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Thread: New, Warm, Dry Houses - What South Island cities/neighborhoods have them?

  1. #1
    trimprover is offline Member
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    Default New, Warm, Dry Houses - What South Island cities/neighborhoods have them?

    I keep reading and hearing (on podcasts) about the cold, damp houses in NZ. I've read that houses build between 1990-2005 can be leaky, and that older houses lack central heating. The resulting cold dampness can cause health problems, which is a big concern for us because we have a young baby.

    We're told not to blindly trust renovations to older houses, because a lot of those insulation or roof-patching jobs are sloppy DIY efforts. I admire the DIY attitude, but when it comes to choosing a home, I want to play it safe.

    So, I'd like to start off looking at houses that are newer than 2005, with the idea that those are most likely to be warm and dry (and low-maintenance).

    Which South Island cities (or towns) are most likely to have new houses at reasonable prices?
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    The best thing to do would be to look on the real estate agents' sites and pick out the areas you're interested in, then note which houses are modern and have heating/insulation etc. I don't think new houses are to be found only in certain areas, although maybe country homes, like lifestyle blocks, might tend to be older. You can find a list of agents on the Website List under Real Estate.
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    trimprover is offline Member
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    Okay, thanks, I'll try to find out some details from real estate agents, and then post my findings here.

    Of the following list, I only recognize Century21:

    Bayleys
    Century21
    Harveys
    Homesell
    LJ Hooker
    Lugton
    Open 2 View
    Open 2 View search
    Professionals
    Property stuff
    Trademe
    Virtual Realty
    Wrightson
    Your home online
    Do some of these have better reputations than others, or are they all pretty much the same?
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    trimprover is offline Member
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    I sent an email to a bunch of rental agencies, asking them essentially the same thing that I asked in this post. I'll post what they say when I hear back from them.
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    Some, like Lugtons, only operate in one area so you would need to find the ones that deal with where you want to go.

    Most of the agents listed on the Website List are quite well known, particularly Harcourts, Baileys, Harveys, Realenz and Trademe (like Ebay) is also quite popular and includes a mix of agents and private sales. As with any agent, you just need to keep on your toes and make sure you're covering your back. Sounds a bit dramatic but a big part of a real estate agent's job is to sell houses and sometimes this means no matter what. I think the regulations governing real estate agents have been tightened recently, which can't be a bad thing. It's always wise to contact a lawyer before signing anything to make sure you've got a get-out clause if it's needed. Here's some reading.
    Mother Bear

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    trimprover is offline Member
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    None of the agents I contacted ever emailed me back.

    So, I'm wondering if there are other groups or individuals I should try contacting.

    Do you know if there are "welcoming" groups in each city, people who have settled there and have advice for other people who are settling there as well? Is advice-gathering at this point pretty much ad hoc?

    Or do you think I should post specific questions on here, maybe one for each city? For example: "Which NELSON neighborhoods have new, warm, and dry houses?" .... in hopes of attracting Nelson residents to the post?

    I just don't want to end up spamming the forum with posts about each city on the South Island!
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    pete mc is offline Junior Member
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    Basically, any neighbourhood will have new, dry houses. It might also have new, leaky houses. If you're renting it's not such a big deal, if buying stay away from parapet style roofs, plaster cladding systems. Stay away from cracks in the exterior wall, mould or a damp feel inside. Personally, I'd stay clear of any thing that failed the tap test. (I should state at this point that I'm not a builder or an expert). Get an inspection (go to nocowboys.co.nz for good reviews of tradesmen). We built new a few years back and stressed that we wanted eaves, sills etc. Funnily enough, the brick cladding that we went for was one of the more reasonable options.

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    tick tock is offline Junior Member
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    We bought an old 120 yrs old house and renovated it.....a good builder and trades people.

    The house itself was soild ( heart Remu structure...the builder broke two nail guns as the wood is so hard) but it was revolting and cold. We now have a lovley warm house that has the new stuff like kitchen and bathrooms but keep the older features too.

    I found it was much cheaper to do it that way and we didnt buy when property was cheap either. Also it great for the first year to be so busy....but I have to warn you its hell living in a house you renovate.

    We are also very luck to have a holiday home which was build in 1999. we bought a house that we knew had cracks on the outside cladding.....we got a rock bottom price and had a new approved plaster redo the outside. But we made sure that no water had come inside.....we where just fixing the problem before it became a problem. Again we ended up with a super house in a top location for a song......and now the prices of houses are far more competative......and trades people are desparte for work

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    trimprover is offline Member
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    Pete MC - We'll be renting first, so I'm guessing, like you said, as long as the house looks and smells good, it'll probably stay dry for the duration of the rental period. I like the idea of getting an inspection, though that might be a bit of an overkill for a rental property!

    Tick Tock - Wow, so two homes, and both are in nice shape now? You're set! What town(s) are your homes in?
    Last edited by trimprover; 03-06-2009 at 12:53 PM.
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    pete mc is offline Junior Member
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    Hi Trimprover, if you're looking to buy, a 60's house (red brick, tile or iron roof, heart rimu framing and floors) is usually rock solid- probably cold, but easy to chuck some Batts under the floor and in the ceiling. Walls, probably uninsulated. Renting, I'd go for warmth. Maybe check it out in morning and evening to see when it loses the sun. With a villa (80 yrs+) there's a good possibility it's facing the wrong way. We tarted one up once- had to rewire, replumb, reroof, re everything. Have a snoop round some Open homes to get a bit of a feel for things. Good luck!

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