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My life lesson: buy a house

Julie Goodwin’s mother suggestion to buy a house in her twenties has set her family up nicely, writes Sylvia Pennington.

Advice from her mum to “buy a house the moment you can afford to” put a young Julie Goodwin and her husband Michael on the road to financial security when they were looking to set up home together in their early twenties.

“Back in the nineties I was getting married and looking at options for a home,” Goodwin says. “We were considering renting so we could save more of a deposit but mum suggested we try to get a mortgage straightaway.

“We just scraped it in, but managed to buy our first home.”

The information technology business owner, mother of three and long-time kitchen whiz catapulted herself into the ranks of celebrity food personality in 2009 when she took first place in the inaugural round of top-rating reality TV cook-off contest MasterChef Australia.

Fast forward seven years and Goodwin is the author of five cookbooks – Homemade Takeaway is the latest to hit the stands – a regular contributor to The Australian Women’s Weekly and a breakfast radio personality on New South Wales’ Central Coast radio station Star 104.5.

Between media gigs, she runs Julie’s Place, a cooking school at Gosford on the Central Coast and makes regular appearances at food festivals and events.

Getting on the property ladder early, before a series of housing booms made becoming a home owner a much tougher proposition nationwide, put the young couple on firm footing and saw them well placed to enjoy a significant gain on their first investment together.

“The property is now worth many times what we paid for it,” Goodwin says.

Her mum’s tip remains a good one, albeit less easy to achieve in today’s market, she believes.

“Get into the property market, start building your credit rating and your equity,” Goodwin says.

This is a series from ANZ Women asking leading Australians to share important financial advice that has changed their life.