Grandparents and parents John and Charmaine Blom needed a house for "the multitude" of family, including 30 grandchildren.

"John and I are very family orientated - it is all about our family," she said.

"If anything happened to John and I our children and grandchildren didn't have a papakaianga - they didn't have a home.

"John wasn't getting any younger and I had started working full time, so I just looked online."

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The knew exactly what they needed for their many fostered children and their own - two remain at home although one is at Waikato University.

A precise need simplified the hunt.

"It had to have space, lots of storage because we have lots of family that come and go and we have our children - it had to be a whanau whare."

Financial services firm Cole Murray handled the couple's insurances "and they've been telling us we should buy a house for two years".

The company helped them assemble the deposit and liaised with the bank.
Thanks to KiwiSaver they had enough.

The scheme allows member of three years to withdraw their contributions, their employer's contributions, returns on investments the scheme has made and tax credits.
"KiwiSaver was a godsend," she said.

They went to two Sunday open homes before buying their Napier home in the suburb of Pirimai. On the second visit family members joined them.

Unfortunately the asking price was above their budget and the vendor received a better offer than theirs, but when the other offer fell over their bargaining position improved.

With the house now affordable they first met with relatives who had recently purchased a house.

"We weren't jumping into it lightly - we were making sure this was the right choice and putting in the right bid," she said.

"It was a bit stressful because at one stage we didn't think we were going to get it."

Their new home is on a full section with four bedrooms and a separate sleepout.

"It looks quite small from the outside but when you walk inside you think, holy."

They made the purchase a year ago and it would be difficult to repeat the pace of purchase and price today. Prices have risen an estimated 20 per cent since then and several offers on a property result in quick sales - no time to check with relatives for advice.

"John says we are lucky we bought when we did.

"We bought this for $320,000 and now you can't buy a heck of a lot for $250,000 to $290,000."