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Buying a house in NZ. .....

Buying a house in NZ. .....

Old Mar 19th 2015, 9:52 am
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Default Buying a house in NZ. .....

Okay, you guys have been fab with help/knowledge so far.....next question.....
My wife and I are looking at the housing market, and what we can get for our money (via websites), and we are a bit perplexed by 'auction, tender, and other terms.
Do the houses sell for the price guide? Is house buying like it is in Scotland with sealed bids? What is the 'tender' thing about? Should we just be looking at properties that have a fixed price?

Last edited by EvanM; Mar 19th 2015 at 9:54 am. Reason: spelling mistake!
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Old Mar 19th 2015, 11:16 am
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Default Re: Buying a house in NZ. .....

auction is for houses in auckland and is real estate speak for " we wont set a price because they rise so much each week (some up to 5k) we might be losing out on commission

tender is sealed bids

fixed price are usually way over priced so do be afraid to offer a lot less. i got my 1st place for 80k under original asking price
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Old Mar 19th 2015, 11:53 am
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Default Re: Buying a house in NZ. .....

And as in the UK do your research. Look at qv.co.nz, you have to pay for some of their services but it gives you all sorts of information about property values in the area you want to buy.

Don't rush in and buy a property, you really need to know the local market as it could be a costly mistake. Property is expensive to sell in NZ, so you could well end out of pocket if you don't hold onto your property or you realise you have bought in the wrong area.

CV/RV is listed with properties. This is Capital value or Rateable Value, can mean the same thing, or can be interpreted differently. It's basically the Local Authority or council rating/value on the property. For example the cost of the land, house and then improvements. I think (correct me if I'm wrong) it also helps the councils work out the rates which is the equivalent of council tax.

Take the CV/RV with a pinch of salt, in some areas houses go for much more than the CV/RV due to high demand, low supply. Some houses are bang on. They are updated approximately every 3 years. My example is that our house is bang on our CV, but you can't always go on that. You need to know the market. The market in Auckland moves very quickly, so please do your research on houses in the area you want to buy. Familiarise yourself with kiwi properties.

Also if you are buying in Auckland, please do some research on "leaky homes" and always ask the real estate agent preferably in writing/email if there is anything they need to declare on a property.

My best advice would be if you have not lived in NZ before to rent initially, the rental housing stock can be a bit dire but at least you will get a feel for areas and so forth. It is so different to the UK, you really need to know what you like and dislike about areas/houses etc.

Good luck!
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Old Mar 19th 2015, 4:40 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house in NZ. .....

Blimey.....There is so much seemingly involved with purchasing a property!
Any expat estate agents/solicitors out there?
Seriously though, again.....quality advice. So glad I found this site
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Old Mar 19th 2015, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house in NZ. .....

do not rush into buying, seriously

its a lot quicker to buy here, you generally have 15 days from the date you put your offer in, Conditional, before you have to purchase unless you have some valid reason to pull out. within that time you need to get all your due diligence done, solicitors here do not do the property searches that is something you have to do yourself so going to the council and either seeing the general plans or paying and getting full plans. Solicitor will do search to see if there are any building/council consents on the property and a LIM report which lets you know what information the council has on the property. House and mortgage inspections also need to be done within this time. You also need to make a deposit once your due diligence time is up, which can be as much as 10% of the sale price, before you are on the count down to move in which can be any time agreed after going unconditional.

We bought after being here 6mths as we got the money through from our house sale and regretted it as the area was not how we perceived it to be and made a loss selling it 18mths later, but now hopefully we have made a more knowledgeable decision with the area we are now in.
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Old Mar 19th 2015, 9:12 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house in NZ. .....

Originally Posted by MrsFychan View Post
do not rush into buying, seriously

its a lot quicker to buy here, you generally have 15 days from the date you put your offer in, Conditional, before you have to purchase unless you have some valid reason to pull out. within that time you need to get all your due diligence done, solicitors here do not do the property searches that is something you have to do yourself so going to the council and either seeing the general plans or paying and getting full plans. Solicitor will do search to see if there are any building/council consents on the property and a LIM report which lets you know what information the council has on the property. House and mortgage inspections also need to be done within this time. You also need to make a deposit once your due diligence time is up, which can be as much as 10% of the sale price, before you are on the count down to move in which can be any time agreed after going unconditional.

We bought after being here 6mths as we got the money through from our house sale and regretted it as the area was not how we perceived it to be and made a loss selling it 18mths later, but now hopefully we have made a more knowledgeable decision with the area we are now in.
MrsF- you are a true font of knowledge
Can't thank you enough, all off you that post a message.
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Old Mar 19th 2015, 10:23 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house in NZ. .....

I'd definitely rent here first for a while before buying. Also be aware, that it is very different here in that estate agents write up the legal documents not solicitors. My biggest surprise buying here because estate agents are acting for the seller not buyer. Definitely hire a solicitor - you probably will as you are from the U.K. - this may be surprising but a solicitor here told me that many Kiwis don't hire one to look over the legal docs and then get badly caught out. Good news is, it is a much quicker process here.

Estate agents tend not to put prices on properties for various reasons, it is so frustrating!
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Old Mar 19th 2015, 10:26 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house in NZ. .....

In Christchurch the homes have a rateable value following inspections post earthquake.

