I guess I was going down the same path as many young NewZealanders. I’d just graduated with a BCom in finance and was keen to see what the world had to offer. With a J1 visa in my hand I picked San Fran as the destination. A couple of weeks before leaving I learned of an old school buddy whose family were living there – so with no job lined up and the offer of a mates floor space for a week I was keen to get going.
I was blown away with the sheer difference in city size between San Fran and Auckland and more recently Dunedin. It was pretty daunting as to where to start or how to start looking for accommodation. I came across a room to rent in a large apartment. It was an industrial style building converted into a massive 60 bedroom apartment. Target tenants were young professionals – this sounded perfect for me. I showed up to the interview to find another 12 potential tenants all looking at the same room! Luck was on my side and an offer came through. For a new boy in town knowing 1 school mate and his family I felt I had really fallen on my feet. There was an instant network of 60 roomies – from various places in the US and all with a common background of some sort of tertiary education and a similar outlook on life. I loved the community feel this place had. The emphasis was on the shared space. Bedrooms were small and fairly minimal, but we were treated to large, comfortable living areas and quality furnishings so there was more of a ‘hotel’ feel rather than the ‘hostel’ standards. The table tennis certainly made for easy mixing and the movie room really was like a mini theatre with plush seating. Sunday dinners were included in the rent and were another great way to touch base with others There were often activities organised during the week – yoga classes or soccer and TGIF drinks. In the weekends there was always someone who wanted to share time and go exploring San Fran or the local countryside.
I also enjoyed the one bill for living – every thing was included in the rent apart from my food and drinks – it certainly simplified that part of life as I knew exactly what my outgoings were.
I’d always had an interest in property and it wasn’t long before my thoughts turned towards starting something similar in Auckland. With the increasing demands on a central place to live in Auckland I thought this co – living concept was perfect.
As you can see the dream has become reality and here we are…