What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city?
Real estate in Auckland is consistently buoyant. School zoning is very strict, so it is important to find the school you would like your children to attend and its zoning restrictions before choosing a home to purchase or rent. Additionally, Auckland has a reputation for major traffic problems; choose an area with good commuting times and good access to the motorway systems.
When choosing a place to live, some important factors to consider are 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, an area that is secure and safe. As with other cities in New Zealand, choosing the right place to live is essential to a pleasant and successful relocation to Auckland.
What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?
The Remuera/Epsom area is popular because it is in the zone for two of Auckland's top schools. Consequently, prices in the area are high. Housing consists primarily of individual single-story homes called bungalows or villas. Recently, more townhouses (several individual homes on a shared property) have been built.
Howick, Pakuranga and Botany Downs are also popular areas. In these suburbs, the majority of the homes are new, modern and largely maintenance-free. This area is to the east of the Central Business District (CBD) and there is considerable traffic congestion for travel into the CBD during peak traffic times.
Browns Bay and other northern bays are particularly popular. These suburbs are all on the coast with excellent safe beaches. Housing is mixed with a variety of individual bungalows, townhouse complexes and detached houses. This area was initially a summer beach retreat and beach homes can still be found. These summer homes are called baches. "Bach" is our term for a simple beach cottage. This area, called the North Shore, requires commuting across the Auckland Harbour bridge to get to the CBD. The bridge is heavily congested during peak-hour traffic.
Milford, Takapuna and Devonport are suburbs on the North Shore; Milford & Takapuna are very sought-after areas with beachfront homes and apartments, vibrant cafes and shopping malls. The housing mix is varied. The Devonport area is renowned for beautifully restored old villas. Devonport is like a holiday village with many tourists visiting via the ferry, a 15-minute journey from downtown. Many residents from the North Shore travel to the CBD via the ferry. The area is coastal with beautiful safe beaches and many recreational parks and facilities.
Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?
Newcomers to New Zealand initially rent and then purchase a home if they are staying longer than one year. This gives them time to understand the housing market. While looking for permanent accommodation to rent or buy in Auckland, you can opt to stay at motels, serviced apartments or holiday houses as well as hotels. Please refer to websites below for further information.
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 of 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. If the property is obtained through a letting agent, there will also be a fee to be paid of one weeks' rent plus GST (Government Service Tax), currently 15%. In summary, 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.
Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra?
Utilities are usually additional to rental prices. Very seldom are they included in the rent.
Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood?
Generally, Auckland is considered a safe city to live.
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 is considered better to purchase small appliances on arrival.
Type I plug - Oblique flat blades with ground (inverted V)
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, sometimes with shared walls
Units - adjoined dwellings; normally single-storied
Bache - a small holiday home
Bungalow/villa - older, wooden property; single story on own piece of land
Cottage - small, older, wooden property
Single-family home - detached property
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.