Brother, can you spare a dime?

I’m staring at the plan of our imaginary house and just wanting it so bad.

This is bad. One day I will tell all the stories which had the outcome of bringing me closer to Buddhism, but suffice to say that I have learned the hard way that desire only leads to unhappiness. Just existing in the world and being grateful for what you have – that brings peace in a way that constant acquisition never could.

… However. I do have a plan.

It’s a plan that involves me finding $65,000 somewhere. Basically we’re stuck with the 50% equity rule I’ve talked about earlier. This means that we need more equity in order to get the section and still have money left to get our building consents sorted and put in the septic and water tanks. We also need more cash to put a deposit down on the house (which is transportable, and therefore the banks won’t lend on it until it’s in place on the property). We can help fund all this buy putting a portable, rented building on the property while we wait for the proper house to appear. That works out cheaper than renting our current place, while the eventual mortgage payments for the whole project will be about the same as what we’re paying now. Altogether the cost should be around $415,000, to end up with a property worth around $450,000. So as long as I can cope with living like Shoebox Barbie for a while, we should be able to afford the Dream House.

It’s still a huge, huge mountain to climb though – which is why so few people end up owning a home in New Zealand anymore. $65,000 seems so reasonable a sum that it looks within reach – just the price of a nice, new car – but perhaps that’s deceptive. We still don’t have the money. If we can’t find it, we’ll never have the house.

In the meantime I have named our imaginary chickens (and counted all of them too)




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