Getting Settled…House Hunting and the Credit Union

It’s always so much work to move to a new town even though we’ve done this so many times over so much distances. It’s challenging, stressful but exciting in the same time. Getting into a new routine is good, the boys apparently have adjusted to their new temp home very quickly they now nap for about 1 and half hours in the morning, with the day light savings started last Sunday, their nap time now is around 11am to 12:30pm, then another hour at 4pm, and they go to bed at 9:30pm. I can’t complain because when they were in Shanghai, they went to bed at 7pm and woke up at 4am, this is much better since I actually wake up before they do now in the morning, precisely at 7:30am. So they are getting 12 and half hours of sleep each day. The nicest part of the daily routine is to take the boys out for a walk, there’s so much nature and animals here, boys get to feed the ducks and the babies (now sometimes the ducks wait outside our unit for rice puff!) and they get to be in very close distance with other animals like the cows, and I really like the ideas that they learn about animals from seeing them on a farm, rather from a book or in a zoo.

Finally it’s looking promising with finding the house. Michael and I checked out a 3-yr old house right on Ferguson this morning, we really liked it. With all the new appliances, tub and shower plus a half bath, and two good size bedrooms and a smaller bedroom it is really ideal and efficient for our needs. We don’t even need a car since we will be within walking distance to everything: the Square, Baby Factory, grocers even Sat farmer’s market. Palmerston North is small, you can pretty much get to everywhere in 15 minutes by car but still walking to everything will be superb, no need to fold and unfold the double stroller, especially we just got our new Mountain Buggy Duo, it’s awesome that it’s made so sturdy and so much easier to handle, but it’s so heavy and big. If we live nearby the city center, I can just leave it in the garage and pack up the boys and go. It also has a fully fenced-in yard the bus stop is right by the driveway, Michael can take that to work if he wants to or bike there. All this is great but one thing, the living room might not be large enough for our furniture.
Tomorrow we will be looking at two more houses, one in Summerhill which is the closest to Michael’s work, he can continue to come home for lunch everyday, which will be very good. Its also the most expensive one since it’s a brand new neighborhood and it’s an executive home. Then there’s the one on Rangitikei Line only minute drive from city center though. At least we have choices now, which is a great relief! The funny thing about Kiwis here is their hours are so strange, almost all the businesses trade between 9am to 5pm, so we really have to use the lunch time to take care of business! The agents do not show homes after 5 or on weekends, I asked if it is possible to see the houses on Sat, the answer is “No I have my family to look after!” I guess it’s a good thing people don’t budge on that. ,It is indeed pretty nice that 6:30 is the latest time Michael had to work to make up for the morning runs and coffee time!
I also have been researching about the banks, even though I do not like banks but the bankers are powerful enough to make almost everyone on this planet deal with them. I checked at the Kiwibank and ANZ, they both offer free maintenance accounts but if you use any of the branch service, the fees just go on and on. Getting a bank cheque (cashier’s check) costs $5, taking out cash costs money, getting txt alerts cost money…you really have to watch out, it’s bad. However, luckily there’s an NZ Credit Union that offers amazingly high interest rate for term deposits, aka CD, close to 4% for 12 months and 6.5% for 5 years!!! Plus the interests are calculated DAILY but paid at maturity. This is the only place I know of that offers a higher interest rate than a mortgage rate. Their fee structures are pretty good too, no incoming wire transfer fee and even though they charge for some other fees here and there, you get a fee rebate based on your loyalty with the credit union, so in the end it will be free. NZ Credit Unions are owned by the local communities, 100% Kiwi ownership and the money only goes to the community (not Wall St) so I feel good about it as well, just as I did with North Carolina Credit Union you know your money is not going to the MBS.

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