We caught up with the owners of Cambridge Homes North Waikato who moved to Te Kauwhata after 15 years in Auckland.



With the chaos of the last post COVID few years, many of us have been reflecting on what matters most in our lives, how we can better take care of our mental health and better balance work and life.

For many of you in Auckland already on the property ladder, you are in a great position of power in your life. Even in a declining property value market in Auckland, you have the power to make a strategic move to better your lifestyle. How do you ask? As the owners of Cambridge Homes North Waikato, we made a bold move into an emerging, but cheaper rural market 5 years ago. By looking to smaller outlying property markets, the land and building costs are remarkably cheaper.



We were able to swap our Auckland mortgage which afforded us a 126 square meter 1960’s home on a 800 square meter section in Titirangi, Auckland, to a brand new 4-bedroom 312 square meter designer home on 5000 square meters of usable land PLUS an 80 square meter mancave (pole shed). This instantly made our equity go into a dream home for no extra money. Still 5 years later we pinch ourselves of where we live.


When we moved to Te Kauwhata – North Waikato, we were still commuting to central Auckland for work 5 days a week, and it was an extra 15 minutes commuting each way. But with a lot more open road driving, it was a much more relaxing drive, than a gridlocked 24kms we had previously faced. We were able work with our employers to tweak our working times to avoid the worst of traffic times. In a pre-covid time when flexibility was less common, now many businesses have great flexibility and work from home arrangements.



  • We built and could afford our dream house as our second home
  • More relaxation – once we hit the Bombay’s, life slows down a little, with a lot more headspace
  • Better mental health – less hustle and bustle, with more time at home and in a smaller rural community
  • Community – not only have we quickly made friends with locals, but there are many newbies on the same journey coming from Auckland to connect with.
  • Improved golf game – with more time on our side, we can play more golf at the local Waikare Golf Club
  • Happier and more confident and independent children – who have a close, safe neighbourhood, with plenty of outdoor and unrestricted play
  • Closer to our family – we were fortunate to have family in Hamilton, now grand parents are a daily support and part of our children’s life
  • Spending less – we have realigned our lives away from spending on shopping and dining (although we still like to head up to our favourite spots in Auckland) as we are spending our time not money on more wholesome things
  • Going away for trips out of Auckland is so much less hassle, with the Coromandel an hour away, Tauranga 90 mins and Taupo 2 hours away
  • Other clients have been able to free up capital from their Auckland homes and utilise for their retirement they have told us




  • Install a water filter system on your rural tanks – it will save upset tummies for your suburban tummies that are accustomed to town water
  • Countdown will deliver groceries
  • Make friends with your rural postie, not only are they great for a chat and induction to the community, but become a trusted member of your team
  • Automation: We automated our house with Arlo cameras, doorbell, Alexa voice control and automating garage doors and gates – so the Postie can drop off couriers inside, but also if the neighbours need to pop in and feed animals. We can even warm up the coffee machine while we are out, and have a robot vacuum to make life a bit easier
  • Subscriptions are the best!
    • Wine: Winefriend.co.nz is another great subscription
    • Animates.co.nz repeat delivery service is perfect for the pets
  • Fibre is available – so working from home is easy
  • With two working parents – know your community and help each other. Friends will happily step in and pick up kids and feed them if you are running late – Community! Alleluia!
  • There is afterschool care available locally
  • Shopping options: 30 – 40’s drive you can head to Auckland, Hamilton, or Pukekohe
  • Fridays are a good day to be remote or finish at the office by 2.30pm to head South.



Now is the time to secure a section, as there is an abundance available in the Waikato market. Find a great local Real Estate agent with a strong local track record to sell your Auckland home.

Tidy, declutter and stage your home to maximise your opportunity to sell. Good quality stock on the market will still sell, even in a slowed market.



Once you have sold your home, looking for a rental is the next step either still in Auckland or look to make the move locally in the region. We were lucky enough to rent our old Auckland home off the new buyer for a year while we built our home. You should expect a 12 – 18-month process for your home to be completed.



Finding a section is the next step, so come and talk to us at Cambridge Homes, we work with local developers and Real Estate Agents over the region.  We also have several house and land packages available to start your planning.


Building a home is a project and a journey, not just a destination. As a client working with a building company, it is important to create a scope for your project before you start building. It’s important to understand that although a build may take 18 – 30 weeks depending on size and design, there are many de. ions that must be made before the construction begins. A large part of the journey is the development phase which includes, the planning, design, pricing, survey, and consenting stages. This development phase can often take as long as the construction itself. Like any good project you need to have a plan, and that starts with great preparation.


  • The key steps in your preparation phase are defined as:
    • Organising your finances
    • Determine your budget
    • Define your needs for your home


Start listing your must haves and wants for your future home, head over to our website for house plan inspiration – we can change anything with our in house draughting, and then let us get planning!  Click through here to find out how to maximise your budget for your custom design home.