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North of Auckland - worst bits

North of Auckland - worst bits

Old Jun 23rd 2015, 1:42 pm
  #1  
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Default North of Auckland - worst bits

OK, this is an area we didn't manage to visit and is the last area for me to do thorough research on. As we all know I tend to be a bit rosey in the tinted glasses department what can you tell me that's not great about the area?

I'm thinking of:
  • all sorts of nasty bugs like cockroaches and biting things
  • monsoon rain all year round
  • possibility of hurricanes(?)
  • earthquakes/volcanoes
  • being over run with tourists in the summer (potentially a good thing if we move into supporting that area)
  • if work moves to the south of the city The Bridge is a commuting nightmare
  • housing - don't mention the war cost of the housing
  • humidity and mildew/condensation everywhere

Go on, what else have I missed? Wind turbines? Fracking? Pollution? Tell me the worst and I can then settle with it all in my mind.

Good things would be good too

What's the furthest north you'd go to have no more than an average of a 1hr drive into the city if working towards the southern part of the north shore? Are there any areas you'd recommend avoiding?
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Old Jun 23rd 2015, 9:35 pm
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Default Re: North of Auckland - worst bits

I've got quite a few friends up that way (north of Albany), and most of them work up there too.

Weather is warmer, but I don't think it's much more humid than Auckland. Not aware of any risk of natural disasters.

Positives for me would be cheaper land prices than Auckland, possibly near some great holiday beaches (so really busy roads in the holiday season), but maybe good rural locations too.

Outside of Auckland you don't get the same range of job opportunities. Most of my friends up that way do sales, retail or farming. Not many corporate jobs up there.
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Old Jun 23rd 2015, 10:43 pm
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Default Re: North of Auckland - worst bits

Work would be in Auckland but north of the bridge. Your post is what I was hoping jmh, thanks. I was thinking I might be missing something obvious.
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Old Jun 24th 2015, 4:00 am
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Default Re: North of Auckland - worst bits

Been here north of Albany since 2007 and there are creepy crawlies, it is warmer than some places down south, the houses are often draughty and damp at the same time (it is possible really!), the Hibiscus Coast is a little drier than Auckland I believe (which can be very wet),there are tornadoes (mainly in one area of Albany) and the commute into or to south of Auckland is a royal pain in the ass.....

Beaches are near, people are more relaxed than North Shore/City (although that is changing as they build lots of big houses around Millwater, etc), there's more daylight in the winter, it ain't too windy, tourists don't bother us (but JAFAs coming out of City to us are more of a disturbance with parking, etc), some areas are a bit ropey but not too bad this far out.

No fracking, but lots of rorting.....with NZ being "Land of the Long Standing Rorts".....opticians, dentists, supermarkets, clothing, tax avoidance, rental prices, etc all being used to stitch us up (by certain Kiwis, Aussie banks, the govt., etc, etc). So in truth, same old sh!t different hemisphere.

Think Rip-Off Britain but without anyone caring - well not enough people to matter.

But don't worry all that investment cash from China will bail us out!
Is NZ ready for $10b of Chinese cash about to drop on property market? - Business - NZ Herald News
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Old Jun 24th 2015, 8:02 am
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Default Re: North of Auckland - worst bits

all sorts of nasty bugs like cockroaches and biting things - no more than other bits of NZ really. Not many biting things

monsoon rain all year round - nope

possibility of hurricanes(?) - no more than rest of NZ

earthquakes/volcanoes - probably less chance than some other bits of NZ

being over run with tourists in the summer (potentially a good thing if we move into supporting that area) - some beaches get busy in summer with people from all over Auckland. Lots of lovely beaches though

if work moves to the south of the city The Bridge is a commuting nightmare - yes, that could be a pain

housing - don't mention the war cost of the housing - bad all over Auckland. Generally (though not always) more affordable the further from the CBD you are

humidity and mildew/condensation everywhere - no more so than other northern bits of NZ. Type of house you have can affect it a lot.
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Old Jun 24th 2015, 8:33 am
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Default Re: North of Auckland - worst bits

When you say North how far then would you be willing to drive of morning to work? I'd say commuting from anywhere North of Warkworth will soon become tiresome - Warkworth to Albany wouldn't be too bad.

