Quality of houses

Old Jun 7th 2011, 12:50 pm
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Default Quality of houses

Just been looking at rental houses in the areas surrounding of Wellington, and we were VERY disappointed with the quality, or lack of it, in all the properties we viewed.

We are not looking for a palace, just a 3/4 bed house, however, we are surprised at lack of insulation, no double-glazing or proper heating!! It seems the three essential items we will need are a window scraper, sponge and dehumidifier!

Also, the asking prices for such rental properties are as much, or more than in the UK.......it seems to rent in NZ is a joke!!

Is this the 'normal' house build quality we should expect in NZ??

Allan
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Old Jun 7th 2011, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: Quality of houses

I'm gonna take a stab in the dark and guess that a lot of residences in NZ don't need silly things like central heating and double glazing when it's so lovely and warm.

Someone in Kiwiland can probably confirm...
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Old Jun 7th 2011, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: Quality of houses

Originally Posted by Nimbus320 View Post
Is this the 'normal' house build quality we should expect in NZ??
Yes it is. Look for a dry heat source (heat pump or log burner), but that is normally the most you will get.

When you come to buy (if you do) then properties on the market may tend to have more insulation but DG and CH - never saw them in all the 50 or so houses we looked at.

However the one we bought is fine, but still can be chilly in the bedrooms (furthest from the heatpump). But hey, we are on Whangaparaoa and on mains water and gas

You DID know lots of NZ houses are on tank (ie rain water off the roof), water.....
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Old Jun 7th 2011, 8:26 pm
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Default Re: Quality of houses

Originally Posted by DerekZoolander View Post
I'm gonna take a stab in the dark and guess that a lot of residences in NZ don't need silly things like central heating and double glazing when it's so lovely and warm.

Someone in Kiwiland can probably confirm...
No. I would not call Wellington warm except for a bit of summer. It can be pretty cold, wet and windy in winter - worse than Vancouver and this city is in Canada! What people in NZ do is layer up in woolly knitted things/buy a woolly singlet for underneath and if you need to get a heater for your bedroom or wherever you are hanging out and move it around. You may think I joke but I'm not.

to the OP: sounds about right to me! Don't worry, you'll soon toughen up.

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Old Jun 7th 2011, 10:54 pm
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Default Re: Quality of houses

Unfortunately yes this is the norm - we're in Auckland and it's bad enough, think of those poor peeps down in the south island!

You'll find that if you invest in some heaters of your own that you can take wherever you end up then this is a good option, along with a dehumidifyer.

Also - don't ever be afraid to put cheeky offers on rental properties - we got $200 per week knocked off our rental.

My final bit of advice is although you may be used to a nice new and shiney home, don't rule out the older ones that have been knocked and bashed about a bit - they are much easier at the end of a rental to get your bond back, and especially if you have children you are not constantly worried about what they are doing to the place. By the time you get 'your stuff' in and around you it is easy to make most places feel homely.
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Old Jun 8th 2011, 5:59 am
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Default Re: Quality of houses

Originally Posted by Nimbus320 View Post
Just been looking at rental houses in the areas surrounding of Wellington, and we were VERY disappointed with the quality, or lack of it, in all the properties we viewed.

We are not looking for a palace, just a 3/4 bed house, however, we are surprised at lack of insulation, no double-glazing or proper heating!! It seems the three essential items we will need are a window scraper, sponge and dehumidifier!

Also, the asking prices for such rental properties are as much, or more than in the UK.......it seems to rent in NZ is a joke!!

Is this the 'normal' house build quality we should expect in NZ??

Allan
Modern houses are built to better standards. Ours is 18 months old, is insulated, has double glazing and is lovely and warm with the gas central heating going as it is at the moment.
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Old Jun 8th 2011, 6:19 am
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Default Re: Quality of houses

Originally Posted by Nimbus320 View Post
Just been looking at rental houses in the areas surrounding of Wellington, and we were VERY disappointed with the quality, or lack of it, in all the properties we viewed.

We are not looking for a palace, just a 3/4 bed house, however, we are surprised at lack of insulation, no double-glazing or proper heating!! It seems the three essential items we will need are a window scraper, sponge and dehumidifier!

Also, the asking prices for such rental properties are as much, or more than in the UK.......it seems to rent in NZ is a joke!!

Is this the 'normal' house build quality we should expect in NZ??

Allan
Welcome to life in NZ! We are renting at the moment. No central heating or double glazing. We have 1 heat pump to warm the whole house (2 floors) and it does get slightly cold at night (we live next to the sea and get the breeze across the ocean) but only in Winter (all 2 months of it!) The rest of the time, you just need air con.. The biggest thing with houses, here, is they get damp so you need a dehumidifier or 2, to keep the condensation away. Some heat pumps have this facility. If you buy, buy in winter as this is the best time to find faults with insulation, heating and damp.

