Oz to NZ????

Old Mar 20th 2007, 12:11 am
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Default Oz to NZ????

Hi!

After living in Oz for over 5 years and moving several times around the state of Victoria, then taking a 2 month trip back to the UK last year to check out the possibility of moving back there for good, (but then realising that we would regret moving back to England), we are finally beginning to see Oz as our home. It's been a long journey but we are as "happy" now as we've ever been in Oz. Not ecstatically happy here, but finally at a level of happiness/acceptance that is a big improvement on how we have felt for the last 4-5 years.

We are just about to purchase a block of land next week as we have been renting since we arrived in Oz in 2001. Hopefully once we buy this block and build our first 'real' home here, things should improve even more. Our son has just started high school 2 months ago and seems to be settling in quite well. I started a new job here 3 mths ago when I arrived back from the UK trip in November 06 and this is going very well and I have slotted in very easily with the rest of the staff. Finally all seems to be coming together....

HOWEVER....my OH has just been offered a job in NZ last week!!!! This is something that has come totally out of the blue and perhaps given everything that we've been through, really couldn't have come at a worse time. Initially he declined the job offer, but the company based in Auckland are insistent that we take a trip out there at their expense before we make any rash decisions. My OH thinks this job could be a great opportunity and is just what he needs career-wise as he isn't particularly happy in his current job of almost 3 years, but like me he also doesn't relish the thought of starting again. We have agreed to go on the trip because as they have stated perhaps we are being hasty turning down something before we even find out all the details, but realistically I think we would be mad to go through another big move and I would feel immensely guilty moving my son again (as he has been to 4 schools in 5 1/2 years already due to our moves within Victoria)

The salary won't be discussed until they know we are definitely interested, but reading up on NZ we have discovered that the salaries are alarmingly low and yet the house prices seem alarmingly high!!! GST is also higher than in Oz! I believe that the general cost of living is comparable to Oz.

My questions to anyone living in NZ right now are:-

If there is a remote chance that we decide to go ahead with this move (right now I'd seriously say there's only about 1%), what could we get for around the NZ$400k mark?? We only have a small deposit (around NZ$50k) and here in Oz we could purchase our block & build a really nice house 5 mins drive from the beach for that price, but on the web the NZ houses look very run-down and yet they still seem to command extortionate prices for them.


Could anyone tell me of any nice suburbs within 30 mins of Auckland that we could get a nice 3-4 bed home for NZ$400k. At the moment we live near the ocean, but feel that we wouldn't get anything on a par for the same price in NZ.

What is the education system really like?? My 13 y/o son is not very sporty, but is pretty bright. Are there any good state schools that would be in a 30 minute radius of Auckalnd?

Why are the wages soooo low in NZ? How much do you think a family of 2 adults / 1 child need to earn (gross) to have a comfortable life and afford a NZ$350k mortgage? I currently work p/time in an office and earn around AU$20 per hr, but it looks like I'd be lucky to earn half that in NZ. Obviously my husband is the main bread-winner!

Is it true that migrants struggle to find employment?

Is there anything else that might be worthy of knowing before we embark on this 4 day trip to NZ?

Looking forward to any replies.

BB

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Old Mar 20th 2007, 1:53 am
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Default Re: Oz to NZ????

Hi,
can't answer all your questions...but will have a go at a few. Firstly if the company are that interested in your hubby they are probably going to make it worth his while financially. Auckland will be fairly expensive for a property but quite a few people are now living further out and commuting...we have a friend who works in Auckland and lives at Mangawhai Heads..Coastal. Nice place in Auckland is North Shore City...in my opinion. I suppose in comparison could you buy a property in Perth City Centre for $400k.

We don't live in Auckland we live in Northland have bought a section cost us $160K 5 mins walk to the beach and are having a 4 bed two level house built at a cost of $180K so in total $340.

In terms of your employment my sister is a cleaner and earns $17.00 an hour so I should imagine in an office you would be paid more than that... When looking at prices you are aware that the NZ $ and OZ $ are not the same $400k Oz is around $455 NZ according to XE.com.

But if you are happy in Oz then I wouldn't even consider it, I know my hubby was offered a job in Oz but turned it down, better money but we love NZ so it comes down to where do you want to live?
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Old Mar 20th 2007, 2:17 am
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Default Re: Oz to NZ????

Originally Posted by phil01 View Post
Hi,

We don't live in Auckland we live in Northland have bought a section cost us $160K 5 mins walk to the beach and are having a 4 bed two level house built at a cost of $180K so in total $340.

In terms of your employment my sister is a cleaner and earns $17.00 an hour so I should imagine in an office you would be paid more than that... When looking at prices you are aware that the NZ $ and OZ $ are not the same $400k Oz is around $455 NZ according to XE.com.
Thanks for that phil01,

Yeah, I realise that AU$ is worth more than the NZ$. The cost of the land that we are about to buy here is AU$144k, which is about NZ$165k, so similar price to yours. Is the $160k for a small piece of land (I believe you call it a section) or is it pretty big?

