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Thread: Life in Wellington ..... so far

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Wellington, NZ From Hants,UK
    Posts
    41

    Default Life in Wellington ..... so far

    Recently seen some posts asking about Wellington so thought I'd give our account of life so far here!

    My family and I came to Wellington at the start of April.

    The city is great - all the facilities and and good 'vibe' about the place that sometimes just makes a smile crack across the face.
    Sure the weather can be trying - coming from the UK I am used to some grotty weather - and the wind can be difficult but so far most days have averaged about 17C since I got here which is pretty good considering we are approaching the heart of winter - but I'm told the worst will be around sept/oct

    We spent the first three weeks in a 'serviced' apartment on Willis Street in the city centre - which initially seemed superb as it seemed a good location and I started work just a quick walk away......But we soon realized the place was above a Korean Karaoke restaurant so that made evenings initially interesting but it soon became despair with a real struggle to get two young children to sleep and then to try and get some sleep ourselves. Still it was funny hearing Bohemian Rhapsody in a Korean accent though!

    Anyway we thought - lets get the rental sorted. Before we came I thought we should take a week or so to settle and then go looking - but that would have been a big mistake for us a there is so much to do when you arrive here. We ended up going out to look at suburbs the second day in and I am so glad we did. I think it is really important to get out and try and look at the various suburbs to get a good feel of them - repeated visits were also important. It does take time and those serviced apartments are not cheap - so get going early.

    We are a family of four with two young boys and the missus is not a city girl so our take on a lot of the suburbs will be different from others but I think it is important for anyone coming here to get out there asap and try and do as much research as possible. We don't want to keep moving our eldest who is in primary school so we need to make this one right so we don't disturb him any more than necessary.

    We had some set criteria for a house and tried to meet most of them - although I found the big thing is deciding on compromises.
    We've ended up in a rental in Greenacres on the side of Tawa
    Good points:
    Excellent primary school
    Easy access to Wellington
    All day sun
    Good views
    Good variety of local shops and amenities although a car drive away
    Quick train ride into Wellington
    Sheltered from Southerlys - though yet to really experience them
    Newish house (6yrs) so clean tidy

    Not so good points
    No garden - no area for kids to play in
    Very exposed to Northerly winds and this rattles the house - so lack of sleep which is an issue
    Newish house but poor insulation so can be cold!

    We thought we could live with these compromises - but the lack of garden is a big issue we are finding. Also the lack of sleep cannot continue. But its all a learning curve and it has given us a base for now.
    When I discuss this with locals the standard response is - "well you did move to Wellington!" which is fair enough I suppose but I am convinced you can find what you want or need - living in Wellington just restricts your options if the things we are after are important to you - for instance the next place we move into won't be on the side of a hill - which rules out 75% (Well maybe 95%) of Wellington!!.
    All these things may mean we have to move further out which will mean longer commutes and other issues ..........but it's all about the compromises - I know that and accept it.
    If these things are not important to you then there are a lot more options

    Initial thoughts were to keep renting - considering exchange rates and house prices etc - but I have also come to realise it is very important (for us) to have a base you can call home and relax in, so we are now considering buying to give that base for the family. So yesterday was a trip to the bank to see what can be pre-approved on the mortgage front - excellent feature here that makes house hunting easier! It may not be the best time financially to buy but the the family requirements are the most important and as others have said on other threads - it can sometimes be necessary to make decisions and not regret them later.

    We've got a couple of cars now , a decent one for shifting the family around and a very cheap banger, so I can drive into the city or leave a car at the station and the OH still has the freedom to get out and about with the youngest in tow. Which also means she can scout out areas while I am at work

    Our container arrives tomorrow - thanks the gods - it will be sooo good to have our stuff again but I am also aware that we shouldn't unpack it all as we will be moving again soon! But it will just be good to have access to it all.

