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Student sold unit she couldn't afford by mother advertises Sugartree apartment

Anne Gibson, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 6 August 2019, 3:30PM
Bridie Campbell is asking for help. (Photo / Supplied)
Bridie Campbell is asking for help. (Photo / Supplied)

Bridie Campbell, the Auckland student who agreed to buy a $636,000 Sugartree apartment via her mother but now can't afford to pay, has established a Givealittle page and advertised the unit for sale.

Campbell said yesterday she hoped to raise $60,000 from well-wishers then borrow the balance which might enable her to settle but in the meantime, she wants offers for the Nelson St/Union St Altro place she is legally obliged to buy.

On Givealittle, Campbell has created a post 'saving my inheritance'.

She tells how her father died of cancer, she inherited money, paid the deposit, but now can't settle, "after going to every single bank and multiple mortgage brokers approaching it from every possible angle. I am now liable for the balance of the property."

To escape her financial woes, the 24-year-old has posted the home on TradeMe Property here.

The unit is on the fifth floor and apartment 502B, has one bedroom, one bathroom, is 45sq m and being advertised "to be sold by deadline by August 14."

European kitchen, double glazing, generous study, balcony "allow for flexible living options, all within walking distance of the CBD and Ponsonby", her ad says, estimating the rental income appraised by Crockers of $600/week to $650/week plus an additional $70/week for the carpark.

Campbell provided further details.

"I am contracted to pay $87,500 for a carpark and $549,000 for the apartment. I am prepared to sell it for this price and I am open to offers," she today.

Two years ago, she put down a $60,000 deposit and complained yesterday that would be forfeited and she'd get nothing back if she couldn't settle the contract she signed with Sugartree, whose managing director Darren Brown said his business has done nothing wrong but tried to help her.

Campbell now needs to raise $576,500 to settle the purchase: her purchase price less the $60,000 deposit.

Brown defended keeping the $60,000, saying deposits were crucial to enable such big project of nearly 700 units to be built.

Campbell said yesterday her mother Priscila Sarreal, formerly of apartment realtor City Sales, sold her the unit two years ago.

Sarreal advised her daughter - whose full name is Bridie Marie Sarreal Campbell - to take no financial or legal advice about it, Campbell said.

Attempts to contact Sarreal four different ways have failed and the Herald has been unable to speak to her.

Martin Dunn, her former boss as City Sales managing director, has also failed to contact Sarreal again and described Campbell as a "very difficult client".

Dunn referred to people moving between New Zealand and overseas: "They are from the Philippines and kind of transient."

His firm had done nothing wrong, the agent had disclosed the relationship with the apartment buyer being her daughter and Dunn said had also "moved heaven and earth" to try to help resolve the impasse.

Dunn also said Campbell had not been a student but working as a model at the time the deposit was paid two years ago, as well as inheriting money. So he had no reason to doubt at that time that she would settle.

Campbell yesterday described the unusual circumstances around her purchase.

"Sadly the agent was my mum. She did not warn me whatsoever about the difficulties I might face getting finance. I was informed that it was highly likely the value of the apartment would increase significantly and the equity would compensate for the low deposit. I was also informed that alternatively, I could on-sell at a gain. This was a fallacy," Campbell said yesterday.


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