It’s all about priorities

An  imbalance between supply and demand is pushing up property prices in a few places.

But, Glen Herud writes, you can afford a house in most places despite what people say:

This article, about young people investing property got me thinking.

I’ve had a few conversations with people who I’d describe as being middle class New Zealanders. They are earning around $100,000/year, yet they claim they can’t afford to buy a house.

As we talk it over further, it becomes clear that they actually can’t afford a house of the required standard in the desirable area of the major city in which they live.

It’s pretty hard to buy your first house in Queenstown, Christchurch, Auckland or Wellington, especially if you are not prepared to live in the cheaper suburbs.

But if you are prepared to live in the cheaper suburbs and start on the bottom rung of the ladder rather than several rungs up it’s possible.


It occurs to me that people have priorities in their lives and when they say “we can’t afford to buy a house”, they really mean that they are not prepared to make the sacrifices required to get into home ownership. . .

He gives some examples of people who were prepared to make sacrifices and concludes:

Money gives you options

When you are young you have no money and I think all money does is give you options.

When you have no money you have limited options and you have to focus your limited resources.

It’s totally possible for young families to buy a house in New Zealand. The question is are people prepared to make the sacrifices required?

When I look at the people who tell me they can’t buy a house, I notice that they all eat out at restaurants regularly, there’s lots of money being spent of manicures and salons & plenty of nights out on the town & shopping trips to Melbourne.

The same thing applies to farming. I saw my parents move from Zimbabwe with nothing in there 30s, working as farm workers to buying their first farm 11 years later.

My first employer started dairy farming at 17 and was sharemilking 400 cows at 28 and at 40 years of age owns a large dairy farm, among other things.

These are all examples of ordinary people with ordinary intellect just getting on with it and getting ahead.

It’s all about priorities, attitude & peoples willingness to do what is required. . .

Too many people want to start where their parents finished and aren’t willing to work their way up to something better than what they can afford nor go without while they save so they can afford something better.

At least part of the housing ‘crisis’ is really a problem with priorities.

2 Responses to It’s all about priorities

  1. Quintin Hogg says:

    I started with an old apartment on an arterial road in Auckland. It was noisy but I got used to it.

    When the old Auckland Council decided to put in place plans to make it a bus stop we sold and moved to our house in Sandringham.

    We bought there because it was all we could afford not because we wanted to live there.

    The leafy slopes of Mt Eden were where we wanted to be but the cost was and still is astronomical.

    Our view was buy where you could afford and take it from there. People can’t understand that.

    Interestingly we are perfectly happy where we are as there is great access to shops cafes, Eden Park, good public transport (which I sometimes use) and great neighbours.

    We will shift at some stage in the future,and my wife has her eye on a couple of properties that if they come onto the market we will try to buy. Her view is good things come in time….


  2. Andrei says:

    There used to be a saying

    Your first house is the house you can afford

    Your second house is the house you need (to house your kids of course)

    And your third house is the house you want (after your kids have moved to the house they can afford 🙂 )


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