Success story: Doctors Steve Gilchrist and Louise Draper were able to finance their dream home

For doctors Steve Gilchrist and Louise Draper, finding a bank to finance their dream home was hard. Then they called BOQ Specialist.

5 minutes



Dr Steve Gilchrist, a sports-loving Scot, fell in love with Australia—and Aussie Rules football—on a WA work placement during his medical school training at Edinburgh University. Back in Scotland, at Dundee Hospital, he fell in love with fellow emergency department intern Dr Louise Draper. So when he decided to move Down Under, his fiancée came with him.

“In WA, in 2010, I’d spent time working with one of the team doctors at the West Coast Eagles. I was keen to pursue sports medicine and work for an AFL team. Many people had told me Melbourne was the ‘home of AFL’—and of sport in Australia, generally,” he explains. “They’d also said lots of good things about Melbourne. So when we came back to Australia in 2013, we decided to base ourselves in Melbourne.”

They were lucky and both managed to organise hospital jobs prior to the relocation, with Dr Draper specialising in paediatrics, eventually settling into a job at the Austin Hospital in Heidelberg. “I’ve also managed to get work with a few VFL teams outside of my hospital work: Williamstown; the Casey Demons, Melbourne’s VFL team; and, last season, Carlton,” says Dr Gilchrist. “Right now, I have three jobs—in a hospital, a clinic and with Carlton’s VFL team.”

A new home

A year ago, the pair married in the UK and “spent a lot of money on the wedding and a huge honeymoon”, Dr Draper recalls. That, along with the costs of relocation and renting, “ate away most of our deposit”. Nevertheless, the newlyweds were keen to buy a home of their own large enough to raise a family in.

“We’d got really fed up with renting and wanted our own place,” Dr Draper explains. “After being here for five years, we were ready to take that next step and feel more secure. We’re thinking of starting a family in a few years, so we didn’t want to buy an apartment—we wanted a house. We wanted to move once and do it well.”

But to purchase a three-bedroom house in a suburb close to the city, she admits, “you’re pushing over the million-dollar mark”. And with savings amounting to less than 10 per cent of that, the couple were finding it difficult to secure the loan they needed.

“We’d been to a few mainstream banks but they weren’t that flexible, and wanted us to have a certain amount for the deposit,” recalls Dr Draper.

So they turned to BOQ Specialist.

Financing flexibility

“Many friends have used BOQ Specialist and recommended them,” Dr Draper explains. “Krista, our BOQ Specialist consultant, was great; she managed to sort everything for us really quickly. She came to our house and helped us get the loan sorted. Initially, she just gave us confirmation they’d help us—and then by coincidence, we saw ‘the house’ the same night, so then we had to move quite quickly on it.

“We’d never bought a house before so we knew nothing about the process. Krista guided us every step of the way. We had to send her lots of paperwork in the weeks afterwards, which was more complicated than usual because we had quite a few income sources. But Krista made it really easy for us.

“It was an ‘expression of interest’ sale—a bit like a closed auction—but we got the house! It’s near Austin, so I can walk to work. It’s beautiful: it looks out over a creek, with a bike trail, and no-one can build behind us.”

With a 30-year loan, repayments “haven’t been a strain”, adds Dr Gilchrist. “We were putting away more every month, saving for the deposit, than we’re paying in mortgage costs now. Along with the mortgage, we have what’s called a ‘top-up loan’. After we’ve paid off a certain amount we can drop it to a lower repayment rate.

“So if I have to take time out to say, have a baby, it’s got flexibility built into it.”

In the market for a home loan? Click on the link to find out more about our tailored financial solutions for home loans. Ready to take the next step? Contact us to find out how we can tailor a finance solution for you, or call us on 1300 131 141.

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