15 years and still looking.... need help/inspiration

8 years 10 months ago #39581 by Stev0
Hi Guys,

Where do I begin, oh hey :) my names Stephen and this is my first post. I recently managed to sell my place in Waipu without losing too much, it was nice, 1.4 acres north facing but I need to commute to town i.e Whangarei, I shouldn't have settled for less in the first place (6 years ago).

OK so here I am in a position to buy that dream land again and prices have gone up... I'm looking in the Whangarei (Whareora / Glenbervie and surrounds area)

But with the use of WDC GIS etc i'm noticing that these blocks of land that are being sold off seem to all have issues:

located on southern side of hill
low to sea level
new lots from large farms in areas that are not considered useful resource to the property owner sold for too much $$$
and most importantly it seems are sometimes specifically planned out to not include water sources.

I am starting to lose hope. I think its important to have a permanent water source and not only rain harvesting.

there are a couple of land and home lifestyle properties which ive looked at on trademe but I really want to build my own passive solar home!

Ive also always wanted to move up to whangarei as I love the coast. Tauranga is nice but I'm not big on the coast and I dont want to live any further south. my career also requires that I live near a city, for the time being until i can finally ween myself away from suburban living...

been meaning to post for years..

please feel free to message me.

I would very much appreciate some ideas inspiration or lateral thinking on the matter as I'm seriously stuck in a rut!

below is a list of my ideal requirements in the land, wishful thinking maybe but here they are:

budget: $200K +/-
orientation: True north +/-
water source: stream/spring
protection from elements and southerlies.
Interesting unique contours in the land i.e. Not a flat paddock..
soil quality: good
distance to shops 10 to 15min
distance to work (Whangarei): no more than 30mins
and quite importantly a good community
5 acres of pasture give or take.
North facing areas to build on.
two to three potential building sites
Surrounded by native bush (that can’t be felled) with open North facing area.
Well above sea level
Established fruit trees (ideally)
as much land as possible.. (restoration of native bush is important to me)
Ideal suburbs: Glenbervie, Whareora, Parau Bay North

BTW Id like for a couple of families to live on it as a Resourced based community

All the best gentle people :D



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8 years 9 months ago #506246 by stephclark
wow a big ask!.. $200k isn't much for the areas you are looking in...

we moved up here in Nov, ok we have more than 5 acres, but there was zilch with land for much under 500k...

we are in Mangapai, a realy nice area and only around 20mins to whangarei.. theres a do up ( part finished )..6 beds 10 acres..and that's going to be over 500K

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8 years 9 months ago #506249 by muri
Agree with Steph. With a $200k budget you may well find yourself a bit stuck, unfortunately.
We have just gone through that exercise and the prices for rural land around Whangarei I thought were quite high
Sometimes you may find that a 10 acre block will cost the same as a 5 acre block.
The right piece of land that feels good is important . Is there anyway you can increase the amount available to buy the land or else look further afield as some of those areas are quite sought after eg Parau Bay

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8 years 9 months ago #506251 by rider1803
You are going to have to compromise with that budget.
You will either need to drive further or have in your eyes an inferior property.
Owners are always going to subdivide off the least desirable parts of their property - thats why they are doing it - they dont want the land.
I found that best thing we did was actually look at things in person as the interest can be very misleading.
When we purchased our existing property it was a very long way from our dream but it was what we could afford, the house was liveable (just) and the land was flat but in a very poor state and it was within 40km from both of our workplaces. Dont get me wrong we had dreams but had to narrow it down to meeting those 3 criteria to meet our budget.
We are in the process of making the house a lot nicer, the land a lot less weed in-fested and fortunately I have changed jobs and now only have to drive 25km!

Confirmed horse addict.

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8 years 8 months ago #509104 by Stev0
Thanks guys :) appreciate your advice. The search continues. Making the move from Auckland to Whangarei would / will help.


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7 years 11 months ago #520119 by Stev0
Hi Guys,

Thanks again, Ive been following your advice. Ive found a 10 acre property, on first impressions it ticks most of the boxes, so I'll get straight to box I'm concerned about, the water source, on first impressions it seemed like there was plenty of water, there are three dams on the property, I'm pretty sure they aren't spring fed as there was no water movement at the drain of the last dam. the dams are part of a catchment, the contour feeds in to the three dams, so I assume it will catch some rain. I also hired an agricultural consultant and he said that water potentially leeches out of the hillside in the autumn..

so on the outset it seems like there's enough water but, the dams aren't really being used all that much at the moment, maybe 1 or 2 troughs, there isn't much livestock and the small orchard isn't being watered. so if I was to buy the property and introduce extra livestock and begin planting not to mention a potential drought, well I just don't know if there's enough water stored in the dams for that kind of scenario.

annoyingly there is a very small stream on the bottom norther border on the neighbors side maybe ?5 liters / min? maybe the neighbor would be open to a shared dam.

so the three dams look great but I have no idea how much water can be taken from them... its not like a bath in which I can pull the plug and time how long it takes to fill back up again..?

any ideas on how to work out their usefulness?

thanks again in advance with any advice you may have.

PS: if this property falls through I would be happy to give any of you a finders fee of $1000 (which isn't much I know) if you could help me find a good lifestyle block... with or without dwelling...

