If you’re moving across the world, you might as well live somewhere nice when you get there. The New Zealand Property Guide outlines six steps to follow to restore a beautiful New Zealand a renovation project.
Picture the scene. You’ve found your dream property in the New Zealand countryside; ocean views from one window, mountain views from the other, an orchard in your garden… The only problem is that the property needs a lot of work to make it liveable. Are you prepared to take on a substantial renovation project on top of an international move? When you’re trying to settle in a new country, undertaking serious renovations could seriously add to the stress for you and your family. On the other hand, in for a penny… If you’re making a bold move, why not go all in! For anyone considering taking on a renovation project in New Zealand, today we’re running through a few things to do before signing on the bottom line.
You need to establish a clear understanding of what to expect to ensure you don’t encounter any nasty (or costly) bumps in the road.
1 – Do your research
As with any big project, you will need to kick things off with some extensive research into every step involved in the renovation process in New Zealand. Talk to friends who’ve undergone similar projects, about the steps involved and what they learnt from the experience. Scour internet forums on the subject and ask as many questions as you can think of. Make a note of any queries you couldn’t find the answer to so that when you begin talks with builders, plumbers and contractors, you’ll have the questions to hand and can get the answers you need. You need to establish a clear understanding of what to expect to ensure you don’t encounter any nasty (or costly) bumps in the road.
2 – Are you legally allowed to renovate?
Before you contact builders or create a Pinterest board of inspirational pictures, you need to establish whether you’re legally allowed to complete the renovations you have in mind. If you’re looking to extend or to build any kind of outhouse, you will need planning permission before work can commence. Establish whether your plans are legally realistic before you get to work on your to-do list.
3 – What’s your budget?
Of course you want the swimming pool-Jacuzzi combo, underfloor heating and the gym/office annex, but do ensure your plans are financially realistic. You’ve moved to New Zealand for a new life – you don’t want to cripple yourself with debt from the off in the name of marble work surfaces and hardwood floors. Work out how you are going to finance the renovations and set a budget that you can then monitor throughout. Should you be considering a loan or another form of credit to fund the renovation, you will need to factor in the cost of fees and repayments, and how this might impact on the lifestyle you were hoping to enjoy once settled.
4 – Where will you live?
Depending on the size and number of projects you plan on undertaking, you may have to live somewhere else until the property is liveable. If this is the case you need to include the cost of renting a property in your budget. If you can stay put, how long will your lives be disrupted for, and how seriously? Buying an old caravan to live in onsite might not sound like the high life, but staying nearby can certainly keep builders focused on the job.
5 – Why are you renovating?
What are your aims for the renovation? Creating your “forever home”? Fixing it up to eventually rent or sell? There is always a temptation to get carried away, but making a list that breaks the project down into needs, wants and nice-to-haves should help you to keep things in perspective, and to stick to that all-important budget.
There is always a temptation to get carried away, but making a list that breaks the project down into needs, wants and nice-to-haves should help you stick to that all-important budget.
6 – Seek out expert advice
Your next step is to seek out the advice of those who can help make your renovation dreams come true – the experts! You may have lots of wild ideas in your head, but are they architecturally sound? Seek out consultations and quotes from a range of people until you find something that suits your budget and your plans.
Get all of the key information and advice you need in our online guide to buying a house in New Zealand. You can also download it in PDF format for offline reading or printing. Fill in the form to the right to get your copy.