Property Markets To Stay Away From This Year

The ever changing world markets are putting a large amount of strain on investments. Property lawyers would always advise that land and property is the best investment that can be made. Many of us look for houses for sale as a thing to invest in.   

Buyers look for a first home mortgage with the view that these investments will mature and keep their money safe. Most trust lawyers will agree that having properties in your portfolio has always been good advice for those that want to have a long term investment that will produce a good yield.

However, house prices are not rising as fast as they once did. World trading markets have slowed which means that the property market as a whole, is often put in a question to see whether we should invest in it at all. The procedure of buying a property can be quite complicated, with things like a pre-purchase building inspection which is required before you proceed and it also helps to reinforce the notion that property markets are something to avoid in general. 

What to avoid

  • Short term investments 

Short term investments and quick fix get rich quick schemes are not something you should get involved in as property, in this day and age, is a long term investment. That said, very popular areas can still have some buoyancy in the market but there is no guarantee on a return on a short investment. 

  • Property type

The type of property that you pick also determines whether it is a quality investment or not. Larger properties don’t sell as easily as smaller ones. Although large amounts of profit can be made on a larger property, this is something that you shy away from as the amount that can be lost is a lot more than it would be on a smaller property. 

  • Student areas

Try to avoid student areas as this type of market will be saturated with student rentals. The rental market can be quite lucrative if you are thinking of a buy to let property for instance, and a student area may be suitable in this case. However, if its a main residence for yourself that you are after, you want to avoid areas overpopulated with students. 

  • Financial advice

Talking to a financial advisor about the best way to get a good deal from a rental is a good place to start as rental properties are not as they may seem. For example, the layout of a property could be the difference between getting a good rental income and a bad rental income. 

  • Rural areas

The rural property market can go either way, like with other aspects of the property market. However, as many cities are now developing more environmentally friendly infrastructure, investing in rural areas may not be advisable as more money is being pumped into inner cities as opposed to rural areas. 

You may find that modern advances take a while to filter through to rural areas. Areas of natural beauty are still worth investment, but you have to make sure that you are getting a good deal in the first place and you are not just relying on the look of the rural location.

Things to invest in:

  • High end/luxury

High end and luxury properties are in demand because they often offer the latest in technology and are very environmentally friendly. This is a huge selling point and is very popular amongst buyers. Investing in this market can prove to be very beneficial because the property prices will remain stable and could in fact increase. 

  • Flats/apartments

Flats or serviced apartments are popular in inner cities and the demand for high spec properties has never been more sought after. Some modern apartments even have electric charging points underneath of the buildings which give this form of living loads of positives and very few negatives.

  • Renovation projects

If you can buy a property cheaply enough and you have good planning and preparation skills, you may find it beneficial to renovate a property relatively cheaply and be able to sell it at the maximum price. Again, as above, the location and what you buy are very important so that you don’t have a poor investment, but if you buy well, this is one area that is recommended for those that want to make money on their investment. 

Renovations can be done on a grand scale but this is risky as you are investing more money into the property. However, if it’s done well, investing more could in fact be beneficial. However, the safest renovation projects are those that can be undertaken by you as an individual, which means you are only buying materials. Alternatively, if you know someone that can help you to keep the costs down, this will make your renovation project a success. 

  • Buy land and build

The final property market to mention is probably the riskiest, but if done well it can be one of the best options. Buying a patch of land and designing and building your own property will give you the property of your dreams. The negative to this is that you may find yourself having a property that you like but doesn’t appeal to anyone else. 

If, however, you build a property that suits the masses, you could save a lot of money on the build and make money on the sale which will be regarded as a very good investment. Investing in self build properties is only advisable if you are extremely good at planning, good at sticking to a budget and have some experience in property building previously, as the risk of it going wrong is great so minimising that risk is crucial.

It’s clear to see that there are a number of ways to pick the right investment for you and avoid negative property markets this year. 

Rural Business Opportunities – To Buy or Lease?

Should you buy or lease? Most people are usually swayed by the opportunities rural communities bring to businesses. Some are looking to spend less, purchase multiple properties or pay fewer taxes. But it still boils down to deciding on whether to buy or lease a property. 

