So you have your pre-approval and you are about to embark on your hunt for your perfect home! There are so many things to consider Location, price, type of home, local schools, transport and amenities, type of street, number of bedrooms, the list goes on and on and where to start?
The best places to search on line for property are;
Homesell – for properties being sold privately
Homes.co.nz – A free resource for housing data including sold price records, RVs, size, age
You can of course search the various real estate agents websites however usually you will find most properties will also be listed on one of the above mentioned sites.
For information on capital gains and yields on property in NZ check out this Westpac Property Investor Report
Looking for information on Auckland Suburbs? Check out Hometopia’s – ‘The Streetwise Home Buyer’
Defining your Perfect Home
We recommend first really defining exactly the type of home you are looking for and prioritising things that are critical. It may be you have pets and so main roads are a no go for you, or that due to your family size it must have 4 bedrooms. Or perhaps you are keen on DIY so are looking for a place that you can do up a little. To help you may like to use our handy checklist.
Knowing what to avoid!
Buying a property is usually the biggest single purchase you will ever make, so it makes sense to ensure you don’t buy a lemon! There are things that need to be checked out so as to avoid buying a leaky home, or one that has structural problems. We recommend always getting a building report just to be on the safe side.
In the meantime, it pays to know what signs to look out for. For more information regarding leaky homes, refer to the link below. You’ll also find a handy checklist of questions to ask your real estate agent or vendor.
Types of Properties
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Estate in Fee Simple
This type of property ownership is the best as you own both the land and the property.
The advantages of fee simple is that you own all of the land and are able to make additions or alterations to your property (subject of course to Council bylaws and consent requirements) without having to get consent from neighbouring property owner(s) unlike a cross lease title and unit title.
This type of ownership is common where there is more than one home on a block of land. You are all owners of the land and you each lease your home. The lease will usually provide for an exclusive use area for each cross-leasee. It’s like owning a freehold property but there are some restrictions.
Another form of ownership for more than one home on a block of land is a unit title.
For more information regarding cross lease click here
In the case of unit title – you own the unit and a piece of land which cannot be defined. You own a stratum estate in freehold under the unit titles act (or stratum in leasehold if on leasehold land). This is for multi-storey units governed by a Body Corporate (Body Corporate members are all owners of the units in the complex). There are usually common areas such as driveways & gardens that are maintained by the Body Corporate and levies are payable by each unit yearly to pay for the maintenance charges together with insurance for the entire complex. Be aware that there may be special or one-off levies payable prior to buying the property. These should be disclosed to you by the owner/developer before you settle.
Unit Title Disclosure
The unit titles act 2010 brought a number of major changes regarding unit title properties. One of the major changes relates to property owners disclosure obligations when unit title properties are bought or sold.
Before any Sale and Purchase Agreement is signed, a seller must provide potential buyers with a ‘Pre-contract Disclosure Statement’. The seller can usually arrange for the Body Corporate’s manager to prepare this for a fee. Information provided in a pre-contract disclosure statement will include information such as amount of any levies payable, proposed maintenance, body corporate bank balances and whether or not the unit is part of any weather tightness claims.
Once the Sale and Purchase Agreement has been signed and at least 5 working days before settlement day, the seller must provide the buyer with a Pre-settlement Disclosure Statement. The Body Corporate should be able to prepare this for the seller for a fee. A Pre-settlement Disclosure Statement will include information such as any outstanding levies or metered charges and whether there are any proceedings pending against the Body Corporate.
If the buyer does not receive the Pre-Settlement Disclosure at least 5 working days before settlement, the buyer may delay settlement or opt out of the purchase entirely.
Additionally, buyers have a limited timeframe in which to request an ‘additional disclosure statement’. This will be prepared at the buyer’s expense (a cost estimate for this should be provided in the pre-contract disclosure statement). Information included in an additional disclosure statement will include details about the Body Corporate’s finances, contracts the Body Corporate has entered into, ground leases, body corporate rules and the long-term maintenance plan.
Estate in Leasehold
In this case you own the building but NOT the land. The land is leased to you at a certain rental per annum. This type of property is not recommended for residential property and banks will not usually lend on this property type.
Auctions/Tender/By Negotiation – What’s the Difference?
There are many methods of sale available to vendors. Before you hit the road on your journey to find that perfect home, you may like to up-skill yourself on the types of sale methods.
AUCTIONS – Going once, going twice…sold!
So, you’ve found a property you love and it’s going to auction – auctions can at first seem scary! We have all seen the movies where someone ends up inadvertently buying a property after scratching their nose! Don’t worry, that won’t happen – auctioneers know a bid when they see one!
So what is an auction?
An auction is the sale of a property, through public negotiation on a day and time set by the vendor.
What do I need to do in order to participate at an auction?
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