Home Sweet Home

Press journalist and first-home hunter Georgina Stylianou shares the highs and lows involved with getting a wobbly foot on the great property ladder.

Parties wooing first home buyers

05:00am 31 Aug 2014

GEORGINA STYLIANOU

I've been a homeowner for two and a half months now and while renovating is a mission, it beats the endless open homes and disappointment of Christchurch's housing market.

I was driving up Selwyn St the other morning and, sitting in traffic, I found myself feeling saddened by the standard of the housing stock around me. Condensation on every window, poorly maintained weatherboards, rusting roofs and visible earthquake damage, even in a relatively undamaged suburb.

Being a journalist and a new homeowner, I'm aware of the housing problems facing Christchurch.

Being a 25-year-old with friends and family who aren't as immersed in current affairs as I am, I'm also aware that political policy announcements can be a bit of a minefield.

So I thought I'd deviate from my renovation rant this week to lay out some of the housing policies parties are promising, focusing particularly on first home buyers and affordability.

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Laying floor no walkover task

05:00am 24 Aug 2014

GEORGINA STYLIANOU

Press journalist and first-time homeowner Georgina Stylianou shares the highs and lows involved with getting a wobbly foot on the great property ladder.

ugly floor

I never thought a kitchen floor would be the bane of my existence, but such is life. #firstworldproblems

Laying a new floor in the kitchen has become something of an unattainable enigma, made worse by weekly scraps with my partner about when it is going to get done.

The thing about being a first-time renovator is that you take everyone's opinion as gospel because surely they know better than you, everybody does.

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Domestic bliss recharges batteries

05:00am 17 Aug 2014

GEORGINA STYLIANOU

Press journalist and first-time homeowner Georgina Stylianou shares the highs and lows involved with getting a wobbly foot on the great property ladder.

I am a domestic goddess, hear me roar. 

After the last few days I'm thinking about packing in journalism and giving Martha Stewart a run for her money. The past couple of months had been a little crazy so I applied for some annual leave and spent the last three weeks counting down to my three days of freedom. I had plans to go swimming, maybe get a massage, read a book and chill...but that's easier said than done. What I actually accomplished in my three days off was nicely summed up by my partner. 

''You've turned the house into a home,'' Robbie said. I love praise.  

His wording was a slight exaggeration but a woman's touch does go a long way. 

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Doer-upper never done

05:00am 10 Aug 2014

GEORGINA STYLIANOU

Press journalist and first-home hunter Georgina Stylianou shares the highs and lows involved with getting a wobbly foot on the great property ladder.

Why is finishing a room so difficult?

I've long been a fan of the old adage that you should finish one thing before moving onto the next, but when renovating a house, I've found that simple desire becomes impossibly far-fetched.

Last week I wrote about the renovation lessons I've learnt in my seven-week-old life of homeownership and I really should have included the aforementioned fact.

My partner Robbie and I have roughly tackled three rooms since we moved in - the living room/dining area, the kitchen and the first bedroom.

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Renovation 101 - lessons learnt

05:00am 03 Jul 2014

GEORGINA STYLIANOU

Press journalist and first-home hunter Georgina Stylianou shares the highs and lows involved with getting a wobbly foot on the great property ladder.

Renovating your first home is a rite of passage...and a huge learning curve. 

But many first homeowners would know a little more about sandpaper grit, cutting-in brushes and a magic product called ‘No More Gaps’ than we did.

Robbie and I have learnt a lot about renovating – and each other – in the last seven weeks. Here’s my summary of our key findings, one for each week. 

Lesson Number 1: Take some time off work if you’re moving into a total dump. 

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