The day I bought my first house on a foreign soil-New Zealand

It was friday the 14th of September 2012. I really do not know how I did it but 6 months prior I was on an Intrepid tour from California in the States after attending my good friend Chris and Casey Tipple who got hitched on the beautiful Laguna Beach in Orange County-It was a magical wedding right on the beach with the afternoon sunset and the ocean breeze blending in. I knew right along with my gut instincts that I wanted to enter the Real Estate Business but I wasn’t sure if I had enough savings. I found my goals that I had written up in 2008 stating that I want to own a house in New Zealand and/or Australia. Who writes goals? Yes those who are focused and driven and want to get ahead in life. Those who want to be financially independent. Those who want to travel the world and have more freedom. I was pretty determined to make it happen but it didn’t feel like I had the right support and network on a foreign soil. It was very unsettling. Nerve-wrecking. It was so isolating. I felt sick. It was a rollercoaster of emotions-I couldn’t think straight. The thought of thousands of dollars stuck against my name for a lifetime was excruciatingly difficult to comprehend and accept. I had sleepless nights. It was terrifying! Six months after I had an overseas trip and spent all my money in Las Vegas, I bought a house!

Today marks the 4th year anniversary of a tribal girl buying a house on her own on a foreign soil. Its a pretty big deaI! It has been emotional. I recieved a personal email from my family this morning-my papa Terry Kapah wrote “Leina you have been someone we are all proud of for your achievements and I thank God that we are fortunate to have someone like you in the family. I must admit you did so much and yet sometimes little is acknowledged.” I sobbed uncontrollably first thing checking my emails at 6am and reading. My email to him last evening was stating that I had been strong; very strong being on my own and owning 3 properties. I remembered someone giving me some information that there are two very stressful times in life; one of them is when you buy a house, the other is a funeral! The first five years of owning a property will be challenging and tough. But it does get easier. You must hang in there despite the toughest challenges. I remembered the water pipe bursting under the house in my first year of settlement-it was very old piping called quest which needed urgent replacement. I had less than $1k saved up and I was so worried about how I was going to fix and pay for the water piping on my own-it was tough. I knew nothing about plumbing but I had my networks of homeowners who could recommend plumbers. That was how the community helped.

I can certainly say that I can sleep much better these days. It has been a wonderful four years of learning and dancing in the rain and the sunshine. These were the best times. They tested me and made me stronger. I cried through most of them on my own. They were lonely times. I missed my family terribly; their love, their support, their reassurances, their help, their presence and their care. I can still write through these tears. I can still taste the soury tears. They were salty. I had learnt a great deal; my journey was far from finishing. You cannot cheat three things in life despite your circumstances; first your health, the bank and the taxman I learnt!

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