What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city?
Real estate in Wellington is stable. School zoning is very strict, so it is important to check which school you would like your children to attend and its zoning restrictions before choosing a home to purchase or rent. Choosing a suburb with good commuting times and good access to the motorway systems is important.

When choosing a place to live, some important factors to consider are safety, location preference and individual needs. Depending on your preferences, you may want to find a place close to a school, church, transportation, shops, medical facilities, work and, most importantly, in an area that is secure and safe. As with other cities in New Zealand, choosing the right place to live is essential to having a pleasant and safe stay in Wellington.
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What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?
Central Wellington is relatively expensive, though there is a wide variety of apartments and homes available if you look carefully. The most popular part of Wellington City is Oriental Bay due to its beautiful view of the harbor and its central location.

Most expatriates reside in the Thorndon, Khandallah and Northland areas. These areas are conveniently located close to Wellington City, yet away from all the hustle and bustle of city life. The property value is high in these areas. Housing is a combination of single-story homes, bungalows or villas and smaller town houses.

Karori and Kelburn areas are also popular because the university is located very close to these areas. Another popular upmarket, sought-after area is Eastbourne. There are many beautiful properties with beach frontage in this area. There is also a daily ferry service into Wellington from Eastbourne and many people commute to work on this ferry.
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Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?
Expats rent initially and then the majority often purchase if they are staying longer than one year. This gives them time to understand the housing market. While looking for a permanent accommodation to rent or buy in Wellington, you can opt to stay at motels, serviced apartments or holiday houses, other than hotels. Please refer to websites below for further information.
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Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common?
When renting, you are required to pay a bond equivalent to two or three weeks' rent. This is held in a Trust Account by a third party and returned at the end of the tenancy, providing there is no rent owed or damages to the property. Rent is always paid in advance, usually weekly or fortnightly, and if the property is obtained through a letting agent, there is also a fee to be paid of one weeks' rent plus GST (Government Service Tax) of 15%. You could be required to have 5 weeks' rent prior to moving into a rental property: two weeks' rent in advance, two to three weeks' bond and one week to cover the letting fee.
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Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra?
Utilities are usually in addition to rental fees. They are seldom included in the rent.
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Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood?
Generally, Wellington is considered a safe city to live in. There are certain areas, however, with a high population density and are considered less desirable.
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I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city?
The electric current for New Zealand is 230-240 volts. The electrical Hertz (Hz) is 50 hertz of power.
Plugs have two or three prongs in a triangular shape. Although adaptors are available, it may be better to purchase small appliances on arrival.

Type I plug - Oblique flat blades with ground (inverted V)

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Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me?
Good rental properties are hard to find and it is advisable that transferees have a personal reference or testimonial from a previous landlord to assist in securing highly sought-after rental properties.
Some useful terms:

  • Flat - a dwelling normally shared by _ a group of people
  • Townhouses - several properties on shared land
  • Units - dwellings joined to each other; normally single story
  • Bach - small holiday home
  • Bungalow/villa - older, wooden home; single story on own piece of land
  • Cottage - small, older, wooden home

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Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.