Colac teen moves from couch to home with a new teapot in tow



Nineteen-year-old Noah* had been couch surfing for years, saving diligently to purchase his first home. Although he had managed to save $20,000, he was told it wasn’t enough of a deposit alone.

But that didn’t stop him from settling on his new place last month.

Noah found his path to home ownership through NAB’s Colac team who helped him secure a Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee – a scheme he didn’t even know existed.

NAB’s Colac team have been so invested in Noah’s journey, they even helped him out with cutlery, crockery and bed linen to get him started.

NAB customer advisor Rae Mulgrew was by Noah’s side at every step.

“Despite a tough life, Noah was determined to reach his goal of having his own place.  Even after saving every cent he made, he was still short of the 20% deposit he thought he needed to secure a home loan.

“He had no idea about the scheme when he first walked in. Without it, he wouldn’t have been able to get his foot on the property ladder.”

For months, Rae worked with the Colac branch manager Louise Morrissy to secure Noah a spot in the program.

“This process is as much about financial support as it is about educating customers on the process of buying a home.

“We were by Noah’s side every step of the way, walking him through the services he needed to engage in buying the property,” Louise said.

Making a house a home

Smiling woman with flowers in an office
NAB Home Lending Specialist Rae Mulgrew

After Noah picked up his keys to his first home, the banker’s care didn’t stop there.

“We have a strong connection to our community, and we really care for all the customers that walk through our door in Colac,” Louise said.

Upon settlement, Rae checked if he had the essential items to fill his home.

“When I found out he didn’t have the basics, the team in the branch felt we had to do something to make sure his house felt like a home,” Rae said.

The Colac branch team rallied together, even collecting items from their own homes.

“When Noah settled, we made up a little hamper of cups, saucers, sheets, you name it, just to get him started,” Louise said.

“He kept telling me he couldn’t give me anything in return, but I didn’t want anything. I just wanted to know he was settled and safe in his new home. This is why we do what we do,” Rae said.

Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee

The Home Guarantee Scheme is an Australian Government initiative that helps first home buyers, or buyers who have not owned a property over the past 10 years, to buy a home sooner.

Under the scheme, eligible Australians can purchase a home with a deposit of as little as 5%, and no lenders mortgage insurance.

Noah is one of the 1,600 regional first home buyers that NAB has helped under the scheme last financial year.

From 1 July, 35,000 new places have opened under the HGS, with an additional 10,000 available for regional buyers like Noah.

After seeing the positive impact it’s made on Noah’s life, Rae hopes she can help more customers turn the key on their new homes.

“The scheme is fantastic. It’s giving younger people, especially those in the regions, the opportunity to buy their first home,” Rae said.

“I’ve had other people come in saying, I’ve only got about 5% saved up for a deposit, I’m not sure about my borrowing power but I want safe and securing housing. How can I do it?

“When I tell them about the scheme, they feel empowered. It makes the Australian dream achievable. They look at me and say I can do it Rae; I can buy a home.”

How to apply for the First Home Guarantee:

·        Check your eligibility: Use the Housing Australia website to check your eligibility.

·        Get in touch: Book an appointment online, at your local branch or with your broker and complete your NAB home loan application.

·        Submit your application: Get conditional approval from your banker or broker. They’ll then collect the documents required for eligibility and reserve your place in the Scheme.

·        Buy your home: You’ll have 90 days to purchase a home after you’re approved in the Scheme, then all you need to do is settle and move in.

*Customer’s name changed.



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