Good luck!
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Old Jun 8th 2011, 6:29 am
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Default Re: Quality of houses

Houses here are in general, a pretty poor standard compared to what you'll be used to in the UK. There's obviously going to be some that are better and worse (a lot worse!) than others.
Things like central heating and double glazing are rare, certainly in a rental property and lots of homes have no heat source what so ever. Its also not only older homes, my house is 4 years old has single glazing, little insulation and a single small heat pump which barely puts out more heat than a bathroom hand drier.
I am getting used to wearing more clothes indoors than out and have a duvet permanently draped over the sofa for when it gets too cold. The weather may be generally warmer here than south west Scotland but when it hits low single figures outside at night in a cold house I'd give my first born (if I had one!) for some central heating!
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Old Jun 8th 2011, 7:17 am
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Default Re: Quality of houses

Originally Posted by DerekZoolander View Post
I'm gonna take a stab in the dark and guess that a lot of residences in NZ don't need silly things like central heating and double glazing when it's so lovely and warm.
Silly things? We wish!! Very puzzled about this lovely warm place of which you speak.

Most rental places are spectacularly shocking and devoid of creature comforts of the fitted / instant heating kind, the most you might expect is a log burner or perhaps one token, but totally inadequate, heat-pump. Even buying a house I wouldn't expect to be overwhelmed by properties where central heating, insulation and double-glazing are a featured highly and most unlikely to find all three in the same house.

The recent arrivals shouldn't be misled by the relative mildness of weather over recent weeks, which has been the warmest May for over a hundred years.
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Old Jun 8th 2011, 7:32 am
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Default Re: Quality of houses

I've been mis-sold an entire country!
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Old Jun 8th 2011, 8:06 am
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Default Re: Quality of houses

Don't fret Zoolander. As an ex-scot, who has been here for 40 odd years, I can say, in Auckland anyway, it is really not as bad as this thread implies.
Have always lived in a wooden house - ceiling insulation but none in the walls. We have lots of floor length windows which ofcourse let out lots of heat but find themal lining a big help. While central heating and double-glazing would certainly be lovely - warmer and energy saving, I don't think they are an essential. We have gas heating in lounge and hall and use a couple of small oil heaters as needed in other rooms, timer on heater for getting up. Think people from UK have got used to having VERY warm(overwarm?) homes. Seem to think you should be able to wear short sleeves in winter but just putting on a jumper is a big help - maybe not as stylish ofcourse.
However I, like everyone else, moan about the cold but it doesn't actually take long for the house to heat up with the heating on. Don't feel the need to have heaters on overnight - snuggly, sheepskin electric blanket. Also, if it is sunny day our house is quite warm when I get home at 4ish.
Forgot to say Auckland IS damp in winter and a dehumidifier is a big help and does reduce how much heating needed. Also regular airing makes a big difference.
Having said that there are some cold houses and remember you want NORTH facing to take advantage of the sun.
Good luck
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Old Jun 8th 2011, 8:09 am
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Default Re: Quality of houses

Originally Posted by DerekZoolander View Post
I've been mis-sold an entire country!
It will depend very much on where you end up living in NZ. Generally speaking the further North the warmer climate. I'm in the Bay of Plenty which is pretty nice all year round. Winters relatively mild, summers long and hot. Far better than where I was in the South/South West of the UK.

But the quality of housing, as others have said, is nothing like the UK. In fact in the winter it is warmer outside than it is in my house quite often. So another recommendation from me would be remember that here you want North facing for sun.
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Old Jun 8th 2011, 8:10 am
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Default Re: Quality of houses

Hahaha, cross posted with dorrick for the North facing advice!
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Old Jun 8th 2011, 8:15 am
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Default Re: Quality of houses

So north-facing you say? I'd only ever be aiming at the north island yup - have just had 6 months of winter in Aberdeen. If i never see -15*C again i'll be happy

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Back to topic...
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Old Jun 8th 2011, 9:42 am
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Default Re: Quality of houses

Originally Posted by Nimbus320 View Post
Just been looking at rental houses in the areas surrounding of Wellington, and we were VERY disappointed with the quality, or lack of it, in all the properties we viewed.

We are not looking for a palace, just a 3/4 bed house, however, we are surprised at lack of insulation, no double-glazing or proper heating!! It seems the three essential items we will need are a window scraper, sponge and dehumidifier!

Also, the asking prices for such rental properties are as much, or more than in the UK.......it seems to rent in NZ is a joke!!

Is this the 'normal' house build quality we should expect in NZ??

Allan
Yes!! Houses are terrible for the most part. No insulation and little heating. NZ's often put extra clothes ON to go to bed, not take them off.

Some of the modern homes are better, but not cheap, as you say.
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