In early 2009 I was reading the New Zealand Herald in my office. I was attracted to an article on an institution willing to help first home buyers buying their first home. This institution helped first home buyers by co-investing in the house, so it would have a share ownership of the house. We could buyback their shares in the future according to the market price of the house. I had only $10,000 cash. So we contacted this institution, and our application for this scheme was approved in the middle of 2009. We were given two options: purchase a house this institution built, which was very far from Auckland central, or the second option was to find a section we like and they would build it or find a less than 10-year house that met their criteria. So, we went section or house hunting within Auckland central. We didn’t like Avondale, so we prayed to God to give us a house other than in Avondale. We couldn’t find one that met our criteria.
Unexpectedly, in the middle of 2009 the institution offered us the house we live in, which is in Avondale. We found that it met our criteria and we loved it. We said yes to its offer, but we didn’t hear anything from them until the beginning of September 2009 that we got the house. The institution owned 22.5% of the house and the rest we took a mortgage plus the $10,000. So we moved in to this house on the 25th of September 2009.
In 2010 or 2011 I was troubled by the fact that I had this huge mortgage that it would take us 25 to 30 years to be mortgage free. So I prayed to God to help me to be debt free. That was when I, again, read from somewhere (probably the Herald or a local newspaper?) about Liberty Trust, which sounded too good to be true. So I prayed to God about this.
The next day I watched Campbell’s live on TV3 and John mentioned Liberty Trust which was like a confirmation to my prayer. So we contacted Liberty Trust and started donating to Liberty Trust. During this period, our focus was on reducing the mortgage, not on buying back the institution’s shares on the house. That was because it would cost us additional lawyer and valuer fees to buyback the institution’s shares. And we had to do it twice had we wanted to do so. The problem was that the house price kept rapidly increasing, meaning the amount to buyback the institution’s shares was also increasing. At that time, Liberty Trust offered an interest free loan only five times as much as the donation amount, which was difficult for us given the average market value of Auckland houses were around $1 million. The institution’s representative visited us once a year and kept asking us in each visit when to buyout the institution’s shares. We said that we planned to buyout their shares using a loan from Liberty Trust, but with increasing house prices we were not sure whether we could do it and at the same time be mortgage free. Thank God that finally Liberty Trust offered a six-times donation amount loan a couple of years ago. This gave us hope that we could buyout the institution’s shares and be mortgage free. Through God’s grace we did it this year.
We will be debt free in 8.5 years’ time. Not too long J.
3 July 2020