Case Study 3. Buying house for the first time


Part 1: Introduction and Developmental Context

Word length: 800-1000 words

  1. a) Background

Begin with a researched background to the topic of about 300 words (5 marks), providing some generic information and (where appropriate) relevant New Zealand statistics about the chosen topic. By generic, we mean information about the topic in general; see the research questions specific to each topic and don’t discuss the case study story itself in this section. We expect some good research from sources such as newspaper or magazine articles, academic sources, reputable sources of statistics, which should set the scene for the case study analysis that will follow.

  1. b) Developmental context

Then in another 500-750 words (8 marks), consider Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems model as it applies to your chosen story. For this section, write a sentence or two introducing Bronfenbrenner’s model to the reader. Next, give a definition in your own words (and reference) for each of the various levels of influence in Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model (the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem). After each definition, give at least one example from your case story that illustrates that particular concept.   (Give at least two or three examples of microsystem settings so you can write about the connections between these to illustrate the mesosystem).

Baltes’ lifespan concepts: Give a definition in your own words (and reference) and an example from the case story of each of the following lifespan concepts: age- graded, history-graded and non-normative influences (see Chapter 1, p.11 of the text for Baltes’ definitions of these terms).

  1. c) Include a Reference List in APA referencing style of any sources cited in the assignment.

2 marks will be available for referencing, including the Reference List and matching

citations in the body of the assignment, as well as for aspects of formal academic writing, including grammar and spelling.

Topic 3. Buying a home for the first time:

Buying a home for the first time: This case study story will focus on a young man who, with his partner, is negotiating the difficulties of buying their first home.

  • In the Background section of Part 1 of the assignment, present information about first home ownership in New Zealand and why owning a home is a significant aspiration for young adults. Identify barriers to home ownership, and assistance available for first home buyers.

Tom set up the ladder he’d borrowed from his Mum and climbed up to start cleaning out the gutters. When he’d asked Mum for the ladder, she had laughed and he knew exactly what she was on about. It gave him a laugh too to think what a hard time he had given her about her passion for their home and the way he had been so reluctant as a teenager to help with what he then saw as boring, time wasting home maintenance stuff, and how he had vowed over and again that he would never own a home because it was a drag to be doing stuff like painting. This summer that was exactly what he would be doing and he was actually looking forward to it!

 He and Mel had moved into their own home exactly a week ago and he still couldn’t believe it. He felt a massive sense of achievement and relief because it was just in time – Mel would be going on to maternity leave in just two months’ time! It mattered so much to both of them that they would be bringing their baby son home to their own home. It had been a major motivating factor for them and he remembered again the despair they had felt when Mel had become pregnant before they actually got there. But in the end, like all the other things that had happened in their journey to this point, it was for the best and had helped them to achieve it at last.

 They had really expected to have longer to get their deposit up to the level they needed under the LVR (Loan to Value Ratio) restrictions, which had so depressed them when they were introduced. But once Mel’s pregnancy had been confirmed, their families had really come to the party and helped them to get them up to the 20% deposit required by the bank. They had been reluctant to take the extra money Mum had offered because she didn’t have much except her own house and because she had helped them to put the deposit together in other ways too. But she really understood their drive to be settled and wanted to see them have their home before the baby came. It had pushed his Dad to help out a bit too, and Mel’s parents had also helped out as much as they could. Those extra contributions, plus the fact that they had finally reached the three year point of their membership of KiwiSaver meant that they could do it.

 Tom began pulling out the leaves and grasses from the gutter that had helped to put other prospective buyers off. It had taken them a long time too to find a house that had lots of potential but room for improvement. When they had first started looking, he remembered, before they even had the deposit together, he and Mel had been impressed by the houses that were all nicely presented and tidy and they tended to be swayed by those things. But they had always taken Mum to have a look at any they thought were a possibility and she had bluntly pointed out that it would be much better to look for something that had a bit of size and a decent section and to avoid paying for the work others had put into renovating. After all, she said, weren’t they just dying to do things their own way anyway? Gradually, they had come round to seeing the things they wanted in a house and looking for potential and not the finished article.

