On arrival, the hospital provided us with temporary accommodations. The apartment was across the street from the hospital and in a perfect location from a professional point of view. We were also close to the beach and to the public gardens and not far from down town. But, there were only 3 bedrooms and a very small living room and we felt that we'd always be under each others feet and nobody would have "their space!" An additional problem was that pets were not allowed and so we had to find a place that would accept pets.
The real estate situation in Timaru has become desperate during the past couple of years. There is a rush on land in New Zealand and a new milk processing factory was recently built just outside town. The result has been a dramatic increase in the value of property and a decrease in vacancy rates. House rentals are very scarce. The hospital had been looking for a place for us for a few months but didn't have much luck. We hit the papers, real estate agents and drove around looking for a place. Unbelievably we found a 4 bedroom home for rent. As soon as we turned into the lane, the kids wanted it. The driveway is lined with a hedge with blooming roses and other flowers surrounding the house and gardens!
The house has a nice large fenced in yard for the dogs and a very large kitchen with a fireplace. After making the enquiries and looking at a couple of other places, we decided to try and secure this place and everything worked out. It is an older home with 10 foot ceilings. There is no central heat, in fact, the only heat source is 3 fireplaces! A cooking stove was included and a dishwasher [this is a rare find!] We ended up moving in just before Christmas!
We were also lucky enough to find a home with two bathrooms!! One with a very large tub, I can lie in it without bending my legs, and the other with a shower. Aluminum is one of New Zealand's exports and corrugated aluminum siding and roofing is very popular in construction. We have also noticed it used as interior finishing on walls and bars in public places. The shower in our new home is completely aluminum! Now that's easy to keep clean.