$171,000 house Tauranga's cheapest?

By Kiri Gillespie

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For sale - a seriously cheap house in Tauranga.

The three-bedroom, former state house is up for grabs at a modest asking price of $171,000.

And by selling the cheap digs, located at the end of Mansels Rd in Greerton, owner Philip Hayward will have the money for an airfare that will see him reunited with his Fijian wife.

The self-confessed eccentric said he made a living out of buying and selling houses.

He hoped to make about $3000 from the sale, which would help fund his flight to Fiji.

"I haven't seen my young wife for a year. I need to get over there," he said.

"She's really worried about me. It's no good for me to say 'wait another six months'."

Mr Hayward's wife, Lettie, writes to him but he was concerned his replies were not getting back to her and phones and internet were not options available to them, he said.

"I really need to be in Fiji as soon as possible."

The house had been on the market for three months with an agent before Mr Hayward chose to try to sell it himself.

"I paid $160,000 for it off Housing New Zealand," he said.

"I got it cheap because it was a mess.

"The floor was rotten, the window sills were rotten and there were no window latches."

Mr Hayward worked on the house, removing the rot, replacing the floor and repairing the latches.

He also cleaned up the front garden area by planting shrubs and keeping the lawns trimmed.

On the property's front white fence yesterday, a sign read "For sale, the cheapest house in Tauranga".

Judging by online listings, Mr Hayward's house is the second cheapest in Tauranga. A three-bedroom house in Welcome Bay, listed on Trade Me as a deceased estate, has a private sale asking price of $159,000.

The same style house at the rear of Mr Hayward's property is listed at $185,000.

His next-door neighbour's house is listed at $215,000.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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