My mum Peta Goodwin is a phenomenal role model. She dances to the tune of the 1985 feminist anthem by Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox. This is a thank you note to her.
Mum was 19-years-old when she had me. She went straight back to full-time work (sole parent pension didn’t exist in 1972) and never received financial support from my father. We moved from New Zealand to Australia in 1975 and joined the hippie movement. Moving to a new country with a three-year-old wouldn’t have been easy.
In the 1980’s, Mum grabbed a home loan opportunity for low-income earners and bought a block of land in Margaret River. We designed the house she had built. The house and land cost about $30,000. It’s hard to imagine now, but that was a huge financial commitment at the time – especially for a single woman. And today, at 61, she’s expanded the house to create a home business and is semi-retired. Sisters are, indeed, doin’ it for themselves.
I bought my first home in 2007 in Darwin. Mum encouraged me to invest in real estate and assisted me with a deposit so I could get into the market. Like mum, I took a loan opportunity for low-income families – a shared equity arrangement with the NT Government called HomeNorth (sadly this scheme no longer exists). I went from “I’m never buying a house” to “I’ve put in an offer” in the space of about two weeks.
It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Living in my own home gave me a sense of security and stability I’d always sought – usually in men – but never found. Thanks Mum. I sold the unit in July last year, hoping to buy a similar place in Melbourne.
Mum advised me to buy on my own again (if I could afford to) so the place was always mine. I wanted to buy a house with my partner of four years, but it never happened. Then I wanted to buy a place with the guy after him, but (thankfully) that didn’t happen either. So, in the end it was just me.
I spent about eight months attending inspections most Saturdays and tossing up whether to buy north or south of the city. The market was heating up as the months went by. Then in spring – Melbourne’s peak real estate season – everything was going to auction and I found myself priced out of the area I’d decided to buy in. I was tired of looking and started to feel like I’d missed the boat.
But two weeks ago, I finally found my new home. A cute little two-bedroom unit in the perfect location and in my price range. It’s a short walk to public transport, shops and the beach. It’s big enough for my son and me now – but it will be perfect for me alone. I can see myself living there at 90. This weekend I put the SOLD sign up outside my new home. It was an amazing feeling. I’m standing on my own two feet and ringin’ on my own bells. Hell yeah.