Buying a house is often the biggest investment most people make, so you want to make sure you get it right. We know that it isn’t always easy so we’ve compiled a handy list of tips to help you get started in your search for a new home.
LOCATION AND DEVELOPMENTS IN THE AREA
Location is usually one of the first decisions you will make when you start house hunting. To assist we've put together a suburb guide to help you get to know the suburb you're interested in a little better. Hamilton is changing rapidly so once you have decided on a location (or locations), it’s a good idea to look at properties in and around the area to see how much, and what type of, development is taking place.
It’s also a good idea to find out any plans for the area i.e. new schools or shopping precincts.
CONDITION OF THE HOME
Homes vary in age and condition, so it’s important to understand the general condition of the property you’re viewing.
Note: It’s important to remember that although it’s a good idea to find out what general condition the home is in, you may need to decide on which areas you will be willing to compromise on.
Here’s a helpful checklist of what to look for during a property viewing:
Building materials - Find out what materials the building is made out of, including the exterior walls and roof.
Insulation, ventilation and heating - Find out about the homes insulation, ventilation, sources of heating and whether the windows are double glazed.
Walls and ceilings - Check that the walls and ceilings are in good condition.
Doors and windows - Check the condition of all doors and windows and see if they open and shut properly.
Electrical and gas - Check the power points, lighting and cooking facilities. If the home is connected to gas, check or turn on the outlets.
Plumbing - Check the shower pressure, toilets and cisterns.
Drainage and spouting - Look at the drains and check the spouting.
Exterior - Check the outside walls, roofs and gutters and look at the condition of the decks, piles, garden and lawns. During the 1990s and early 2000s, a number of homes were built that could not withstand New Zealand weather conditions. Check that the property you are viewing is not one of them. There are a range of claddings associated with leaky homes so visit www.consumerbuild.org.nz for all the information.
Important: Before you purchase a property, we recommend that you get your own independent legal advice and consider obtaining specialist reports.
PROPERTY DOCUMENTS - TITLE AND LIM It‘s important that the Title, Land Information Memorandum (Council LIM reports) and other documents, such as plans, that relate to the building or any renovations are checked. Talk to your salesperson and solicitor about the reports you’ll require.
You may also want to run these property documents past your solicitor once you obtain them.
PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS Everyone has their own personal tastes and needs, and while some houses may be perfect as is, some may require a few changes or modifications.
Here’s a list of a few things you may want to take into consideration:
Style of the home - Will you be updating the colour scheme, carpet, window dressings, kitchen or bathroom?
Size of the home - Are there enough bedrooms, living areas and bathrooms, and are they big enough for your requirements? Can, or how can you make extensions to the property?
Storage - Check for storage options like cupboards, garaging, and attics.
Landscaping - Do you want to change/update the garden?
Children - Do you need a bath or a well fenced property?
Pets - Is the property fenced and is there a pet door or enough room for your dog to run around?
How much are the rates?
Are there any body corporate fees?
Are there any large or protected trees on the property?
Has any additional work been done on the home and do they have the right consents?
Are there any other things you need to be aware of, i.e. jointly owned driveways?