Buying his first home in Fordlands was a "no-brainer" for local man Steven van Duyn.
In less than a year his house value has increased nearly 100 per cent, his mortgage repayments are less than the average rent price and he didn't have to pay an arm and a leg for the deposit.
"It was about the fourth house we looked at. It was on the market for about a month but I think people were put off because there were a few holes, a few things needing fixing up.
"I wasn't necessarily looking for a doer-upper, but price was a big factor and you get what you pay for.
"Less than a year later and I know we haven't gone wrong. We've renovated the bathroom and kitchen, redone the doors, insulated the floors and tidied up the back yard, it's good."
Mr van Duyn said he didn't think Fordlands lived up to its bad reputation.
"We haven't had any issues, there's been the odd party, and kids riding around on bikes but people are quite friendly. I think it has got much better than perhaps it was a while ago."
He said first-home buyers did not need to take out huge mortgages just to get on the property ladder.
"I don't think people should be put off buying a house based on the suburb. This house was the cheapest on the street when we brought it, and now it isn't.
"Buying in Fordlands was a no-brainer. On the whole it's not bad at all."