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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All I'm new to this site but have been hovering for a few weeks :). My husband is in the middle of an interview process for an IT job in New Zealand and we should hear by the end of November if he has been successful. I'm excited about the prospect of starting a new life in New Zealand :).

In preparation for the potential move, I have been looking at possible rental properties that are available in New Zealand. I hope no one takes offence at this but I'm finding them extremely disappointing. We currently have a house in Scotland and although it's not a massive house, there is a fair bit of space, open plan, descent garden and nicely decorated. A lot of the houses up for rent look like fancy static caravans, some look grubby with old fashioned decor and kitchens and bathrooms from the 80's.

If we do get the opportunity to move, I know that we won't be going there to make loads of money, we will be going there for the lifestyle change. Nice weather, lovely beaches, beautiful places to visit, great kiwi hospitality, outdoorsy way of life. However the rental market does concern me as I don't want to live in a shabby house. Some of the city centre apartments look very trendy but we have a 3rd year old little boy so we don't want to live in the city.

I feel the cost of the houses are astronomical. I would also want to work when I get out there. I am an IT professional so I could potentially be on a descent wage once I get a job, but until I do we will only have one wage coming into the household. The potential job will be based in Auckland but we don't no yet whereabouts so it's difficult to know what area to look for at the moment.

Are they all that bad? What neighbourhoods would you recommend?

I sincerely hope my post doesn't across as cheeky or insulting in anyway but I am interested in hearing how other expats felt about the rental properties.

Thanks
 

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This post had some information http://www.expatforum.com/expats/ne...ly-w-young-kids-w-walking-distance-stuff.html

There are a number of prior posts on this topic, by dong a search you will be able to read them.

As for rental prices bear in mind the price of Auckland's Real estate has risen dramatically in recent times so current rents will reflect this. Other parts of New Zealand are significantly cheaper.

As for areas depends where you husband will be working & how far he wants to commute.

You will find a mixture of standards, with well maintained modern properties being more expensive. Others will be run down & old fashioned but with the lack of supply & current demand for rentals in Auckland most will attract tenants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply anski it's been very helpful. Mission bay does look absolutely gorgeous and my kind of place, although I suspect it will be expensive.

Thanks for your help :) xx
 

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Hi there - welcome to the Forum.

I know what you mean when you say that some house look like fancy static caravans - I call them extremely large garden sheds! ;) However, not all houses are like this - honest! We live in a lovely brick-clad 'normal' looking single storey 'UK bungalow', and there are many houses that are similar to ours out there.

There are a number of reasons why there are houses that look like garden sheds.

1. History. Because New Zealand has earthquakes, the building code says that the houses have to be built to withstand earthquakes. Especially in older houses, this means they're built of wood. And even brick clad houses will have a main infrastructure of wood -the brick is there for decoration.

2. Economic. Many of the wooden garden sheds are in poorer areas, because they're cheaper to build. South Auckland (where the airport is) is a typical example of an area that has many houses like this.

3. 'Culture' - until very recently, New Zealanders though all houses were made of wood, and would have thought it very peculiar to build in anything else. One thing that you'll see mentioned a number of times in other posts are lack of double glazing, insulation and heat! New Zelanders just couldn't understand why foreigners complained about these - the comments ranged from 'You don't need them - it's warm enough without (yeah, right!) to 'What's the problem? You just put another jumper on'. Our first house (which was a lovely house that didn't look like a garden shed at all) suffered from all three of these. We very quickly insulated the roof, draught-proofed the windows and put a heat pump in. It made all the difference.
Fortunately I have seen this particular attitude change substantially in the 7 years we've been here, with double glazing & insulation now part of the new build code, and many Kiwi friends now installing heat pumps too. The comment we often get from them is 'why didn't we do that earlier?'
Oh - final bit of culture - many Kiwi houses have steel roofs. These are not considered a 'cheap option', and in fact on new build houses, steel roofs are slightly more expensive to install than tile roofs.

4. Auckland space - it is by far the biggest city in NZ, and space is at a premium. Until recently 'semi-detatched' and 'terraced' were unknown. So the majority of houses are detached, on their own section. But to fit more in, many of the original 'quarter acre sections' have been split and 'infilled'. So you'll find one house built in front of the other. This still makes for reasonably low density housing (Auckland is the same land area as London but with one fifth of the population), but does mean that you don't get the long, narrow gardens you get in the UK. Instead, the land is around the house, with the house in the middle of the section. Often, on 2 storey houses, you'll live upstairs with lovely big balconies to sit on.

And the point of all this? Yes, there are some houses out there that you wouldn't want to live in. So don't! Be aware of the above, and aim for a house that you feel comfortable in, that has insulation and heating, and an outdoor living space of some kind.

Rental prices will vary substantially, depending on where you end up living. Some areas of Auckland are more expensive than others. Mission Bay is lovely - but very pricey! Howick is a short drive further down the coast, and cheaper. Go inland a little bit (let's face it, nowhere is far from the sea in Auckland!) to the newer suburbs of Botany & Dannemora and the prices come down, with newer build houses. But don't look at houses with plaster cladding and no eaves.... look up 'leaky buildings' on previous posts (one of New Zealand housings 'dirty little secrets...)

