For the next year, we’ll follow new Papamoa residents Andrea and Duncan Ritchie. We’ll find out how they’ve settled into Tauranga as Bayleys real estate agents, and how life measures up after Ponsonby.

IMAGES TRACIE HEASMAN

Andrea and Duncan Ritchie, UNO Magazine

UNO: What made you choose Papamoa?

Andrea: Duncan and I came down for the weekend, sat in the sun at Deckchair Café with real estate magazines, and thought about our priorities. Number one, it had to be sunny. Also important: close to the beach, not on a main road, good looking houses either side, easy layout, flow into the garden — you know the list! We quickly identified a few neighbourhoods, and one was Papamoa. Regardless of our 20 years in real estate, everyone behaves the same way when you become a buyer; you look at all sorts of homes, make a wish list, have an expectation, and a fair amount of nervous anticipation when it comes to making an offer.

Sometimes you just need to stop, and recognise that this house is as good as it gets in this neighbourhood and price range. We have an 80:10:10 rule. If it’s 80% right, has 10% quirks that you can’t change and 10% that you can, then go for it. We’ve seen people looking for months or years trying to find the perfect home, and they end up buying in desperation, and badly. Within a couple of weeks of looking, we were owners of a house on Santa Monica Drive.

UNO: Did you make any changes to the house when you arrived?

Andrea: That good old 80:10:10 rule! The interior was pretty dated, but that suited us. We updated it to add some value and make it our own. Duncan has been hard at work in the garden; the 20 hibiscus in pots from our Ponsonby courtyard garden survived the trailer ride and have been ablaze all summer.

UNO: Sounds like you’ve started to settle in! Have the natives been friendly?

Andrea: So friendly! We feel like we’ve well and truly settled in. New friends invited us out for a drink at the MOSC (on Salisbury Wharf) just a few nights ago. Isn’t the Club the best location for a late afternoon wine in the sunshine? Perched over the water it has such a gorgeous outlook — cruise and cargo ships, paddle boards and kids jumping off the jetty. It really doesn’t get any better. We are members at nearby Mount Maunganui Golf Club, too. The novelty of leaving home and teeing off inside 15 minutes still hasn’t worn off.

And we have so many visitors, which we love. My boys come down to catch up with their cousins, surf, and visit their nana. Duncan’s grandsons, Jarvis and Errol, came to stay in the summer holidays; they love the sand dunes. Dinner in the Domain on Thursdays is a big hit with them, too.

UNO: You have a job which can be done all over the country. What are the differences between working in Ponsonby and Tauranga?

Andrea: We have never lost sight of the fact that buying your next home is a big deal. Whether you are in Ponsonby or Papamoa, or it’s a first home or a waterfront mansion, making that perfect match of buyer and home is still a tremendous thrill. The principle of looking after and listening to our clients is no different, wherever we live.

UNO: What are your hot picks for living like a local?

Outdoor plays at The Elms Mission House. We saw The Importance of Being Earnest this summer.

The Big Bake Bakery at Fashion Island makes the best sourdough five grain bread on a Saturday morning. You have to get there early before it’s sold out!

Chicken Caesar wraps at The General in The Mount.

The General, UNO Magazine
The General, Pacific Avenue, Mt Maunganui

Get in touch with Andrea and Duncan at AndreaDuncanRitchie