Hear first hand from Ockham residents about why they've chosen apartment life and what is has to offer.
The tide is turning in the Auckland City housing market as high quality developments in sought-after areas make apartment living more attractive than ever before.
Busy modern lifestyles demand attention to work, family and friends, not to mention our homes and ourselves. Many people are choosing to simplify the domestic side of their lives with home help, food deliveries and maintenance services. Others are taking a long look at the costs and hassles of house ownership and choosing apartment living. With central locations in high demand the need for beautiful spaces and sound construction mean that quality apartments can be a great choice. Many apartment dwellers echo a similar sentiment ’I want to take care of my life, not my house’.
Six months ago, Auckland couple Jenny and Steve Bridges chose to completely change their lifestyle when, they moved from an architecturally designed home at Muriwai beach into an inner city apartment. The couple listed the commute and the large amount of maintenance necessary on their beachfront property as their main reasons to move, before choosing The Isaac Building in Grey Lynn.
“We were living in this amazing house and I didn’t want to downgrade - you want to do better as you’re getting older, not worse. When we saw The Isaac my reaction immediately was ‘Wow’. We bought it on the spot,” says Steve.
The Isaac, created with a philosophy of long-term sustainable living, is certainly a myth- busting development. The apartments comprise of four stories with the top floor dedicated to a communal rooftop garden and social space, which has panoramic views of the city.
Janet von Randow, who was one of the first to move into The Isaac when it was built, took it upon herself to start monthly rooftop drinks for all the residents in order to create a feeling of neighbourliness.
“There’s a community. We don’t see one another a lot, but we know each others names and I think that’s really nice”.
While the rooftop space keeps residents in touch with each other and the great outdoors, it is only one of many ways in which Ockham Residential, the developers of The Isaac, have created a "luxurious" living environment for their residents. In the apartments themselves, high stud ceilings and large decks that open out from the living areas create a feeling of large and open living spaces.
"Everything is a good size. It gives you a great sense of space instead of feeling closed in,” says Susan Miller, who moved into The Isaac with her two school aged children after repatriating to New Zealand, after many years of living in the Middle East.
For Susan, another bonus of living in an apartment is the security it provides, particularly with children. This is a sentiment echoed by Janet who feels that because she has a secure home, she can lock up and leave; “You could go away for 5 or 6 weeks and you wouldn’t have to worry about it.”
Another couple, Mark and Tina Ross agree, saying they moved to The Isaac from their 5- bedroom family home because of the freedom it provided. Another major advantage for them is that the low maintenance makes their lifestyle less stressful. “We don’t miss having to mow the lawns, we don’t miss clearing the gutters and all of those things that houses require. We’re just loving the whole free living apartment style”.
Janet believes an active body corporate contributes to this freedom. In her previous unit in Epsom, she was the only resident who swept leaves from the communal courtyard. Steve and Jenny have a similar story, saying that it would take 3 or 4 hours to wash the salt off the windows of their Muriwai home.
QV valuers have identified a growing trend of those who are moving into apartments in order to be, as Janet says, "closer to the action". As Auckland’s housing prices and population increase, apartments such as The Isaac are also allowing young professionals to continue to live in city fringe suburbs, without paying potentially high house prices. “I was looking in Grey Lynn and when we looked at what we could get at the same price in this area, this was such an opportunity to be in a new, well built building. I didn’t actually look at a huge amount of other places, because there wasn’t much to compare it to,” says Susan Miller.
Apartments such as The Isaac developed by Ockham Residential are setting a new standard for developments in Auckland, creating modern and innovative buildings that set them apart from the usual perceptions of apartment living. The enthusiasm of residents such as Jenny Bridges prove how successful they are - ”We don’t want to live in a house again! We’ve done the landscaping and gardening and we don’t miss it!”
Ockham Residential has developed a reputation of good quality and trust within their residents. “The experience of working with Ockham was awesome,” says Jenny and Steve. It is imperative to the Ockham team that all their purchasers have a great experience. “When you buy anything you are left with the feeling you take away; Ockham always left me with a good feeling” says Susan Miller.
Inner suburbs such as Grey Lynn and Mt Eden will continue to see high demand for property for sales, attracted by well-developed infrastructure, access to transport and services, and their community feel.