See Real Estate, Houses for Sale, Rentals, Commercial and Businesses for sale at Realestate.co.nz - Realestate.co.nz for an idea of rental prices in the various areas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reply topcat. The houses in botany and dannemora look really nice. This is more like it :) You have certainly put my mind at ease. How would you commute into the centre from here? By car/bus? How long would it take in rush hour and out with rush hour?

In terms of pre-school, how much would it cost for one week full time?

Thanks
 

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Thanks for the reply topcat. The houses in botany and dannemora look really nice. This is more like it :) You have certainly put my mind at ease. How would you commute into the centre from here? By car/bus? How long would it take in rush hour and out with rush hour?

In terms of pre-school, how much would it cost for one week full time?

Thanks
From Howick to CBD, I'd take the 35 minute ferry trip from Half Moon Bay, every time. It used to make my day, every day! They even serve wine and beer ;) (and coffee in the mornings)
 

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In terms of pre-school, how much would it cost for one week full time? Thanks
Hi,

Not sure if the price of pre-school (kindergarden) is different in Auckland.
We're in Wellington and pay $193 a week for our 2 year old to attend a private kindy 3 full time days 07:30-17:30.
Price for 5 days, full time is $275 a week.

If you are Residents of NZ, children from 3yrs old receive free pre-school or receive an allowance from the government towards their private pre-school.
In Feb when our boy turns 3 his fees for 3 full days will drop to $119 a week.
5 days full time would be $184.

2 kids attending from same family, 10% discount.
3 or more kids attending from same family, 15% discount.

In all honesty if you need 2 kids to attend 5 days full time it would be cheaper to hire a live in nanny.
We have friends who do this as their child care costs would be insane otherwise.

Regards,
 

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Baby-3 year olds:
$60-70 full day

3-5 year olds:
$40-50 full day

Opening and closing times vary by establishment, anywhere from 7am to 7pm depending on the day care center.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies. I think $1000 a month is reasonable. Back home in Scotland we would be in the region of $1600 - $1800 month!!

We are also trying to work out our average outgoings per week or month for bills etc. Can anyone advise how much we will likely pay for gas, electricity, water, sky tv/broadband, mobile phones etc. I know mobile phones etc will depend on usage but a general idea would be useful. Apologies if this has probably be covered in other posts, I haven't came across them yet.

Thanks
 

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@Lsung, I am a new Expat here in New Zealand (its been 20 days), I came here on the basis of Silver Fern Job Search Visa (9 months work visa) and currently hunting job in IT sector (Software Testing to be specific).

From my research if you would rent a home which fits in your criteria would cost you around 350-400$ a week, and if you are targeting CBD then let me tell you that you won't find home suitable to your needs and even if you would find it, rents will amaze you.

Most of the rented houses comes with furnishing (beds, wardrobe, heater, etc..), in your case I would say for unlimited Internet you need to pay 100$ monthly, I am not aware about electricity and other charges. Phone SIM card will cost you 5$ + 20$ first Topup and then you can carry on with it (by adding add-on packs). Per call minimum charge is 44 cent on New Zealand mobile number - you can search for 2degrees, Vodafone, telecom etc are providers

Everyone prefers having a personal vehicle here, cause it can start raining any time + having your own car will be time and money saving option without doubt.

Hope this helps.
 

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@Lsung, I am a new Expat here in New Zealand (its been 20 days), I came here on the basis of Silver Fern Job Search Visa (9 months work visa) and currently hunting job in IT sector (Software Testing to be specific).

From my research if you would rent a home which fits in your criteria would cost you around 350-400$ a week, and if you are targeting CBD then let me tell you that you won't find home suitable to your needs and even if you would find it, rents will amaze you.

Most of the rented houses comes with furnishing (beds, wardrobe, heater, etc..), in your case I would say for unlimited Internet you need to pay 100$ monthly, I am not aware about electricity and other charges. Phone SIM card will cost you 5$ + 20$ first Topup and then you can carry on with it (by adding add-on packs). Per call minimum charge is 44 cent on New Zealand mobile number - you can search for 2degrees, Vodafone, telecom etc are providers

Everyone prefers having a personal vehicle here, cause it can start raining any time + having your own car will be time and money saving option without doubt.

Hope this helps.
Hi Dungrani - I think the $1000 is for a month's childcare and not rent!

I'm surprised at you saying that most rented houses come with furnishing too. This may be the case in CBD if you rent an apartment (and many of these are similar to long-term hotel room rental), but outside CBD most rentals are unfurnished. Rent will also be cheaper if you look at the outer suburbs - like all cities worldwide, it's always more expensive in the centre of town.

There are very few unlimited internet packages here - the internet is still one of the things that winds us up! We've yet to find anything like the speed that we had in the UK, even in town. It's even worse where we are now - but we are 2 km down a dead-end country road!

The main reason that most people have cars is the patchy public transport. It isn't New Zealand's strong point, although there are buses that go to most cities, and each city does have an internal bus service. Auckland and Wellington have trains (although most people give up in Auckland because the trains are so slow). Best public transport (IMHO) are the ferry services....

You're right about the weather though - it can rain at the drop of a hat. But five minutes later (and even at the same time) the sun can come out too!
 
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