Community Magazine

Reflections on a Year of Home Ownership

By Eemusings @eemusings

Reflections on a year of home ownership

Renting was to me...

Paying more for less every year while paying down someone else's mortgage

Fighting landlords trying to blame us for things going wrong around the house, from the roof leaking to the shower floor breaking; having no hot water at all for a month due to them being useless

Dealing with frequent and annoying inspections

Never knowing how long you'll be there

Cold, damp, mould, sick

Owning is to me...

Some idea of what I'll be paying for 30 years with some of that going into an asset of my own

Less cold, less damp, less mould, less sick

Knowing when we've broken stuff vs bad luck/shoddy work and the flexibility to address that however and whenever we want

No inspections and no one to answer to

Knowing we can be here as long as we want and as long as we keep paying

Doing whatever the hell we want to the house

Buying stuff once and for all knowing it won't disappear or break between the unpredictability of flatmates or moving house

I now pay for housing essentially what I used to earn when I first entered the workforce. I am so thankful to be in a position to afford a home, to have this degree of security. It is a particularly terrible time to be a low-income renter, and there are no signals of that letting up anytime soon.

In a typical week Auckland gains 825 new residents and requires 278 new dwellings. It's pretty obvious that construction is not keeping up with demand.

I may never own a holiday house (which realistically I've never aspired to anyway) but I'm working to create a home I love - not just to come home to in the evenings, but to enjoy through the weekends and holidays too. Sitting out in the sun on my deck is quite possibly the happiest place on earth.

I had a good feeling about it as soon as I stepped into the house. It was a do up, but liveable. Now that I'm coming up on a year, I'm feeling more critical of it than ever, but I'm also very good at identifying what really matters.

Overhauling the bathroom or updating doors and wardrobes - not a priority. New kitchen - yes. Who ever thought tile counters were a good idea? They break and chip like mad, plus the grouting...! I'd also quite like cabinets that shut properly, a non grotty pantry, and a dishwasher. But good things take time (read: cost money). I'm probably only 20% into my savings goal for kitchen renovations.

It hasn't been all sunshine and unicorns. A few cheaply done things started coming apart pretty early on - but it's all right, simply more motivation to keep saving to redo this dang kitchen! And it's getting time to upgrade one side of the fence (the wire chain/link side) to something more sturdy, for our dogs (and the rascally kids next door). Apparently neighbours are meant to split fencing costs - here's hoping...!

I love home ownership and I am grateful every single day for what I have.

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