How do you find a home?
Once you know what you want and can afford, you want to get a ‘feel’ for the market. You could start by
• searching the Internet – try trademe.co.nz or realestate.co.nz
• reading the papers – weekend papers often have lots of adverts
• driving around areas you like, looking for ‘For Sale’ signs and open homes
• looking at homes in real estate agents’ windows, or on their websites.
Real estate companies
Many people find their homes through a real estate company. Often homes are only listed with one company, so ask agents from different companies to show you suitable homes. If a home is a ‘sole agency’, only that real estate company can show you the home. A ‘general agency’ means the home can be listed with a number of companies.
Not all homes are listed with real estate agents. Some people try to sell their homes privately and they may use a ‘private sale’ company to help them with marketing. Don’t assume a private sale means you’ll pay less – the owner may be trying to get more from the sale by not paying an agent – and dealing directly with the owner may be quite stressful.
Finding it yourself
Some homes never come on the market. If you know where you want to live you could put a short note into letterboxes in the area, ask locals if they know of anything coming up, or even put your own advert in the paper.
Things To Ask Your Real Estate Agent if you use on (Just a Hint – A Real Estate Agent if your buying a property can be your best friend if you know how to use them properly, but speaking from experience you need to know how to ask the right questions as at the end of the day the agent is working for the seller).
• why are the owners selling the home?
• how long has it been on the market?
• how much interest has there been?
• what is the Rateable Valuation?
• how much are the rates?
• what are the properties nearby worth?
• what have other places nearby sold for recently?
• what are the neighbours like – do they have children, pets, or noisy parties?
• what facilities are in the area?
• what are the schools like, are they zoned?
• is the house north facing (for sun)?
• when does it get the sun?
• what is the prevailing wind direction?
• is the home sheltered?
• is there noise from traffic, trains, planes?
• is there a danger of flooding or erosion?
• are there any major redevelopment plans for the area?
• are there any zoning restrictions?
• what type of title (ownership) does the property have?
• are there any covenants (restrictions) or easements (rights) on the title?
• are there any protection orders over the trees or buildings?
• where are the boundaries?
• is the home suitable to renovate?
• could the section be subdivided?
• does the home need any urgent repairs?
• has this home been a ‘leaky home’?
• have there been any alterations – do these have consents and certificates?
• has it been re-piled, re-plumbed or rewired – and when?
• what heating and insulation does it have?
• what fittings are being sold with the home?