Could this be the key to an Auckland house?

Before you relinquish all your dreams of cracking the Auckland property market, may I suggest house sharing?

I know you’re wrinkling your nose as you picture upturned toilet seats, negotiating the last of the milk and arguing over Wifi.

But house sharing may be the ticket into a market you didn’t think you stood a chance in without a $160,000-plus deposit.

Last month, popular short-term house sharing site Airbnb received its four millionth customer.

In Auckland, as many as 40 percent of buyers are wanting to share their homes with their folks and another 30 to 40 percent are after a home and income situation.

Tall Poppies real estate’s Hamish Anderson has even had requests from young married couples seeking “community living”

“There are a few others who want to be living with their mates and to be able to buy in the Auckland property market,” he says.

His most popular listed home is this six bedroom, three bathroom home boasting a 4000 square metre section in Henderson.

Imagine what you could afford if you got others involved? A swimming pool? Room for a pony?

Of course, you need to think carefully about who you invest with.

But it could work in your favour if say you are income-rich and time-poor while your buddy has a low salary but plenty of time on their hands for researching and maintaining a property. “Merging your financial powers and abilities can be a win-win strategy as long as the agreement is appropriate,” says Ammon Acarapi, business development manager at SuperCity Mortgages.

“It’s also useful for people who are self-employed and can’t prove their income. Joint ventures are becoming more and more common.”

Short term sharing is seeing a boom at the moment with the likes of couch surfing sites like Airbnb climbing in popularity with celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow among converts.

“Airbnb in particular is huge at the moment but it won’t last as people realise what’s going on and snatch up the opportunity,” Anderson says.

His mum uses the site to lease out her holiday home but Anderson does things slightly differently for his six bedroom Wellington property, which he rents out by the room.

“People like convenience. It’s a bit of a halfway house in a way. They might not have a bunch of people they know,” he says.

“They don’t have to worry about the bills as everything’s packaged together.

“Managing it is a lot easier because it’s one fee per week per person rather than several fees split between several people.”

You don’t even need to hire a property manager.

Anderson stays at the property every few weeks, splitting the management with his long term boarder.

Closer to home, this writer can often be found juggling bed sheets and towels as she prepares rooms between guests found mostly through Airbnb.

The income has helped her and her husband maintain some semblance of a ‘normal’ lifestyle while raising a family and paying the mortgage on their five bedder, two bathroom North Shore home.

The right situation could be out there for you too. For some inspiration,  check out these properties to see if house sharing could be your ticket into the Auckland housing market.

Michelle Robinson - Writer
Michelle's dream house would be a villa restored to its former glory but for now she's content in her North Shore digs with her young family and downstairs boarder. She's keen to decorate the spare bedroom used by short term guests and is surprised by how much she enjoys being landlady.


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