Handy tips for house buying in New Zealand

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New Zealand packs a big punch for its size, offering a diverse range of properties across a varied landscape.  From mountains to beaches, vineyards to lifestyle blocks and vibrant city pads to rural retreats.

1. Know the market

Identify suitable homes and view as many properties in your preferred area as soon as possible. A good place to start is:

Real estate agents Property Brokers work directly with us to help you identify houses within your budget and search area. Search their properties HERE.

2. Do thorough due diligence

Make sure you have a builders report to ensure that the house is weathertight, that there is adequate insulation and heating, that the piles are sound, and that the plumbing is in good condition.  A lawyer can do your conveyancing and conduct the necessary reports and searches for you. A registered valuation will give you the market value for the house and may be necessary for a mortgage.

3. Ask a lot of questions

Get as much information about the house and surrounding area as possible. Your real estate agent can’t withhold any information they know from you if you have asked them about it.

Speak to the neighbours to find out what the area is like and if there are any problems in the neighbourhood.

4. Understand the costs

A rough guide to the costs of purchasing in New Zealand.

• Legal fees – $1000
• Searches such as LIM report – $250-400
• Valuation report – $400+
• Builders report (survey) $400-800
• No Stamp Duty or Capital Gains Tax
A 10% non-refundable deposit is normally due within 1-2 weeks after making an offer on a property

5. Things to beware of

• Buyers without New Zealand residency or citizenship may need to apply for Overseas Investment Consent
• Leaky homes. The leaky home crises of the 90’s-00’s affected nearly 100,000 homes
• Damp. Many homes aren’t adequately insulated or heated
• Gazumping doesn’t exist in New Zealand. After any conditions on the offer are met, it becomes unconditional and is legally binding. Be sure you want to buy as there may no going back
• Completion in New Zealand can be as quick as 2 weeks, with the average 8-12 weeks

For a detailed buying and renting guide to New Zealand please complete the form below.


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