What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city?
When searching for 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 Palmerston North.

Real Estate in Palmerston North has been very buoyant. Good properties can be difficult to secure, especially in good school zones as our zoning system is strict. Zoning is an area surrounding a school where pupils must reside to be eligible to attend. Zoning areas should be checked with each individual school.
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What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?
Some of the most popular neighborhoods for expats in Palmerston North are:

Housing surrounding "The Square" - The homes in this area are older. The area is popular with much of the student population because it is close to the city. Around "The Square," you will find good hotels, motels and apartment-style accommodations.

Hokowhitu - This is a suburb close to the city and running through to the river. It has a full range of housing to fit most budgets. This suburb is within sought-after school zones. It has excellent walks and is close to local cafés.

New subdivisions have been established on the south side of the Manawatu River, providing housing with views of the river, lagoon and golf course. There has been an increase in housing in the foothills, providing excellent views but with wind exposure.

Riverdale - This area was developed in the 1970s and is popular with Massey University staff. Staff and students can cycle to the university from here.

Suburbs on the outskirts provide reasonable housing for the budget-conscious. Outlying small towns of Fielding and Tokomaru provide alternatives to city living. Army personnel at Linton Camp and air force personnel at Ohakea often prefer city living.
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Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?
Expats usually rent their homes initially. If they are staying for longer than one year, they will then typically purchase a home.
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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 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 and, 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%. 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?
Typically, utilities are additional to rental prices. 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?
Palmerston North is considered a safe place to live.
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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)
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.