First Home Buyers: Wesley and Jenny

Our West Hills Home

“Buying for the first time is a bit of a learning curve, but it’s been such a smooth process with Universal Homes,” say Wesley and Jenny, first time home buyers at handily located West Hills in North West Auckland. The couple share their journey to owning their own home, how they found the process of buying off the plan with Universal, and what terrace home living is really like.

Unique lifestyle meets amazing convenience

Asked what drew them to consider the vicinity, Wesley explains, “West Hills appealed to us due to its great location. We already shopped in the area, as the amenities close to West Hills are really good. Everything you need is close by! Not just shopping, but dining options, a range of supermarkets, and good motorway access.”

“West Hills is central, but quiet enough too. It’s close enough to the city for weekly living: easy motorway access for me for work, which helps in the day-to-day of life. We like that it’s a fringe rural area, as it gives us the best of both worlds. We spend a lot of time going to different beaches and going for walks in the Waitakeres, so that aspect of the location is important to us.”

New home benefits

The couple are enjoying all the benefits of a brand new home, and the ease of liveability that gives. “Our home is designed and planned out so thoughtfully,” they comment. “The space works practically and flows really well. It’s very liveable, which is something important to us in daily life, whether working from home or not.”

“We really enjoy how low maintenance our new terrace home is. It’s so good not having to worry about borrowing a lawn mower or a weed eater. The whole thing is so much easier in terms of lifestyle. There’s no real maintenance required, apart from maybe cleaning the windows a bit. It’s just so good to be in our own home! We were in a rental place with flatmates prior to this, so we have enjoyed the process of setting up and decorating how we’d like to.”

Tick for terrace

Wesley and Jenny began their home buying journey looking for a stand alone home, but struggled to find something that would work. “It was just too expensive for us, for the size and areas we ideally wanted to live in. A number of people at work live in terrace homes, which is what led us to consider them as an option. We thought they may be noisy and crammed; those were our initial misconceptions, anyway! But once we began looking at terrace homes with Universal, we discovered they were actually very liveable and well designed when it comes to space, layout, and privacy.”

“We love how quiet our terrace home is, now that we’ve moved in,” enthuse the couple. “Universal’s terrace homes are properly soundproof so you don’t actually hear anyone through the shared wall. The double glazing is great when it comes to warmth and soundproofing too, and once the windows are shut you can’t hear much at all, even with construction right nearby. It’s pretty quiet and generally excellent when it comes to sound.”

“A smooth purchase process”

Discussing the process of buying their first home, Wesley and Jenny say, “Buying for the first time is a bit of a learning curve, but it’s been such a smooth process with Universal Homes. To be honest, we’re feeling quite relieved to have secured a home.”

The couple elaborate on their experience of the Universal difference, “The buying process is user-friendly thanks to the helpful and knowledgeable Universal team, and a lot less stressful compared to buying at auction or in other ways. We have a number of friends who want the ideal first property – but they go to perhaps 10-15 auctions and come out deflated after it all, with nothing to show. Avoiding that scenario if at all possible seemed ideal to us.”

Buying off the plan

Wesley and Jenny have no regrets when it comes to purchasing ‘off the plan’ – which means you agree to purchase a property from a developer while it’s still in the process of being built. “With Universal, we were surprised by how smooth the whole purchasing process was! Buying off the plan worked really well for us. We are so glad we went this route. It has meant we have been able to get what we were really after in a home.”

“Overall, the process was pretty stress free. We found what would be our future home during the week. Once we saw the plans, we talked to Adrienne and immediately asked her to put that home on hold for us. She said yes, and was really helpful from the get go. Then, we came back on the Saturday to view the West Hills Showhome again, and the plans for the home we were interested in. We thought it was perfect for what we needed. So, we signed! We were really pleasantly surprised how helpful Adrienne was. Her knowledge for assisting first home buyers absolutely shines through.”

The couple reflects, “The main thing we’ve enjoyed about buying with Universal is knowing exactly what you’re going to get when you are buying off the plan with them. Initially, we were quite hesitant about the concept of buying off plans. But with Universal you can go in, visit the Showhome and chat with the team, and see exactly what it is that you are going to be purchasing. Seeing things in person like the finishings, knowing how things would look, and checking out the types of appliances used for the kitchen all really counted for a lot. It’s nice to have the certainty of knowing exactly what you will be getting. Of course there are some slight differences from the Showhome to our particular home – minor design and layout differences really – but overall we had the confidence to buy with the Universal process.”

Aftercare: beyond move in day

Wesley and Jenny have found it interesting to compare the aftercare offered by Universal Homes, with what’s on offer for a few of their friends who have recently bought with other developers. “Some of them have had issues with having to chase up a lot for maintenance needs, or are too worried to call. The Universal aftercare is really nice to have, for peace of mind. We’ve only had a couple of minor things that have cropped up, but the Universal team has been really obliging and swift to deal with things.”

Tips for first home buyers

The couple have a few tips they now offer friends on the journey towards owning their first home. “Think about budget, as early as you can! Get all your ducks in a row a few months in advance – such as getting your KiwiSaver first home buyer contribution sorted – so that when you’re ready to press go, you have everything ready. Be realistic, and consider how much space you actually need, versus how much you think you need. And finally, assemble a great team. Having a good broker really helped as it made things less daunting. Our Universal Sales Consultant Adrienne has been amazing throughout.”

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