Are there any big building companies that you know of who have websites that we could look at for more info on building/house sizes/prices?

If we are interested in the job, we will spend a couple of days checking out some of the suburbs whilst we are there. Sounds like we should stay away from Auckland itself and maybe look at the Northland area. Which coastal suburbs in Northland would you recommend that are still quite affordable?

Really appreciate your comments.

BB

PS How long have you been in NZ?
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Old Mar 20th 2007, 2:35 am
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Default Re: Oz to NZ????

Which suburb in Auckland will the job be based?
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Old Mar 20th 2007, 2:52 am
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Default Re: Oz to NZ????

Originally Posted by Apple12 View Post
Which suburb in Auckland will the job be based?
I think its Papatoetoe. My OH has been out to Papatoetoe for a few business trips and the only thing that he really knows for sure is that we wouldn't want to live in that area. Other than that he knows very little about the surrounding areas.

He currently drives about 40 mins to work on congested Aussie Roads, so would be happy to travel about the same there. I have read that the drivers are terrible in NZ, but that's no different than in Oz!!

Any pointers would be really helpful so we can get as much out of the trip as possible. We plan to drive around some of the areas that other NZ posters recommend rather than trying to play guessing games as I'm sure the trip will go quickly.

Cheers!

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Old Mar 20th 2007, 3:04 am
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Default Re: Oz to NZ????

Note that I am not an Aucklander, but I would imagine the North Shore isn't practical when working in Papatoetoe...
Maybe this map will help, plug in suburb names and it will show you where they are:
http://www.multimap.co.nz
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Old Mar 20th 2007, 3:25 am
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Thanks Apple12!

This is a great map....love the search facility!!

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Old Mar 20th 2007, 3:53 am
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Default Re: Oz to NZ????

Originally Posted by Basil Brush View Post
HOWEVER....my OH has just been offered a job in NZ last week!!!!
Have you obtained your Australian citizenship? This gives you a lot more flexibility.
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Old Mar 20th 2007, 3:57 am
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Default Re: Oz to NZ????

Originally Posted by Basil Brush View Post
I think its Papatoetoe. My OH has been out to Papatoetoe for a few business trips and the only thing that he really knows for sure is that we wouldn't want to live in that area. Other than that he knows very little about the surrounding areas.

He currently drives about 40 mins to work on congested Aussie Roads, so would be happy to travel about the same there. I have read that the drivers are terrible in NZ, but that's no different that in Oz!!

Any pointers would be really helpful so we can get as much out of the trip as possible. We plan to drive around some of the areas that other NZ posters recommend rather than trying to play guessing games as I'm sure the trip will go quickly.

Cheers!

Hello,
I live in the suburb adjoining Papatoetoe. I don't think the North Shore
will be practical, as just a commute into downtown Auckland can be
a struggle from there.
There are no areas near Papatoetoe I could possibly recommend (especially as Papatoetoe might actually be the one of the better suburbs in the area!).
There are some nice enough neighborhoods near the Botanical Gardens and Totara Park in Manukau, but I believe the houses are a bit pricier there. That would be about a 15 - 20 minute drive to Papatoetoe in rush hour, since you don't need to get on the major motorway.

You could try going further south into the Papakura area, or even as far
as Pukekohe and Drury. More open space. Might be an important factor,
as large "sections" as they're called here are getting rarer.
Many people subdivide the sections, and you might be surprised to see
houses built on people's front and back yards. It's more common than not,
nowadays, in these suburbs.

Some people like the new developments around Botany/Flat Bush, as the
houses are newer, but you won't get much land with the house. And the houses all look the same.

The Alfriston/Whitford area has some nice properties, but I think a lot of those are very
expensive, but might be worth looking at. It's a more wooded, hilly area.

Most of the suburbs just south of Auckland as far south as Manukau are heavily populated
with Polynesian and Asian immigrants, so they have less of a New Zealand
feel to them, I think, as an outsider, although maybe some NZers would
disagree with that!

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Old Mar 20th 2007, 4:06 am
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Default Re: Oz to NZ????

Originally Posted by Apple12 View Post
Note that I am not an Aucklander, but I would imagine the North Shore isn't practical when working in Papatoetoe...
Maybe this map will help, plug in suburb names and it will show you where they are:
http://www.multimap.co.nz
I love maps. Thanks.

Good to note, though, that many of the inlets around the greater
South Auckland area are choked with mangroves, so even though
it looks on the map as if you'll be near water, you may not be able to see the
water from the roads, etc. And you may not have access to the
water either. This is less true around the coastal areas.
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Old Mar 20th 2007, 4:54 am
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The Alfriston area has some nice properties, but I think those are very
expensive, for the most part, but might be worth looking at.

Alfriston looks nice, but could be slightly out of our price range. How long do you think the drive to Papatoetoe would take from there in the morning rush-hour?