If your still looking for rural than you need several hundred thousand of your british pound notes to fund this and will be biggest deciding factor in where you can afford to live. It's essentially still Auckland house prices with bells on. For lifestyle sections: Kumeu, Coatesville, Waimauku, Riverhead and Dairy Flat are semi-rural and lovely but will require mucho dollares. Helensville might be more affordable.

Most of Whangaparao Peninsula, Millwater, Orewa and vicinity is predominantly suburban and not much different to the rest of North Shore, with no shortage of back to back leaky McMansions. Have a look at google maps for an idea of housing density and styles.


Tourists mostly wouldn't be bothering to stop off anywhere before Warkworth; this is not Northland. You need to get North of Whangarei for that.

Last edited by Bo-Jangles; Jun 24th 2015 at 8:37 am.
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Old Jun 24th 2015, 8:40 am
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Default Re: North of Auckland - worst bits

Mangawhai and Waipu aren't that far from the northern end of Auckland - which after all does stretch to Wellsford officially these days. I believe local DC does come with some horrendous rates issues though, due to the (unfortunately normal) council financial mismanagement. But Mangawhai is nice. I'd say Langs Beach would be somewhere I could live.

Have a friend who lives on the road between Warkworth and the Kaipara harbour - says it is not all it is cracked up to be, and misses the Shore.
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Old Jun 24th 2015, 8:44 am
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Default Re: North of Auckland - worst bits

Also, the motorway, which currently ends just before Puhoi is going to be extended up to Wellsford in the next few years.

http://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/puhoi-wellsford/index.html

It would still be quite a trek to the southern end of the Shore though. Some idea of budget might help us suggest areas
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Old Jun 24th 2015, 10:41 am
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Default Re: North of Auckland - worst bits

I've lived in a draughty and mildewed house when younger so do believe that houses can be both. Once renovated the house was amazing but we all had lung problems until it was made watertight and dry.

I've dealt with cockroaches before in my student digs - hate them with a vengeance but I know I can do control measures. Tarantulas I can't do but cockroaches I can <stomp, spray, baitkill>.

Had to look up what a rort was. Used to those, I'm old and experienced enough to be a cynical old bat when I need to be.

What mechanisms do you have in NZ for keeping an eye on planning applications and industrial developments in the area? In the UK some LAs have websites with all the information on and you can always g into the council offices and ask to see documents.

Our current commute takes us 1 to 1.5hrs in rush hour and 45 mins outside that. We would rather keep the longer commute and live in a rural area than cut it down and have to live in a city.

Previously we've bought a watertight and structurally sound house that needed modernising and done it up to make a profit so we could move up the property ladder. Is that done much in NZ? Anything bought near Auckland would probably only be home for 4 or 5 years, a project as a stepping stone would be good. Eventually we'd hope to move to an area of NZ with more affordable housing and have the lifestyle dream that we used to have here.

Budget for housing depends on what our home here would fetch and that's not clear. Worst case scenario it could be $400k, best case it could be $800k.

Mangawhai is definitely out as it would be 98km from work. I'd been working on the assumption that anything north of Parakai, Kaukapakapa or Puhoi would involve a commute of well over an hour. There's some amazing places near Wellsford but the commute would be around 75km and, I'm gussing, in rush hour could take 2hrs each way. In an ideal world a two bed home with 3hectares of grazing not bordering a dual carriageway or industrial site would be amazing but I'm not sure that's affordable for us at first.

Which area of Albany tends to be tornado alley?
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Old Jun 25th 2015, 3:03 am
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Default Re: North of Auckland - worst bits

Ok, if you're after somewhere with land with your budget then I think you will have to be quite far north - beyond Orewa, maybe around the Puhoi/Warkworth area or you will need to go quite far west from the Shore to the Helensvile/Kaukapakapa area.

