First home dream still attainable

Robert Upson and his girlfriend Jaimie Shepherd in their new home. Photo: Bruce Barnard.

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Yes, it’s one of those stories – about a young couple bucking the trend and making it into their first home.

But Robert Upson and his girlfriend Jaimie Shepherd have done just that, moving into a brand-new, four-bedroom house in Katikati.

Robert, originally from Auckland, moved south about 18 months ago to help realise his dream of owning his own home.

“I’ve been looking for the last couple years, and settled the price of my house 18 months ago. I ended up paying less than a bad apartment or unit in Auckland,” he says.

“I was looking at places up there which were going to auction for $650,000 and needed a lot of work done on the house. For less than that, I’ve bought a brand new place down here.”

The apprentice diesel mechanic purchased a house and land package from GJ Gardner Homes and says the only downside will be the commute to work in Mount Maunganui every day.

However, thanks to getting up early it only takes him around 35 minutes – which those living in Omokoroa will know is standard for rush hour anyway.

So what’s the secret? Apart from living with his father for a couple years and only paying $120 in rent, Robert’s had no special advantages.

“I suppose I’ve sacrificed a bit coming down from Auckland, but mostly I’ve just saved. As long as you’re saving some money each week, you can do it. When I moved to Tauranga I just lived in a cheap place with some other guys, instead of renting a whole house.

“It’s worked out well for me. I’ll get a valuation done soon, but I think I’ve made a bit of money already just on the value of the house now, compared to what I paid for it.”

He reckons if he saved harder, he might have been able to afford an even better place. But life still needs to be lived as well.

“You’ve got to find a balance between saving money and having a bit of fun.”

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Greerton cynic

Posted on 12-09-2017 07:25 | By Tgaboy

Use a mortgage broker. Banks are lazy and decline anything that looks like it take a abut of effort. Mortgage brokers package the application to make it attractive to the lazy bankers.

@ dbunk

Posted on 11-09-2017 18:16 | By GreertonCynic

Yes and not quite. And my morning coffee is fine. I arrived from Oz 20 years ago and have been after a bare block of land ever since. The cost of a 50% deposit with no guarantor was prohibitive 17 years ago and it hasn’t got any better. And yes, good luck to this couple, but I still wonder about what is the bottom line to the bank.

Really living up to your name Greerton Cynic

Posted on 11-09-2017 07:25 | By dbunk

You read that whole article and that was the only thing that came to your mind? your morning coffee really must take like lemon juice.


Posted on 10-09-2017 19:12 | By Merlin

Auckland is pushing the Regions house prices up but good on you two for what you have done but sadly there are a lot of people who do not wan’t to move to the regions for family ties,jobs Etc but the Auckland situation is having a flow on effect further down.If every body that wanted to move to a smaller situation the provinces would not cope with infrastructure.

no special advantages?

Posted on 10-09-2017 12:38 | By GreertonCynic

Who gives an apprentice diesel mechanic a half million dollar mortgage?