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The art of selection

10 steps to choosing the perfect apartment

1. Buy quality
Get your lawyer to check the specification in the sales and purchase agreement.

2. Buy volume
Volume is the area multiplied by the height. Buy a decent ceiling height as well as floor area, and you won't be disappointed. Anything over 2.8m is good.

3. Look for amenity
Look for a decent-sized lobby, an outdoor pool, a cafe, anything that makes your life worth living.

4. Make sure it’s freehold
Own the land under you – other people can make your life miserable and expensive.

5. Keep it quiet
Find a quiet street – they do exist in the CBD – and ask if the building exceeds council acoustic ratings. (Minimum ratings can be improved upon.)

6. No fakes
Real stone and timber floors. Natural is best.

7. Match the appliances
Developers quite often put cheaper no-name appliances where you can’t see them.

8. Don’t pay high fees
Look for low body corporate fees – not racked up.

9. Check the extractor
Make sure it’s vented externally rather than recirculated back into the kitchen.

10. Greenspace is important.
Make sure the building is close to some open space.

Spring drinking— Three of the best

Spring drinking— Three of the best

1. Black Estate Netherwood Rosé (01)
This is rosé but not as you know it, and the 2016 has just been released. Canterbury’s finest winemakers have produced a wine from a co-ferment of pinot noir and chardonnay that grow together on a small block at their Netherwood vineyard in Waipara. It’s a bright red – no pale rosé here – with cranberry, strawberry and rhubarb. Complex and delicious.

2. The Source, Cardrona Distillery (02)
You’ll have to wait a decade until Cardrona’s single malt is commercially available: in the mean time keep an eye out for their gin, made from traditional and local botanicals including local rosehip, made using both copper pot and column distillation for a smooth, aromatic gin. (We recommend you top it off with East Imperial tonic and a squeeze of lime.)

3. Sawmill Imperial Red Ale (03)
There is plenty of time for summery pale ales and IPAs: spring is about drinking things that are both fresh but still a bit warming, and the Sawmill’s Imperial Red Ale works a treat for this. Intensely hoppy – it's dry hopped after ferment to boost the resins – it carries notes of caramel, molasses and red berries with a clean, bitter finish.

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Competition Terms & Conditions

Competition Terms & Conditions

*Terms and Conditions: This competition is promoted by Hustle & Bustle PR. Entries must be received between 20 July 2016 and 19 August 2016. To submit your entry please register your interest at the theinternational.co.nz. Winners will be notified via email. The prize is not transferable, exchangeable or negotiable or redeemable for cash. By submitting this form and registering your interest, you go into the draw to win one of three Blunt classic umbrellas.