Save Our Home

8:00pm Wednesday, November 18 on TV One

Tonight on the final of local series Save Our Home, property expert Sarah Pearce and financial whiz Hannah McQueen are on a mission to save champagne-loving newlyweds Val and Al a home (tonight at 8pm on TV ONE).

The immaculately made up and stylishly dressed Val is the doyen of the Miss New Zealand segment of Miss World. Determined to keep the pageant alive, she has put up some of her own money, and kept her day job, to fund it year after year.

“I’ve been involved for over 20 years in all the beauty pageants. Whether it’s Miss Howick or Miss Universe New Zealand, it’s definitely been a labour of love,” she says.

However Val and Al are nearing retirement, and with so little time before their incomes end, Pearce and McQueen have the hard task of finding the right home, while allowing them to keep the lifestyle they’re accustomed to.

With her sights set high, down-sizing the home the pair currently live in is not an option for Val: “I’m not a person who will live just anywhere, I have to have something that’s lovely and really nice because I love lovely things, and to say [Pearce and McQueen] are going to find me a house for $350,000, it would be a box, it would be in an area that I wouldn’t live.”

It appears that to maintain their lifestyle, Al is destined to work for a number of years to come. McQueen tells him how it is: “The facts are, you will need to continue working until you are 70, if you retire then, with the money you’ve got left over, you will be able to live in retirement for one year. Then you will have to start working again or downsize.”

Between them, Pearce and McQueen know the hard truths of home owning and the secrets to getting ahead. 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.

8:00pm Wednesday, October 21 on TV One

This week on Save Our Home, property expert Sarah Pearce and financial whiz Hannah McQueen come to the rescue of Nikki and Hayden Searle – a couple who are struggling to pay their mortgage, but busting to break into a better school zone before the eldest of their four kids turns five (tonight at 8pm on TV ONE).

For Hayden and Nikki the biggest issue they face is the strong emotional attachment they have to their home. When asked to value a similar home in a better area, the pair is convinced they would fetch a good deal more for their property. Distressed by the couple’s inability to be realistic, Pearce knows it’s going to take more than a friendly chat to bring them to their senses.

“We all get emotional about our homes, especially if you put lots of love and money into them, but emotional attachment and financial worth are not related. Nikki and Hayden need to understand that a property like theirs, in this suburb, is worth $100,000 more,” says Pearce.

With a huge mortgage and plans to increase their debt, moving up looks like financial madness, but McQueen and Pearce have the skills to show the Searle family how to get a home in a better suburb. The Save Our Home hosts believe that homeownership is still affordable for the average Kiwi.

Between them, McQueen and Pearce know the hard truths of home owning and the secrets to get ahead. 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.

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.