OPINION: My partner and I have lived in two apartments in Auckland, and were not convinced by the idea of ever living in a normal house ever again.
The news last week that developers will be allowed to build up to six storeys across much of Auckland, thus allowing more apartments to be built in the city, had me feeling chuffed.
Before I lived in an apartment, I dreamt of having a house with a couple of acres to graze some sheep and goats, a lifestyle I had a taste of when my parents shifted out to the wop-wops near Foxton in my late teens.
But that dream has gone out the window, not only due to the terrifying state of the housing market, but because I am willing to let go of seeing newborn lambs frolic on the lawn in favour of having a city on my doorstep.
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I am willing to give up my rural lifestyle dreams, including dressing early lambs in woolly jumpers, if it means I can live in an apartment.
We rent a fifth floor apartment in the heart of Albany on the North Shore. Its a 10-minute stroll to the Albany Bus Station, or a one-minute bus ride if Im running late (which is often). From the station, I can be in the city within 25 minutes.
Theres no gardening to worry about, nor do we have to get up at the crack of dawn to put the bins out because wed forgotten to do it the night before, as having a communal rubbish room means we can empty the rubbish whenever we want.
My car is hidden from the prying eyes of opportunists in a secure basement, and because its under cover, theres no mad dash to get the groceries in when its bucketing rain.
Contrary to what most people assume to be an issue with apartment living, our thick concrete walls and ceiling means there is no ruckus from our neighbours beside, above or below us. We often forget we live in an apartment building at all.
Buildings of up to six storeys, such as the Daisy apartment building in Mt Eden, will be allowed across large parts of Auckland under a new Government plan.
So yes, it is possible to have a boozy rendezvous with friends while living in an apartment.
Best of all is the feeling of safety we have in our home. Being on the fifth floor means there is no fear of any peeping toms totally eliminating my fear of walking past darkened widows and a real sense of privacy.
Access to the building is via key fobs, which are audited annually, so we are less likely to be robbed. The fire alarm system, similar to what offices have, is tested regularly and doesnt depend on us remembering to check the batteries once a year when daylight saving kicks in.
Because our apartment building was built within the last five years, its fairly modern, warm, dry and spacious which is what people will be able to look forward to when these new apartment buildings take off.
And, there has been some talk of developing some of the regions transport hubs to include apartments above. What an absolute drawcard it would be to roll out of bed and get straight onto a bus.
Im dying for there to be an apartment boom in my hometown, Palmerston North, where we plan on raising our future kids, as right now, the majority of Palmys apartments are in retirement villages.
Ive witnessed some grim living situations while out reporting. The possibility of a bigger catalogue of modern, warm housing in central areas, in my view, absolutely trumps any fear of losing the character of a draughty Grey Lynn villa with an Audi parked out front.