Family sells home and rental to cope with skyrocketing interest rates

Family sells home and rental to cope with skyrocketing interest rates

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The secure courtyard was one of the first things that drew Stevie Croot to her home in Levin.

Harcourts/Supplied

The secure courtyard was one of the first things that drew Stevie Croot to her home in Levin.

Finding an affordable property is hard – but there are still some gems out there. Each week, Homed is featuring a first-time buyer-friendly home on the market that might (just about) come in within budget.

After seven years, mum Stevie Croot is selling the Levin home she thought she’d retire in one day.

Croot bought the home on Royal Place for herself and daughter in 2017. Drawn to the property by the secure front courtyard, quiet neighbourhood and quirky Mid-century features, she quickly set about turning it into a comfortable home for her little family.

Eventually, she and her husband were in the position to buy a larger home, and keep the three-bedroom, 90m² bungalow as a rental. They rented it out for four years, but now financial pressure means they’ve been forced to put the home on the market.

“We were trying to sell two to buy one,” says Croot. “Higher interest rates were looming, and (also) because of the rental laws Labour brought in, we couldn’t justify keeping it as a rental. So we thought it would be better to consolidate our debt.”

The home is packed with Mid-century notes, like the stone feature walls and the unusual front door.

Harcourts/Supplied

The home is packed with Mid-century notes, like the stone feature walls and the unusual front door.

They ended up selling their family home, and moving back into the rental to get it ready to sell. With the proceeds from both houses, they hope to be able to afford a single family home that will suit them long-term.

“We would love to have kept it as an investment or for later downsizing into,” says Croot.

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Built in 1966, the home is “solid”, and packed with unique features, such as clerestory windows that fill the bedrooms with light, and an asymmetrical roof-line, for that modernist vibe. “It’s a very, very, very sunny house,” says Croot. “Sunny and light even in the winter.”

The house has a lot of charm, from the tree fern hanging over the garden fence, to the stone walls in the living room and funky 60s door.

The living area is open plan.

Harcourts/Supplied

The living area is open plan.

While still funky, the bathroom and kitchen are much newer. Croot had the kitchen designed for the space when she and her daughter first moved in.

“That’s probably my favourite room in the house. There are a lot of drawers and the island bench – that’s what I wanted, lots of drawers.”

Croot put a new kitchen in not long after she moved in.

Harcourts/Supplied

Croot put a new kitchen in not long after she moved in.

The “huge” courtyard patio was the biggest selling point for her. Her husband replaced the fence about a year ago, so it’s even more secure than when she moved in.

“The house is just lovely and safe, with lovely neighbours,” says Croot. “The neighbours on both sides are like grandparents to my daughter so it’s been quite nice being back.”

Croot rates the local schools, and reckons Levin township is great for anyone keen on a gentler pace of life for themselves and their family. There are cafes and shops on the main drag, and Palmerston North is about 40 minutes away.

The drive to Wellington is about 1 hour and fifteen minutes – 11 minutes shorter now, thanks to Transmission Gully – while Waitārere Beach is just 11 minutes away.

The Master bedroom has clerestory windows that flood the room with light.

Harcourts/Supplied

The Master bedroom has clerestory windows that flood the room with light.

The freehold property is for sale by deadline, which is December 18. A homes.co.nz estimate puts the home at between $470,000 and $500,000. The RV for the property is $450,000. The average for Levin is $490,000.

The listing is with Ashlee Collier for Harcourts Levin.

The home has three bedrooms.

Harcourts/Supplied

The home has three bedrooms.

As ever, readers are advised to do their own due diligence whenever considering buying a home. A first point of reference could be government website settled.govt.nz.

Croot is close with her neighbours, and says the home is private and quiet.

Harcourts/Supplied

Croot is close with her neighbours, and says the home is private and quiet.

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