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House Hunting

When you land in a new city one of the things that starts out a fun but quickly becomes a hassle is finding somewhere to live. You’d think that it would be the same process the world over, but no, each place has its own idiosyncrasies.

In Hong Kong because of the small size of the apartments they don’t understand big furniture and in Singapore all the real-estate agents seem to be doing it as a second job and will just show you anything, what ever requirements you give them. At least you get agents where you tell them what you want and they tell you what they have available. Here in Auckland it doesn’t work that way.

In Auckland you have to do all the searching yourself. Once you find a property you call up and they let you know when the open house is. If you’re lucky they might be able to arrange a viewing that matches your time but that’s the exception, not the rule. If you ask “do you have any other properties like this” you immediately get directed to the estate agents website and asked to look yourself. This is a mistake as a lot of the agents websites are literally just a list of all properties they have with no filters. Basically they are saying please go find the needle in the haystack over there.

The only saving grace is Trade Me, this is New Zealands’ answer to Ebay. Not only is it an auction site to get rid of all your old stuff that you don’t want anymore but it’s also where people are selling cars, houses and even where some jobs are advertised.

So if your moving to Auckland and need to rent a house get on Trade Me to find your house.

Buying is another issue all together, in all the other places that I have lived the most popular way to sell a house is to put out a list price and field offers until you agree on a sale. This makes it easy to know at least the ballpark that you are going to be in as a new person to the area. Here the more popular way appears to be auction without a published guide price. This makes it much more difficult to budget for and means that I might have to attend a couple of auctions to see how they work ahead of when we are ready to buy.

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5 thoughts on “House Hunting

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  1. Auction culture, eh? And they actually really sell them at auction, then? And what about building inspections, etc? Is it the thing where you’re supposed to arrange to have it done on the off-chance you might win the auction? I’m with you – I like the other way better.

  2. Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no such word as budget when it comes to Auckland auction. Also be ready for health treatment prices, particularly surgeries and dentists, when the time comes you will know what “budgeting” is. They will be vague when you go in, they will ask personal questions and will be vague on price, once they start drilling they will give you an x price, but by the end of the consultation they will double it. You have no way out. Im horrified still. I started a dental treatment at 5k which quickly became 20k, Plus minor expensives. Dont worry, if they are vague, they will send you the bill by post after you are tied up. This is the greediest country live lived in. The reason why auckland has been elected as the friendliest city in the world is because people will be quickly smile away as long as your money doesnt run out, it’s money money money. My long term partner is a kiwi btw, it’s a learning process for me too, ive had tremendous lessons already. And there are no laws to back you up, the only quick solution for something unethical (they dont call it robbery when someone charges 10x the average price for a service or product) is to take your case to tv programs like fair go. An advice mate, pack your bags, get out here, nothing is what it seems.

    1. I know that Auckland prices are the highest in NZ and that a lot of people think they are way too expensive but compared to Singapore they are a bargain. Our next-door neighbour there bought a 3 bedroom terrace house for 1.8 mill then knocked it down and rebuilt! Couldn’t afford to buy there.

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