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  • Location
  • Real estate agents
  • Avoiding leaky buildings
  • The different types of title
  • Build or buy
  • Open home checklist
>

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04 LOCATION
Location

04 REAL ESTATE AGENTS2
Real estate agents

04 AVOIDING LEAKY BUILDINGS2
Avoiding leaky buildings

04 THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF TITLE
The different types of title

04 BUILD OR BUY
Build or buy

04 INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR CHECKLISTS
Open home checklist

Location

Location is one of the single greatest factors in determining the price of a property. Things like being close to the city, good public amenities, good schools, having water views or being close to popular beaches, will all add huge value to the price of a home. If you can’t afford to buy in the best suburbs first time, these are some other things to look for in location that can help ensure you make a good investment and that your home will appreciate in value over time.

Location is one of the single greatest factors in determining the price of a property. Things like being close to the city, good public amenities, good schools, having water views or being close to popular beaches, will all add huge value to the price of a home. If you can’t afford to buy in the best suburbs first time, these are some other things to look for in location that can help ensure you make a good investment and that your home will appreciate in value over time.

Real estate agents

The majority of houses today are sold via a Real Estate Agent. The agent is the first place to start if you are interested in a property and have questions about it. 

Remember, the agent works for the seller, not you. While they have a legal requirement and a professional responsibility to treat you fairly, it’s still a good idea to do your own checking about a property. Ultimately it’s the seller who will pay them when the property sells.  

You don’t have to deal with the agent the seller has appointed. You can appoint your own agent to negotiate on your behalf. Make sure your agent is licensed and check on their background. Buying a home involves a lot of money, and you need to know you’re dealing with someone who has a good reputation. You can search for them on the public register and find out if they’ve had any complaints upheld against them. 

Real estate agents are expected to perform to a strict code of conduct. If you have any questions or complaints about your agent, contact the Real Estate Agent’s Authority

The majority of houses today are sold via a Real Estate Agent. The agent is the first place to start if you are interested in a property and have questions about it. 

Remember, the agent works for the seller, not you. While they have a legal requirement and a professional responsibility to treat you fairly, it’s still a good idea to do your own checking about a property. Ultimately it’s the seller who will pay them when the property sells.  

You don’t have to deal with the agent the seller has appointed. You can appoint your own agent to negotiate on your behalf. Make sure your agent is licensed and check on their background. Buying a home involves a lot of money, and you need to know you’re dealing with someone who has a good reputation. You can search for them on the public register and find out if they’ve had any complaints upheld against them. 

Real estate agents are expected to perform to a strict code of conduct. If you have any questions or complaints about your agent, contact the Real Estate Agent’s Authority

Avoiding leaky buildings

Link

Signs of a leaky home

Learn more about leaky homes, common signs to look out for and which houses are more likely to be leaky.

If you’re looking at homes built since 1990, you need to keep your eyes open for leaky building symptoms. 

Claddings associated with leak problems include stucco, EIFS (exterior insulation and finish system) and texture-coated fibre cement. You should also be wary of multi-storey houses, narrow or non-existent eaves and complex architectural designs.

For detailed information about leaky building problems, visit http://www.buildingguide.co.nz/leaky-homes-weathertightness/

If you’re looking at homes built since 1990, you need to keep your eyes open for leaky building symptoms. 

Claddings associated with leak problems include stucco, EIFS (exterior insulation and finish system) and texture-coated fibre cement. You should also be wary of multi-storey houses, narrow or non-existent eaves and complex architectural designs.

For detailed information about leaky building problems, visit http://www.buildingguide.co.nz/leaky-homes-weathertightness/

The different types of title

A Certificate of Title is a record of who owns or has an interest in a property and it’s important that home buyers understand the rights and implications of each type of title before making a purchase. It’s a good idea to have your lawyer read through the title you’re looking at to help you understand it and uncover any issues. There are four main types of title that you are likely to come across:

FREEHOLD TITLE (SOMETIMES CALLED FEE SIMPLE)

If you have a freehold title it means that you own the property, with minimal restrictions. It is the most common form of title in New Zealand and the most preferable because it provides the most rights and least restrictions. Freehold may be the most preferable title but you will still be subject to council restrictions depending upon zoning and resource consent requirements.

FREEHOLD TITLE (SOMETIMES CALLED FEE SIMPLE)

If you have a freehold title it means that you own the property, with minimal restrictions. It is the most common form of title in New Zealand and the most preferable because it provides the most rights and least restrictions. Freehold may be the most preferable title but you will still be subject to council restrictions depending upon zoning and resource consent requirements.

Cross-lease title

Cross-lease ownership is common where there is more than one property on a single title. The owners of each property jointly own the land and each leases their own property (called Flats), which collectively form the cross-lease title. Cross-leases became popular with property developers from the 1960s on, because it was a more affordable form of sub-division compared to creating a freehold title for each home. If you want to change the “Flats Plan,” e.g. by building an extension to your home, then you will require consent from the other parties to the cross-lease.

Cross-lease title

Cross-lease ownership is common where there is more than one property on a single title. The owners of each property jointly own the land and each leases their own property (called Flats), which collectively form the cross-lease title. Cross-leases became popular with property developers from the 1960s on, because it was a more affordable form of sub-division compared to creating a freehold title for each home. If you want to change the “Flats Plan,” e.g. by building an extension to your home, then you will require consent from the other parties to the cross-lease.

Leasehold title

A leasehold title refers to when someone other than the occupier of the property owns the land and charges ground rent to the lessee. These titles may be perpetually renewable, or can be terminating, after say, 50 or 100 years. Ground rent charges will usually be based on the value of the land and be reassessed every seven years. In a property boom this means that ground rents can sky rocket and become unaffordable for the occupier. Leasehold properties are often more difficult to sell because of this uncertainty.

