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Buying your first home

By The Lodge Real Estate Team on 2022-05-18


Our guide to buying your first home will help you gain an understanding of how to go about the process of finding the perfect home for you.


What makes a good first home?

Firstly, a good first home is one you can afford. 

To find out how much you can afford, contact your bank or a mortgage broker. They will be able to tell you how much you can afford to borrow, based upon how much you earn and what your expenses are. He can often pre-approve your mortgage before you go looking for your first home. We’ve made it simple to gauge your monthly repayments by providing a loan calculator on each of our internet properties for sale.

It is a good time to set a budget for the future to keep you on track with your mortgage commitments and living expenses.

Buy on need rather than want. Make a list that contains the features and aspects that you feel are necessary. Remember your first home will be more affordable if you do not want every luxury. The shorter your list, the greater the choice you will have for your available funds.

Why you need a buyer's real estate agent


Lodge Real Estate’s sales consultants have completed an NZQA approved course specialising in real estate and are licensed by the Real Estate Agents Authority - the industry’s watch dog. They are trained in marketing, negotiation, real estate law, and all aspects of listing, marketing and selling real estate.

Our consultants are a third party to the transaction which allows the buyers and sellers to be more comfortable when it comes to negotiating a price for your next home.

It is the sales consultant’s job to show you through a home, allowing you to feel at ease while taking a good look at the home for sale. By law they are also required to point out any known defects in the property allowing you to purchase with confidence.

A good sales consultant has a great deal of knowledge and expertise, and resources available to assist them in helping you. They will listen to your requirements and try to fulfil as many as possible. They will keep you well informed, provide you with information and find appropriate properties for you to view.

They will treat you professionally and deal with the purchase of your first home with the utmost integrity.



There are several ways a property may be marketed:

  • Priced
  • Auction
  • Tender
  • Price by negotiation (By neg)

There are many methods that sellers may want to use to market and sell their home. Once you find a property that you like you should consult your Lodge Real Estate agent about the details of sale and plan how you want to go about purchasing it.

Making an offer 

You can put in an offer less than the asking price, however, this may or may not be accepted by the person selling. You will need to sign the offer which will be on a Sale & Purchase Agreement.

When you make an offer, your sales consultant is obliged to present your offer to the seller.
When you are negotiating, you will need to ensure you allow enough time to confirm your mortgage finance, and any other conditions that may be required. Make sure that these provisions are included in the Sale & Purchase Agreement as Further Terms of Sale.

Your solicitor will search and confirm the title to the property and ensure that all the special conditions in the agreement are satisfied. Once these things have been done, your solicitor will advise the seller’s solicitor that the agreement is unconditional.

Once the agreement is unconditional (all conditions have been satisfied) you are required to pay a deposit (usually 20% of the purchase price). This deposit is paid to the real estate company to be held in trust until the agreement is settled.

Arrange your finance 

Your mortgage adviser can help match these to your needs and circumstances, including how long you are likely to stay in the property, and match these to trends in mortgage interest rates. They can also assist with complications or other problems in the sales process, so you can move into your first home as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Ask your mortgage adviser to structure your mortgage in a way that minimises the duration of your loan without destroying your lifestyle.

Balance is the keyword. You must be able to have an acceptable standard of living while paying off the mortgage.

Insurance cover 

It is probably the most important investment you have made, so don’t put it at risk if a disaster happens. Here are some types of policies available:

  • Mortgage protection: Many companies offer these combined contracts providing protection in case of death, redundancy or illness.
  • House and contents: Provides protection in the event of fire, burglary, earthquake and other disasters. You should ensure that you are covered for at least the replacement value of your property.
  • Disabilty: This is helpful if you are off work through illness or accident.
  • Health: Helps pay for the expensive medical, surgical, hospital or dental bills.
  • Life: Pays out a specified amount on death.

How to choose a solicitor

You will need to appoint a solicitor who specialises in conveyancing. 

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring ownership of a property from one person to another.

Before you commit yourself to an offer on a home, you may wish to seek expert advice about some of the aspects of the property or the agreement you will be asked to sign.

Your salesperson can put you in touch with reliable professionals such as valuers, surveyors, builders and electricians who can assist you.

It is wise to appoint a reliable solicitor to handle the legal aspects of your property purchase. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your best interests are protected.

What happens next?

Once your contract has gone unconditional: 

  • Insurance: You don’t want to be worrying about insurance on the day you move into your home so it is a good idea to get a couple of quotes to insure your home in the time leading up to settlement, so that from the day you move in your home is insured.
  • Pre-settlement inspection: This is your last opportunity to view the property before you instruct your solicitor to release the funds to the seller’s solicitor. Arrange a time for your sales consultant to accompany you to the property to do the presettlement inspection.
  • Keys: On settlement day you will need to get the keys to your new home. It is best to liaise with your agent regarding the keys. If they are not holding them they will know who is.
  • Settlement: Settlement is the last step in the legal process. This is when your solicitor will hand over the funds to the seller’s solicitor in exchange for the Transfer of Title, meaning you now have legal ownership of your new home.
  • Moving in: When you have paid the money and received the keys it is now time to move into YOUR FIRST NEW HOME.

Contact one of our salespeople if you're currently house hunting. 

You can download the more comprehensive ''Buying your first home'' ebook here.

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