House-hunting a battle of the sexes

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 05:00 15/03/2014

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

If I were writing a thesis, this chapter would be named Motivating The Man.

The feminist inside me would likely conclude said chapter with a paragraph like this: "To summarise, womankind has long struggled with the mysteries surrounding The Man and his scientifically proven lack of time-keeping and organisational skills. You may become irritated when The Man in your life devotes more time and energy to external variables (beer + sport, beer + music, beer + Xbox etc) in lieu of the current task at hand."

I would be hailed by critics as "the woman who hit the nail on the man's head" and revered by girlfriends, mothers, sisters and wives.

But, seeing as this is a column about the trials and tribulations of trying to buy a house, let me just say this: The Man in my life is driving me a little crazy.

Our home-hunting quest intensified after Westpac contacted us (me) to say the home loan application we (I) filled out looked positive . . . enter the mobile mortgage manager!

We (I) had originally applied for a Welcome Home Loan with Kiwibank but the two-working-day time frame to hear back became the two-working-week time frame so I broke up with Kiwibank and fell straight into the arms of the shiny red W.

I spend hours pouring over property listings, jotting down RVs, researching streets, becoming familiar with land categories and so on and so forth.

I text, email and phone countless agents, tee up viewing times, cross properties off the list, add more on, report back to Robbie and all I tasked him to do was contact a lawyer and research building companies to carry out building reports.

He did neither . . . and I hadn't expected him to.

The other evening I told him I would be busy for about two hours on Saturday afternoon while I accompanied my bride-to-be friend to her first dress session.

And then he said this: "Well I might pick up an extra gig on Saturday so I'm not just sitting at home by myself, that OK?"

My hypothetical thesis would need to include a chapter outlining the key differences between a male and female's mind.

In Robbie's mind this was ''just a simple yes or no question Georgie".

But in my mind, it was more like ''ARE YOU REALLY ASKING ME IF YOU CAN SPEND SATURDAY PLAYING THE GUITAR WHEN WE COULD BE AT THE OPEN HOMES I HAD PLANNED OR YOU COULD BE MAKING UP FOR YOUR LACK OF EFFORT ON THE HOUSE FRONT?!''

Cue fight.

Abbie - a friend, colleague and homeowner extraordinaire - said it took her and her partner about three months to buy their first home.

"And we fought the entire time," she quipped.

The hike in interest rates and knowing that it won't take too long before we are entirely squeezed out of the property market added to this week's general "aaarrrgggh" vibe. 

Robbie works full-time, plays three gigs a week and is touring the country for the whole of next month meaning I will be going at the house-hunting alone.

He has also just started up a music booking business with two friends so I'm not sure when, or how, he'll be able to do his bit on the property front. But he keeps reassuring me that he can, he will, he wants to. 

When I asked his permission to publicly moan about him in this column he said: "Go for it. I'll just have to prove you wrong."

Well, I'm waiting . . .

Did you and your partner fight a little more when trying to buy your first home?

Comment below, email georgina.stylianou@press.co.nz or tweet @gstylianoupress

- The Press

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