For Rotorua couple Amanda Aldridge and Caleb King, saving a deposit wasn't the hardest part of the home buying journey - it's the actual finding of a house that is proving a rollercoaster.
After keeping an eye on the market for about a year, they started the search for a home together a couple of months ago. Since then they've been through about 40 open homes, put offers on three homes and missed out each time in multi offer situations.
"You could say that we have had a bit of bad luck."
Miss Aldridge said while there were certain features they liked - she wanted somewhere with land, her partner was keen on a new kitchen - they weren't overly fussy and had dropped some of their requirements in a bid to secure a house.
"Every Sunday we were going to open homes. It takes the whole day. And we are looking for new houses every day."
Miss Aldridge said they were in contact wtih agents who had them on a list to ring if a suitable house came up and were checking websites daily for new listings.
"A lot [of properties] we found if we waited they already had a contract on. We were
missing out before the first open home."
Miss Aldridge said the pair, who had been living in Auckland and overseas before moving back to Rotorua, never imagined buying a house would be so tough.
"My partner and I are both from Rotorua. We moved back in August and had intentions to be living in our own home by now. I thought we would be able to be quite choosy."
Miss Aldridge said even putting in offers above market price wasn't helping.
"We are competing with people from Auckland and Tauranga who have more money."
Miss Aldridge said they were fortunate to be living in a flat attached to Mr King's parents' house, so they weren't having to pay rent. She said because of the emotional rollercoaster of missing out so many times, they'd now taken a bit of a step back in looking. While they're still checking for new listings every day, they're not going to open homes each weekend.
"Now [we are] being a bit choosier and we're even considering building but you have to find a section and jump through those hoops."