6 month a year home in NZ

Further to my initial post "Am I in the right place"

My wife and I holidayed in NZ the beginning of last year for approx. 5 weeks. This was my wife's first visit there, and my first since 1965!

We spent our time travelling and sightseeing the length of the country, staying at B & B's, Top Tens and Friends, as time would allow. Also while we were there, we made it a point to stop at the local estate agents' offices in most of the towns we visited, to gain as much info as possible vis a vis prices, locations and some suggestions as far as the possiblity of letting out for half the year.

It appears to be a much better proposition to purchase vs rent, especially if we are able to finance a chunk of our expenses for the time we are there, through the income from the property the rest of the year.

More than likely if we are able, we would be considering Northland, preferably on the edge of a smaller town.
From what I have been able to ascertain so far, it is permissible and relatively uncomplicated for foreigners to purchase property as long as the property does not fall into a restricted category.

We are at the stage now where we are attempting to get started "laying the groundwork" by beginning to concentrate a little more on the "nitty gritty" as it were...We are hoping to return early in the coming New Year (optimistic) or possibly the following year, to do some serious shopping around and possibly consider a purchase of some kind. I will have to have a fairly detailed "game plan" in place for that occasion, as we will have little time (4 to 5 weeks)to take care of business.
Any further insights, suggestions or info as to how the system
works would be greatly appreciated.


I would be very wary of buying a property so soon after moving to New Zealand. While it works for some people, the issue is that you really won't have built up a good picture of what it is like to live here, or what the area is like until you have actually lived there for a while.

Also, while property may look cheap, it really is a long way from cheaper to buy than rent at the moment, unless you have a sizable deposit and don't require much of a mortgage.

In northland, as prices are relatively cheap, rent may cover the cost of holding a property you buy - but remember you would be responsible for rates, insurance, property management fees, any upkeep or maintenance, and may have vacant weeks.

Market rents for the areas can be seen at:

Please don't rely on what Real Estate Agents are telling you ;)

If I were in your shoes - I would rent for the first 6 months stay out here, and use that time to really get a grip on life here. And to REALLY understand the housing market in your area.

This blog I wrote may be useful :cool:


BTW - my parents did what you are planning - lived here 6 months of the year - until they got residency. Its kinda cool :)

Good luck - and I hope that helps :)


Rob - hang fire on buying.  The exchange rate is so poor at the moment you will lose out big time.

And as AvalonsGuide says, you wont know if you like the area until you have lived there for a while.  Northland may look idyllic, but I have read many bad reports too.

Many NZ houses are notorious for being cold and damp, and being from Scotland, I know what cold and damp is.  I cannot remember the last time I felt warm and I live in a fairly new house.

Five weeks is definitely not long enough to determine if you will stay.  There are many expats out here longing to return, but stuck here because they cannot get their houses sold.  NZ immigration is currently at a 20yr low. 

Renting and living in an area for at least six months will give you a better idea before you commit totally.  And if you can come on a work permit as opposed to going through the rigmarole of permanency, all the better too. 

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Rob - ignore last comment on work permits.  I should have read your original post first.

ps - we are the same age LOl