My first home was in Whangārei. I bought it in 2011, moved in, then five weeks later I got offered this job at The Hits 95FM in the Bay.

So moved straight back out again. Rented the house out up there for a couple of years then sold it.

I've really summarised a super stressful, busy and harrowing time into a couple of sentences there. But everyone has a stressful moving or changing-their-life-situation story, right, so I won't bore you with mine. Except to say I've just bought my second house!

Eight years after buying the first and six years after getting off the property ladder and living in the blissfully unaware life of renting and making things that go wrong at your house someone else's problem!


I'm moving from renting at the Mount to owning at The Lakes.

I have been saving for a long time, and I'm very aware of how much all this makes me sound like a functioning adult who might have his s**t together.

Don't worry, I'm not; it was my birthday last weekend and as a 36-year-old, I decided I wanted to go out for a junk food meal and go to the Lion King movie.

I'm still a child.

It's more that I just can't justify paying the horrendous price it would cost me to live by the beach in the Bay of Plenty.

Remember a few years back when there was no mall out The Lakes and there were hardly any houses.

That's not the case any more, is it?

Mall, industrial growth through the roof, sweet new houses, bars, restaurants, childcare centres, a new school and even a bridge over the road so it's safe to drunk-walk home from the mall.


Yes, I plan on getting drunk in that mall. What of it?

It's no different to drinking out at the Mount, except there's less chance that I'll come home covered in sand and with wet clothes because of my impromptu summer evening whaling-in-the-shallows dip.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not bagging the Mount — my home for the last seven years.

But I kind of feel like I've done my drinking, summer beach party Mount lifestyle to absolute death over the past three of those years — like wrung its neck and then ran it over, to death.

My parents told me I'd grow up at some point, and maybe 36 is the year I do that. Maybe The Lakes is where that happens for people.

I am thinking there's a great summer barbecue culture between a tightknit community.

— Will Johnston is the local 9am-3pm host for The Hits Bay of Plenty 95FM. He's also a celebrant and MC. Follow Will on Instagram on @radiowill.