I’ve never told the story of how Nick and I ended up buying our first home.
About two years ago, we started looking at places to live in the central city. We had discussed the prospect of home ownership before our move to Christchurch from Toronto, Canada, but the idea still seemed daunting. At that point, our only experience with the housing market took place in two of the world’s most expensive cities, (Auckland and Toronto). Needless to say, we never imagined we’d be able to own property in our twenties.
Our home buying criteria was based almost entirely on location; it needed to be within the four avenues. We also knew we wanted a house with double glazing, having previously rented places where landlords weren’t willing to invest in efficient and economical heating solutions. We weren’t overly concerned with the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, but wanted something relatively compact and affordable. Settling on what we could afford was the first step. We didn’t want to be house poor and unable to enjoy everything our exciting city had to offer. Even after we started looking, I still wasn’t convinced we’d find something to suit our unique requirements. Out of sheer luck, we found our current home shortly after we began house hunting. Not knowing what to do next, we decided to make an offer after two viewings.
Neither of us had gone through the process of buying a home before. From getting approved for a home loan, figuring out interest rates and a down payment to securing a mortgage, it was all unknown territory.
I imagine MANY first time home buyers feel exactly the same. None of my friends are financial or mortgage experts, so we relied on each other to figure it out. When Mortgage Mates asked me to help promote their upcoming information evening, my first thought was how much Nick and I would have benefitted from attending a session before buying our home. As a Kiwi transplant, I wasn’t familiar with the ins and outs of KiwiSaver, so I spent hours googling and poring over online articles. Imagine the time I could have saved had I known about these two-hour sessions!
After making an offer, some negotiating and a few days spent waiting to hear whether our offer was successful, we settled on a price. It all happened rather quickly, especially given we had only viewed a few different places. While our first home is far from Pinterest-worthy, we feel incredibly lucky it’s ours. We have grand plans to renovate the kitchen and knock out a wall, but presently, we’re happy to have place to call home. Buying our first home together has strengthened our relationship and confirmed our love for this city.
Photos by Shayden of Mooch Style.
Thinking about making the jump to home ownership? Be sure to head along to Mortgage Mates’ free information evening on 28th February from 6:30-8:30 PM. Register here.
If you own a home, what was your first home buying experience like? And if you don’t own a home, what would your dream house look like?
This post was sponsored by Mortgage Mates. As always, all words and opinions are my own.