Living the lifestyle dream
When Peter* and his wife Sarah* decided to buy a lifestyle plot in Coatesville, Auckland in 1971, their friends thought they were mad. At the time, Coatesville was relatively undeveloped and far out of town. There was an unsealed road, a neighbour who owned cows and not much else. The couple were drawn to the property because they were looking for land to accommodate their daughter’s horse, but it was ultimately the views that won them over.
“We walked up a hill on the property and instantly fell in love with the view which overlooks Coatesville valley and Riverhead Forest on one side and Auckland city and the upper harbour on the other”, said Peter. “It’s just magic. We signed a deal with the real estate agent the same day.”
It wasn’t long before plans were drawn up for a beautiful, bespoke two-storey house which was completed in 1974. The family moved in and Peter continued to work as a contract plumber while Sarah raised their three children. After a few years, Peter switched jobs to deliver bread to supermarkets. When their children were old enough to look after themselves, Sarah started delivering bread with him. Fifteen years later, Peter and Sarah retired.
“By the time we retired, our children had grown up and left the house and we thought perhaps the time had come to sell and move into a retirement village. After so many years in the same house where so many wonderful memories had been made, it was difficult to think we might have to leave it, especially as we were still fit and able to get around.”
Unwilling to leave their cherished home behind, Peter and Sarah investigated taking out a reverse mortgage. The couple discussed the mortgage with a broker who did a great job of explaining the process says Peter. Peter and Sarah mulled it over for a few years before proceeding in 2010.
“At no point did we feel pressured into rushing into the decision. Everything was thoroughly explained to us and Heartland was completely transparent. All of our concerns and queries were also addressed. Before we took out the mortgage, we told our children about it and they were comfortable with the idea, so we went ahead, confident that it was the right thing to do.”
Fortunately, by the time Peter and Sarah took out the loan the value of their home had increased significantly and they were able to access a tidy sum. This enabled them to maintain their beloved property and indulge in some bucket list holidays. Over the years the couple, who are now in their 80’s, enjoyed several cruises and visited Russia and Japan, among other exotic destinations.
Peter noted, “Simply put, we wouldn’t have been able to do what we’ve done without the mortgage. It’s really given us a new lease on life and while it’s been great to travel, it’s also reassuring to know we can access the money quickly if there’s an emergency or we need to help our children. Importantly, it’s allowed us to keep our home.”
*Names changed for privacy purposes