Getting into the game
Jessica Whiting’s journey to home ownership has been anything but average. While living in a small rental home on Auckland’s North Shore with her daughter, Grace, Jessica watched her dream of buying a place of her own go up in smoke as property prices rocketed out of reach.
“I became increasingly frustrated with the housing market,” she says. “I quickly realised I’d be unlikely to afford much in the city I’d grown up in. I didn’t have wealthy parents who could give me a leg up by utilising their mortgage, so I needed to get creative with my solution.”
Not one to be discouraged, Jessica’s entrepreneurial spirit was ignited as she searched for alternative ways to tackle her property predicament. Due to the nature of her work – which includes running her own successful graphic design studio, Oh Gosh – she realised she could potentially move anywhere within an hour or so from Auckland.
“I began looking further afield where I had friends or family, including Tauranga, but that was too far to reach Auckland for a day trip during school hours. Kerikeri again was too far. Matakana and Warkworth were too expensive for my budget. But by looking in those places, I realised it was going to be cheaper to build than to buy brand new.”
Towns on the outskirts of Auckland are ripe with freshly subdivided areas ready to accommodate both permanent residents and holidaymakers, so when Jessica found a wellpriced section a few minutes’ walk from Mangawhai township, she crunched the numbers and did some research.
“I started looking at alternative building solutions and realised I could have exactly what I wanted within my budget,” she says. “I decided to look for land I could build on using that method. I’d been to Mangawhai on a day trip the summer before and it had such a lovely feel, like it was home already. I began taking day trips to look at sections and within a month or so, after many frustrations and missing out at the eleventh hour, I’d purchased a 632-square-metre slice of land in a lovely subdivision and my building company and I were finalising my plans.”
Decorate your shelves with items you love in varying sizes, shapes, materials and colours – and top it all off with
a hit of greenery.