Auck Ward

A Honeymove Blog

Tag: auckland (page 1 of 7)

Our First Auckland Rental Got Sold

Nine months after you settle into a new city, you think “whew, don’t need to move for a while…” NOPE.

The Kiwi and I are renters. Renters in Washington, renters in Auckland. A couple of months ago, our property manager had told us that our unit was up for sale. It was advertised with the line “tenants want to stay”. So we thought that it would be sold and the new owners would want to keep the rental income flowing.

That didn’t happen. The unit was sold, and we were given our vacate notice, roughly 45 days to move out. So hence a mad dash to figure out where to go next. While we were looking for a new place, the new owner already had people looking at the unit to buy it after he did some renovations and flipped it.

Luckily, we found a place within a week in one of Auckland’s coastal suburbs, It wasn’t fun to schlep two bedrooms worth of stuff across town in one weekend, but we’re settled and enjoying the new area.

On the left, our old backyard (which I liked to squint and make believe we lived on farmland). On the right, the road our new home is on, going down toward Mission Bay.

oldhousenewhouse

This whole moving scenario is an example, to me, of what exactly Auckland housing market is like.

The market was and still is too hot to buy into: Kiwi home ownership is as ingrained into the psyche as is American home ownership is, so demand for a home and a yard is high. Plus: migrants (*cough* hi) want to buy for the lifestyle and or the good education system (if kids are an issue).

Now, you could buy a home in a number of different spots in New Zealand for lifestyle and education reasons. Fly into Wellington on a clear day, and it looks like a Mediterranean city that happens to be a capital with lots of good coffee shops. But Auckland has the airport offering direct flights to almost any Pacific Rim country, including the U.S.

Jobs, airport, lifestyle, education system: All of these can explain why the average house price in Auckland is almost $800,000 NZD, or over half a million USD.

This month, the government instituted a new laws requiring 30% down payment on homes, which may be cooling the market a bit. It’s too soon to tell, at least in my opinion.

Where does that leave us? Still renting, which is fine. We’re locked in to a few-months contract. Hopefully we will stay put for a while.

One Of Our Locals Has Delicious Fried Lamb Tongue

Cazador platter for two

Really. It was delicious. Anything is delicious when it is fried. Like tarantula. But this was really good.

The Kiwi and I live down the street from a game restaurant called Cazador, one of the top 50 restaurants in Auckland. I’ve passed by a few times when the place had its chalkboard sign out advertising its cozy bar, NZ beer on tap and happy hour.

I like three out of three things there, and so does the Kiwi. And two sets of people have provided good reviews; one of which drives in from the North Shore [aka driving across town] to visit.

We went in on a Saturday night for cozy bar, beer and mulled wine that was fruity without being too sweet. This is when I realized mulled wine doesn’t need cups of sugar, as if I was making sweet tea. Oops. Apologies for anyone who’s had my hot mulled sugar wine.

We walked out post-drinks with all sorts of game in our bellies. Take a look at this platter here.

Cazador's tasting platter for two.

We got (clockwise from top left):

-Hummus and babaghanoosh with assorted breads
-Wild boar terrine with mustard and pickles
-Venison salami
-Pate
-Fried lamb tongues. I swear, these were delicious with the sauce that tasted like mozzarella stick dipping sauce.
-In the middle, chicken hearts with bacon and parsley.

I reached my personal threshold on pate and chicken hearts – nice, but not for me. No fault of the restaurant’s – the entire platter was returned empty.

This little neighborhood spot, which is actually a destination restaurant, makes evident to me how there are little gems in any suburb in Auckland. Which means any time you go out and explore, you can find something that makes that suburb a destination.

Mmm. Lamb tongue. Carnivores, would you eat lamb tongue? Tell me in the comments.

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