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But as her husband Shane entered the family’s final bid of $209,000 — only $1000 below the couple’s self-imposed limit — the only other bidder had a change of heart.
"It’s a steal," the auctioneer told the man as he raised his hammer to confirm the Turners’ bid.
And with that the family got their home. Mr Turner walked straight out of the room and over to his wife and kissing her on the cheek told her: "We got it."
"I was standing out here with the kids listening to it go up and up and up and I thought ‘that’s it, we haven’t got it’," Mrs Tuner said.
"We are stoked," Mr Turner said.
The couple lived in town, but bought a section in Brighton about 15 months ago and were looking for the perfect house to call home.
"We looked at a lot of building options, but there was the cost factor. It was going to be significantly more to build anything like that," he said, gesturing towards the house.
The four-bedroom house has an en-suite bathroom and walk-in wardrobe and comes with other features, such as a free valuation and a contribution towards moving it to its site.
Otago Polytechnic communications director Mike Waddell said the polytechnic was pleased with the sale.
"It’s the first time we have got $200,000," Mr Waddell said.
"We are pretty pleased we have got to that magic number."
The polytechnic would give $100,000 to United Way, which distributes funds to charities throughout Otago.
More than $900,000 has been raised by the polytechnic’s initiative during the past decade.
Two other houses were also sold, a three-bedroom home for $132,500 and an unfinished four-bedroom home for $182,500.
Mr Waddell said the initiative would be repeated next year.