Leasehold title

A leasehold title refers to when someone other than the occupier of the property owns the land and charges ground rent to the lessee. These titles may be perpetually renewable, or can be terminating, after say, 50 or 100 years. Ground rent charges will usually be based on the value of the land and be reassessed every seven years. In a property boom this means that ground rents can sky rocket and become unaffordable for the occupier. Leasehold properties are often more difficult to sell because of this uncertainty.

Unit title

This is a form of ownership typical for apartments and units, where each owner has freehold title to their individual unit as described on the unit plan. Owners have common areas and share duties for any common property, such as driveways, lifts, lobbies and gardens. Sometimes this comes in the form of a body corporate, which you can find out about here. The seller must provide a buyer with a pre-contract disclosure statement. This will cover everything you need to know about the unit title and any specific information about the unit you are buying and any outstanding levies. Body corporates can be good, bad, or ugly. Make sure you check the minutes of previous body corporate meetings to fully understand any current issues.

Unit title

This is a form of ownership typical for apartments and units, where each owner has freehold title to their individual unit as described on the unit plan. Owners have common areas and share duties for any common property, such as driveways, lifts, lobbies and gardens. Sometimes this comes in the form of a body corporate, which you can find out about here. The seller must provide a buyer with a pre-contract disclosure statement. This will cover everything you need to know about the unit title and any specific information about the unit you are buying and any outstanding levies. Body corporates can be good, bad, or ugly. Make sure you check the minutes of previous body corporate meetings to fully understand any current issues.

Build or buy?

When it comes to your first home you can buy one on the market, or you can build something new. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. 

Buying

When you buy an existing property, you can come to us and get your conditional approval, and then take your time shopping around. Once you’ve bought, you can usually move into your new home within one to two months. This is a good option if you want minimal disruption in your life, or want to buy in a particular neighbourhood.

The disadvantage of buying your own property is that you inherit any issues the property may have, and have less choice when it comes to the style and design of the house. You may find that you’re buying an older property that doesn’t have any insulation or double glazing. Or maybe the kitchen and bathroom are heavily worn and in need of renovation. You may want to think about a budget for work that needs to be done before you’ve bought it.

Buying

When you buy an existing property, you can come to us and get your conditional approval, and then take your time shopping around. Once you’ve bought, you can usually move into your new home within one to two months. This is a good option if you want minimal disruption in your life, or want to buy in a particular neighbourhood.

The disadvantage of buying your own property is that you inherit any issues the property may have, and have less choice when it comes to the style and design of the house. You may find that you’re buying an older property that doesn’t have any insulation or double glazing. Or maybe the kitchen and bathroom are heavily worn and in need of renovation. You may want to think about a budget for work that needs to be done before you’ve bought it.

Building

If you choose to build you’ll get the chance to design a home the way you want it, or choose a plan that you like the layout of. You’ll have a say on the number of rooms and bathrooms, how your kitchen will be laid out, and how the indoor/outdoor flow will work. 

A new build lets you take advantage of everything modern technology has to offer, such as energy efficiency, high quality insulation, and ventilation. You’ll spend less on maintenance and repairs than you would if buying an old home that’s on the market. It also attracts higher KiwiSaver contribution opportunities towards your deposit. 

On the downside, you need the land to build on, which can be particularly hard to find in established suburbs. Then there is the decision of choosing a turn-key package, where everything is done for you at a set price, or being more involved yourself. Choosing to do more yourself involves time and expense of architectural plans, resource consents, finding a good builder, materials, and the actual build itself. In both cases, a good amount of time will pass before your new home is finished and you can move in. 

There is a wealth of information available online about how to make sure your new home build is finished on time and on budget. If you think you’d like to build your first home, start by checking out the Consumer New Zealand guide to building your first home

Building

If you choose to build you’ll get the chance to design a home the way you want it, or choose a plan that you like the layout of. You’ll have a say on the number of rooms and bathrooms, how your kitchen will be laid out, and how the indoor/outdoor flow will work. 

A new build lets you take advantage of everything modern technology has to offer, such as energy efficiency, high quality insulation, and ventilation. You’ll spend less on maintenance and repairs than you would if buying an old home that’s on the market. It also attracts higher KiwiSaver contribution opportunities towards your deposit. 

On the downside, you need the land to build on, which can be particularly hard to find in established suburbs. Then there is the decision of choosing a turn-key package, where everything is done for you at a set price, or being more involved yourself. Choosing to do more yourself involves time and expense of architectural plans, resource consents, finding a good builder, materials, and the actual build itself. In both cases, a good amount of time will pass before your new home is finished and you can move in. 

There is a wealth of information available online about how to make sure your new home build is finished on time and on budget. If you think you’d like to build your first home, start by checking out the Consumer New Zealand guide to building your first home

Open home checklist

Before you pay for a professional assessment of a property from someone like a  building inspector, you can assess each property you look at with a bit of help from this open home checklist.

This will help you assess each house you look at, giving you a few ideas on what to look out for. If you can’t answer any of the questions on the checklist, ask the real estate agent, the owners or even the neighbours. The local council could help, too. 

Before you pay for a professional assessment of a property from someone like a  building inspector, you can assess each property you look at with a bit of help from this open home checklist.

This will help you assess each house you look at, giving you a few ideas on what to look out for. If you can’t answer any of the questions on the checklist, ask the real estate agent, the owners or even the neighbours. The local council could help, too. 

Your checklist for home hunting

Keep track of your house hunting efforts by ticking off the list below.

Your deposit

Home loan application

Finding a home

Buying a home

Settling

Get home loan free faster

Where to next?