E.g. This in Kaukapakapa
http://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-892307907.htm

Or this in Puhoi (no price given but CV is $520K
www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-894647023.htm

Or if you want to be a shorter drive from work you will have to do without the land.

As someone said, Coatesville and Dairy Flat have lots of lifestyle properties, as they are called here. But they are lots of $$$.

There are do-ups around but there are also lots of people trying to buy them to do them up and sell them on. So they don't tend to go that cheaply. A house near me (3 bed, standard Kiwi weatherboard bungalow in run-down condition) was recently sold for $680K to a builder. The entire inside has been ripped out and is being redone and possibly some of the outside will be too. I imagine the price it will get once sold again will be high 700/early 800K so not really a huge profit for the amount of work being done.
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Old Jun 25th 2015, 9:06 am
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Default Re: North of Auckland - worst bits

That's good to know the type of house we might look at is called a do-up, they are 'fixer uppers' where I live just now Also interesting to note that you have the same in NZ as here in the UK in that builders and property managers are now pricing the individual home owner out the market and the profit margins may not work for an individual person.

I think my big worry is that if we move closer to the city and buy a house with basic garden other costs would spiral. If we did that it would *definitely* be a temporary place to live.

Puhoi/Warkworth look OK albeit giving a long commute. Google maps reckons Warkworth to place of work would be around 55km which is similar to what we do now. Google Earth shows me that SH1, the main road, is similar to the roads we drive on now. Probably important to check anything we buy wouldn't be compulsory purchased at a low price and demolished to make way for the new motorway though

I should know more in the next month what's happening, we're ever so slowly moving towards being a bit more definite over whether we can afford to move over or not. Hopefully we can and I'll be moving into asking all the usual panicky questions about EOI and ITA paperwork.
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Old Jun 25th 2015, 8:46 pm
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Default Re: North of Auckland - worst bits

Puhoi is a nice little village. Puhoi to (for example) Takapuna is 36km, motorway virtually all the way and about 30 mins on clear roads. The problem would be that travelling in at peak times I would imagine the last 10 or so kilometres would be very slow with traffic travelling to the city.

There are websites with webcams of the motorway (NZTA is one I think) so you can see what traffic is like at various times of day.
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Old Jun 30th 2015, 7:10 am
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Default Re: North of Auckland - worst bits

Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
.
What mechanisms do you have in NZ for keeping an eye on planning applications and industrial developments in the area? In the UK some LAs have websites with all the information on and you can always go into the council offices and ask to see documents.
Oooo. Tough can of worms is this one . What you see may not match what can and does happen.

Development can be non-notifiable. I'll leave that there for now .
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Old Jun 30th 2015, 7:54 pm
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Default Re: North of Auckland - worst bits

Originally Posted by BEVS View Post
Oooo. Tough can of worms is this one .

Development can be non-notifiable. I'll leave that there for now .
They're oftem the ones you need to open though thanks for replying Bevs as I know you've had a particularly hideous experience with neighbours and whats permitted.

Many developments are non-notifiable here now too, including major industrial developments. The fines for non-notification are also so low that developers often just go ahead, don't notify and then simply pay the fine if they get a slap on the wrist from the planners. Increasingly it's important to check council planning office websites ate least once a week, every week. Even then they often try to hide things so you also have to call and ask once a week and record the phone call too as evidence.

I was wondering if there was anything like this Lincolnshire CC site for wekkly applications. I'll have a rummage round the Auckland Council website tonight and see what I find.
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Old Jun 30th 2015, 8:34 pm
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Default Re: North of Auckland - worst bits

Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
Increasingly it's important to check council planning office websites ate least once a week, every week. Even then they often try to hide things so you also have to call and ask once a week and record the phone call too as evidence.
I'm not sure if I am going to do this, to be honest. Unless the voices in my head start to tell me to.
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