first home

PHOTO: Once their credit cards and loans were repaid, they were amazed how much they could save. Photo credit: Supplied

A Dunedin couple who have just snapped up their first home say they were amazed how much they could save for their 10 percent deposit once they’d paid off previous debt.

Around three years ago, Dunedin couple Marge and Johann went to see a mortgage broker – and received a “hard no”.

In August 2020, they decided to discuss their financial situation again. Their plan of attack involved paying off credit cards and loans, which took around eight months.

Debt-free from April, the couple switched gears, putting all their spare money into savings.

“We lived like peasants… sold the love of our lives (two guitars and a piano),” Marge said.

“It still amazes me how much we managed to save once our income did not need to pay off debt.”

By June, they’d scraped together around $12,000 in joint personal savings, which along with the KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal, was used to buy their first home.

A “multi-offer” situation saw them buy a freestanding three-bedroom home in Lookout Point, Dunedin for just over $600,000.

“The deadline was supposed to be for another two weeks but someone had put in an earlier offer… [the] agent rang told me of the other offer and asked if we wanted to put in an offer as well,” Marge explained.