Save Our Home Premiere

8:00pm Wednesday, September 2 on TV One

The Kiwi ideal to own your own home and hold on to your house is fast slipping from the grasp of hard working New Zealanders. Hard economic times get the blame but personal spending is what is really behind most of the sad stories of people losing their homes.

New Zealanders are at a crisis financially. On average Kiwis spend more than they earn, 22 cents more than every dollar made. But the good news is, home ownership is still affordable for the average Kiwi. Even a family on the minimum wage can pay off a mortgage. The real problem is not how much money people earn, but how they spend it.

TV ONE’s new local series Save Our Home (tonight at 8pm), joins top property expert Sarah Pearce and financial whiz Hannah McQueen as personal trainers in financial fitness and house owning savvy, to come to the rescue of different struggling Kiwis who are in a home-owning predicament. Between them, the pair know the hard truths of home owning and the secrets to getting ahead.

Tackling Kiwis’ spending behaviour head-on, and the ‘buy now – pay later’ attitudes held by many, they attempt to help families have or hold onto their home. Pearce and McQueen provide tough love and some inspiring action plans to people in all kinds of situations.

At one end they find overcommitted couples facing bank foreclosure; X and Y generation spenders blowing the budget; or cash strapped newlyweds nervous about affording a family. At the other end are those doing well, but needing expert help to do better; and some just looking for a smarter way to pay the mortgage and enjoy life.

The Save Our Home duo say saving homes is as much about understanding people, as it is about the property they live in. The pair believe they can save anyone a home, as long as they are willing to face-up to why they spend the way they do.

“Most of us spend more than we earn, and most of us don’t know that we do,” says McQueen, the accountant and financial advisor. “Saving a home usually requires people to change the spending habits of a lifetime, so sometimes it’s hard to save peoples’ feelings, as well as their homes.”

No stranger to telling people what they’d rather not hear, McQueen says, “You can’t sugar-coat the numbers or the consequences if they continue doing what they’ve always done.”

Not everyone who seeks their help is prepared to listen. The Save Our Home duo sometimes find themselves on the receiving end of people reacting badly to the tough strategy that will save their home and financial future.

Pearce says an owner’s emotional attachment to their house, can often be the biggest obstacle to saving their home: “Every home is an emotional extension of the owner, and it’s difficult for any of us to admit that our own financial decisions could be costing us the home we hold so dear. It’s impossible to look at your house objectively when you’ve got an emotional connection, that’s why people so often over-value their home.”

Episode one follows Shane and Leah – a couple whose knack for looking on the bright side is blinding them to future financial disaster as they push on with a home do-up scheme. Can Sarah and Hannah wipe off the rose-tinted specs and help them face facts before they lose their home.

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