Turning to tiny for a first home under $100,000

The small price for a one or two bedroom building means first home buyers can get in to a home for under $100,000, they ...
Grzegorz Wronkowski/Eco Pod Concepts

The small price for a one or two bedroom building means first home buyers can get in to a home for under $100,000, they just need some where to put it.

A home for less than $100,000 in Auckland might sound like a pipe dream, but a graduate engineer thinks he might have found the solution.

All he needs is a friendly farmer or lifestyle block owner willing to lease him 30 square metres of land.

Lucas Bateup, 22, has been searching for a small home for more than a year.

Lucas Bateup is hoping to find a landowner willing to lease 30 square metres for $5000 a year, so he can get into a ...
Jay Boreham

Lucas Bateup is hoping to find a landowner willing to lease 30 square metres for $5000 a year, so he can get into a property for less than $100,000.

But "ridiculous" prices and paying rent on his Brown's Bay flat make it difficult to scrape together a 10 per cent deposit.

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With an interest in sustainability, the belief there is no need for a huge property, and the knowledge smaller means cheaper, Bateup started thinking outside the box.

Then he noticed Eco Pod Concepts on Dairy Flat Highway, near his work at Redvale Landfill, who sell architecturally designed transportable buildings Bateup found were a "reasonable price".

Bateup did some sums and found he could get one with a kitchen and bathroom and have it installed with just an $80,000 loan.

He only started planning and getting estimates a week ago and said "it's early days", but it looks good on paper.

"If I can set up a one person home or a home for a couple for less than $100,000, rather than $1 million - obviously it is a better option.

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"But it all depends on if some of the people around here with lifestyle blocks and whatnot would be willing to lease a little bit of their section to me."

Bateup would use a tank to collect rain for water, a septic tank for waste, and is looking into regulations for tapping into the power supply, and options for solar power.

He is starting to advertise to see if any land owners are interested in leasing a small part of their property for $5000 a year.

"I'm pretty much trying to buy a home with no money, so this is my approach."

With the Auckland Housing crisis keeping prices high, and a 10 per cent deposit on a below average home being $40,000 to $50,000, Bateup says doing it his way makes it a bit easier to use KiwiSaver, or borrow from relatives, to scrape together a deposit.

Bateup believes the idea would make a great business plan, as if the property was rented for $300 a week, $100 would go to the bank for the mortgage, $100 to the landowner and $100 to him for organising it.

Interested landowners can contact Bateup on 027 717 5307.

Eco Pod Concepts director Steve Brackebush said the company was experiencing huge interest from first home buyers.

"It's been going crazy - absolutely nuts."

The buildings were great for young people like Bateup and young couples because they got a cost effective way of living in today's environment of high cost housing, and an investment, rather than paying rent to someone else, Brackebush said.

A two bedroom L pod with a kitchen and bathroom came in at under $70,000, he said.

For those looking for a fully sustainable "off the grid living" a solar package could be added for around $4000 that can run the pod adequately, including the pump for the tank water system.

Pods for extra office space or baches were also popular.

"They are a very affordable bach.  They are modular so we can offer a whole three bedroom bach in a modular form for round about $100,000, compared to a conventional building of $300,000.

"The benefit is they are relocatable so they could use them as a 10-year plan before they build their grand bach."

While small, a great attention to detail is put in to the architect designed buildings, and with a three metre stud ceiling height you got a really good sense of space, Brackebush said.

The buildings are also quick to go up, with larger pods taking five to six weeks to complete and smaller ones three to four weeks.

 - Stuff

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