I started the adventure today! It’s a baby step, but I called Auckland Council. The first route to home ownership that I am researching is the possibility of building on my mothers land. Having selected an option, I was writhing with eagerness to get cracking, but unfortunately I was instantly stuck. How do you research if you don’t know what or whom to ask? I didn’t even know how big the section was.
After some hours pointlessly trying to remember if I had ever heard the section size mentioned, that became my starting point. I would establish how much land there actually was. Obviously I asked Mum first , but she didn’t have the exact measurements immediately to hand, and I was both determined to have them and much too impatient to wait. I did suspect that I would have to call the council, but I so didn’t want to. I continued trying to avoid it by calling Land Information first, but they directed me to council as well.
The thing is, I have developed a cynical and fearful impression of local government. I never go near the council, but I hear the stories, and they’re always the baddie.
They also have authority. Mandated authority, but it’s still intimidating.
I was afraid of being laughed at, too. I thought they might see me as a silly dreamer and dismiss me. Somewhere inside I’m scared that’s true.
Despite my discomfort, I did call, and I did find out the size of the land – 830sqm. In a perfect example of how small actions can lead to big results, I unexpectedly learned a lot of other things too.
I now have a free appointment with a local planner, and I have overcome my fear of the council. They were lovely to me. I felt like a dreamer and a doer.
One person in particular really made me think. She said “I’m of the generation that will find it pretty much impossible to ever own a home too”. And she sort of laughed, like that was okay, but in a sad way. It reminded me that we’re all in this insane property market together.
So don’t be scared. Council staff are looking at renting for life, too. You’re not silly. Trying to buy or build a house is a sensible thing to do. And if you’re calling people about your plan, you’re more than just a dreamer.
Go for it.