Let's take a walk into the future of a typical family and creating customers for life with Rex, at each stage of their life there are key indicators and tasks you and your agency should be doing to remain top of mind throughout their property journey. Meet Matt and Kristy Miller. Both in their late 20s Matt is an infrastructure engineer working on some of the big road projects in Brisbane and Kristy is a pharmacist working in a private hospital.
They met at a friend's wedding 5 years (2017) - just before Matt was heading on 9 month's work exchange to the US. Once he returned it wasn't long before they moved in together, renting a tiny 1 bedroom apartment in Kangaroo Point (2018).
They’ve been in this apartment the whole time, saving every cent for a home loan. Sure they could have moved into a bigger place - but they were focused on getting their own home as soon as they could. Over the three and half years they spent as apartment dwellers they had dealt with 5 property managers - all from the same company. It was hard to keep up with the changes, but they were really good tenants, the place was always clean tidy, they paid their rent a day early each month and they haven't had any issues.
The wedding last year (2020) was definitely covid-challenged but they finally managed to have a small family affair and low-key honeymoon on Hamilton Island. It wasn't the wedding of their dreams but it did come with a silver lining. The smaller numbers and limited suppliers, and the local honeymoon all meant that they saved around $20K - getting them into that first home 12-18 months sooner.
It all came about when Matt receive a bonus for a job well done at work. Now with around $45k sprinkled around a couple of banks and some share accounts they felt they had enough to make the first jump. Neither of them are that handle, so it was easy to agree that a small townhouse would be ideal, especially one close to the hospital Kristy worked at.
But things weren't going to be that easy. The market was super hot and places were going in just days. Over a month Matt and Kristy had been too slow to act, to not willing to pay up, and had missed 4-5 really idea places. It was a pressure cooker and they knew they had to act now.
The complex on Lowerson St in Lutwyche seemed ideal. And the townhouse felt spacious after their tiny apartment. They had hoped for a bit more yard area, but they could make it work. The added the Open time into their calendar one Friday night and were all set the next day.
They were the first to see it that day and were excited but nervous about the prospect of negotiating the buying process. Matt was really close to an old family friend, Frank was had offered to help, so at lunch that day they called and arrange to meet Frank back at the complex at 4 pm for another look.
Frank agreed it looked like a solid buy - close enough to the city that they could go wrong, and in their first home budget. He was a godsend, helping Matt and Kristy navigate not just the offer, but finding a conveyancing lawyer, arranging inspections and getting the best back deal. In fact, if it wasn't for Frank, Matt and Kristy would have been lost.
While the house hunting was stressful it was made worse by the chronic morning sickness Kristy was feeling at the time .. yes they were 7 months away from becoming a real family.
By the end of 2021, Milly joined the Millers and over the next 18 months, the challenge was baby-proofing the townhouse stairs.
For two years Matt and Kristy loved their little family home. There was very little that had to be done so they could spend all their free time playing with Milly. Matt was doing well with his company and had already been promoted into a management role. After Milly was born Kristy stayed at home for the first 8 months and then started back at work in the hospital pharmacy 3-4 shifts a week.
This extra money came in that got them excited about their next move - into a real family home with loads of space inside and out - and they could get a dog. They would often spend Sunday afternoons driving around all the new suburban developments while Milly slept in the car. In bed together some night they would spend hours weaving their way through properties on the portals, starring favourites as they went.
All this time they were growing their cash savings back up again. All the extra costs of buying their townhouse were a bit unexpected - showing their naivety as buyers. Their next move would be a more educated and considered one. They just had to be patient.
Mothers Day 2023 and Kristy was feeling a bit off. The planned family event felt like a huge effort as she had been tired for the past few weeks. She hoped it was just a passing big and she’d bounce back.
Looking back on that day Kristy can only laugh ... how could she have missed the signs - the Millers were having baby #2. Just before Christmas that year Charlie was born and suddenly the townhouse was sinking under the weight of a family of 4.
