A Step-By-Step Guide On Buying A House In New Zealand

Dec 3, 2020
Contents Insurance
By Staff writer

You don’t buy a house today, and move in the next day — it simply doesn't work that way! Buying a home is a deliberate process, one that requires a lot of focus. Factors such as financing your new home, setting up utilities, redesigning your home, among other things, can take weeks, if not months, of preparation.

So, how exactly can you buy a house in New Zealand? Is there a process you can follow to make the purchasing easier? Here’s a complete step-by-step breakdown on buying a house in NZ.

Research about the real estate market

It’s important to do thorough research whenever you make big purchases — in this case, a house. If you want to move to a specific town or city, research about school, work, play, and leisure opportunities. Most importantly, research about the average prices of houses in the area.

It’s also handy to look for government and financing requirements. Different kinds of buyer such as residents, non-residents, and first-time homebuyers may have varying sets of laws and requirements you need to follow.

Don’t forget to research about the following as well:

  • Sold properties
  • Market reports
  • Latest suburb report
  • Rating and valuation information

Setting a fixed budget

Unless you have a trillion dollars in your disposable bank account, you must lock in a set amount of money before buying a house. This way, you know exactly how much you can spend and avoid going over budget.

It’s also handy to prepare an extra amount, aside from your base payment. This readies you from any additional expenses that may pile up as you go along the process, including repainting, repairing, remodelling, and more.

Here are expenses you need to factor into your budget.

  • Land Information Memorandum (LIM) report - $250-$400
  • Builders report - $400-$800, depending on property size
  • Registration fee - $80 for every property transfer
  • Conveyancer fee - $900-$1,500 
  • Loan application fee - $400

Once you have a set budget, simply work around it. Don’t add to it, unless really necessary.

Start the search

Now that you know the basics about buying a house and already have a set budget, it’s time to start the house hunting! There are plenty of ways to search for the house you want — be it online through house listing websites, or through contacting a real estate broker. 

You shouldn’t only search for the house itself; you should also ensure the land your house was built on. Check whether it’s prone to flooding, erosion, or earthquakes. Most of the time, this is overlooked at the purchase of the house, causing more troubles later on.

Make the necessary inspections

When you’ve finally chosen the house you want, make necessary inspections. Don’t forget to check cracks on the walls, ceilings, exterior, floors, and windows. While you’re at it, turn on the tap and check for the water pressure. You can also do the same for electrical switches and breakers throughout the house.

It’s also a good idea to find out the building materials used on insulation, ventilation, and heating, as well as the plumbing and drainage systems. You must also check the following:

  • Title
  • LIM Report (Council Report)
  • Blueprint
  • Plans
  • Other important documents

As much as possible, consult an expert about these documents. Have it thoroughly checked by lawyers, builders, engineers, and architects. They can help you clarify any confusions and questions you may have.

Make an offer

While the solicitor will likely help you with the offer, it’s recommended to consult with your lawyer before making an offer. This ensures you have advantageous conditions in your house purchase. Here are two types of offers you can make.

Unconditional offer

An unconditional offer is straightforward as you buy the home as it is. This means the terms and conditions of purchasing the house is exactly according to the contract. If you’re buying a home through an auction or pre-auction, this is the only type of offer available to you.

Conditional offer

A conditional offer means you have certain terms and conditions as a buyer, aside from the terms in the contract. These conditions can include arranging the right finance options for you or being satisfied with the building inspection you arranged yourself. Once these conditions are fulfilled, the offer becomes unconditional.

Register the title

Once all the offers have been finalised, it’s time to register the title. You can either do it online or by visiting the Land Information office. The conveyancer will make necessary checks on the title and registration documents if all the details are correct. This also includes checking of all the legal requirements as well confirming the financing for the home.

Setting up utilities

After registering the title, all that’s left for you is to settle in your new home. But, it comes in handy when you have your utilities set-up before you move in. This ensures you can have a warm and cosy welcome in your new home. It’s recommended to set-up the following utilities before your settlement date.

  • Electricity
  • Heating/Burner
  • Gas/LPG
  • Water and sewer
  • Rubbish and recycling
  • Streaming services/Pay TV
  • Broadband

Secure your new home with insurance

To ensure your home is secure from fire, theft, and calamities such as earthquakes, and cyclones, secure your new home with home and contents insurance. This way, not only your home is protected, but also the belongings inside your home.

Get the best insurance policy that fits all your needs. This ensures top protection for your home in all kinds of circumstances. Compare the best home and contents insurance using our comparison tool, right here at glimp.

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