House Hunting In New Zealand

House Hunting In New Zealand
On arrival in New Zealand, your first decision unless you're already employed will be exactly where to live in the country. From vibrant cities such as Auckland and Wellington to attractive rural and coastal towns or even remote villages, there's a wide choice of property from charming older homes to ultra-modern apartments.

The majority of migrants beginning a new life in New Zealand opt for renting rather than buying, at least until they are well settled and intending to stay on a permanent basis, perhaps even applying for citizenship after five years. Rental properties from studios to large homes are available all over North and South Islands, with rents getting cheaper the further south you go.

Once you've decided on an area, familiarise yourself with the local housing market by researching online estate agents' sites in your chosen area. If you're buying, there are two ways to see a good number of homes in a short space of time, the first being the New Zealand 'open house' event, a traditional way to show a home without involving an estate agent. Anyone can inspect an open house without making an appointment. A fast method of seeing many homes is to request from a local estate agent a tour of homes meeting your requirements.

If you're planning on renting a home, check out the neighbourhoods carefully – as a new arrival you'll have little knowledge of what is a good district and what is not, nor of the best areas in the country for employment or education. Quality and price vary dramatically across the country as well as in the districts of the largest cities, with unfurnished homes for rent far easier to find than furnished properties. If you're relocating to New Zealand, it's best to bring your household effects with you.

Real estate agents, letting centres or local newspapers are the three options for finding a home to rent. Rent for a three-bedroomed house will vary in price between an average of NZ$2,600 in Auckland to NZ$2,200 in Wellington and NZ$2,000 in Queenstown to as low as NZ$975 in Invercargill. Additional costs will include a bond of four weeks' rent to the landlord and, if you rent through an estate agent, a week's rent as a fee. Letting centres also charge a fee, and renters will also be responsible for the setting up of services such as electricity, telephone and internet connections as well as the payment of local taxes.