FIRST HOME BUILDER: Caitlyn Pagel built her first home on the Southside before her 21st birthday.
FIRST HOME BUILDER: Caitlyn Pagel built her first home on the Southside before her 21st birthday. Renee Albrecht

$320k in Gympie property and not even 21 years old

WHILE experts fret over the difficulty for Australians to get into the property market, one Gympie woman has not only broken down the door, but done it before her 21st birthday.

Caitlyn Pagel was only 19 when she bought the land where her home now stands, an achievement she chalked up to a simple philosophy: "Being a tight-arse”.

"I don't like spending money.”

It has paid off for the now-20-year-old, who moved into her three-bedroom, two-bathroom, and two-car garage Southside home less than two months ago.

All up, Miss Pagel said it had cost about $320,000 - a grand achievement, and one which still had not fully sunk in.

Caitlyn Pagel First home at the age of 20 in GYmpie.
Caitlyn Pagel. Renee Albrecht

"It still doesn't feel like mine.

"It hasn't clicked in that it's home yet,” she said.

And while saving may have been easy, some choices were not.

The tiles were one of those, she said.

"I went back four times.”

Born in Gympie, Miss Pagel has lived all but five years of her life on the Southside.

So it should be no surprise that is where she built.


"I was looking over on the other side of town but it just didn't feel right.

"It felt a bit strange,” she said.

And even with the property now built, she has refrained from going on a spending spree aside from the house-warming basics like a lounge and television.

There had not been a big blowout house-warming either.

Rather, there had been one with her family and another one soon to come with her work colleagues.

"I'm very boring.”

Now that she's got more than just a foot in the property market door, Miss Pagel has an idea of what comes next.

"I'd like to think I can get a property with some cattle and then use this as a rental place,” she said.

And her own advice on how young people can break down a door which experts are becoming ever more worried is getting harder to push open in Australia?

"I reckon it's simple. I know it's harsh, I don't see the point in renting,” she said.

"I understand in some situations that you have to with work... work out your budget and each pay put aside a slight amount. It all adds up.”