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Dr Isabelle Connor on purchasing a house in the country

Being able to work in the place she loves, and now live in her own home, is a dream come true for Dr Isabelle Connor.

  3 minutes

Being a country vet has its own challenges and rewards. The reward for Dr Isabelle Connor—who moved to Geraldton in WA after training in Perth—was the chance to work in a mixed animal practice, near friends and family, in a practice she loved. She had spent the first eight years of her life in a country town and yearned to return to that lifestyle. When she moved to Geraldton she decided to settle down. But banks aren’t always keen to lend to a graduate fresh out of vet school.

“We were buying into a regional area, which makes it even more difficult than normal to deal with a bank,” she says. “I did a lot of my own research, and talked to people who had been through the same thing.

“We had been saving, but it wasn't as big a deposit as we would’ve liked. So when we saw this house and thought, ‘This is perfect, we need this now’, we just had to do all that we could to get it.”

At home in the country

As a child growing up in Kalgoorlie before moving to Perth, Dr Connor always wanted to be a vet. “I did all my high school subjects with a view to becoming a vet, but I just didn't quite get the marks, so instead I did a Bachelor of Biomedical Science, because that was very similar to the prerequisite for a vet.” She went on to study Veterinary Science, bringing her university time to a total of eight years. In the meantime, she had met her partner, Tom, who was from Northampton, a smaller country town 30 minutes north of Geraldton. It just made sense to do her prac work in that region. “I've got his family and a lot of mutual friends, and now we are all living in this Geraldton region together.”

She wanted to live in a country town, but she also loved the beach. Geraldton ticked all the boxes: country town, next to the beach, nice weather, and good fishing. The relationship was going well, so in the middle of her final year she started applying for jobs. One was going at Midwest Vet Centre—one of the practices she had enjoyed doing prac work in. They remembered her and offered her the job before her final exams started.

Horse sense

“The other places in Geraldton are only small animal clinics,” she says. “Midwest was the only one that treated horses, sheep and cattle, and I like the fact I was able to treat a range of different animals and get out of the clinic from time to time. I've had days where we’ve seen horses in the morning, then gone out and seen a cow, come back and done surgery on a dog, and then there’s been an alpaca the next day or a pig. There's always something different going on and no day is the same, and that's what I do really like.”

All about understanding

It was six months after she had started working in Geraldton when Dr Connor and her partner saw their ideal house for sale. “I thought, ‘Wow, that house is perfect for us. This town’s perfect for us. My job is going really well’, so I bit the bullet and contacted BOQ Specialist as well as a mortgage broker. I had a chat with BOQ Specialist and found they offered a really good deal—even the mortgage broker said, ‘I can't beat that deal. You've got to go with that’.”

“I think for Isabelle—and I have found this to be true with the vast majority of our veterinary clients—she doesn’t really enjoy dealing with bankers who don’t understand what it’s like to be a vet in a regional area,” says BOQ Specialist’s Ebony Giordani. “I think what sets us apart is our understanding of what it’s like to be living in a remote, regional location like Geraldton.”

Dr Connor was aware of BOQ Specialist because of recommendations online and through work. But the thing that most appealed to her was their understanding of what she was going through and where her career was headed. “They said, ‘we know you’re young, it sounds like this is where your career is going to be—we understand’,” she recalls. “They were much more flexible in allowing us to get the minimal deposit for the house that we preferred. Also, they understood that we were on the trajectory for earning what we needed to in order to make those repayments, whereas another bank probably might not have been so flexible.”  


Thinking about purchasing a new home? Click on the link to find out more about our tailored financial solutions for buying a property. Or ready to take the next step? Contact us to find out how we can tailor a practice finance solution for you, or call us on 1300 160 160.

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