Finding a new home in a new country is a tough task! Deciding where you want to settle down and grow roots for a few years was a hard and overwhelming decision to make. We planned to arrive in New Zealand and stay at an Airbnb home for 3 weeks. My husband was busy learning the swing of his new job so the duty fell on me to find a home for our family. And that’s why I had to put my big girls pants on and learn how to drive because I would be driving ALL over the Auckland area!
In New Zealand, the schools are mostly all zoned. Meaning, you attend the school in the area that you live. So, you have to find a home in an area where you want your kids to attend school. The schools are on a decibel system from 1-10, 10 being the highest and best rating. We knew we wanted our kids to go to good schools and we also knew that we didn’t want to live right in the city. With that in mind, I got right to it!
I constantly searched the local TradeMe Property database (similar to Craigslist or Zillow) for homes in areas all around Auckland. I piled the kids in the car and made appointment after appointment looking at tons of homes all within an hour of the city. I looked at homes in the country, homes near the beach, homes in the city…all over! Throughout the entire process, nothing felt right. What type of lifestyle did we want while living in New Zealand? Where were we supposed to live? Where were we needed? I searched, and worked, prayed, and we discussed as a family.
We had it narrowed down to two homes. One was located in the country in a nice new home on a shared property. It was a country dream. It was surrounded by green fields and livestock and had a great garden. But our oldest son would have to travel by public bus to school. And I felt really uneasy about that. The second home was further from the city, right by the beach, walking distance to both schools, an older home, and a little out of our price range. It was such a tough choice!
We prayed and prayed and finally made the decision to go with the beach home. We were able to talk the owner down a little on rent and we moved in with the perfect timing as our temporary home of 3 weeks ended. We are SO happy with our choice. Our oldest son walks to school, I can walk the younger ones on days when the weather is nice, my husband takes the bus directly into work from our street, and we can walk to our backyard beach whenever we want!