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  1. #1

    Default Buying a home with live-in tenants

    Hi everyone,
    First time posting and completely new to the market so would appreciate any feedback or suggestions.
    My wife and I are looking at buying a home and income property on the North Shore (or somewhere around there if we need to be more flexible).
    The ideal situation would be to buy a home with a self-contained granny flat, which we would initially live in, and rent out the house to a family to help with the mortgage repayments.
    Or, as these are fairly hard to come by, buy a 5 bedroom home with 2 storeys and find some tenants (we were thinking possibly international students - good rep for being tidy, quiet, respectful, good for the rent...)
    So the idea is they have their own living area but possibly have to share the kitchen with us.
    My wife can speak Cantonese which would be handy if they were from southern China (sometimes wishful thinking, eh....!)
    We have enough of a deposit to be looking at the very maximum of $750,000.
    We just feel that it might be better to think big for the future, especially since Auckland's property market is so berserk.
    My parents are really good with property so they can help out with advice and legal stuff etc to an extent which should prove a valuable asset.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Karratha WA


    I like your thinking. Having tenants, flatmates, borders or students has opened up options for many people. Find out how easy it is to get one of those before buying a place, as sometimes one or other of the groups are scarce.
    If you look at a divided house with a flat make sure it is legal or you could have some expensive headaches.
    With so many optoins, just keep looking at places that strike you and do your budget for each situation.

    Good luck and have fun.

  3. #3


    My friend has done this, He rents a big house with many rooms, and rent the separate rooms to international students while he lives in one of the room. And the total rents collected from students are more than the rent he pays to house owner. So your idea is doable. If you rent out each room separately to each individual, you will get more rent, and it is likely to cover the mortgage, plus you have a free room to live in for yourself and your wife.
    International students are good tenants because they usually have spare cash as they are away from home, and don't wanna make trouble in foreign country. So there will be little rent arrears problems. Hopefully.
    If you don't mind the privacy, then it is a good idea
    Good luck

  4. #4


    Thanks for the info guys. Does anyone know a good place to find international students looking for residency?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013


    There's a website called skykiwi.com where you can advertise rooms for rent, among other things, to Chinese people. The entire website is written in Chinese so best to get your wife to have a look at it. I've lived with Chinese students a number of times and although some of them can have weird habits (like turning the shower on and off repeatedly) they mostly hole themselves up in their bedrooms and study/play computer games (make sure you provide unlimited broadband). If you're located near a tertiary institution that would be a bonus.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011


    Sounds like a great idea to me. But first check out how much loan you are able to get and then start searching around for a house. I really like your idea with international students though. I know they are usually quiet and clean.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012


    It is a great way to do it, its how we afforded our first home.

    I would suggest you have a read up on the tax side of it, because boarders can be put up tax free to you, where as rooms being rented out are taxable.


    We used easyroommate and trademe to fill the rooms.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012


    NoMoneyNoTalk - has your friend received written permission from the landlord to sublet? the Tenancy agreement explicitly prohibits this and could result in eviction.

    As a landlord i'm happy for this to happen, however i will adjust the rent accordingly. More tenants mean more wear and tear and therefore i will demand a higher rent.

    I have a 5 bed house with 3 beds/kitchen/lounge/bathroom upstairs, and downstairs are 2 beds/bathroom/lounge with its own entrance. The tenants there have 2 uni students that rent the downstairs from them. Works well for everyone.

  9. #9


    Thanks for all the info, still looking for a property but will let you know when we are up in running.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013


    If you're looking into having students living with you be prepared to transport them around or be within walking distance to bus stations or bus stops. When international students move in with families they can a lot of the time leave (I had a friend who had a Chinese student move in he stayed for a month before his mother moved him to another house close to public transport)

    Personally I think it's easier to find something you can convert to a home and granny flat and the rent the top place up to a family and live in the granny flat.


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