As soon as she turned 14 and was legally able to work, the teen took up a job at McDonald's and began putting aside her salary for the house.
Young Madison Pickering has nurtured one dream since the age of 11. The ambitious teen desperately wanted to own her own house and as daunting a goal as it was, she wasn't afraid to put in the discipline and hard work. While her peers lived up their teenage years, Pickering painstakingly saved every penny she could, and today, her dream has finally come true. The 19-year-old is now the proud owner of her own home at Pebble Creek Estate near Logan, about 50km south of Brisbane, Australia. Despite her impressive achievement, Pickering says many have a hard time believing her.
"Everyone I've spoken to is like, 'how did you do that? Oh, your parents must have given you this money,'" she told Channel Nine's A Current Affair program. "No, parents haven't given me a cent. This is everything I've worked for myself. I've done all of this hard work on my own." Visiting the site of the Queensland teen's dream home has now become a weekly ritual for Pickering and her mom Raelene. "My mum and I come out here once a week and I take progress photos. So, I'm going to put it together in a little time-lapse of every stage," the teen explained.
Pickering's dream of becoming a homeowner began at the age of 11 when she would save what little pocket money she could. As soon as she turned 14 and was legally able to work, the teen took up a job at McDonald's and began putting aside her salary for the house. Even after finishing high school a year early and being accepted into university, Pickering decided that a full-time job would be the best option for achieving her dream. She thus became an online media manager to bring in some extra cash and was able to save a total of $30,000 to put towards her deposit.
The teen's proud mother Raelene revealed that her daughter first came to her expressing interest in buying a home when she was 16. "Once she turned 18 and knew she was able to apply for a loan that's when it became very serious," she said. "I tell her every day I'm so proud of her and she's doing it on her own too. She's not doing it with anyone else, that is an achievement."
Raelene revealed that when she'd take her daughter to scout out the display homes, they'd ignore the young aspiring homeowner and make a beeline for her. "They would look me up and down and turn around to my mum and say, 'so you are the one buying' and she was like 'no, turn around,'" said Pickering.
Although the teen's first attempt to get a loan was unsuccessful, she kept saving and tried again. On the second try, Pickering bagged a loan for a $300,000 house and land package. In addition to the money she'd saved up on her own, Pickering was also able to take advantage of a few generous government schemes designed for first time home buyers. Her eligibility for Queensland's $15,000 first homeowners grant and the federal government's $25,000 building incentive made the journey to buying her own home that much easier.
"I had enough for a deposit, and that's all that matters. And I think younger people who are watching and wanting to do what I've done need to understand, you don't need to have the final price. You just need to have a really good deposit," said Pickering. Pebble Creek Estate Sales Manager Matthew Spencer said the teen's achievement as "pretty crazy" for someone her age. "We are very excited to have Madison in here and her story of saving through all her teens," he said. "To see her shine and achieve this I know she's got so much to achieve in life," said Raelene. "And this is just a start for her, very proud."