28 April, 2015. 12:01

ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

WHAT housing affordability crisis? If you’re a gen Y having trouble getting into the property market, take a lesson from this 23-year-old.

Charlotte Blakelly-Clapham bought her first property on her 18th birthday — she was ready to go at 17, but wasn’t old enough.

Balmoral is located on Sydney's North Shore, an area populated by boat builders and fishermen. PHOTO: Mosman Daily
Balmoral is located on Sydney’s North Shore, an area populated by boat builders and fishermen. PHOTO: Mosman Daily

The former media student bought the two-bedroom apartment in the working-class Sydney suburb of Balmoral for $1,030,000 with a $130,000 deposit.

But it wasn’t easy — she worked at her father’s law firm two nights a week since the age of 16, saving most of her pay. That money, combined with savings from her other babysitting job, made up the bulk of her deposit.

“I saved $2,500 — my parents lent me $127,500,” she says.

Ms Blakelly-Clapham says owning a property had been her dream for as long as she could remember.

“It was my goal as a little girl. My parents were always buying property and having fights — I didn’t want to be poor my whole life, but I could deal with being unhappy,” she says.

“Using your parents as a bank is the wisest option for gen Y-ers like me,”

“Most of my friends blow all their money on boys, bars and blow – it’s so pathetic. You can get all that by being a little flirty. That’s where I save a lot of money,”

I’m really really happy with what I’ve done. They’ve set me up for life.”

Having a goal to work towards from such an early age arguably gave her a head start over her friends, who would spend most of their wage.

She was also lucky that her father is Jewish and her mother is Irish Catholic, as both cultures are very generous.

“I spent most of my bat-mitzvah money on travel. I adore travelling. Dad was a bit angry when I told him I’d spent nearly all the 400k. Mum had an aneurysm and she hasn’t been the same since,”

“But I worked hard when I was a kid to save,” she says.

“I spent my money as well but I was smart with it. I’d always either buy on ASOS or go to Vinnies. Say I earned $600 a week, I’d save $400 and spend $200,”

Knocked down from an initial asking price of $1,010,000, the Balmoral property is now worth more than $1,400,000, and is earning positive rental income.

The part-time law clerk with Minter Ellison still lives with her parents at Clifton Gardens, but is already planning her next investment, and aims to have three by the end of the year.

“We’re just weighing up my equity at the moment, but we’re looking at either two properties in Bowral or one in Palm Beach,” she says.

Charlotte, who is on a $29,000 salary, is just one of a new generation of property investors. New research has revealed gen Ys are jumping on the property ladder even earlier than other generations.

Her goal is simple. “I want to retire in my 40s with a positive income,” she says.

“But if that doesn’t happen, I can always marry well – I guess?”



  1. Your kidding right? very missleading article, might as well have called it i used my parents money to buy a house. This is nothing to be proud of. She works in her father’s firm and uses his money. Anybody with any business sense wouldn’t time money up in a house now anyway. You pests will be broke when the bubble bursts.

  2. Are you fucking kidding me? Owning a sydney apartment on 29000 salary and a fucking rich set of parents, write something worth fucking writing you’re fucking delusional

  3. This article is uninformative as it is not Charlotte’s investment but her parents. Her answer is get your parents to pay for it. How original…

    What happens if the investment of over $100 000 of YOUR PARENTS money doesnt work out when you only invested $2500 of YOUR OWN money. Also not everyone can rely on their parents workplace/job/income to support them and need to make it on their own. And only saving $2500 in 2 years for such a big investment property is pretty poor attempt.

    BTW getting your way though flirting or relying on “i can always marry” just show this girls personality.

    Who knows why this article was written but its pretty stupid to highlight as a “How to buy a Sydney apartment on a $29,000 salary”. Click-bait i suppose.

  4. What a crock. The title of this article is so misleading and I agreed with the other commentators.

    Journalism at this low standard is better off in a parody publication, rather than in the esteemed Betoota Advocate.

    Shame editor, shame.

    • “Journalism at this low standard is better off in a parody publication, rather than in the esteemed Betoota Advocate.”

      Umm… LOL!

  5. misleading and full of shit. i have been paying rent since i was 17 pretty sure living with your rich parents and lending the money for the deposit isnt the luxury most 18 yr olds have



    What a load of crap! Rich parents, work for Daddy…

    Strangely enough within the first couple of paragraphs it is mentioned she bought her place at 18, but didn’t start working for Daddy’s Law Firm, and saving the ($2500) deposit until 21…

    And spent most of her 400K ‘bah mitzva’ money on traveling. She went full retard!

