There’s a lot to think about when buying a home – and if it’s your first time on the property ladder, it can seem a daunting prospect. Aside from the obvious questions you need to ask yourself – “will I be able to afford a mortgage?” “where do I want to buy and what type of property do I want?” – it’s important you carefully research the property you’re intending to buy before committing. Here are 3 ways you can do that.
Do your research
Before buying a property, it’s vital you find out as much as you can about it. You can do this in a number of ways.1. A Title Search
A title search will provide you with all of the records held by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) for a property at a particular time. Along with the owner details, a title search includes a legal description of the property, and any rights and restrictions against the property, like a mortgage or easements.
You should be able to get a copy of the title search from the real estate person handling the sale of the property, or you can request your lawyer obtain a copy for you directly from LINZ. Check the date of the title search to ensure it’s up to date.2. LIM Report
A LIM (Land Information Memorandum) Report provided by the local council for a fee, shows the details for a property like the plumbing and drainage, historical information, and resource consents within 25 metres of the boundaries of the property.
The LIM Report will also show any building consents and code compliance certificates that have been issued for work carried out on the property. Using the LIM report to check any work that has been carried out by the owner without notification to the local council, could highlight potential issues you may have to deal with in the future.3. Property Inspection Report
Having a qualified property inspector or engineer go over the property and look for any issues – like weather-tightness, wiring, plumbing and foundations – could save you thousands of dollars further down the line.
A property inspector will check:
- Outside areas like the fences, driveways and paths, retaining walls and wash lines.
- Under-floor area areas for structural defects; foundations, piles, timber framing.
- Areas where there could be damp or mould; insulation, ventilation and ground moisture.
- Services including plumbing, drainage, electrical.
- Out buildings including garages, sheds, glasshouses and sleep outs.
- Exterior cladding checking for weather-tightness, particularly around windows and doors.
- Roof space and underside of roofing checking insulation and looking for any evidence that the property could be a “leaky building”.
- Roofing materials, gutters and chimneys.
- Checking each room to identify the condition of floor, walls and ceiling, along with the presence of services and systems.
- Bathroom and kitchen fittings.
Once the inspection is completed, you’ll be presented with a full report of the findings.
Keep in mind your house is likely to be your biggest asset, so it’s worthwhile spending the time (and money) before you commit to ensure it’s the best investment you can make. If you’d like to find out your options for a mortgage, get in touch with a Mortgage Express adviser.
While all care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, no warranty is given as to the accuracy of the information and no responsibility is taken by Mortgage Express Limited for any errors or omissions. This publication does not constitute personalised financial advice. It may not be relevant to individual circumstances. Nothing in this publication is, or should be taken as, an offer, invitation, or recommendation to buy, sell, or retain any investment in or make any deposit with any person. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt within this publication.
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