Gary Alway, owner of LJ Hooker tells us a bit about what drew him to the area and his love of community!

Hi Gary, tell us a little about yourself, how long you’ve lived at Waihi Beach and what drew you here?

I have been holidaying at Waihi Beach for over 30 years. We moved here permanently 5 years ago. Waihi Beach was always the place we wanted to live, but we had to put in the hard yards in Auckland to make our dream a reality.

Tell us about your family.

I am married to Jodene (Ms D) who teaches at Waihi Beach School. She has put up with me for 26 years now (I think). We have two adult children, Liam who is 25 and works with me at LJ Hooker, and Lucy who is 18 and about to head off to Waikato University. Lucy started holidaying here just the day after she was born.

Your fingers are in a few pies… What keeps you busy after hours?

In real estate you do not really have downtime, but when I do I enjoy fishing out wide or just hanging out at home with friends and family and the BBQ in full flight. Being a volunteer fire fighter also keeps me busy, we had 101 call outs last year in our community.

It’s pretty obvious that the Waihi Beach community is important to you. Where does your desire to get involved come from?

It comes from several different areas. I worked for Sir Stephen Tindall back in the old days and his passion for community really rubbed off on me. Then in my later years I had the pleasure of working with Sir Peter Leitch aka The Mad Butcher. He lives and breathes community. When we moved here, I joined the Mayor View Fire Brigade and it was a fantastic way to meet a great bunch of people. Community is everything and in a close-knit one like we have, it is vital that the business community support it as much as possible. On that note, we have an exciting announcement to make very shortly.

You have owned LJ Hooker Waihi and Waihi Beach for a few years now, how does the current summer/post-lockdown real estate market compare to the past few years?

Every year things are changing, 2020 really was not any different other than the obvious. The first 3 weeks of lockdown had everyone on edge with all the experts predicting doom and gloom, which has not eventuated. The market is solid, and interest is strong, buyers are ready and waiting. Interest rates are at all time lows, I also think the past 12 months has given many the opportunity to reflect on what is really important. Work-life balance seems to be the hip phrase, but it is very true. We now have fiber internet at the beach, which is a major factor when people are looking to spend more time working from home. The average age buying at the beach is now 56 and those buying are doing so with a view to moving here sooner rather than later.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LJHookerWaihiBeach/

Website: https://waihibeach.ljhooker.co.nz