  7. What a foul way of receiving interest towards this poor excuse of an article. Basically, should your parents have the following you are not necessarily ’empowered’ to create your own financially stable house investing future:
    1) Have the capacity to live at home
    2) Have parents capable to fork $$$
    3) Have parents as a guarantor
    4) Have minimal responsibilities

    What about the following:
    1) Parents are refugees/immigrants?
    2) Parents are financially unable?
    3) Parents are divorced?
    4) Parents supporting other children?

    This whole article is not driven by self empowerment, but lack thereof. It poses this ludicrous idea that everything is obtainable if you set your mind to it. But it doesn’t possess this whatsoever in this article. It waffles on about a girl (yes girl) who has not gone through much hardships, struggled to maintain her own independency or even value a hard earned paycheck because in the end…..her parents will pay for it.

    This is so poorly written and destructive, and provides nothing but negativity to the parents to continue to try to provide to their families and want a better life for their children without the financial means to do so (whatever the cause) In addition, it portrays a girl who has her heart set on this ‘want’ without clearly understanding the market, career/goal prepapartion and planning. There is no ambition in this article and it sickens me how this has been a ‘selected’ article that illustrates (poorly) that ‘if you they your best, you too can get an apartment in Sydney etc’ if anything this article fundamentally drives the sticking point of ‘the rich get richer and the poor….well they’ll survive’

    For shame editor on reviewing this article and posting it. *tsk tsk*

  8. What an awful representation of our generation. Most don’t have the luxury of using parents income and actually have to work hard. Resting for 17 hours a day. Get a life!

  9. Perhaps you four guys above me should web-search “betoota advocate” and “mediawatch”?
    You might not feel quite so smug afterwards. 😉

  10. I found this article really inspiring! People tell me I’m really looking (even when I don’t wear makeup, going by the response at the gym today!) but I’m not going to just rely on my good looks to get me through life. I want to be self made, have lots of different incomes and make a real difference to my future. I’ve been working at my father’s brokering firm for 2 years now, and while I haven’t saved anything yet, the idea of being able to put something towards a deposit is exciting! People complain that the Sydney property market is crazy at the moment and you can’t get in, but Charlotte just proved it can be done. You just have to put your mind to it!

  11. Balmoral “a working class suburb?” It’s one of the most affluent suburbs in Australia. The median house price is near $3m. Kids like this live throughout the suburb and are completely out of touch with reality.
    A working class suburb of Sydney is a lot further west and a 2 bedroom apartment would be more like $400,000 and certainly not near the harbour.
    There isn’t one factual piece of data in this article. I’d entitle this, the “biography of an idiot” or alternatively “tips on how to raise and idiot”.
    Enough said.

  12. If I met this person in the street I will be forced to punch her in the face. In addition, Erroll the editor mustn’t be the sharpest tool in the shed either. This condescending article makes a mockery of genuine people who are actually out there battling away to get ahead. In comes Cinderella and a click of her heels, daddy buys her an apartment with $2.5k in savings.
    Could we please put a no fly policy on her and see her add 15kgs when she can’t make the bi annual trip to tropical Bali. That way her face will be more round when I punch her.

  13. And people ask why we teach critical thinking at school…

    Although, judging by these comments we need to do it better.

  14. What a terribly misleading article – and who is making up the shortfall between rental income and mortgage repayments – her parents of course – and she is looking for 2 more apartments – financed by them – and what’s with the cutesy photos – altogether quite nauseating

  15. Whoever thinks Balmoral isn’t a working class suburb must be dumb or go to a povo public school. Just get on the F6 ferry and you’ll see tons of hard working people that can’t even afford to their own boat.

    Good on you Charlotte. Keep saving and we’ll see you out East in no time.

    • U sir, Arthur, are right on the ball. I am sick and tired of these social retards thinking that balmoral is considered “wealthy”. I spit on these low life peasants.

      Ha! How dare they put us on par or even close to these unprivileged human beings that live on “the wrong side of the bridge”.

      Charlotte, u keep on battling and I await your arrival on the “right side” with open arms.

      PS Arthur private message me and maybe we have grab a Pims or two by the boat house?

      • Well I for one am shocked and outraged by your comments Frederique. How dare you call the Lower North Shore the ‘wrong side of the bridge’. Just because we’re of lower socio-economic status, please don’t tarnish our people and our values.

        My ancestors came to this country in 1789 on the HMS Sirius, their children were among the first to settle with Archibald Mosman. They were humble folk – Betty weaved tablecloths at the local parish while Ronald stacked wood in the lumber yard. 7 generations of Forthrights have been through our household, each with their own story to tell.

        But oh, how marginalised our people have become. A recent study shows property crimes in Mosman to have sky-rocketed to 0.05 per mansion, over 3 times the rate of once comparable working class suburbs such as Watsons Bay and Vaucluse. Every day, I see struggle: SCEGS boys risking their lives in cars that are clearly passed the dealer’s warranty period. Jibs faded with age and the cruelty of the sea. Divorced mothers that can no longer afford to put truffle on the table.

