Buying a Home in New Zealand – A Guide to NZ Property

Buying A Home In New Zealand

Renowned for its national beauty, no one should be surprised why anyone would want to buy a home in the Land of the Long White Cloud. Surprisingly, New Zealand is one of the world’s least populated countries in the world with just 4.8 million people. If you are relocating to NZ and  plan to buy a home in New Zealand, here are some useful tips to help you get started.

Where To Find Properties For Sale

The most popular websites for finding or listing properties for sale are:

Real estate agents also publish weekly magazines with current property listings in the surrounding areas. These are available from their local offices.

The Process of Buying

To guarantee fairness on both sides, you will learn how New Zealand organizes and regulates the process to keep it fair for everyone. The process also goes fast, and you can get a home in as little as four weeks after you have discovered the home that you want to live in. Home sellers can’t consider last-minute offers as an option, which means the process of buying a home becomes much simpler and less stressful.

Understanding What You Will Be Buying

Before you invest in any type of real estate, however, it’s important that you understand what you will be buying. In this way, you don’t have any unwelcome surprises. Some of the things that you want to check include:

  • Inspect the foundation
  • Learn the signs of a roof in need of repair
  • Check the plumbing
  • Invest in an insulated home

The Median House Prices

Let’s take a look at the median house prices in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin. If you want to find cheaper housing, you will want to look to the west coast. For a country with such a small population in terms of its landmass, New Zealand housing prices have gotten expensive.

Auckland probably has some of the most expensive home prices of the other cities with an average cost of around $604,513. Meanwhile, the average cost for a home in Wellington is $379,878. As you can see, the prices vary greatly based on where you buy. Meanwhile, Tauranga has become another one of the expensive places to own a home where it costs an average of $660,000.

Auctions

Most real estate experts say that home auctions have become one of the most popular ways of selling a home in New Zealand. In fact, according to the New York Times, it’s estimated that anywhere from 75 to 78 percent of homes will get sold on auction. People enter a room and go into bidding wars to battle it out for the home that they want. You have to keep from letting the heat of the moment make you pay more for a home than what you should.

First-Time Home Buyers Schemes

Especially if you’re buying your first home, you could get some help from the government. Some of the schemes that allow you to buy a home include if you were a Maori who wants to buy his ancestral lands, or you want to buy a home that Housing New Zealand owns or if you have a KiwiSaver membership. However, even if you do get one of these buyer schemes, you should understand how buying involves a commitment to pay some fees such as:

  • Legal fees
  • Insurance
  • Your mortgage
  • Building checks and reports

Home Loans / Mortgages

If you want to go out and buy a home, most likely, you will need to pay a mortgage on it. Homes cost a fair amount of cash, and they require the person to be financially sound. In most cases, you can get a mortgage from a bank or other lender. Those new to New Zealand, however, may not have a credit score, and this can make it difficult for them to get a loan. In those cases, you might try some of the other lenders like specialist home loan companies, building societies and finance companies. While you can approach one of these companies on your own, it can be helpful to use a mortgage broker because they can help you to negotiate better terms on the loan. With some lenders, they may charge a fee for applying, or they may impose some limiting conditions. You have to stay alert to what you will be signing and make sure that it will be a good deal for you. Based on the current rules, most banks will require that you have 20 percent of the housing price to buy it. That means that a $300,000 home will cost you $30,000 as a down-payment on the home.

The Buying Process

Let’s say that you have narrowed down your home buying options. You have everything set up, and you’re ready to keep moving forward with the process. The first step becomes about locking in finances. Right away, you need to establish how much you plan to spend and how you plan to finance the purchase. Let’s say that you want to buy a specific home. Looking at the mortgages and securing one in advance ensures that you don’t waste money on something unnecessarily. The next step becomes about researching the market to find exactly what you want. You will also have to do checks on the home to make sure it looks right. Finally, make an offer and if you get your offer accepted, you will register a title on the home.

Rates

When you go to buy a home in New Zealand or anywhere else in the world, you need to take the time to fully consider the rates. What will it cost in total? The rates will vary at each location based on local laws. However, no matter what place you choose to buy a home, you can always count on the rates largely depending on the value of the property that you want to buy. Look at the website of the local council to learn more detailed information.

Insurance

To get home insurance in New Zealand, they calculate this based on what’s known as the sum insured basis. This means you should understand what it would cost to replace a home if you would have to rebuild it. Most insurance companies offer you an online website where you can go to calculate the valuation so that you have a better idea of it. Getting a good policy should also be emphasized because you want to know that your policy will work when the time comes that you need to use it. Pay close attention to the terms and clauses inside the policy.

If you wanted to live in close proximity to the beauty of nature, New Zealand will give you one of the best chances of doing this. You have natural beauty all around you in this country. It’s estimated that around 30 percent of the country is still forest. Buying a home here could be one of the happiest decisions that you ever made. This unique and wonderful country will grab your heart strings. Once you have found a home here, you will learn why so many other people have come to love this place.

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