When it comes to “standard of living”, New Zealand is regularly rated as one of the top living destinations in the world – and quite rightly so! With low crime, a mild climate and a healthy work/life balance, this country appeals to many and is largely considered top of the list for “migrants” (Damn we hate that word here, lets try and not use it again!) After hiring/purchasing a car, a job, finding a more permanent place to live may be on your next agenda.
Living in this beautiful location can be a lot more affordable in comparison to other countries. Depending on your circumstances and how long you intend to stay, here are some recommended options for living in NZ.
While it’s advisable to have accommodation organised before you reach NZ, there are plenty of short term holiday lets or hotels available should you need a pit stop while arranging something else. If you’re lucky enough to have friends or family here, then this works well as a base while you find your feet! It’s also great to take advantage of their local knowledge and recommendations on where’s desirable to live.
For peace of mind we recommend having the first few nights, at the very least, arranged before you set off. That way you can get off that long flight and head straight to the kettle! If you don’t want to venture too far too quickly then you can even stay at the airport: http://www.aucklandairport.co.nz/AirportInformation/Accommodation-at-the-Airport.aspx
Renting is the most popular option when you first arrive in New Zealand, as this gives you time to decide on the exact location and type of house you’d like to settle in more permanently. You can get more of a feel for a place when you are actually living there, as well as getting an idea of what’s available within your budget (If you’re looking to live in Auckland, then you can read more about our suggestions here).
There are plenty of estate agents who can help you to find an accommodation to rent, but the best place to look is online, as this allows you to compare prices, locations and facilities before you finally make a decision. New Zealand’s rental accommodation price structure is by week (and is also paid weekly) and usually you would be expected to provide a bond (deposit), an agent letting fee and the first 2-4 weeks rent in advance. It’s also advisable to get a reference from your current landlord or estate agent, as well as a reference from your employer or financial statements as this may help towards securing a rental property in NZ.
The country’s rental accommodation prices are set and controlled by the Residential Tenancies Act. This regulatory body is administered and monitored by the Housing and Building Group which is under the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment – Just in case you were wondering!
Do be warned though if you are looking to rent in Auckland, our top tip would be to get in first! If you see a property you like make sure you contact the agent as soon as possible. Often as soon as the property is listed the agent gets lots of interest from the public. An opening viewing takes place and the place will be snapped up in as little as 3 days! This has happened to us a few times and can seriously slow down the hunt for a good property to rent.
In fact the current place we are in we snapped up in one afternoon! We happened to be in the city viewing other property’s when we were just cruising the “new” properties on Trade Me, we found a property that was just around the corner from where we currently were. We rang them, viewed the property the agent liked us so it was ours! We cannot stress how important it is to try and get it as early as possible!
Shared Accommodation In NZ
Renting a house can prove costly if living alone in New Zealand, therefore sharing a rental property is a good option to keep costs to a minimum. Mostly young professionals opt for shared accommodation and follow a process more commonly described as flatting. In flatting, you can choose to either live with a Kiwi family, other professionals, or in a Kiwi hostel. All provide a very sociable environment, allowing you to make new friends quickly and learn more about what the locality has to offer!
Check out these links for shared accommodation in NZ:
Buying A Home
If you’re eager to proceed with buying a property as soon as you arrive in NZ, then remember to allow plenty of time for the transfer to go through. There are lots of open homes available, which means you can visit homes (usually at the weekend, for approx an hour) and estate agents are present to answer any queries you may have about the property. It’s a good idea to attend several open homes (even if you fall in love with the first) to get a real feel for Kiwi houses.
A really informative and comprehensive guide about the purchasing of houses in New Zealand can be found on the Government’s website here. And, if you are all set on buying a home, then you can find out more information on mortgages through our article here.
Whatever your intentions for your time in New Zealand, you can rest assured that there will be the perfect accommodation and living arrangement to support your adventure or new lifestyle!