Rent Week 2018: Shortland Street expert Tara Ward finds the best – and worst – places to live in the mythical Auckland suburb of Ferndale.
It’s a hard road finding the perfect place to live, but friends, I bring exciting news. I’ve stumbled across a suburb that is the answer to every renter’s dream, a unique community in a fantastic location that boasts plentiful amenities including a prison, a haunted house, and a mineshaft. Best of all, the people who live there never seem to pay rent.
Let me introduce you to this fanciful paradise, for Ferndale be thy name.
The home of Shortland Street might not be real, but it bloody well should be. Ferndale is a leafy idyll filled with love and laughter, heartbreak and heart surgeons. It’s chock-full of beautiful people who live in charming homes without black mould on the walls or holes in the rotten bathroom floor, and I’m ready to move there quicker than Damo can reboot his router.
But which Shortland Street house is right for me, I hear you squeal in giddy anticipation? Sadly, there’s no internet quiz titled ‘Tell Me Your Pizza Topping and I’ll Tell You Which House You Should Rent On A Fictional New Zealand Television Soap’, so I’ve put together a list of pros and cons about the realities of renting on Shortland Street.
Sure, you might end up living with a serial killer or cult leader — or even worse, Leanne — but it’s nothing a fun hearing at the Tenancy Tribunal can’t fix. So, like the annoying flatmate who puts post-it notes on all their food, let’s read ‘em and weep.
The Warner Mansion
Weekly rent: Free from whence you drink from the Warner gene pool
Pros: Seemingly unlimited bedrooms to accommodate the endless stream of Warner sperm children, as well as a swimming pool and a couch for making high-powered CEO love on. It’s also survived several natural and man-made disasters, including the eruption of Mt Ferndale, a bath falling through the ceiling and the entire ‘tell me that is not your penis’ debacle.
Cons: None, this place is as clean and shiny as heaven.
Next best thing: Emulate the Warner lifestyle in this 3 bedroom hovel in Ponsonby, a bloody steal at $1500 per week.
Mo and Kate’s house
Pros: If these walls could talk, they would say “Ellen Crozier was a bloody legend”. The Hannah whanau would be cruisy flatmates, and the house comes with both authentic vintage wallpaper and a garden sleep out where Minnie got up to all sorts of shenanigans in the late ’90s.
Cons: Landlord is TK Samuels, who probably spends his free time lurking in the hydrangeas under some sort of renegade ‘protecting his investment’ mission. Do not believe him. All his wives are dead.
Next best thing: This Kingsland villa for $750 pw – but wait, no Minnie Crozier backyard den of sin? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU ON AUCKLAND
The Doctor’s Apartments
Pros: Stylish kitchen splashbacks and a tiny concrete courtyard that’s perfect for entertaining one tiny person. You’ll also be surrounded by medical professionals in case of an unexpected kidnapping/stabbing/near-fatal baguette incident.
Cons: Has stairs that lead to nowhere.
Next best thing: Channel your inner surgeon with this apartment promising “trendy living”, a lifestyle that sounds heaps cooler than rooming with Drew McCaskill’s treadmill.
Nicole & Vinnie’s house
Pros: It’s no Toroa, but this charming family home comes with two quirky flatmates who love a good séance-samba combo.
Cons: Fridge magnets that spell the C-bomb, and Chris once impaled his butt cheek after leaping from a window. Also, you’ll have to put up with hornbags Leanne and Damo, and Vinnie and Nicole ALWAYS need a babysitter for Pele. (Run. Run for your lives.)
Pros: This low-budget oasis has a sliding door leading to one of the bedrooms, which is perfect when you’ve had a few cheeky savs and you want to make an entrance by flinging the door back so hard it falls off its track. Or so I’ve heard. The warehouse is “a bit of a dive” if you like that sort of thing.
Cons: Has a sliding door to one of the bedrooms. Also, a bit of a dive.
Next best thing: Actually lease yourself a warehouse on Shortland Street. What a time to be alive!
If all else fails, there’s always Shortland Street Hospital
Rooms: Too many to count
Pros: Heating and power included, room service available.
Cons: You must leak profusely from an orifice to score a bed.
Next best thing: Build your own hospital, still cheap at twice the price.
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