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Millennial couple build their first home using KiwiSaver

Millennial couple build their first home using KiwiSaver

Getting onto the property ladder is a big step for any first-time home buyer. Newlyweds Amy Noordegraaf and Dylan Harris found that building a new home with award-winning residential company Generation Homes was better value for money than buying an existing one.

They were attracted to the town of Pukekohe, south of Auckland, because of the affordable house and land packages on offer and its convenient proximity to Dylan’s work.

Amy and Dylan found that, as young first home buyers, building new meant they could tap into their KiwiSaver and access a bigger HomeStart grant.

In addition to having a stress-free build and guaranteed move in date, building with Generation Homes meant they were able to customise their home plan and futureproof their nest for years to come.  

The couple selected Generation Homes’ BH303 plan with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and open living lounge, dining and kitchen. With plans of starting a family, Amy and Dylan wanted to ensure that their first home would have enough space for their future offspring. 

Quote from Dylan Harris
There wasn’t much difference in price when comparing an existing home and a Generation Homes new build in Pukekohe, so it was an obvious choice for us in the end.

Dylan Harris

GH

Why did you decide to build your first home instead of buying an existing one?

AMY

Building new was more value for money. We used our KiwiSaver funds to put down a deposit. You get double the amount of the starter home grant if you build new. Also, if we bought existing, we would have had a big mortgage and not very much money to be able to do a house up to a standard we would like.

DYLAN

 

A new home is warmer and in better all-round condition. There wasn’t much difference in price when comparing an existing home to a Generation Homes new build in Pukekohe, so it was an obvious choice for us in the end.

GH

What drew you to the town of Pukekohe?

DYLAN

It was the house prices that attracted us to this area. We both grew up close to the west of Auckland, and the house prices there are ridiculous. We made the decision to move south. My work is close to this area, so it made total sense for us to move close by.

AMY

 

Pukekohe isn’t too far from central Auckland as well, it’s about 45 minutes in good traffic. So the location is quite good.

GH

What attracted you to go with Generation Homes to build your first home?

AMY

We were looking around the Pukekohe area at existing houses we had found on Trade Me when we happened to drive past the Generation Homes . We decided to have a look inside.

DYLAN

 

We weren’t looking for a new house build because it was something we thought we wouldn’t be able to afford. But then we went inside the and met with the consultant, Josh, and we pretty much signed up then and there.

GH

Tell us about your journey to financing your new home. How long did the process take you?  

DYLAN

From when we decided it was what we wanted to do, we contacted a broker and from there it took about two months. We had an awesome broker that Josh recommended, so that was a big help.

GH What house plan did you select and why?

AMY

 

We went for the BH303 plan. The design and position of the kitchen in the house was what made us want to build this house plan. We like to entertain and didn’t want the kitchen area to be separated from the open living space. We also liked how this plan has two bathrooms, a family one and an ensuite.

GH

How did having a pet and your plans for starting a family influence your design decisions and custom modifications?

AMY

We wanted to have a three-bedroomed home with enough space so that we could start a family. We went with a dark grey and white/ neutral palate. Grey tiles, dark grey carpet and white walls. We have lived in a house with shiny white kitchen tiles and it was a nightmare to keep clean.  

We have a dog, so we chose the colour of our tiles and carpet specifically to hide dirt in case she runs through the house with dirty paws. I didn’t want to see every speck of dirt. We also picked this colour so that when we start a family, it will also hide any stains from babies and toddlers. 

DYLAN

 

The other modifications we did were more for aesthetics and functionality. We changed the dishwasher to a draw-styled design, upgraded our bench top, added pendant lights over the bench, and moved the window in the lounge so that the TV could be placed in the centre of a wall. We also added extra concrete paving at our front so we could park more than one car in the driveway (in addition to the single garage space).

GH

How have you designed your outdoor area and what are your plans for the garden?

DYLAN

It is a work in progress at the moment. Most of the Generation Homes builds come with a concrete patio, but we decided not to go with that because I wanted to build the deck myself. We also got the house fully fenced and put in a gate on the side of the house for our dog and future kids’ safety.

AMY

 

​I really love edible gardens so we are going to put in a vegetable patch at the back with espalier trees (trees tied to a frame) along the fence. At the front of the house we have planted some flaxes in front of the guest bedroom and on the side of the driveway we have planted some blueberry, blackcurrant and redcurrant plants to make an edible hedge.

GH

Do you have any advice to those thinking about buying their first home?

DYLAN

We put all of our savings into KiwiSaver so we could qualify for the Government’s HomeStart grant in order to build up a deposit on our first home. The only other savings that we needed were used to pay for any extra upgrades and lawyer fees and things.

AMY

 

​One thing that we did learn was that as soon as your mortgage gets accepted, you will start paying for it right away. It wasn’t something we considered when we chose a house and land package. We found this out once our mortgage was approved, so we knew we had to do it, but it was harder than we anticipated, so we were paying for rent and a mortgage while the house was being built. One of the fantastic things about Generation Homes was their guaranteed move in date. They gave us a finishing date and that was the date we moved in, so we could budget in terms of payments. ​

GH

How did you find working alongside the Generation Homes team?

DYLAN

Our consultant Josh, who we mainly dealt with, was just amazing. As we are first home buyers, we were a little bit needy because we had no idea what we were doing. We didn’t really have people we could get advice from, as we don’t have any close friends or family that have bought house and land packages to get advice from. Josh helped us a lot and we felt like we could go to him about anything. 

AMY

 

Without Josh and Generation Homes’ help, I don’t think we would have gone through with a new home build. Josh was our age, so we found it really easy to relate to him.