Stuart Whitaker is the chief reporter of the Te Puke Times and a general reporter for Bay of Plenty Times.

Homeowners make most of capital gain at The Lakes

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Astute decisions or right time, right place - it doesn't much matter to Karl Ruby and his partner, Megan Sycamore.

The couple last year bought a house and land package through Bella Vista Homes at The Lakes. The capital gain since then has given them the opportunity to built a bigger house.

''We signed up in January last year and then moved in on December 21,'' said Mr Ruby.

The contract price was $360,000, and with a few extras and upgrades, the final price, $380,000. But long before the couple moved in, the value of the property was on the rise.

''It was valued off the plans for our mortgage within three weeks of signing, and the value off the plans was $415,000. Then we needed to get a final valuation when we moved in and it was in the high $500,000s. Now it's approaching the mid $600,000s.''

Mr Ruby said the timing was perfect.

''We just got in the market at the right time and we're blown away with the capital gain on it.''

It was that capital gain that has given them the financial strength to build again, once again in The Lakes.

''If it wasn't for the gain we had on the house, we wouldn't be in a financial position to be able to do it, so we might as well make the most of it. Definitely the timing was good.''

Prior to moving into their own home, the couple were renting in Merivale. Building was by far the more sensible option.

''For the same price we would have been getting a 20-year-old house that would probably have needed $50,000-$60,000 thrown at it to upgrade kitchens and bathrooms, so it just wasn't cost effective. It was actually cheaper to build rather than to buy existing stock.''

The house they are living in, with Mr Ruby's daughter Ella (12) there part of the time, has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a single garage and a floor area of 150sq m. It is on a sloping section.

They are looking at building another three bedroom house with a double garage, a floor area of about 169sq m on a flat section.

''We weren't originally looking at selling to be fair - this house was what we wanted to keep - but it was just too good an opportunity to miss.''

- Bay of Plenty Times

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