Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The New Zealand Difference

New Zealand Countryside

This month we go off on a wide tangent and look at estate agents in New Zealand. This is where this blog is being written – from the shores of Lake Karapiro in Cambridge “The Town of Trees” in North Island which has a population of about 16,000 and probably an equal number of race horses.
 The laid back approach and, in particular, estate agents’ property descriptions are something to be envied at – I think!     It makes us realise that our day to day workings probably do not need to be so regimented and politically correct, but should err on the side of perhaps cautious tranquillity and light heartedness. A few examples that we saw emblazoned underneath photos of houses in estate agents’ windows bear this out:-
 “If this was a boat, it would sink”
“Looking for that project to torment the wife?”
“Wow, what a back yard”
“Bag a bargain”
“Do me up and make me yours”
 Yet even within the easy living of Alderney that we all enjoy, we cannot see ourselves being allowed to use such headlines – more the pity!

 Yet perhaps there is a lesson here being quietly put forward by the Kiwis that the UK could learn from. Maybe a more informal approach within work styles could have an overall softening effect on the continual and ever-growing stress levels of those working and living in the UK. And this is where we at Bell & Co have a general affinity with New Zealand – a great lifestyle. Alderney’s main difference is positive -  no restrictions on entry. Also, having bought your house, we have no Capital Gains Tax and no Death Duties for domiciled residents. This, coupled with no VAT and 20% Income Tax, sends out the most positive signals and enticements to those thinking of a change in lifestyle and a move away from the harsh tax implications of the UK that can only become more stringent as time progresses.

Rolling hills of New Zealand

 A further speedy difference comes to mind for those contemplating moving to Alderney as opposed to New Zealand - it takes just 45 minutes to reach us from the UK!
 BUT we have to admit that we do endure far more dull and conservative property descriptions – can’t beat that one!
 While writing this month’s blog, the horrendous earthquake has just occurred in Christchurch on South Island. It has certainly touched the world, and our thoughts go out to everyone involved.