NEW LIFE: Minya Wilson in the kitchen of her newly renovated home in Grafton. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN
NEW LIFE: Minya Wilson in the kitchen of her newly renovated home in Grafton. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN

Busy Gen Y bee

BARRELLED over by its charm and quaint beauty, Minya Wilson knew from the second she opened the door to the 1920s cottage, she had to have it.

With wallpaper to send anyone into a tizz, and carpet that was probably still old-fashioned in 1928, it wasn't a sight many would consider gorgeous.

Except then-25-year-old Ms Wilson saw beauty oozing from beneath the drab.

"It had these interesting characteristics about it; some real charm," she said.

Unlike some first home buyers, who prefer a modern home with all the bells and whistles already installed, Ms Wilson purchased her Grafton home last February with plans to renovate.

"Once I moved in, I had a working bee, where my lovely parents and mates came in to help me out," she said.

"We ripped up carpet, lino, masonite from the floors - and one of my mates pulled out 1000 staples from the kitchen floor alone."

Floorboards were installed, walls knocked down and paint was not in short supply.

The wallpaper was replaced with some vintage paper that was left by previous owners.

"Now it's absolutely beautiful," Ms Wilson said.

It seems a lot of hard yakka for a young woman, who supposedly comes from the generation that expects everything to be dished up on a silver platter, without having to lift a freshly manicured finger.

But Ms Wilson isn't the only one quashing the Gen Y stereotype. A St George Bank survey revealed Gen Y was leading the way when it came to home renovations, with two-thirds of home owners aged 18-25 planning to do up their home in the next 12 months.

Further bucking the stereotype, Gen Y-ers have proven they're not afraid to get their hands dirty, with 68% of them planning to renovate DIY style, like our very own Ms Wilson.

Grafton Elders Real Estate principal Dave Dart said it was television shows like The Block that inspired youngsters to do it for themselves.

"They can see what can be done and it's definitely a good way to do things - buy cheap and increase capital gain," Mr Dart said.

WHO said Gen Y was not real estate savvy?

 Not only are Gen Y home buyers leading the renovation market, they're pouring money into investments too.

 New data, released by finder.com.au, revealed 50% of Gen Y home buyers planned to make their first buy an investment.

 Of those, 80% did it as a money-making technique for the future, while 14% said they could not afford their dream home, so settled for an investment property.



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