Where to look and how to know if a house is right for you.
You have finance pre-approval in place, you have KiwiSaver withdrawal pre-approval and you have looked into getting a Kainga Ora grant - how do you find a property to purchase.
Your next step is to decide what type of property is best for you and your family. Have a clear idea of the kind of property you are looking for before you begin your search. To do this, make a list of what you want and need in a property, such as areas you would like to live in and those to avoid, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need, the number of parking spaces you require, and how close to school or work you need to be.
You can find out about properties for sale by speaking to local real estate agents, looking on Trade Me Property, websites such as realestate.co.nz, as well as approaching private sellers who are advertising their properties.
It can be helpful to speak to agents in your area and let them know that you are searching for a certain type of property within a certain price range. Agents will often know about properties coming to the market and be able to tell you about them before they are advertised. This can be really useful and give you an advantage over other purchasers where multiple people are interested in one property.
If you are really interested in a property, contact the agent or private seller as soon as you can and arrange a private viewing rather than waiting for a scheduled open home. You will learn the importance of timing, especially if the property has a set sale date or deadline for offers to be received by the vendor. Once you find a property you want to look at, do your research and make a checklist of things to look out for when you walk through the property.
This checklist is useful for knowing what to look out for and helping you to form questions to ask: https://www.settled.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Resources/Check-lists/Checklist-open-home.pdf
At the viewing or open home, don’t be afraid to ask all of the questions that you thought of while researching the property, and take note of the answers. It is also a good idea to take pictures or videos of the condition of the property that you can review later, as it is easy to get caught up in the moment and miss important details. Take friends or family along with you who have expertise and can help you inspect a property - for example a friend who is a builder will be able to spot important details you may overlook.
After viewing the property, you need to decide if it meets your needs. Making a pros and cons list may help, and if the property needs work, it will give you an indication of what improvements you would need to make to get the property up to your standards. This is key information to have in mind when deciding on the price you are willing to pay for the property. For example, if you have children and/or pets and the property isn’t fenced, you will incur fencing costs to bring the property up to your requirements. If you feel it is right for you then your next step is to proceed with an offer or to bid at auction. You will often need to act quickly to get yourself in a position to make an offer, which is why it is a good idea to have a lawyer lined up to review the sale and purchase agreement and help you to include the right conditions.
Additionally, you should always take legal advice before making an offer or bidding at auction.
Talk to Sarah or our Property team if you want us to take you through it.
We will cover conditions to include and how to make an offer or bid at auction in more detail in our next article.
Happy property hunting!
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