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New Zealand - Other

Smallholdings or Hobby Farms...

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Smallholdings or Hobby Farms...

Postby Cadairgirl » Tue 29 Dec 2009 20:01 GMT

Hi
Just wondered if anyone out there has a smallholding, whether this is a common thing in NZ, and what do people tend to own/grow/rear on theirs on average? My husband and I would like to be more self-sufficient but just can't afford to buy property with land here in the UK, so I just wondered what are other people's experiences with smallholdings, or hobby farms, in NZ?
At what point does a smallholding become a more serious income, or does that just not happen? Here in the UK you have to compete with the big boys to earn anything close to a living, hence a smallholding is really just a hobby. I just wondered if its the same in NZ or if there's more scope? Also, do people out there tend to 'diversify' and go for unusual ventures such as alpacas, ostriches, bison, rare fowl etc., or is it your standard chickens, pigs and a veggie patch? :)
Any thoughts much appreciated.
xxx
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Postby Toonster » Wed 30 Dec 2009 00:24 GMT

(as the only one of your three qs I can answer! ;-) )

Yes - "Lifestyle" smallholding plots are very popular here - we have the space! If you find NZ estate agents (through Google), and search for Lifestyle types, you will find tons of them. Unfortunately, estate agents over here are even worse than in the UK for not telling you how much things are (they go out to auction or tender a lot), so it is difficult to get an idea of the price.

It is worth digging around (pun not intended ;-) ) to see what is out there, particularly in the areas that you'd like to live, and get an idea of what you can afford (do you have your own house to sell? If so, you are at a definite advantage!)

I'm not sure how many of them go on to be financial concerns in their own right, but for a sustainable lifestyle (growing as much of your food as possible, keeping animals), they are great.

My dream, when we have the money, so probably in about 20 years time, is to get a lifestyle plot, build our own home and do some serious growing!
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Smallholdings

Postby Cadairgirl » Thu 31 Dec 2009 16:37 GMT

Hi Toonster
Thanks for answering all of my replies! So, a fellow smallholder-at-heart! Yes, I've spent many happy hours trawling through property websites on the internet, I don't know if its me but NZ property does seem to have gone up in the past couple of years - my husband and I have worked really hard these past few years and are now mortgage free, so when we sell the house then that money can go straight into our NZ property (that's the plan anyway). Having said that, we are looking for somewhere with business potential, so the standard 10 acre 'Lifestyle' plot is a bit small for what we're after - I know that sounds amazingly ungrateful doesn't it, but we've worked so hard and dreamed so much, we know exactly what we want now... the hard part is making it happen, and, as always, money is the biggest obstacle! :roll:
Anyway, I love the sound of your dream - surely it won't take you 20 years??
xxx
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Postby Toonster » Thu 31 Dec 2009 19:50 GMT

Yes, alas, the days of being able to buy a really cheap $30,000 section are gone - blimmin' typical given that one of the reasons we moved was because we couldn't afford a house in the UK!!

I'm hoping that I'm being pessimistic with the 20 years, but unfortunately, we don't have the house capital behind us from the UK (our salaries never went up as fast as the housing market for us to have the earnings for a mortgage, and by the time the housing market crashed, we already were heart-set on NZ, so were saving our deposit money for the move!) and as neither of us is earning (I had a job offer, but it fell through), we are eating into our deposit savings rather rapidly!

I'm hoping that once we have our foot on the ladder, we should be able to then get up to a smallholding level reasonably quickly, but I'm not going to bank on it!

Congratulations on being mortgage free - I am really impressed :-D

I do have a hint for you - start keeping an eye on the exchange rates sooner rather than later - well before you intend to move. Then you can get a good idea of what is a "good" rate and try to jump in when the market hits a decent level - with the amount you are transferring, you might even be able to get a broker to do the market watching for you, but you will need to say what you'd like the rate to be, and it's a good idea to know what the decent levels are.

(I say this because the NZ market took a nosedive just as we were sorting out our transfer - I held off because I thought it would come up again, and now I can only dream of the rates of last August! Most of our money is still in the UK waiting for the market to come back up a little bit!)
Living in Windy Welly!
Timescales for PR Application: EOI December 2008; ITA submitted April 2009; PR granted end June 2009.
All posts are my own opinion and not meant to offer any formal visa or emigration advice.
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Postby Kay » Sun 10 Jan 2010 05:18 GMT

We have a forum which is dedicated to forex and currency issues. You can keep an eye of things and ask questions there if you like.

Here's a direct link to it.

http://www.britishexpat.com/expatforum/ ... m.php?f=91
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