Auckland house-hunters Tristan and Jessica Lomberg are like many others in the city - they wanted a good, biggish place but not with a huge price.

But searching for their first home left them feeling despondent and defeated.

"We've been looking around for a reasonable time and wanted to live in East Auckland but it's really expensive," Lomberg complained. "We did not want a do-up."

So they paid a $46,000 deposit for a $460,000 three-bedroom north-facing terrace Springpark place in the planned 400 apartments and terrace residences project on a 10.3ha site at 33 Panama Rd in Mt Wellington.


"We bought there because we wanted more house space, wanted it to be new, low-maintenance. We're not really into gardening and wanted a big house," he said.

"This is 113sq m, so that size, brand new - there's no way you can get anywhere in East Auckland for that."

He is 25 and and she 22 and they knew that buying off the plans had pitfalls.

So they examined the parties involved and said they were well aware of what to look out for.

"We made sure the money was going into a trust account and we realise that's one of the risk factors and why it's a little cheaper than usual," he said.