My property story: Sisters find home together in Wellington

When sisters Kate and Lucy Morris found their would-be homes, they had no intention of buying yet - and definitely not together.

"At the time we were really just exploring, testing the waters and going to open homes as a learning experience," explained Kate. "We didn't think we'd be buying for six months to a year."

As luck would have it, their first practice submission went further than expected - and the sisters now each own one of two connected units, only a suburb away from where each of them had been separately renting.

Morris house

Finding two first homes, together

At the start of their search, both Kate and Lucy were ready to move on from the rental market, and find homes where they could put down roots and create some stability for their pets.

So, with a goal to buy in the same suburb as one another, they began a gauntlet of scheduling open homes all on one day every second weekend or so, getting lunch together and making a day of it.

"Most of the open homes we went to were in Lower Hutt. We'd really written off the central suburbs because of the prices," Lucy explained. "The mortgage broker actually did a comparison with some new units being built in the city and said they were half the size and double the price."

Kate and Lucy's new homes are connected upstairs and downstairs units, each 60 square feet, looking out over the Otari-Wilton bush and minutes from a well-serviced bus stop.

"As soon as we got to the open home we thought we could make it work," Kate said. "But there were a lot of investors at the open home, asking about rent values and such. We had a specific price point in mind and could only low-ball it. So really we submitted just to practice the paperwork and thought if we don't get it, then it doesn't matter."

In the end, the sisters managed to beat out a higher offer. "We think because we were buying both units, it was way easier and quicker for the vendor," theorised Lucy. "They actually asked us to add an extra 10k each but we said no and still got it!"

"There's a lot that needs to be done to the place, but it's all superficial. The building report showed us the place has great bones and the section has some development potential. We're splitting the renovations and equity equally, and we're really excited to have a go at some DIY and learn more life skills."


Overcoming the first-time buyer fears

"Talk to people in your social circle who have gone through the same process," Kate said. "Our friend circle helped a lot with references and explanations, and pointed us to a great mortgage broker."

"I'd definitely say you should engage a mortgage broker for your first buy because you just don't know what you don't know," Lucy added. "Have a team batting for you."

"When it's your first time buying you've got this fear of not understanding what you've been given," Kate explained. "Our mortgage broker was super patient with me contacting them to ask questions - they even helped us make the most of the recent cash rate drop!"

"Everything moves super quickly, but it's not as scary as you'd think. I didn't feel nervous, because this place just felt right. I thought it would be more scary getting into this much debt, and it is a bit, because you can see it when you open your online banking, but really we're weaned on debt. We go from student loans to mortgages, and at the end of the day we were each paying more in rent than we are in now for mortgage repayments."

Their new homes are more than just a great find though - they mark a deeply personal milestone for both Kate and Lucy. "Our mum passed away just last year, so it's really nice to be so close to family. She'd have been stoked about this - both of us on the same property, surrounded by native bush and wildlife, and neither of us relying on a partner to make it work," Kate explained.

"This is what she would have wanted us to spend our inheritance on," Lucy agreed.

Morris outdoors

Every home buying journey looks different - with its own challenges and excitement - but the dream is possible with the right team on your side. Start your search right here on

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