There is so much to like about living in the city. The variety, the vibe . . . not a day goes by when there isn’t something worthwhile seeing or getting involved in. Then there is the opportunity, created in part by the fact that so many people – of different skills and interests – are living in close proximity.
Hardly a metropolis by global standards but nonetheless our biggest city by far, Auckland is a magnificent place.
If you could afford it, why wouldn’t you want to live there? A terrific climate, beautiful beaches, dangerously good food, a host to all of the big international acts, the list goes on.
Oh, but the curse of the traffic!
And then there is the depressing reality of the housing market with urban sprawl so intense it seems the further away from the city centre the more limited and smaller the options are.
Warren and Lianne know it all too well, and like many citified folk imagined life swanning around on their very own lifestyle block. With family in Masterton Lianne was more determined than Warren to make it happen, although regular trips to Wairarapa and he was fast warming to the idea.
“My stipulation was that if we were going to move it had to be a lifestyle block,” he says.
Despite his growing enthusiasm, they were both locked into the thinking that any move would be better done in retirement, as opposed to Warren giving up his job. That was until Warren woke up one day declaring to Lianne’s delight, let’s do it.
“He said to me, you know what, we could move in as little as 18 months,” Lianne recalls.
So the search for their dream property swung into action, and well before the 18 months were up their dream lifestyle property was on the market, and so to was a potential job in the offering in Masterton. The latter, Warren was able to decline because his employer was keen to keep hold of him, working remotely from home in Masterton.
“So for us, it’s the best of both worlds really; I get to keep my Auckland job with an Auckland salary, and move to this fantastic property on the outskirts of Masterton.”
He hasn’t completely severed his ties with Auckland, returning once a month for one to two days. Flying out of Palmerston North – just over an hour drive from Masterton – is “very easy”.
Having been in Masterton a little over a year, Warren and Lianne are thrilled with how seamless the transition has been. “We are still pinching ourselves, every day.”
From an 800 square metre section in Takanini, the former Aucklanders now knock around on 3.5 acres of bush and pasture, complete with a bigger house and a collection of utility buildings.
Warren says looking after an established lifestyle block is no walk in the park, but that’s a good thing.
“I’m a lot more active here, which is good for me. Every weekend I’ve got no problem finding something to do, and there’s no stress. I finish work, I walk out the door, grab the dogs and go for a walk,” Warren says.
All of the extra space has given Lianne the opportunity to pursue her interest in fashion and garment design.
Both Warren and Lianne admit to missing some aspects of Auckland, but certainly not the traffic which on average adds a couple of hours to your working day, and that’s a good day!
“The reality is, living like that is just not good for you. It’s bad for your health and its bad for your spirit,” Warren says.