House for sale

Well here we are all settled in our rented home here in the Bay of Plenty. Lovely husband joined me last May and we have been working very hard to get his work permit so we can start life properly here in New Zealand. It was finally awarded last week, but the celebration was short lived as our Landlord decided to sell the house we rent all at the same time.

Now what do we do? We love where we live overlooking the estuary, with fruit trees and a grape vine in the yard and feel like we’ve only just unpacked and settled. Do we wait and find out if the house sells, then hope the next owner would like us as tenants? Would they be happy with the rent we pay? Should they want the house for themselves then give us notice after all that waiting? These are a lot of unsettling questions and a lot of ‘shoulds’.

Now in times of unrest, which we are currently living through with the Covid-19 pandemic onto it’s three year plan, so far, its really important to concentrate on the facts. I hear you say ’what do you mean?’. Facts are the only actual viable thing that we can concentrate on during a crisis. The following words do us absolutely no good: if, could, should, would, maybe, well there’s plenty more where those came from. These words deal with speculation. Speculation causes stress. Facts only deal with what is really happening around us, and having knowledge helps alleviate stress, because it puts us in control. We could gain control by either choosing to wait until we have more facts, or by deciding to look around and choose another home to rent in our own terms. Easier said than done.

We live in an area known as the golden triangle. This is the most sought after property and real estate in New Zealand and houses here average at NZD$1.2 million. That’s for a three bedroom home with garage and small amount of land. Now if you earned the average wage according to mid 2021 of NZD$56,160 per year, and did not have to pay living costs, or save for your retirement, or put your kids through school, pay tax, or ever eat, you can save that much in 21.4 years. And that would make me very skinny (perhaps an advantage) but also getting towards my late seventies. So most of us, who do not have anywhere near this amount of money are forced to rent. My lovely husband believes in buying experiences, not things, however that means we rely on a landowner to rent a space to us, and remain at their mercy.

Rents here are averaging NZD$600 per week for a home that’s two bedroom with garage, or three bedroom with car port, and usually right in suburbia with your neighbours breathing over your fence. To live out of town a little way means rents are slightly cheaper but the petrol cost of coming into town everyday for work is phenomenal. The traffic is terrible and often my ten minute perfectly quick enjoyable ride into work is interrupted by road works, traffic accidents, school runs and trebles in time and running costs. Living out of town could (there’s one of those words again!) mean two hours of driving either side of a very busy job that involves a lot of out of town driving already. A ten hour day is not attractive.

So we have decided to do both. We asked for a reference from our current Landlord, which has rattled them a bit, but touché to that, we have been excellent tenants and do not deserve to have the house sold out from under us. We are looking at houses that fit into our price range armed with the knowledge that lovely husband can add to our earnings to ease costs. We have been to a nice little cottage that has possibilities and another out of town that would have been cool except little car would not have managed the 4WD track to it! Control feels good, and I think we are a lot less stressed about it now.

The auction is Thursday, so we have applied for the cottage, and waiting to see if our house sells.

More soon – Sally

Have you ever been in a similar situation? Write in on my contact page to have your thoughts published along with this blog.

When I’m stressed I turn to art and recently was asked for a ‘Sally art original’ for a wedding present. You can see my work and how it evolved here:


  1. Especially if you like where you live! I wish you all the best for the tenders coming in at the right price to be able to move forward with your exciting ideas for your home 🏡


  2. The unknowns are unsettling and it feels good to take control of even the smallest things in the meantime. I can relate, we are in a state of flux until the tenders are in for our renovations. Until then we don’t know if we can afford to proceed or whether we will have to postpone or cancel. If we cancel, we’re back on the move. Lots of if, buts and maybes. It’s exciting and nerve wracking at the same time x


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