Rates and valuations - Home & Living - Christchurch City Council


As most of the house sales are "Auction" in Christchurch I always look on that to get a rough idea of how much the property is( house and land price). I know that a lot of the properties go for more than the rateable value but it gives a good guide to see what is around or unfortunately above our budget.
"As is where is" another matter entirely. Think you can only get a loan on a percentage of the land value price only.
We have got to know our local estate agent so she lets us know what is coming on the market and what price the recent auction properties have gone for. It gives us a good idea on the housing market here.
There is such a difference with the buying process than the UK, but I must admit I love Open Homes!!! Great to have a nosy.
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Old Mar 19th 2015, 10:32 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house in NZ. .....

Originally Posted by Chocoholics View Post
I'd definitely rent here first for a while before buying. Also be aware, that it is very different here in that estate agents write up the legal documents not solicitors. My biggest surprise buying here because estate agents are acting for the seller not buyer. Definitely hire a solicitor - you probably will as you are from the U.K. - this may be surprising but a solicitor here told me that many Kiwis don't hire one to look over the legal docs and then get badly caught out. Good news is, it is a much quicker process here.

Estate agents tend not to put prices on properties for various reasons, it is so frustrating!
Do solicitors charge a percentage then? Or is it an agreed price before committing to a deal?
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Old Mar 19th 2015, 10:35 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house in NZ. .....

Originally Posted by Dandy du2 View Post
In Christchurch the homes have a rateable value following inspections post earthquake.

Rates and valuations - Home & Living - Christchurch City Council


As most of the house sales are "Auction" in Christchurch I always look on that to get a rough idea of how much the property is( house and land price). I know that a lot of the properties go for more than the rateable value but it gives a good guide to see what is around or unfortunately above our budget.
"As is where is" another matter entirely. Think you can only get a loan on a percentage of the land value price only.
We have got to know our local estate agent so she lets us know what is coming on the market and what price the recent auction properties have gone for. It gives us a good idea on the housing market here.
There is such a difference with the buying process than the UK, but I must admit I love Open Homes!!! Great to have a nosy.
Is it a wise option to get the 'real estate agent' as a friend then?
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Old Mar 19th 2015, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house in NZ. .....

We just got chatting to the estate agent at an Open Home day.
We said we were looking in the local area but struggling to understand the process as it was so different. They sent loads of information through to us and got us in touch with a mortgage broker who came to our house and had a chat about how the buying system works and how we apply for a mortgage. It was free impartial advice and gave us a good indication of what we can afford,how things work (Auction and negotiations etc)and also more importantly contacts for future use.
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Old Mar 19th 2015, 11:33 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house in NZ. .....

Originally Posted by Dandy du2 View Post
We just got chatting to the estate agent at an Open Home day.
We said we were looking in the local area but struggling to understand the process as it was so different. They sent loads of information through to us and got us in touch with a mortgage broker who came to our house and had a chat about how the buying system works and how we apply for a mortgage. It was free impartial advice and gave us a good indication of what we can afford,how things work (Auction and negotiations etc)and also more importantly contacts for future use.
Do you get 'people ' that can gaggle for you? (Or are you on your own?!)
Thanks for the great advice by the way. Much appreciated :thumbsup
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Old Mar 20th 2015, 12:24 am
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Default Re: Buying a house in NZ. .....

the solicitor will act for you and protect your interests and keep you in the loop.
Get to know the estate agents as they are more than likely to think of you first when a new property comes on the market. We got friendly with a lovely agent and he always got us in first to new stock that fitted our requirements and let us know if we asked to see a property if he thought we would be wasting our time.
but like with every thing you will get those estate agents that are just out for what they can get and really won't have anyone apart from their own interests at heart.
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Old Mar 21st 2015, 12:04 am
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Default Re: Buying a house in NZ. .....

Our solicitor charged a fixed fee - can't remember how much as long time ago. Will see if I can dig any paperwork out.
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Old Mar 22nd 2015, 5:48 am
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Default Re: Buying a house in NZ. .....

G'day! It depends on the area as to how the properties are sold. In Christchurch (and Auckland?) a lot of houses are up for auction. We bought 25km outside of Christchurch and most houses were going under deadline sale. Our house was pretty straight forward, here's how it went down step by step for us:

1. Received pre-approval for mortgage at BNZ bank
2. Viewed a house at open home
3. Next day put written offer in at asking price with agent selling the house
4. Offer accepted, house is ours on the condition that building report and finance goes through.
5. Arranged building inspection (cost of around $300 for us)
6. Hired a solicitor to take care of legal side of things (cost of $2000, $1500 paid for by bank as they had an offer on at that time).
7. Building report came back fine, all legal stuff taken care of
8. House is ours unconditionally, arrange move in day

Ours was very straight forward. From the day we put the official offer in to moving in the whole thing took 6 weeks. The first two weeks was arranging the building report, bank stuff and legal paperwork. Once the two weeks were up then the house went unconditional and it was four weeks until move in day.

The good thing about the process here is that you cannot get gazumped by other buyers. Once you have that official offer in paper and have had it accepted that is it, no one else can come in and offer more money and have their offer accepted instead.

One piece of advice is, as everyone else has said, take your time! We didn't buy a house until after one year in NZ and I'm glad we waited. We viewed so many houses (the luxury of open homes!) to get a grip on pricing, value for money, areas of preference, house style/set up etc. Also make sure you get a solicitor and building inspection, do not miss these two things out even if people say you do not need it!

Good luck
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