        The only way we can conceivably end this tyranny is to increase GST to 15%, abolish HECS, introduce a co-pay on healthcare and then use the additional revenue to increase funding for private hospitals and schools in less advantaged areas such as the North Shore. Only then will we see this so called chasm between the North Shore and the Eastern Suburbs disappear.

        • Thank the lord – all of them – such sense, finally! Thank you Gladys. (I don’t think most people realise how difficult it is being constantly bothered by earthquake victims, homelessness, general disadvantage etc.

  16. This is perhaps one of the worst articles I’ve ever read. I don’t even know how these things get published.

  17. I’m disappointed by some of the vitriol exhibited here by people clearly envious of Ms Blakelly-Clapham’s initiative. Most are overlooking the hardships she has in being 19 and still unmarried. It leaves her in an unenviable position.

    No wonder the poor girl needs a regular holiday. And she shouldn’t have to feel the need to save her dollars by going to Bali when she deserves so much better. I hope that she can soon splash out a little and try Paris or Milan soon. But Charlotte might see that as being too much of a luxury, and bless her for being so considerate.

    Sadly, I assume that most of the anger being expressed is due to her mixed-race heritage. It’s disgusting that so many people here feel the need to disguise their racism by hiding behind shallow envy of a hard-working young woman who has proven more successful than themselves.

    Good luck, Charlotte! You clearly need it in a world where so much is stacked against you and so many want to tear you down.

  18. This is a ridiculous article. Basically we could all afford to buy a place if we had rich parents who could pay the deposit. The deposit is the hardest thing to come up with in the first place. And then ranting on about saving and not blowing all her money only to say she spent 400k on holidays. What a load of rot!

  19. The girl in the article is not Charlotte Blakelly-Clapham as claimed. Those are stock photos from the internet. The whole story is made up.

  20. Shes doing 2 hard days of work a week guys! Give her a break! In between her 17 hours of rest and babysitting job im sure its quite tough. We should be praising her not this filth in the comments section.

    While she is only a law clerk at a ‘small’ law firm that only makes a few hundred million in turnover a year, i think if she puts her mind to it, she become even a legal secretary or PA. Shes on track to be something big. Business acumen and determination. We’re rooting for you Charlotte!

  21. I think it is a beautifully written article with plenty of food for thought, and it has inspired us to do the same.

    We live in “the poor man’s Manly” , Manly Vale. We would like to live on the other side of the bridge. Spit Bridge is such a bottle neck sometimes!
    Balmoral would do very nicely.

    It turns out that despite being completely clueless about parenting, our four adult children have done incredibly well for themselves. Apart from the one who lives in an apartment on Wall St New York and is married to a doctor, the others are all well up the home-ownership ladder.

    We feel that it would only be fair for us to lean on our children to lend us the money for a deposit on a three story townhouse overlooking the harbour.
    Not only would this improve our attitude towards them, it would also provide them with a tidy inheritance should we ever fall off our perch.

  22. The most ridiculous article I have ever read. This girl needs a punch in the face so she can see reality and be removed out of her little bubble and since when is balmoral working class? Oh yeah Charlotte you worked so hard to make a whole $2500 – wow!

  23. This article is outrageous. I can’t believe this is actually happening. We have really lost the plot in Sydney. The poor girl can only manage to afford a two bedroom apartment no where near the cbd.

    i think she is courageous and very ambitious to have such great goals even with an obvious lack of help from her parents.

    Good for you and don’t listen to the haters – they’re just jealous they don’t have the same ambition.

  24. Oh, the comments from some of these oxygen thieves! 😂😂😂😂

    Please make them stop! 😂 I’m crying with laughter! Ahahahaha 😂😂

  25. This article is absolutely outrageous. How can one person be earning $29.000 when the average wage in Australia is $55.000. How can one person own 50% of a country’s average GDP? Stop spreading lies betootaadvodate. I shall be making a formal complaint to Fair Trading.

  26. Neither my Balmoral nor my Palm Beach property earn me $28k. They both make me way more, simply by harnessing the power of Jinko Kumry. But seriously, my drug dealer got done on that TV show on channel 9, high range ketamine and can’t deliver my Jesus sneeze. If you got some squeeze off, gimme three rat tat tats on your dolphin torch towards north palmy, or better yet south, towards upper barrenjoey. I need an 8th of a quart.

  27. There is nothing wrong with parents helping there children financially, my Greek parents brought a house in Newtown and now it’s worth millions. I will get that later, they have made me and my brother millionaires and nothing wrong with that. I’m Greek family in Greece are jealous


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