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Old 28th December 2010, 11:07 PM
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Are the houses really as cold, damp etc as people seem to be making out on here? I have a 'nice' house here - not extravagant - but don't want to be living in somewhere that's not that nice and paying a fortune to heat it. We won't be able to buy anywhere at first so we will be renting. I am trying to make an informed decision about moving to NZ and reading as much as possible both good and bad but I'm getting a little worried about some of the posts on here whilst trying to keep an open mind. Some are a few years out of date and I'm wondering if things are the same or not as here in the UK the economy has had such an impact on the cost of everything.
Thanks to anyone who can give me an insight from over there.

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Old 29th December 2010, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Geordielass View Post
Are the houses really as cold, damp etc as people seem to be making out on here? I have a 'nice' house here - not extravagant - but don't want to be living in somewhere that's not that nice and paying a fortune to heat it. We won't be able to buy anywhere at first so we will be renting. I am trying to make an informed decision about moving to NZ and reading as much as possible both good and bad but I'm getting a little worried about some of the posts on here whilst trying to keep an open mind. Some are a few years out of date and I'm wondering if things are the same or not as here in the UK the economy has had such an impact on the cost of everything.
Thanks to anyone who can give me an insight from over there.
I was pretty worried, too, when I read these posts. However, I personally haven't found them to be as bad as is made out. Maybe I'm lucky?!?!?!

No, houses do NOT have central heating running into every room, and therefore, yes, you can experience damp issues IF precautionary measures are not taken. The first house we lived in when we moved here was HUGE, but only had one tiny heat pump (imagine an AC unit but with heat too) in a room that also had a whopping gas fire!!! It's 5 bedrooms had no heat other than a plug-in fin heater. Yeah, COLD! There could have been problems with damp etc if we hadn't left all the windows open a tiny crack, and doors open to air the rooms. We, however, didn't have any issues during the duration of living in the house (during the winter months I will add).

I guess you learn to accept things that are a national issue. Why complain about central heating when it simply isn't on offer here in many houses??? Houses have lasted this long, and people have found ways around it, so you kind of go with it (in the right frame of mind.

Good luck

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Old 29th December 2010, 06:54 PM
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What Jen says is true - they do heat houses differently here. And older houses did have appalling insulation. The first house we stayed in was an old wooden 'ranch' style house in a very nice area of central Auckland (big bucks to buy, swimming pool in the back garden). And we had one oil-filled radiator to heat our living room. I thought hubby was going to head back to the airport! And Kiwis didn't know what double glazing was!

But even in the four years we've been here things have changed substantially. New houses have to have a certain insulation standard, including double glazing. Heat pumps have become very popular - we have two, one in our living room and one in our bedroom. And the Government has been giving out subsidies on insulating your house.

So best advice is shop around, and check out the insulation and heating in any house you go to. And if/when you buy, be even more fussy. The good houses are out there.

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Old 30th December 2010, 05:11 AM
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There's heaps and heaps of information on the net about houses in New Zealand, there's more to it than a simple lack of heating.

Do a google search for "leaky building syndrome in New Zealand" and you'll get thousands of results. There's even a Facebook group for it if you're interested, but then there are Facebooks for most things these days!

If you want a laugh watch this youtube video


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Old 30th December 2010, 07:21 PM
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There's heaps and heaps of information on the net about houses in New Zealand, there's more to it than a simple lack of heating.

Do a google search for "leaky building syndrome in New Zealand" and you'll get thousands of results. There's even a Facebook group for it if you're interested, but then there are Facebooks for most things these days!

If you want a laugh watch this youtube video
YouTube - Hilarious Kiwi Song : Six Months in a Leaky House
Oh yes - leaky buildings are a real blot on the Governments building landscape. There are heads that should roll for this one and you should find more information on this forum about it too.

But even though there are more than there should be, they are a small minority of buildings. If you're renting, these won't be a major issue to you (most have now been fixed - albeit at a cost) but if you're buying, get a full building survey done and make sure this is checked out.

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Old 30th December 2010, 11:59 PM
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Are you sure that most have been fixed, I thought it was a lot more than a small minority and that it was going to cost some horrendous amount to put them all right -about 11 billion dollars?

I know of quite a few houses on the North Shore affected by leaking building syndrome, including one whole development of townhouses in Albany.