    At times money seems to haemorrhage out of the bank account as it takes a lot to get going - you forget how much the basics cost - the stuff you need to tide you over till the container gets here - the stuff you did not bring - the stuff you could not bring - it all adds up pretty quickly! Try and factor it in to budget plans if you can.

    The thing I have tried to focus on for the family - albeit not always successfully - is to try and make it as easy as possible for the family. Children generally are more resilient than you give them credit for - while it is the adults that sometimes will struggle...which could then affect the children. All you can do is try ....... and try to enjoy this roller-coaster!

    enough ramblings for now

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Warkworth , NZ
    Posts
    1,402

    Default

    Great post, saying it as it is and how balanced you sound, not easy when suffering from sleep deprivation and looking after 2 small people. Your really sound as if you're working through it all , accepting there will be compromises and being very positive. Good on you, I'm sure you'll look back in years to come and these 'problems' will seem like teething troubles.
    We drove through Greenacres, I think, on our reccy, and it certianly looked nice.
    Keep us posted on your progress and good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Wellington NZ
    Posts
    239

    Default

    I admire your attitude.

    It's possible to find a place on the side of a hill that's sheltered from the wind - we did. Some rumble from the southerlies but no lost sleep from wind so far. (It's not possible to find such a sheltered house on TOP of a hill.) One of the very first things to learn whilst house-hunting: you cannot get sun, shelter, and view all at once; you must pick two and go from there. Plenty of places offer one or none, of course. Decide which are most important to you and make that part of your screening process before you visit a property.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    South of North Island
    Posts
    1,059

    Default

    Excellent post, glad to hear you're working through your problems and not giving up easily

    Good luck with finding a house there are certainly some lovely suburbs of Wellington and further out to.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Portsmouth
    Posts
    39

    Default

    A very helpful post...Thanks! Love the attitude to it all too.

    May I ask, what ratio of salary to mortgage can you get with the banks?
    Also, what is the % deposit requirement for a mortgage?

    I know that I should ask this in the other forum but you have aprtially covered it here...

    Thanks again, Ray

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    South of North Island
    Posts
    1,059

    Default

    You can now get 100% mortgages although I would be wary of doing this with the way interest rates are right now.

    Some banks require 10% deposit and will only lend 80% on the mortgage, some will lend up to 90% of the mortgage, each has individual requirements.

    As an idea a friend of ours has a $100k income and the bank are willing to lend up to/just over $400k !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Again all banks will vary what you can borrow. Best to borrow as less as possible especially when starting up in a new country

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Wellington, NZ From Hants,UK
    Posts
    41

    Default

    Agree with the SizzlingBadger

    Banks offered me four times my salary and made a show of wanting to ensure we had enough to live of ....... but I can guarantee that if I wanted more I could have had it. As it is we are not planning to get anywhere near as much

    Be careful - we are finding it takes time to sort out the budget - specifically what you need to live on and therefore what you can afford to spend on a mortgage
    There can ba a lot of expenses early on to get yourself set up which can mess the budget planning up.

    If you are comitting to getting a mortgage - shop around and haggle.
    The bank I use for day to day stuff offered me a mortgage and told me it was the best rate they could do.... so I said fair enough and said I would go and shop around ('to be sensible') ....... imediately said they'd match anything else I found - so they can always do a better rate.
    Get as much as you can thown in - solicitors fees etc.

    Also rates have just gone up and are expected to go up again soon - according to the bank

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Waikanae
    Posts
    431

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    We just got offered $500k 100% on salaries of joint $180k we had to fiind $20,000 to go unconditional/exchange. We get this back when we move in.

    repayments $4,??? cant remeber amount 8.65% over 20 years.

    we had problems getting 100% because cryteria is you must be 1st time buyer because own our house in Cyprus.

    Used a great mortgage broker and he shopped around, personal friend and have great advise too. Got areally good interest rate better than the our bank.

    You do not have to have life assurance!! Just house insurance over here.

    solicitor $1200 valuation $400 that was it basically

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