So by now you understand the basics. it’s time to do a property search.
Let the search begin.
Where to look –
These websites are a good place to do a property search:
realestate.co.nz only lists property represented by real estate agents. While trademe.co.nz has both property represented by real estate agencies and private sales.
Print media – Local and national newspapers.
Drive or walk around some of the areas you’re interested in to do a property search and familiarise yourself with the area. You may see some for sale signs.
Assemble a list of houses you want to view. See if you can attend the first open home, which are often on a Sunday. Or arrange with the real estate agent or vendor for a private viewing time.
Many properties are listed for auction, because this is often considered the best way to determine market value. Some properties will have a list price, in this case it’s best to get in early for a viewing to see if you want to make an offer before someone else gets it. You can make an offer below the list price to see if the vendor will accept your offer, or they may try to negotiate you up in price on your offer. They will often expect to meet about halfway between their counter offer and your original offer, unless your original offer is too low.
Ignore the personal belongings of the occupants, they’ll be gone when you own it. Ask what chattels are included, such as stove, curtains, etc. You may have to budget for them if they are being taken away.
It’s a good idea to walk around independently from the agent to give yourself time to think about the property without any distractions and take notes to remind yourself of any questions that you may have.
Go in to each room twice to become familiar with it. Walk completely around the outside of the house so you know what’s there.
Take a check list with you to remind yourself of what you need to look for. It should include:
On the outside –
- Compare it to the houses other houses in the street.
- What’s the privacy like from the street and neighbours.
- Is it fully fenced.
- Is there off street parking, if so how many spaces.
On the inside –
- Does it need a lot of re-decorating.
- What’s the condition of the flooring.
- Are there unpleasant smell such as pet or dampness.
- Look for mould.
- Lower your head near the floor and look across for any unevenness that may indicate underfloor problems such as the need for re-piling.
- Are the rooms large enough for your requirements.
- What’s the house orientation in relation to the sun?
- Is there good natural light entering the living spaces.
- Is the kitchen stove and oven in good condition.
- Is there a bath and shower or just a shower.
- How many toilets are there.
- If there’s a garage or carport, is there enough space to open the doors and get out comfortably.
- Is the laundry satisfactory.
- Is there somewhere to hang out the washing to dry, or space for a dryer.
- Are there any renovations that have been done. If so do they have a building permit.
- Look at the neighbours property, and consider if you want to live next to them.
- Do they have a dog that barks a lot.
Ask the agent or vendor –
Get as much information as you need from the agent or vendor.
Some questions you may want to ask include:
- Building condition – Roof, exterior cladding, plumbing, wiring, and piles.
- What chattels are included?
- Why are they selling?
- Have there been any renovations, if so are they permitted?
- Where are the boundaries? Are the fences on the boundaries?
- What are the rates? This can often be searched for on the local council website.
- How long has the property been on the market?
- Have there been any offers, if so how much were they?
- What’s the minimum offer they are likely to accept?
- Is there anything I should know about the property?
If there’s a licensed real estate agent involved it’s important to ask the last question because an agent is obligated to tell you anything they know about the property that may affect its value. Also get an independent report from a building inspector, and get a LIM report from the council.
House Buying Guide page order:
1. Pros And Cons Of Owning Versus Renting.
9. The property Search. This Page.