At age 23, Maddie Walton bought her first property in July 2021 for $690,000 without seeing it in person.
The young medical researcher made a 10 percent down payment of $70,000, but paid an additional $50,000 for the 1970s Gold Coast home.
She turned to a buyer’s broker for help because she had two jobs to save money quickly — a full-time job as a medical examiner from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a retail job on the weekends.
Maddie told FEMAIL she “dreamed” of buying her first home since she was 15, but “couldn’t believe the brutal reality of the Australian property market” when she tried.
“Real estate didn’t take me seriously at the open houses I went to and because of Covid-19 only small groups could enter the property at the time – it was a nightmare,” she said.
Australian medical researcher Maddie Walton (pictured) bought her first property worth $690K earlier this year
She made a 10 percent down payment of $70,000, but paid another $50,000 in fees for the 1970s Gold Coast home
The 1970s yellow-brick three-bedroom home sits on a generous 800 square feet of land, and Maddie said she had to compete with 15 other listings.
Maddie also has an impressive net worth of $147,000, a figure calculated by her assets minus any liabilities, and has been investing since 2016.
“I was so nervous when I finally made an offer,” she said.
Her $14,000 investment over a six-week period working with a buyer’s agent paid off, as the agent had a relationship with real estate agents on the Gold Coast.
Although she considered over 100 homes, the property she acquired was only the fifth home she inspected.
The 1970s yellow brick three-bedroom house sits on a generous 800 square feet of land, and Maddie said she had to compete with 15 other listings
Although she considered over 100 different homes, the property she acquired was only the fifth home she looked at
“My buying agent sent me a lot of videos and photos, and I fell in love with them right away, even though I didn’t see it in person,” she said.
“I had a good gut feeling and intuition about it.”
After getting the call from her agent that she had secured the property, Maddie felt a justified sense of relief that she began to cry.
She plans to renovate the garage to turn it into a granny flat and redecorate the kitchen.
“It’s like the house is stuck in time, I love it,” she said.
Maddie is also looking forward to no longer renting as Queensland laws allow property owners or managers to increase rents at any time.
According to the Queensland Government website, the rent cannot be increased for any period of time unless stated in the lease.
After getting the call from her agent that she had secured the property, Maddie felt a justified relief that she began to cry.
Maddie’s net worth is broken down:
$60,000 – Stocks and ETFs
$75,000 – Equity
$12,000 – savings
What is Maddie investing in?
ETFs: S&P 500 IVV, ASX FAIR, Beta Shared Asia Technology ASIA, ARKK, VanEck Global Clean Energy ETF
Some shares: Apple (AAPL), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Australian Finance Group (AFG)
Maddie has been investing in the stock market since 2016, saving up to 75 percent of her income.
“I was pretty protected from money talks and didn’t know much at all — I didn’t know what investing was until I was 18 and I asked my dad after hearing about the Dow Jones Industry Average market every night on the news,” she said.
“He told me I could invest in companies to grow my savings.”
Maddie went on to invest in her favorite company, Apple, because she “knew how it worked.”
“Since then, I’ve deposited $50 a week into my savings account to automatically invest $2,000 at a time in Apple (5 years and still going),” she said.
It wasn’t until 2020 that she began to branch out and invest in other technology companies and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
She immersed herself in finance books, podcasts and community groups where she taught herself about investing.
Maddie has $60,000 in the stock market. Her net worth (assets minus liabilities) since she started investing in 2016 is $147,000.
Maddie has also been investing in the stock market since 2016, saving up to 75 percent of her income
Her house has already generated $75K in equity due to the ‘crazy’ realities of the market
“My current investment strategy is to have broad-based ETFs as the bulk of my portfolio, and a few specific sector ETFs,” she said.
“I leave 5 percent of my portfolio to individual companies and crypto investments.
“I have this strategy so my portfolio is diversified, low cost and risk unfavorable exposure to the stock market. I can still invest in specific sectors that are riskier, but in which I believe.”
In addition to Apple, she also invests in Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and the Australian Finance Group (AFG).
Maddie said her main goal is to work towards financial freedom and have money for a good lifestyle before she retires.
“My current investment strategy is to have broad-based ETFs as the bulk of my portfolio, and a few sector-specific ETFs,” she said.
When asked what mistakes she made prior to investing, Maddie says she regrets not doing her own research and investing too much in the Australian stock market.
“Australia is only about 2 percent of the global stock market value. By investing primarily in Australia, I was missing out on a lot of value in the US, Asia and Europe,” she said.
“Investing internationally is so important to Aussies. We probably use an Apple iPhone that searches the web through Google, buys things on Amazon with your Mastercard, and watches Netflix at night.”
She added that a huge “learning curve” has fallen into the trap of “analysis paralysis” where buyers lose sight of the bigger picture and analyze too deeply into each data point.
It uses the Pearler and CommSec platforms for the investment.
Maddie’s Tips When Buying a First Home:
1. If possible, make use of the available government grants, but do not limit yourself to these schemes
2. Have a budget
3. Be realistic, analyze your savings and spending patterns
4. Have a good support network
Maddie’s Tips When Investing:
1. Do your own research
2. Consider investing in stocks, equities or ETFs outside of Australia
3. Don’t fall into the ‘analysis paralysis’ trap – keep it simple and only invest in companies you use or understand