For the most part, the suburbs south of Auckland are heavily populated
with Polynesian and Asian immigrants, so it has less of a New Zealand
feel to it, I think, as an outsider, although maybe some NZers would
disagree with that!

Would you say that this applies to Papakura, Pukekohe & Drury too

Thanks for the help - have you been in NZ for long? Are you planning on staying there for good? Do you find it expensive?
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Old Mar 20th 2007, 5:19 am
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Default Re: Oz to NZ????

Hi, I'm sorry I cant actually help with any of your questions really as we don't live in Auckland and don't have kids! So no help there! But just wanted to sy hi and good luck - who knows this might be a change that could be great ( or maybe not!!) But if the company are paying for the trip I'd come and have a look.

My husband found work no problem and we're better off than we were in the Uk in disposable income terms.

Anyway, good luck!
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Old Mar 20th 2007, 5:25 am
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Default Re: Oz to NZ????

Originally Posted by Basil Brush View Post
The Alfriston area has some nice properties, but I think those are very
expensive, for the most part, but might be worth looking at.

Alfriston looks nice, but could be slightly out of our price range. How long do you think the drive to Papatoetoe would take from there in the morning rush-hour?
Might take about half an hour at least, but the commute won't be too bad. You do have to take into account that the windy roads will add some time, but not too much, I imagine.
It is true, though, that too many NZ drivers do not drive as safely
as they could.

For the most part, the suburbs south of Auckland are heavily populated
with Polynesian and Asian immigrants, so it has less of a New Zealand
feel to it, I think, as an outsider, although maybe some NZers would
disagree with that!
Would you say that this applies to Papakura, Pukekohe & Drury too
Papakura has a noticeable migrant population, and some problems with
vandalism and grafitti, but not nearly as much as the areas just north.
Pukehohe and Drury much less so. They're more farming areas, and you
might have to content yourself with collecting your water from the roof
and storing it in plastic tanks, as I don't think you'll have municipal water
service in these two places, although I'm not entirely sure it's true for
everyone there.

Oh yes, this weekend we went walking in a nature reserve in Papakura, Kirk's Bush. Lots of native trees, kauri, totara, puriri, etc. Every single tree that
was along the path was *grafittied*

Thanks for the help - have you been in NZ for long? Are you planning on staying there for good? Do you find it expensive?
I've been in NZ two years. I'm trying to save as much as possible to
get back home, so that's why I don't move out of South Auckland.
I do find it expensive, but I'm looking at it from an American's perspective,
so I can't help you there.
Also, I moved here to live with someone, so I didn't come looking for
economic opportunity, or a better life.

I think it might be worth a look at some of the established realtors websites,
to get an idea of house prices, etc.
Barfoot & Thomspon, Harcourts, Ray White are the big realtors here.

I do look at real estate nearly every week. We just looked at a house
in Red Hill, in Papakura. It was a 4 bedroom, 2 full bathroom, and one extra toilet home, with a 1/4 acre section and some nice views of the surrounding countryside. The asking price was at least $530, but I think the seller got more than that. They sold it themselves using HomeSell, which you might also want to look at to get idea of prices. The house was in better condition
than many we've looked at, and well-cared for. The houses in Red Hill
are more likely to have an expansive view than some other parts of Papakura.

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Old Mar 20th 2007, 5:55 am
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Default Re: Oz to NZ????

Originally Posted by Basil Brush View Post
Thanks for that phil01,

Yeah, I realise that AU$ is worth more than the NZ$. The cost of the land that we are about to buy here is AU$144k, which is about NZ$165k, so similar price to yours. Is the $160k for a small piece of land (I believe you call it a section) or is it pretty big?

Are there any big building companies that you know of who have websites that we could look at for more info on building/house sizes/prices?

If we are interested in the job, we will spend a couple of days checking out some of the suburbs whilst we are there. Sounds like we should stay away from Auckland itself and maybe look at the Northland area. Which coastal suburbs in Northland would you recommend that are still quite affordable?

Really appreciate your comments.

BB

PS How long have you been in NZ?
Hi sections all vary in prices and sizes, check out www.trademe.co.nz whatever the location, house builders, www.jennian.co.nz, www.a1homes.co.nz, www.gjgardner.co.nz and many many more...buying a section and having a house built is a good option if you are willing to rent for a while as everything is to your own taste and new!
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Old Mar 20th 2007, 7:14 am
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Default Re: Oz to NZ????

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
Have you obtained your Australian citizenship? This gives you a lot more flexibility.
Hi there!

I totally agree with you here!

Unfortunately, although we've been here for over 5 years, we only got our PR in Sept 05 and as we've spent a few months out of the country our 2 years won't actually be up until around Dec 07. However, this job is to replace a guy who will be retiring in a few years from now, so the NZ company are forward-thinking in trying to recruit his replacement asap.

Even if we decided to move forward with this job, we would stipulate that they would have to wait 'til the end of the year for us to get our Oz PR first. After everything we've been through there's no way I'm going to miss out on our PR for the sake of a few months.

Thanks for the tip!
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