By the time Easter 2024 arrives the decision was made - Matt and Kristy were ready for their next move - they were hoping to end up in the new areas of North Lakes and Griffin. They had some friends out that way and enjoyed the slower pace and family vibe. With almost $45K in the bank, they started checking out open homes and talking to agents about selling their place.
If they thought buying their first home was stressful, this move was going be stress-squared. They would have to manage selling the townhouse, buying a new place and keeping their fingers crossed that everything lined up. They had never sold before and the minute they started talking to agents it seemed like their phone never stopped.
After some advice for Kristy’s Dad, they managed to choose an agent, Jack P - it was the agent who had sold two other townhouses in the complex and he seemed to have some hot buyers who might still be in the market. He also provided them with other recent sales values in the complex that would be very comparable.
The minute they signed with Jack there was a flurry of activity. Handymen were in doing some jobs like upgrading the plumbing fixtures and lighting and painting the downstairs. Boxes were delivered ready for packing away all the clutter. Jack suggested that they move out and stage the house but this wasn't going to work as they had nowhere else to stay. So they just stripped back their lives to a minimum and packed everything into a storage facility.
Then it was photographers and a bunch of other people they weren't all that sure what they were for. Within just three weeks of listing 17/34 Lowerson Street, Lutwyche was back on the market and a calendar of open homes was planned.
Doing all this with a baby and a toddler was a nightmare. Every time they need to leave the house spotless Kristie would get the kids in the car and just round the block - too exhausted to do anything else.
While selling the townhouse was an effort, looking for new family homes was fun. Each Friday they would pull together a list of open homes to go to, then Saturday they would be at their favourite cafe early and then be on the road.
After just a couple of weeks they had seen maybe 25 places, and they knew exactly what they wanted:
- 4 bed with a master suite
- 2+ bathrooms
- double garage
- media room
- fenced back yard
- room to add a pool one day
- new/near new and ready to move into
Three weeks after being in the market, Jack called late on a Saturday afternoon - with great news. He had a buyer offering $442,250. It was under the asking of $450,000 where they were hoping to land ... but with some stressful calls over the next hour they managed to settle on $447,000 with a 60-day settlement - they took the offer when they were able to double the settlement period. This still gave them time to find that perfect place.
The next couple of weeks passed far too quickly and suddenly Matt and Kristy were getting pretty nervous. The townhouse was settling in 41 days. The clock was ticking and they new they would have to get more aggressive with their offers. They had just missed a couple of places last week because another buyer offered an extra $10K.
Late the following Saturday they were looking at the last place of the day. The kids were cranky and they were all hungry. They drove in Sandalwood Crescent and all of sudden felt better. One side of the street was all just beautifully maintained parkland. And number 40 looked really tidy and very stylish. The inspection only had another 10 mins to run, but that was all the time it took for Matt and Kristy to fall in love. Their wishlist was ticked off and the home landed in a great school zone.
The owners were asking 700,000+ and the agent said they had two other couples serious, but going home to think about. So the decision was made The Millers offered $705K and 30 days settlement with pre-approved financed and by 6.05 that night they were celebrating with a bottle of Verve.
At 255m2 their new home was more than twice the size of their first home, and the land was almost 3 times as big. Finally, there would be room for everyone.
Life was great for Millers and their family thrived in this quiet suburb. Life was full of great childhood adventures and the 3 years down the track they put in their dream pool. The site of many summer play sessions and family BBQs, this home was the backdrop of the many scrapbooking photo albums Kirsty spent hours creating.
There was even enough space when out of the blue, baby Jasper arrived.
Milly was almost four when they moved in. Her whole life was filled with memories of this place. As she graduated from high school and started planning the next adventure to uni, she started to think about what her property story would look like. She was excited by the next chapter - renting with friends closer to UQ in St Lucia.
The Millers spent almost 15 years in Sandalwood Crescent. A lifetime it seemed, but as Milly moved out and the boys were doing their own thing, Matt and Kristy started to feel like they were ready for change. Time to look at something smaller, or perhaps 2 “something-smaller”s together so that they could get some peace and quiet and the boys could have some independence. And they all loved the idea of moving to the beach. It was time to dream about the next chapter and where their property journey would take them next.