Here are my parameters for a house:
– Decent off street parking (preferably garage).
– With a bath.
– Decent sized kitchen and pantry.
– Location. Good street (and not a main thoroughfare), good suburb. I have very fixed views about which areas are acceptable. I’m resigned to the fact that our budget will relegate me back to commuting hell, but that doesn’t mean living in the ghetto. I grew up in a nice, quiet suburb and would be more than happy to make my home around there. Or a little further out, more likely.
I don’t want to stretch too much for a house, but at the same time, I want to put down roots. Nest. I want it to be a place I could stay and imagine having my family, without knowing that we’d have to move to a bigger place once we had kids.
I won’t even go near apartments or terraced houses. Mainly because of construction worries – so many were shoddy rush jobs in the boom and no way am I getting caught up in leaky home syndrome. And it’s not the lifestyle I want, as per the previous paragraph.
But do-ups are not actually very cheap at all, not to mention few and far between. I thought I’d go out and hunt down a selection of houses listed as do-uppers. Take this one at over $500k. Or this one. Hardly ramshackle, right?
Further out in the suburbs there’s this or this. You’d probably also find some REAL doozies – some honest to God DIY projects especially out west and south. (We actually looked at this house the last time it was up for rent. There’s a reason there aren’t many interior shots…) But out in suburbia proper we’d probably just buy something nicer. For example: this or this at $419k. Or this for $395k.
Of course, even $400k is probably going to be beyond us. Which means hello, Waitakere city! (Although we’ll all be one under the new super Auckland council, west Auckland is always gonna be, well, west Auckland. Hello hour-long bus rides again, forty-ouncers at parties, and the Daktory.)