Whether you’re moving from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere, the North Island to the South Island or simply from North Auckland to South Auckland – finding your new home can be daunting and confusing.

Here are some tips on what to look for to make it a home sweet home for you and your family.

What’s Your Budget?

First things first, you need to decide what you can and can’t afford. There’s no point wasting time looking at ten-bedroom villas when all your pockets will stretch to is a one-bedroom flat.

Set out a limit on rent that you cannot go over and don’t forget to factor in other monthly costs such as electricity, TV, phone, broadband etc. These will all add to the monthly cost of renting your new place.

There are some other added extras that you will have to take into account also,  such as letting fees and Bond. Although both of these fees are once-off, they should be factored into your first month’s budget.

Letting Fees

These should only come into account if you are renting your flat from a letting agency and are usually priced at one week’s rent.


This is a security deposit for the landlord and typically costs up to four weeks rent. This is paid to the landlord, or letting agent, who then lodge it with a Bond Centre. This money is fully refundable on leaving the property provided there has been no damage caused to the property and you have abided by the tenancy agreement.

City vs. Suburbs

Now that you’ve calculated your budget and know what you can afford, it’s time to start researching areas that you would like to live in.

Which area you choose entirely depends on your circumstances. If you have children, you will probably want to look at areas that are close to good schools – usually located in the suburbs.

If you want to be close to major shopping areas, bars and restaurants, then flats closer to the city would suit better, although these tend to cost a lot more than similar sized accommodation in suburbs.

If you’ve found an area you like but are still unsure, take a walk through it after dark. Areas tend to be a lot quieter during the day and so could give you a false representation of what they’re really like.

What To Look Out For

Determine what you need in a house – furnished, unfurnished, en-suite bathroom, is water included in the rent, do you need a car-parking space. These are all factors that you should consider before you waste time looking at numerous apartments that are missing one or more of the features that you require.

Find A Flat

Now that all of your research is done, it’s time to start looking. Don’t limit yourself to one resource when it comes to finding a place to live. Use the internet, newspapers and letting agencies. If you go to see one apartment with a letting agency, ask them what else they have available in the area for a similar price.

Once you decide on the right apartment for you, you will have to sign the lease and pay the bond. Make sure to do a thorough check of the property before do both of these things.

All that’s left now is for you to move in and start making it a home!

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  1. Tamara says:

    I was wondering if you need the whole bond before you start viewing homes, will they wait for you or let you pay it off weekly or should you that whole bond already before you go out and start the whole process. Ive been living at home all my life and worried as I have no references, would my parents pass as a reference? or my employer? im so lost dont know where to start, ive started saving for my bond but dont want to miss out on homes ive seen on the net lately.

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  2. Shorty says:

    As far as I know, you can’t pay the bond in installments, you do need the whole amount up front. I imagine this is because it gets lodged with a Bond Centre and is not held by the landlord themselves. In terms of references, I moved to NZ from Ireland and had never rented in this country before so I had no references. A friend we were staying with in NZ and an employer over here provided our references so you should be fine with what you have – everyone has to start somewhere! If you’re still saving for your bond and worried about missing out on the perfect house for you, my only piece of advice would be to stop looking on the net! Until you’re in a position to rent immediately (i.e when you have your bond) there’s no point in breaking your heart and looking at houses you can’t move into. Hope that helps!

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