Before you start looking for a new home it is a good idea to find out whether or not you are eligible for a loan and to find out how much you can borrow. Most banks offer to lend up to 80 to 90% of the value of your new home which means that you only need 10 to 20% of the value of your home as a deposit. There may be conditions to this type of mortgage which may vary depending on the bank you choose.
There are many aspects that need to be taken into account when choosing where to live. An idea is to rent first before committing yourself to the purchase of a new home. This way, you can take time to decide on the community in which you would like to live and this decision may be based on the schools in the area, access to public transport, access to work, access to other facilities/shops etc.
There are several ways in which you can do this, drive through the neighbourhood/s in which you would like to live and see which houses are for sale, contacting a real estate agent in the area, checking the local paper's real estate section and the internet.
You can also visit open homes in the area in which you wish to buy. These are usually held over the weekend and are hosted by the real estate agent (unless the owner is selling themselves). These open homes give you a great opportunity to look around the house and to ask the real estate any questions you may have regarding the property.
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand
Real Estate resources and information