Here are the things that you can currently do on TradeMe Property:
- Restrict your property search by:
- Bedrooms (we want 4+);
- Number of bathrooms (we want 2+);
- Neighbourhood (we're flexible);
- Price range (likely <$800k; Wellington's way more expensive than Christchurch);
- Property type (house, apartment, section, townhouse, unit)
- You can find out, for any property:
- Zoned schools, out-of-zone schools, unzoned schools;
- Maps, property boundaries, great links through to Google Maps.
Here are some things that could easily be done, but aren't currently done:
- Chorus maintains a great map of network capability. For any property, you can see if they're on the fibre network, whether VDSL2 is available, whether ADSL2 is available, or whether you're stuck on standard ADSL. Our house at New Brighton is on VDSL2 and gets 40MB/s to the cabinet downstream, 10 MB upstream. I'd like to be able to restrict property searches to those getting at least ADSL2 and strongly prefer VDSL or fibre; a decent internet connection is worth a lot to me. Scraping that detail into TradeMe Property would be pretty easy, once Chorus's website is back up.
- Update: Vodafone has it too. Somewhere in TradeMe's back-end it should be able to just pull address details for both of these to see what's available.
- Update: Mashblock! I'd been going through the Census's front-end, but that's cumbersome. Mashblock goes straight from address to Census meshblock and tells you the neighbourhood's demographics. There's still important Census stuff available that isn't yet on mashblock, like household composition and education, but Mashblock's a good start. And especially since the StatsNZ version is really cumbersome if you want quick stats on an address.
Here are some things that could be done, but might be harder, and might only matter to me.
- Wellington District Council has great maps showing hazard risks. There's a combined hazard map providing all-source risk of earthquake shaking, liquifaction, tsunami, and landslide. And, you can also get it by each of those risks individually. I would like to be able to restrict my search as follows:
"Return only houses showing low all-source risk, but add to that any weatherboard or wooden house where risk is only due to earthquake shaking, because old weatherboard places fare well in shakes so long as other risks are low."
- Wellington is all valleys and hills; it's hard to tell which get any sun unless you live there. SunCalc provides sun positions at different times of day; you can also change the date to get seasonal effects. As it's overlaid onto Google Maps, you can pretty quickly see if you're going to be badly shaded by surrounding hills. It should be possible to turn that into a sun score.
I emailed a Wellington realtor explaining what we're looking for; he laughed at me as he'd never had anybody put first priority on where the house sits on the WDC earthquake risk map. While this makes me worry about how seriously Wellingtonians take earthquake risks, it does mean that there shouldn't be particularistic price premiums on safer houses. And that's good for me.
We started out looking at Karori, Khandallah, Johnsonville and Aro Valley; we've started looking more at Island Bay as you seem to get rather more house for the money there, and the commute in to downtown doesn't seem at all unreasonable. But I'd happily accept advice from those with better local knowledge. I will look forward to meeting far more of my Wellington readers.