With plans to grow their family, Leigh and Georgie were looking for a bigger space to call home and an ethical, purpose-driven finance company to help make it happen.
It’s a scenario all too many renters have faced in recent years. While living in Sydney’s Inner West, Leigh and Georgie received the dreaded email: their rent was going up by an “exorbitant amount” each week.
Buying their first home had been on their radar, with the pair casually browsing the latest listings on Domain for the past year and funnelling as much as they could into their savings account. But it wasn’t until the couple faced the prospect of paying hundreds of extra dollars in rent each month that they truly sprung into action.
Georgie, a chef and recipe creator at meal kit company Quite Like who has “spent most of my life in restaurant kitchens and food publishing”, was keen to find a bigger place with a garden to finally grow a few veggies at home.
For partner Leigh, Executive Director of People at Future Group “a collective of super funds and financial services with a shared vision where all of Australia's retirement savings contribute to positive social and environmental impacts”, working with a lender and finance company that aligned with their values was a top priority.
It makes sense given Leigh has overseen the implementation of some of Future Group’s industry-leading people policies, like their Cultural Leave for First Nations employees as well as the company’s Menstrual and Menopausal Leave Guidelines (all available to steal online - which we highly encourage you/your employer to do).
“We wanted an ethical lender, and it got me wondering, ‘Are there ethical mortgage brokers? Do they exist?’” shares Leigh.
After shortlisting a few broker options and spending one Sunday morning “getting very excited while reading your Impact Report”, the pair reached out to Brendan for an initial chat. The experience proved refreshingly approachable and accessible, giving the pair a newfound confidence in the process.
As Georgie shares, “I don’t know anything about mortgages, finance or interest rates… Everyone we spoke with at Pure Finance was very happy to break it down and not make me feel like an idiot when we were thinking, ‘What the hell does this mean?’”
“The fact that you’re a B Corp, you’re purpose-led and use your business as a force for good really felt like you were speaking our language.” - Leigh
In a not-so-ordinary turn of events, Leigh and Georgie stumbled on their dream property during their first weekend of inspections.
“I think I would have been a mess if we didn’t get it,” admits Georgie. “From the moment we walked in, I could feel and see where our stuff was going to go, much more than any other places we looked at.”
With their budget already mapped out and the deadline for their rent rise looming, the couple set the wheels in motion to make a move.
“We inspected this place on the Saturday. On Monday, we spoke to Brendan about our budget. On Tuesday, we applied for and got pre-approval. Wednesday, we made the offer, and it was accepted, and contracts were signed by Friday.” - Leigh
The property in question ticked all their boxes: a light-filled freestanding home, located on Bidjigal land in Sydney’s South, with high ceilings and plenty of space to grow. It’s already a full house, home to their brand new baby boy, Ollie (3 months), their mini schnauzer, Freddie, and Leigh’s two cats, Parker and Preston.
Inside, there’s plenty of room to host, with Georgie in charge of the menu and Leigh ensuring the drinks are flowing.
“It’s a great entertaining space. We had 30 people here for a sit-down lunch last Christmas, which was really nice to be able to host the family.” - Georgie
It’s also a space filled with warmth and personal touches. The living room’s mid-century sideboard was made decades ago by Leigh’s great-uncle and gifted to her nan. After her grandparents passed away, it has moved with her through all the different places she’s lived. Now, it takes pride of place in their new home together, adorned with a photo of the couple’s wedding day.
Out back, you’ll find Georgie’s budding veggie garden, which is thriving despite admitting she has “zero green thumbs”. The impressive olive and lemon trees were already there, with the latest crop of lemons being put to good use to create homemade Limoncello, ready to be gifted to their families this Christmas.
While it did take a sudden rent hike and over a year of searching to find the one, the pair are grateful that the home buying process (including securing a loan with an ethical bank as a first home buyer) “was not as painful as we thought it was going to be.”
Leigh and Georgie’s favourite spots to eat and drink in their new neighbourhood
My Mother’s Cousin, Bexley: for “really good pizza”
Just Hooked, Brighton: “they do the best potato scallops”
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