.

Run your own race

Don’t feel pressured to buy in an expensive suburb just because your friends, work mates or siblings are. There is value to be found in suburbs further out from the city centre. These may not be your dream location but sometimes homes in outer suburbs can benefit from renovations, and that makes them affordable – and they offer a blank canvas for you to add value through improvements. Run your own race and buy where you can afford.

Carb stack your savings

In the same way that distance runners take advantage of stopping points to fuel up on carbohydrates, first home buyers can boost their deposit by improving the return their money earns. 

Online savings accounts can offer higher interest than everyday transaction accounts but if you’ve had your existing account for a while check to see what your money is earning - a high introductory rate may have lapsed. Explore options to earn bonus rates, like holding your everyday account and savings account with the same bank. It all helps you smash through the wall of fatigue and hit the finish line a whole lot sooner.


Patrick Nolan is head of home loans, ME Bank.

Residential Market First Home

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