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7 years 11 months ago #520145 by LongRidge
My first job would be to fence off the top dam and put in 2 x 25000 litre plastic tanks at the outflow. Use the overflow of the tank to feed a trough in the top paddock that this dam is in, set up so that when the tanks and trough are full the overflow feeds to the other dams.
In our land, there is a layer of gravel below the soil but above the subsoil. Most of the water flows via this layer of gravel. If yours is similar there might be a seepage out of a spring either under the dams or elsewhere. That might explain why there is very little water flowing out of the dams at present.
You might be able to check the flow rate by digging a hole above the top dam, measure it and time how long it takes to get some water in it. Repeat with the middle dam to see if the flow rate is similar

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7 years 5 months ago #525389 by Stev0
Hey Guys,

thanks again for your help. well I have definetly revised my budget for land... unfortunetly in this market it never seems to be enough, agents / vendors will reel you in with a cheaper price first then, bam!

So Ive found another bit of land and now theyre wanting high $300's to Early $400's. but the land ticks all the boxes except its too close to Mangakahia Road and logging truck noise (357m to potential building site), I may have to compromise on the logging truck and Harley Davidson noise though. its 10 acres with a Spring feeding into it from the other property and a wetland, three paddocks (10 acres), volcanic soils, not really prone to flood. my initial offer of 59% above CV! was declined. it hasnt been put on the market yet.

Im just having a hard time trying to value it. and well basically the vendor can ask for as much as they want. I could afford it but my dreams of being mortgage free would be over unless I lived in a tent.

Obviously Im being ripped off in this current market, I just dont like the idea of being extemely ripped off!!

I wont be using it as a commercial business, i.e. a tamerillo monoculture or something, it will be a permaculture lifestyle block to sustain my family and friends only.

I just need some peace of mind.. any idea who I could talk to?



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7 years 5 months ago #525690 by tonybaker
SteveO, don’t get despondent! You’re on the right track when you say "I wont be using it as a commercial business". So many people have come to grief battling with IRD over the years..
In my experience, time is one thing you can't buy, so take a punt and give that 10 acres a go. So what if the vendors wants a bit extra? If you were in their shoes, you would do the same. Seems like it has all the things you want.
You say you can afford it albeit with a bit of debt, so no worries.
You can mitigate noise issues with judicious tree planting, and the logging trucks will be sporadic I assume? Can the vendor leave some money in?
Good luck....

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)
The following user(s) said Thank You: JonC

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7 years 5 months ago #525765 by permaculture15
Wow, you sound as though you have similar goals and objectives as us Steven! We want to manage our property in a permaculture way too, be self-sufficient, and strive to make a living off our land (hopefully enough just to get by).

We spent three years looking for land, before buying our current block. I can't remember if my dad viewed 40 or 70 properties in person, and 100 in total (inclusive of online searches). We looked mostly on Trademe, and tried to avoid real estate agents (no offense if anyone here is in real estate!).

We moved to Dargaville immediately after buying the land (coincided with us getting evicted from our Auckland house we were renting cause it got sold :angry: ) so as to be closer to construction work on our house. It made things a heck of a lot easier! We found Kaipara and the Far North to be most affordable, although prices might be different now.

Have hope, pray to God (if you're into religion) and keep looking! That right (but not perfect) property should hit you at some point!

Wishing you luck with your search for land!

Kind regards,


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7 years 5 months ago #525766 by permaculture15
If you don't already have a criteria list, make one now. It's so useful, and it helps you to cross off properties instead of wasting time dwelling on the unnecessary.
Some of our criteria (the last was my own point) were as follows:
-no high voltage power lines running through the property,
-soil must be decent (must have topsoil and it shouldn't be too acidic!)
-some distance from the ocean,
-must have a dam/dams
-must have some flat land for a house site,
-good neighbours, etc.
-no pigs should have been raised on the property in question (I'm sorry folks, but we have a particular dislike for pigs)
-shoudn't be majority pugged land

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7 years 5 months ago - 7 years 5 months ago #525815 by Hawkspur
Don't count on too much noise mitigation from vegetation, unless the noise isn't that bad anyway. It takes at least 50m depth of dense forest to really have a useful effect on noise. Also remember the rule that twice the distance halves the volume, so distance is good.
You can do more with steep banks and walls that bounce the noise away than with trees absorbing noise unfortunately.

You can do quite a lot with land that isn't north facing. Ours is primarily SW, but has a little spur where we will have the house, to get orientation within 10 degrees of N for good solar gain.
Last edit: 7 years 5 months ago by Hawkspur.

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4 years 2 months ago - 4 years 2 months ago #549477 by Stev0
Hi there,

I'm still trying to buy land (had to let go of my lifestyle block in Tauranga last year....) back to looking in Whangarei.

Current piece of land I'm looking at has the below soil types, I've done some research with the soil layers from LRIS, from what I gather the land has the below soils:

"YO (Waiotu friable clay)
MC (Matarau friable Clay)
XOT (Typic Orthic Oxidic Soils)
GOA (Acidic Orthic Gley Soils)
KRy (Kara peaty silt loam)

All Northland’s soils are acidic and low in natural phosphorus and sulfur, so lime and superphosphate fertiliser (9% phosphorus, 11% sulfur) are needed for pasture growth. The best free-draining (oxidic) soils, from more recent basaltic volcanism, are used for dairying and a range of horticultural crops. Gley podzol soils are used for sheep and beef farming, and dairying, but need lots of initial fertilisation."

Id be very grateful if someone with soil knowledge could further elaborate on what kind of fruiting plants would grow in these acidic conditions, apparently grapes do and a good few veges and ?lemons? for example. or better still someone who has a LSB with these soils?

and yes looks like it needs some Lime..

Kind Regards

Last edit: 4 years 2 months ago by Stev0.

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