Buying a Home in New Zealand: A Guide for Foreigners

Homes in New Zealand, housing in a coastal townIf you’ve watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy, you’ve probably considered moving to New Zealand. This beautiful island country truly has some jaw-dropping landscapes that make hiking a pure joy. And if you are considering relocating to New Zealand, we can only assume that you are also considering buying a home here. With this in mind, we’ve written a comprehensive guide for buying a home in New Zealand.

Housing marketing in New Zealand

Before we get into specifics of home purchase, you must understand the current housing market in New Zealand. Namely, more and more people have decided that buying a home in New Zealand is a good idea in the past decade. This increased property value would’ve continued to do so if the New Zealand government hadn’t stepped in. Today, in order to buy property in New Zealand as a foreigner, there are some difficulties that you need to overcome.

Buying a home in New Zealand may not be an option for you.

Homes in New Zealand

Buying property as a foreigner

Depending on where you are coming from and your reason for buying real estate, you might experience different restrictions. For instance, people in Australia require little to no permissions to purchase a property. But, if you come from the US or UK, you may find purchase restrictions that outright ban you from buying a particular type of property. We suggest that you visit the New Zealand government website and use their tool to find out more. Through it, you will get a good idea of what you can buy and what permits you might require.

Finding a home to buy

If you are eligible to purchase a home in New Zealand, you’ll find that it is a pretty straightforward endeavor. The benefit of such high regulations of the real estate market is that you can easily find information and experience ample protection from fraud. By simply going online, you can get accurate data on housing prices and purchase options. Keep in mind that the area where you buy a home can be a significant factor in how expensive it is. For instance, the median price of a home in Auckland is NZ$850,000. Meanwhile, the median price of a home in Whanganui is NZ$330,000. The housing cost usually reflects job availability and general living costs. So, before you make your decision, try to first consider your budget and see which area suits you best.

Finding a good realtor

While you can, theoretically, try to find a home of your own accord, we strongly suggest that you find a good realtor. Even though you have easy access to accurate information, there is still no substitute for having your finger on the pulse of local real estate. So, once you feel that you’ve found a suitable area, try to find an experienced local realtor. They will be able to guide your purchase and ensure that you understand what you are getting into.

A real estate agent shaking hands with clients after buying a home in New Zealand.

An experienced realtor will help you navigate the New Zealand real estate market with ease.

Keep in mind that there might be some language barriers to overcome, even if you are from the UK or the US. Notions like:

  • Attached properties.
  • Standalone options.
  • Sections.
  • Zoning permits.

All of these are paraments that can impact your purchase. An experienced realtor will help you understand the local market and ensure that you make the right decision.

Moving to New Zealand

Since you are a foreigner, you are likely wondering when to relocate to New Zealand. On the one hand, it does seem pretty straightforward to relocate after you’ve bought a home. On the other, finding a suitable home might be easier if you are physically present in the area. So, what is the smart call?

When should you relocate?

If you’ve never been to New Zealand before, we strongly suggest visiting it before buying property. While it may look beautiful on videos and pictures, know that New Zealand is no fairytale land. Just like any country, it has its culture, with various pros and cons. And if you find them unsuitable, you better be renting out a place there and not be stuck with a purchased home. Ideally, you will spend at least a couple of months living in New Zealand before making your purchase. Only if you have visited it before and have a good idea of what living here is like should you opt to buy a home online.

Finding the right movers

Moving to New Zealand is best done by having capable movers by your side. While you may be able to tackle a local move, you shouldn’t even consider attempting a DIY international relocation. The only way to ensure that both you and your items remain safe is to have experienced professionals by your side from the get-go.

Moving to New Zealand

It is simply not possible to tackle an international move without professional help.

Fortunately, finding international movers is easier than ever. It is customary to either hire movers from your current area or from the area where you plan on moving. Therefore, if you want to have an easy relocation from the US, either go for US movers or New Zealand ones. In either case, you should avoid trying to cut too many costs. International relocation is complicated, so you should accept that it is going to be costly. Ideally, you will hire cost-effective movers that will reduce the cost of moving while ensuring overall safety.

What to keep in mind

As we have mentioned before, buying a home in New Zealand can be surprisingly straightforward. But you must do the necessary research and go through the proper channels. Once you make sure that you are eligible and have the necessary funds, you can hire a realtor. With them by your side, you should find a suitable New Zealand home to move into. When it comes to international movers, try to hire them as soon as possible. Not only can they help you prepare appropriately for your relocation, but the cost of their service can vary drastically based on the timing of your relocation.

By Mary Aspen Richardson

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