Andrew Charlton is an economist from Sydney, Australia. He was born in Kenthurst in the north western suburbs of Sydney and attended Knox Grammar School on Sydney’s north shore. He studied at Sydney University and then at Oxford University in the UK.

He is the co-founder of an economics firm, AlphaBeta which is based in Sydney and Singapore. Before that he worked for the Australian government and Wesfarmers (the owner of Coles Supermarkets).

In what city/state was your first house located and approximately what year did you buy it?

The first house I bought was a flat in Artarmon in Sydney. It was a small one bedroom apartment, but it was close to the train station and high enough to have a pleasant aspect.

What was your living situation prior to buying your first house? Where/with whom/etc?

Before buying a house I had lived in shared houses in Redfern and Camperdown with friends from Sydney University.

What motivated you to purchase your first house?

I was about to travel to England for a few years and I knew that ultimately I wanted to be back in Australia. I never intended to live in the apartment, but I thought it made sense to have a foot in the Australian property market while I lived abroad.

How did you go about getting the money together to buy it?

I accumulated the savings I had and borrowed the rest from a bank.

When you purchased, were you thinking of it as an investment or as a place to start a family. Please elaborate. 

Really just an investment. It was a very small apartment.

What are 3 things you liked most about the house?

It was high on a hill and had a great aspect over Artarmon. The balcony looked down the hill through some trees.

For a small apartment, the rooms very quite a good size. So although there wasn’t much space it didn’t feel cramped.

The location was excellent. It was a 5 minute walk to the train station and then just a 15 minute ride into the city.

Was there anything you didn’t like about it?

It wasn’t a large apartment, so it was never going to be suitable for a family.

Did you make any improvements or major renovations to the house?


Please share 1-2 of your fondest/funniest memories from living there.

I never lived there, I just rented it out.

Do you still live there or did you sell it or renting it?

I sold it.

Can you share the background data on the sales of your house?

Year you bought the house: 2001

Year you sold the house: 2003

What you bought it for: $200,000

What you sold it for: $230,000

What advice would you give other first time home buyers?

Buy something you like but that won’t break your budget.