When we were looking to buy a place, a whole lot of people told us to abandon our restrictive suburb search and go further out. I’m so glad we didn’t. Newtown, the area where we’ve just bought a house (so exciting to say that! Like saying “my husband” for the first little while after getting married), feels like coming home. We’re city people. I grew up in Grey Lynn, my husband grew up in Mt Roskill, both in the 90s. If that means nothing to you, I thoroughly recommend watching Sione’s Wedding and No. 2 back to back, especially if you’re one of those people who thinks that Auckland is all Ponsonby and Parnell. Our home suburbs have changed now, especially Grey Lynn, and we don’t even live in Auckland anymore. But Newtown has a vibe that resonates with both of us, both in terms of culture and geography. I love being able to walk to work. I love that the suburb is connected to Wellington’s arterial town belt. I love the diversity of the market on Saturday, the proximity to Island Bay, the hustle and bustle of the Newtown shops.
And owning a house means two really awesome things. First, we don’t have to move! We can stay at this house indefinitely! How cool is that?! It’s SO cool!! Second, we can change the house any way we like. I hate the folding doors on the laundry cupboard, they keep jamming when I open them, so I plan to – radical step – unscrew the hinges and take them off! My husband hates the garden shed, an old ramshackle former outhouse that takes up way too much garden space. He’s gonna tear it down. It feels amazing knowing that we can do things like that without asking anyone’s permission.