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House-hacking Increasingly Essential For First-home Buyers To Get Across The Line

Getting income from flatmates is a simple house-hacking strategy to get first-home buyers over the hurdles of mortgage application criteria.

If millennials and Gen Z home buyers are willing to sacrifice a bit of privacy and share their home, flatmates can be the key to achieving the dream of owning their own place, Generation Homes Auckland North Director Peter Suckling says.

“House-hacking is all about reducing the cost of owning your own home, firstly to boost your income for your mortgage funding and then to help cover your costs once you’ve moved in,” he says.

“It’s a practical necessity now for first-home buyers to house-hack to get onto the property ladder due to the current level of mortgage interest rates and house prices and the cost of living,” Peter says with the benefit of 30 years’ experience in the Auckland housing industry.

Many new homes are designed with house-hacking in mind and combine extra privacy for homeowners to share spaces but live separately from their flatmates, he says.

How one millennial house-hacked his way into his home

Connor Rensford bought his first home in Milldale in North Auckland when he was 25. In the two years since then, he’s shared his place with flatmates to make ends meet.

“A written document from my first flatmates saying what they would pay got me across the line for my mortgage application and allowed for an extra $80,000 in my pre-approval,” Connor says.

“I probably wouldn’t have achieved the funding without that letter.

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“I’m striving to get ahead and the reality is having flatmates relieves the financial stress. I provide two bedrooms and a bathroom for them in my four-bedroom place and we share the kitchen. It would be a luxury for me and my partner to have our house to ourselves.

“In the future I’d like to have a lifestyle block so sharing this first home with flatmates is a stepping stone in the interim,” says Connor, who is a quantity surveyor for Generation Homes.

Homes designed specifically for comfortable house-hacking

At the Generation Homes Woodlands Rise development in Orewa, two-level and three-level homes provide separate living spaces for flatmates with a distinct entrance to a bedroom, bathroom and sitting area on a different floor to the owners’ rooms.

The separate spaces with alternate access are also ideal to accommodate the teenagers in a family, grown-up children at home or older relatives and boarders, with the bonus of being close to the beach and a neighbouring reserve, Peter says.

If you are house-hacking by using a co-ownership arrangement and are buying your first home with your brother, sister or friend there’s the benefit of separate spaces for each of you.

Of course, separate rooms located on another level of the home are also perfect to utilise as a work from home office space.

© Scoop Media

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