It's usually the newcommers to NZ that get caught out with them so that is something that people can take away from this forum. I'm so glad we didn't buy a monolithic clad house because I don't think we would have been able to sell it in the current market. Our was a modern brick built, even though it meant living on a subdivided section, it was worth it in the long run.

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Old 2nd January 2011, 01:32 AM
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Are you sure that most have been fixed, I thought it was a lot more than a small minority and that it was going to cost some horrendous amount to put them all right -about 11 billion dollars?

I know of quite a few houses on the North Shore affected by leaking building syndrome, including one whole development of townhouses in Albany.

It's usually the newcommers to NZ that get caught out with them so that is something that people can take away from this forum. I'm so glad we didn't buy a monolithic clad house because I don't think we would have been able to sell it in the current market. Our was a modern brick built, even though it meant living on a subdivided section, it was worth it in the long run.
...and it's exactly forums like this that are so useful in providing information, that stop newcomers making mistakes. Every country has some problems (we have friends in Spain that are wrestling their way through the bureaucracy associated with rural dwellings without 'official' planning permission at the moment). This is a nasty one for NZ - so a good lesson to learn.

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Old 2nd January 2011, 07:19 PM
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thanks for the info. My husband is a building surveyor so knows all about what to look for etc. I just was doing my own research on what to expect and was a bit concerned by some of the posts on here. I think it's the same with most places - you can get stung if you don't know what you're looking out for so all the info. we can get about everything the better for when we hopefully get out there. I'm still really nervous about it all but can't wait at the same time.

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Old 3rd January 2011, 02:13 AM
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If I can add my input.
I bought a house in NZ 2001 having never visited before (although I had lived in Australia for 32 years)
Thankfully on the day I arrived New Zealand Herald had a large article which was the first of many articles on Leaky Homes. On inspecting houses for sale it soon became apparent what a potential or Leaky house was. I must admit during my trip in May 2001 it was extremely wet & in my opinion the best time to view a house as damp, mould, etc are more easily spotted than during an extended dry spell. Position of house is important too North/East facing is best for all day sun.
Although I loved the look of the modern Mediterranean homes I realised they were potential problem homes. After 4 return visits I bought a 1931 built double brick bungalow which was cosy & dry on visits at various times of the day.
I then carried out several improvements which were as follows
Full insulation below floor & in roof cavity
Connection to mains gas & which provides constant hot water, cooking & the entire house has floor vented gas central heating. (Incidentally the annual cost for gas & electric cost NZ$2,400 a year (for a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom house) & central heating is set at 22c year round & often on ) 18 hours a day
I also renovated the existing bathroom & added an extra bathroom.
New Ikea kitchen with all the gadgets, Smeg stainless appliances
New deck & landscaped the garden
Fitted deadlocks to all external doors
Installed remote door opener to garage
Painted exterior & interior
New thermal drapes
This home is in Auckland Mission Bay 800m to beach & currently rented out for $550 a week.
I also pay for the gardening.
Not a very good return on my investment, & certainly a lot better appointed & value than the home I am renting overseas currently.

I hope my tenant's appreciate my home & take care of it.
This post was just to point out that not all rentals are cold & damp & not all landlords are uncaring.

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Old 3rd January 2011, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geordielass View Post
Are the houses really as cold, damp etc as people seem to be making out on here? I have a 'nice' house here - not extravagant - but don't want to be living in somewhere that's not that nice and paying a fortune to heat it. We won't be able to buy anywhere at first so we will be renting. I am trying to make an informed decision about moving to NZ and reading as much as possible both good and bad but I'm getting a little worried about some of the posts on here whilst trying to keep an open mind. Some are a few years out of date and I'm wondering if things are the same or not as here in the UK the economy has had such an impact on the cost of everything.
Thanks to anyone who can give me an insight from over there.
I have been in New Zealand for 5 months (originally from the US) and really love it BUT the housing does take a bit of getting used to. We are in a rural area and are building or really giving my husband's house a big re-modeling. We were going to try to build a modest US style home but it just could not be done at a reasonable price. You end up just accepting that when it is hot outside you are going to be hot; likewise cold. For me it is worth it to look outside at my tiny vineyard and 14 H of native bush. It's not for everyone, however and I would make a trip over to check out the reality as housing is US 1950s and expensive to boot.

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