Moving to New Zealand from the UK is an exciting proposition and it opens up the possibility for a new life with ample opportunities, lovely weather, gorgeous scenery and a wonderful quality of life. If you are embarking on this adventure you are probably incredibly excited, as well as a little nervous and overwhelmed about all of the things you need to do to make the move to New Zealand happen successfully.

There will be many things to think about, including how to move your possessions over, how to book affordable plane tickets, how to obtain a New Zealand skilled visa (which is different than the Australian skilled visa) and how to adjust to life in your new home. One of the biggest tasks is choosing that home – finding the right house on the New Zealand property market.

New Zealand is a great place to own property and the property values are increasing. Some of the hottest locations in the country to own a home are Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Dunedin, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Tauranga are also popular locations.

The good news is that buying a home in New Zealand is a lot simpler in comparison to buying property in Europe. Also there are very few restrictions on buying property in New Zealand for foreigners and New Zealand encourages foreign buyers from all over the world. It is not necessary to be a resident in New Zealand to buy a property there. However, there are still some things that you should know before you get started.

In order to help you with choosing a new house and making your move, here are some essential New Zealand property buying tips:

Finding Your Dream Home

In New Zealand, when a property is for sale, the owners will usually have an “Open House.” This means that the house is open for visits to come inside and take a look, without needing to make an appointment first. You can take a day to drive around the area in which you want to live and visit any open homes that you might see. Even if you don’t find the perfect house it can be a great way to learn about the property market in that specific area of New Zealand.

Another way to see as many houses a possible is to ask your estate agent to arrange a tour. They will likely be happy to drive you around for an hour or two in hopes of making a sale.

The Legalities of Buying a Property in New Zealand

The legal process of buying a house in New Zealand is not too complicated and can be completed very rapidly. Take your time and find the right property for you, then put in an offer in writer to the estate agent. The offer on the house will be subject to several factors, including a building inspection, searches and a mortgage offer. If you choose to, you can make the offer depend on a satisfactory report from the LIM.

If the offer on the home is accepted, you will then be required to pay a deposit of 10%. Your solicitor will hold onto this deposit on your behalf. During this time if another buyer comes along before any of the conditions you have included have been met with approval, the seller can still accept the other offer. However, once your conditions have been met the contract will become unconditional.

Don’t Forget About Extra Fees

There are a few extra fees that you need to be aware of when you are buying property in New Zealand. For example the Solicitor’s Fee is usually $1,000 to $2,000 depending on the extent of the search and whether you need extra help with taxation and immigration.

The Valuation Fee will usually cost around $400-$500 and the Transfer Fee is usually around $50-$70. You will also need to pay for a building inspection report that will cost around $400-$500. Also if you are getting a mortgage in New Zealand you will need to pay a registration fee of around $50.

Buying a home and moving overseas is a significant life decision, so it is important to know as much about this purchase as possible. Buying a property in New Zealand might be simpler than in other countries, but it is still important to be well informed regarding the details of this purchase. After all, you are a very long way from home!