 He thought again of the journey to this point and how they were sharing that journey with many of their friends. He and his mates had never wanted to be tied down to owning houses and here they all were, trying to provide for their families and striving for home ownership, some more successfully than others. He was 28 years old and Mel was a year younger. He had left school as soon as he could – couldn’t stand it and wanted only to do physical work that helped to build up his strength for rugby. He and his friend Mack had been lucky enough to get jobs, with the help of Mack’s dad, as warehousemen for a supermarket chain up in the big city. He’d loved it – the work, learning to operate the forklift with skill and precision, the heavy lifting, the team of them all, many of them also playing rugby. Then not long before his 21st,  he’d had an accident at work – some poorly stacked cartons had fallen, catching him on his back and damaging his shoulder quite badly. He had been off work on ACC for nearly three months and though it had been repaired as well as possible, it was obvious he was never going to be able to return to his old job. With ACC’s help and with the support of his employer, he taken up a job as a deli assistant in a supermarket close to the flat he shared with Mack and two others. He hadn’t been happy about it at all, and it took him a long time to adjust, but working in that supermarket had been where he met Mel and in no time they were a couple. Their relationship had filled a big hole left by the loss of his rugby passion, and they had soon moved into a flat together.

 For the first year, they were pretty carefree – lots of social stuff and some travel. Rents were really high in the city and once they paid that and the power, and had a good time out a few times a week, they were really living payday to payday. Ted, the deli manager, had encouraged him to think about his job as a step along the pathway towards a career in the grocery industry and he and Mel had begun to take advantage of staff development and to work other shifts, sometimes in other departments to get wider experience. Mel was in the bakery, so they were not in the same group, and they often had shifts at different times, but work gave them a shared interest and they could both see the advantages in getting up the career ladder offered in the company. Three years ago, they had married, and though their families had helped with the wedding, it had taken them a year of saving. It was only after the wedding that they had joined the KiwiSaver scheme.

 It was Mel who began to talk about ways they might get into their own home. Mel grew up in a small state house, one of five kids. Her parents had finally managed to buy the house after it was offered for sale. Mel knew how much it meant to her parents to finally feel secure in their home and she wanted that from the start for their kids. Though Tom had never wanted to be tied down to the home maintenance thing, he could see where she was coming from. His own parents had split when he was 12, and his Mum had fought hard to keep the house and it had always been a comfort to her too. They had started really being careful about money, but it was slow going and when the LVR restrictions were introduced by the Government, they gave up hope of buying in the city. They had made the decision to return to the regional city Tom had grown up in, where house prices were much more manageable. They had told the company what they wanted to do and had waited for something to come up, putting the emphasis on Tom’s job, because at this point, they saw his career advancement and pay as most important, and Mel knew that she could take on a number of roles in the supermarket. Eventually, the company had offered Tom not just a transfer, but a promotion to assistant deli manager, in recognition of the self development he had done so far. Soon after, a role had been found for Mel in the bakery at another supermarket in town.

 Then Mum suggested that they could save even faster if they moved in with her until they had the deposit and could get their money out of Kiwi Saver to add to the deposit. At first they had been reluctant – they had been on their own for a while and liked their independence. But Mel had done the sums and realised that they could not only save much faster, but the money they would have needed for a bond and advance rent could also go straight into the saving account. Mum had been pretty keen – she had wanted to help earlier by offering to go guarantor for their mortgage, so that they could start with a much lower deposit, but that suggestion had led to a family meeting and caused a bit of a rift for a while, because his older brother Ben and his wife, who already had their own home, had argued that that put Mum’s own security at risk and was unfair to him and Jess, his younger sister. Of course, that got to Mum straight away and rightly so – he and Mel didn’t want to do anything that threatened Mum’s security, but still, it had rankled at the time. They were over it now, and Ben had been right behind their new plan, so long as they paid Mum some board, which of course they were always going to do. It got a bit irritating being treated as the useless younger brother sometimes! Not long after they moved in with Mum, Mel had found she was pregnant, so they were even more glad of being able to save money. Thankfully, though they had risen a bit,  low interest rates were still holding, and so finally, it had all become a reality.

 It was great to be on their own again and even in a week they felt they had made a difference to the house. Next week, they were going to start on the baby’s room!

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