Buying Tips, Recommendations & Checklist

Tips

  • Take your time and think through the plusses and minuses as no property will be perfect. Where you live forms a big part of your life, your lifestyle and your happiness.
  • Do Your Homework! We cannot emphasise this enough. “Before you bid, look under the lid!” as noted by www.settled.govt.nz
  • Try not to let your emotions get in the way of being practical. If you feel you’ve fallen too much in love with a property and are not being objective, ask a good friend or family member to give you a second opinion.
  • Be proactive! Keep talking to your real estate agent, let them know how interested you are. Don’t let someone else beat you to it!
  • Be ready to act quickly! If the property ticks all the boxes, it feels right, you’ve carried out thorough homework and it’s in your price bracket, “put your foot on it” before someone else beats you to it!
  • Understand the market you want to buy in. Check out these websites www.qv.co.nz, www.homes.co.nz, www.oneroof.co.nz, www.realestate.co.nz and www.trademe.co.nz
  • Understand the sales process that each property you view is being marketed by i.e. auction, tender, deadline treaty, price by negotiation etc. You can read on all at www.settled.govt.nz
  • Keep a list of the properties you have viewed, the pros and cons of each and where you might need to compromise. Don’t defer a decision because the property is not perfect. If it stacks up, make your move and get on or move up the property ladder faster!
  • Organise a meeting with your bank or preferred lender and obtain pre-approval for a loan. This way you know exactly how much you have to spend before you start house hunting.

​ We recommend

  • Getting an independent building inspection report done on the property. Yes, this is your cost but certainly worth it if the report highlights serious issues. You could save yourself a massive headache and thousands of dollars.
  • Don’t sign anything you don’t understand! Have your solicitor review the contract before you sign an offer to purchase or ensure a “15-day due diligence” clause be added to the Sale and Purchase Agreement.
  • If you’re buying an apartment request a strata report or body corporate minutes. A strata title report shows the records of the strata scheme which can include any special levies proposed in the future that you maybe require to contribute to. It also provides a history of the building’s maintenancework and the amount of funds in the sinking and administration funds.

Check List

☐ Have you organised a pre-approved loan so you know how much you can spend?
☐ Does the property have street appeal (think about future re-sale)?
☐ Is the house sound? If in doubt, get a building inspector to check it out!
☐ Is the house dry underneath?
☐ If it is built with block, are they well drained?
☐ Is the house well insulated?
☐ What are the neighbours like? Will you enjoy living in the neighbourhood?
☐ Will the area hold its resale value or gain capital growth?
☐ Is there plenty of parking?
☐ Do you have to share a driveway and are there any issues with this?
☐ Are there long-term costs or issues such as body corp fees?
☐ What type of Title is the property? Your solicitor can advise on this.
☐ Does the house and any alterations have the required Council permits?
☐ Does the house have a pool? Has it been well maintained? Is it permitted and fenced to Council requirements?
☐ Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms?
☐ Is the garage big enough? Is it accessible from the house?
☐ Is the property suitable for pets and secure for children?
☐ Can you manage the property for your stage of life? Are there too many stairs? Are the grounds too steep?
☐ Do you like the grounds? Are they well drained? Is there potential for improvement?
☐ What maintenance needs to be carried out immediately and can you afford to do?
☐ Is the area noisy ie traffic or in an aircraft flight path? Can you live with that?
☐ How close is it to schools, shops, medical centre, parks and sports grounds, public transport etc?
☐ How close is it to your work? Do you want to travel that far?
☐ Are there plans for future development to the area? Can you live with a new large subdivision around the corner, more traffic?
☐ Can you afford to pay the mortgage along with other commitments e.g. insurances, property maintenance, loss of job etc?

For lifestyle and beach properties

Take in the above but question the following:

☐ Is there a good water supply? How old are the tanks? When were they last cleaned out? How much to fill up if you run out?
☐ Where is the septic tank, how big and when was it last cleaned out? Where do leach lines run to?
☐ Is there a risk of flooding or erosion?
☐ Will you be close to farms or orchards? Noise pollution? Sprays?
☐ Will you be close to industry? Noise pollution? Chemicals?
☐ If close to the sea, factor in the impact of “corrosion” e.g. metal window/door frames, paint.