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Step One: The Process
Familiarise yourself with the home buying process first by reviewing the National Bank’s “Home Buyers Centre” page, followed by the Professionals’ – “Top Tips for Buyers”. When you’ve done that read our feature article – “Buying a Home – The Legal Process”.
The ANZ website has a helpful section “Buying a Home” which includes advice on making an offer, insurance and moving in. Another good resource is the New Zealand Property Index article “Tips for Home Buyers”.
Step Two: Loan Options
Lending institutions lend different percentages of the purchase price. They also have restrictions based on your net income. For a review of a range of loan options on offer use the following links (please check homepages for qualifications and disclaimers):
Mortgage Brokers can provide you with invaluable assistance in structuring your loans and finding the best deal for you:
Step Six: Arranging Finance
There are many sources of finance. Apart from direct approaches to the banks we deal with a number of mortgage brokers. They have been very successful in obtaining finance where direct approaches to banks have failed. They have also arranged funds on more favourable terms. If you are subject to first home-buyer lending limits we can recommend brokers who may be able to assist. If you need a broker we can point you in the right direction.
Step Seven: Inspection
You are now ready to check out the properties that interest you on the ground. When viewing properties keep in mind possible contract conditions that may apply. Go through step 8 before commencing your inspections. The Realestate.co.nz Property Inspection Checklist page has a checklist of matters to look for and to be aware of.
The New Zealand Property Index has a very useful section called “Choosing Property Professionals” covering selection of valuers, mortgage brokers, building inspectors, real estate agents and lawyers.
Step Eight: Contract
When you are ready to submit an offer, if you have not already done so, you now need to instruct a solicitor. Don’t be misled into thinking its a simple process that anyone can do, it could prove to be a costly mistake.
Remember this is a “big ticket” transaction. One of the biggest you are likely to enter into. A quick glance at the length of the standard form contract and its fine print gives an indication of the complexity of the legal issues and contingencies it addresses. There are a range of special conditions that may need to be added. The exact wording of contract conditions can be critical. If the wording is wrong, it will be too late after you sign. Don’t be pressured into signing before you have had the contract form checked by your lawyer. You are the one that will have to live with its consequences. If you would like assistance request the agent to fax or email the contract to Michael Hofmann-Body on 04 569-3933. Email Michael Hofmann-Body with your contact details so he may expect it.
Conditions cover matters you need to resolve before being bound to proceed e.g. finance, builder’s report, prior sale. Each condition will have a time limit within which it has to be satisfied. The following conditions are common:
Is a valuation required? You may wish to have the reassurance of a valuation from a registered valuer if you are uncertain as to the true value of the property. It may be that your lender specifically requires that a valuation be obtained. We can assist with recommendations.
Do you require a Land Information Memorandum (known as a “LIM”)? LIMs are provided by local authorities and comprise detailed summaries of information held in relation to the property and zoning from Council records.They can be useful in disclosing information not available from the title search particularly in relation to improvements, easements, resource consents and other non-land transfer matters.For LIM applications on properties in the greater Wellington area see:
- Builder’s Report
Do you need a builder’s report? Under the standard contract form remedies against vendors for defects are limited. There are a number of companies offering building inspection services. We can assist with recommendations.
All conditions should be drafted or checked by a solicitor. Wherever you live, whether in New Zealand or overseas, we are able to act for you relating to New Zealand property matters. If you would like our assistance contact Michael Hofmann-Body.