Steph George is living proof that a little sacrifice can go a very long way. At just 27 years old Steph built her first home with Classic Builders in Rotorua. Steph’s home ownership is the result of some savvy sacrifice, tenacious research and old-fashioned hard work.

As a young person starting your career or possibly returning from an OE, it can feel like saving a house deposit is out of reach. It isn’t easy but it is possible. If you are willing to take the short-term pain for the long-term gain, it can be the step ahead you make that secures your financial future.

‘My Mum and Dad have always taught us to have goals and I realised quite early on that it didn’t matter what car you drive or what material things you have if you don’t have a safe, warm house to put them!’

Steph works as a youth support worker and has also taken on a second job back at her old job in a local bar. Seventy-hour weeks are part of the norm but knowing this is a short-term solution to realise her dreams has made it manageable. Also boarding at home throughout the building process has been a lot cheaper than flatting.

‘It hasn’t always been easy.  I had been set back a few times when I contacted the bank to see what I needed to do to get to where I needed to be….I pushed my Kiwisaver input to the highest contribution level because if you don’t receive it, you don’t miss it and I was saving $300 a week. I was paying rent to my parents but my outgoings were minimal, I am semi-grateful to Covid just for the fact that I wasn’t missing out on going out!.’

Steph Whakapapas to the Ngati Whakaue Iwi who have launched an affordable housing scheme in the Wharenui Rise development in conjunction with Classic Builders. This programme comes with some restrictions and criteria however Steph still spent five years saving the 20% deposit and was fortunate enough to win the ballot and was allocated one of the ten available houses on the last ballot.

‘It’s amazing as there are also two other women in the development also buying their first homes, including a solo Mum all in their twenties. I’m buzzing for them as much as I am myself…’s really cool to know my neighbours are likeminded people who have worked super hard to get into their homes too,’

Steph has moved into her lovely new home located in Rotorua and her new neighbours also  include a couple of lovely horses in the adjacent farmland. Working with the Classic Builders team included working closely with a Building Consulting, a Colour Consultant and a Construction Manager to make sure the house delivered upon Steph’s vision.

‘Classic gave me the opportunity to make this house a home and I was able to select my kitchen and flooring tiles, wall colour an carpet. I also added a kitchen island and the team worked with me to fit in everything I needed.’

Steph’s advice to those looking to enter the property market is to ‘just keep going and to explore all of the options’. Having faced lots of brick walls and rejection from lenders, her tenacity paid off and she was able to access a mortgage thanks to Kiwibank and a great relationship with the mortgage manager who provided solutions to barriers and ended up finding a workable outcome.

As living proof that home ownership can be achieved with focus and the right build partner, Steph is now enjoying the fruit of her labour, “I couldn’t recommend Classic Builders enough because of how effortless and easy it is to work with them. They made the process flawless.’.