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Notes on finding a house in Auckland

Danny Garrett and his partner immigrated in January 2005 from Austin, Texas.  Many people have asked how to find an apartment or house in Auckland so here are some points to keep in mind:

Rents in NZ are quoted weekly, so don't get too excited if you see what looks to be a fabulous villa for $500.  That's $500 each week, with rent collected fortnightly (every 14 days). 

When we were looking for housing we were told to be aware that Auckland has a 3rd dimension not seen on maps: height.  Auckland is very hilly, and as such, many houses are only accessible by stairs.  Keep this in mind if you have accessibility issues to consider.

If you haven't gotten a copy of NuKiwi's report on immigrating and living in New Zealand, it is highly recommended.  You can get a copy at http://www.nukiwi.com/299t7mFw.htm  It's about US$50 and well worth it, as it will help guide you on some of these decisions everyone has to make when immigrating.

A good thing to do when arriving is to rent an furnished apt. by the week for 2-4 weeks (or however long you need) to get the feel of the city.  Danny stayed at the Elliott Street Apartments and if they are in your budget, they are centrally located and well maintained.  You can see them online at http://www.elliottstapartments.co.nz/   If the Elliott St. Apts. are not appropriate, there are other accommodations by the week; you might check Lonely Planet Travel Guide for a good backpackers or other temporary accommodation.  Danny highly recommends starting out in something temporary.

For permanent housing, your best bet is to check out the apartment/house ads in the New Zealand Herald ( http://www.nzherald.co.nz/classifieds/index.cfm?pillar=5 ) and make sure you ask about accessibility on each property.  Most of the older houses here are elevated and have some number of stairs when entering.  Newer properties (which you will find in out-lying areas) will be more like typical American subdivisions, and will offer attached garages, and fewer stairs.

Good maps to research where a house or business is located can be found at: http://www.wises.co.nz/ and at http://www.mapzone.co.nz/addressFinder?organisation=2003141  Be aware that Auckland is divided into 4 "cities" and all addresses are referenced by "Suburb" -- which is what Americans would call a neighborhood.  For example, Danny lives in Mt. Eden suburb; downtown is known as the CBD (Central Business District) and other popular, central areas are Parnell and Ponsonby.

Good luck!

PS: And when you get to New Zealand, on the South Island or the North -- no matter, and ya get that craving for some cool, delicious tunes, there's only one place to shop in Godzone for music of all stripes and that's Real Groovy Records. With locations in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, they truly have Everything Under the Sun in the world of music.

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