Have you ever dreamed of living in New Zealand?
A Guide to real estate and living in New Zealand
Living in New Zealand is more affordable than in most other countries, but be prepared to pay top dollar for any house with even a peep of the sea. It’s true that NZ prices for real estate, especially beachfront/clifftop property are amongst the lowest in the world, but don’t expect bargains. Unless you choose to live in the far north or in a more obscure area in the south of the country, living in New Zealand with a good sea view, you’ll need at least a $1million to buy a home.
You might be tempted to search for your new home in NZ via the internet before you even get here. While this is easy to do, it is perhaps too risky. What if you don’t like the area or style of house once you’ve lived in it for a while? Best to rent for a few months and get a feel for the area you’ve chosen. In truth it takes a while actually living in New Zealand to get to understand the way of life and other issues that will make your move here a success.
The style of housing takes some getting used to when living in New Zealand. Homes are usually constructed from a wooden framework, with weatherboard panels fixed to this frame. Solid brickwork is uncommon. Few homes have central heating and many Kiwi’s complain of cold in winter due to poor insulation, especially in older homes.
Buying a home and living in New Zealand is so easy. once you make an offer and it’s accepted, the house is yours and no-one can back out of the deal. The whole process is remarkably stress free.
Living in New Zealand: Apartments
Apartments are units within an ‘apartment complex’. These are easy to take care of and usually situated within the urban areas of both the North and South Islands of New Zealand. This choice is often popular with executive couples, who do not have any children. With an apartment you can expect 1 – 2 bedrooms with an open plan kitchen & living area and unless you are situated in one of the ground level apartments, it’s most likely that you will only have a balcony as your outdoor area.
Living in New Zealand: Houses – Villas / Bungalows
From clifftop mansions to charming wooden villas, you will find a wide range of styles to choose from in NZ. There is a great deal of modern architecture and styles you won’t be familiar with. More recently homes are being constructed using solid masonry and blockwork. However, for most people living in New Zealand wooden homes predominate. So when you are searching for a new home, you will come across numerous kinds of houses such as Villas, Bungalows and Character Homes. Each of these options relates to the style & era of the house. For example, a Villa is a single storey home, often larger in size and will have features such as polished wooden floors and classic architraves & mouldings in the interior. Whereas bungalows (whilst also a single storey home) are known for their verandahs expanding one side of the building.
Living in New Zealand: Townhouses
Townhouses are smaller in size and in most cases only offer 1 – 3 bedrooms. The major cities such as Auckland & Wellington (in the North Island) and Christchurch, Dunedin & Invercargill (in the South Island) are popular for these types of dwellings. With a townhouse, you will have your neighbours sharing your driveway and you will have limited land (which may well be a draw card for you). You can generally expect to have a small patio area, room for your clothesline and perhaps some land out the front.
In summary while it’s fun to search the internet, be patient, wait until you’re actually living in New Zealand and involve a good real estate agent to find the home of your dreams.
Living in New Zealand is a lot easier than you might think and the NZ lifestyle is envied around the world. So if living in New Zealand sounds good to you, then what are you waiting for?