The problem associated with investing in a rural property is that extensive research and experience in real estate is needed because more risks are involved. So it’s important to understand the pros and cons associated with buying or leasing a rural property. Knowing this will help you make the right investment.



The increase in population growth and expansion leads to more developed land. Though there’s no guarantee, any rural property you buy could eventually increase in value as developers begin to buy up land. 

This provides you with the opportunity to own an investment property with consistent cash flow with an added opportunity of selling for large profits in the future. Rural areas also give you the opportunity to buy multiple properties and to build and expand your portfolio to make larger profits.


Buying land in a rural area gives you control over your affairs. You’re in control of the management decisions, whether it’s determining environmental farm plan practices, choosing the crop rotation or making improvements on the property. You don’t have to deal with land-rent contracts, rent renewals or terminations.


In the rural areas, you can buy properties significantly cheaper than you would buy in an urban city. Outside the urban zones, most single rural properties usually have an average of one offer per property. This as a result of the lack of competition in rural zones and as this continues, the prices of properties get cheaper. 

In some scenarios where there’s an auction sale, there’s usually one interested buyer at court auctions. The average price usually ends up to be as low as half of what would be paid in an urban city.



Buying a rural property comes with its own challenges. A rural area doesn’t offer the same type or quality of service you will find in big urban cities. This discourages investors looking to buy a property to rent out due to the lower number of people migrating to rural areas.


One thing for sure is that rural properties come with a level of risks. Economic opportunities are not easy to come by because finding a tenant or buyer for a property usually takes a long time. 

If you decide to lend money to buy a rural property, it is advisable to not rely on any revenue generated from the property to repay the loan. Instead, look at your purchase as a long term investment that won’t bring returns anytime soon. You should be prepared to wait for the return on investment.


Aside from houses for sale being cheaper, rural areas are more quiet and peaceful than the urban areas but it comes with a cost. The rural areas don’t have a culture of tourism, this is due to the lack of tourist attractions, the availability of fewer amenities and public services including its proximity from the urban areas. These challenges mean that you could have a low margin profit if you decide to use rural properties as Airbnb investments.



When you don’t have tied up cash in land purchases, it will be easier for you to buy important equipment, livestock or crop inputs. This can even encourage your business growth and expand your production.


Leases usually involve a short term contract (up to only one year). This gives you the flexibility to change your business size or location by giving up previous leases or leasing other properties. For instance if you decide to move your business location in order to seek better economic opportunity, you can easily give up your old lease to lease another property in your preferred location.


As a new or beginning farmers, getting a farm land on lease is the more affordable way to develop your farming business. Chances are your landlord (having previously farmed the land) may be willing to offer management skills or advice.



The quality of public services in the rural area is low compared to the urban regions. As a lessee, it will be difficult to find good resources and services to expand your business.


Getting a property on lease in a rural area comes with some risks. Most rural areas are associated with poor security. If you rent a farmland that is not properly secured, your livestock or crops are likely to be stolen. 


In most cases the people with higher spending power reside in the urban cities. The opportunity cost in a rural area is cash flow this is because when you choose to rent a property in a rural area there’s a trade-off between cheaper rent and having to transport your goods to the urban area when there’s a higher spending power.


Investing in a rural property can bring great opportunities to your business if as an investor you’re looking to invest in something different like commercial property investment and you’re willing to wait as long as is needed to gain a reasonable return on investment. If you choose to rent or buy a rural property, you should be able to live and deal with all the challenges that come with it. 

It will be very difficult to recover the money you invested as soon as you have made the purchase. Carry out extensive research before you decide to rent or buy a property. Find out any valuable information regarding the kind of property you are interested in. 

Are there regulations/restrictions that would affect your business? Who would your landlord be? Talk to your financial advisor or lender, consult with an experienced commercial property appraisal professional to get all the required information regarding marketing, lease and cost analysis.

Where Are The Cheapest Places In The World To Buy A Second Home?

Despite the rise in real estate in major countries, there are still some unbelievably affordable countries in the world to buy a property. These countries promote an austere and lively atmosphere. The increasing rate in expatriates has led to a booming growth in the property industry sectors like property management companies. Whether you’re looking to purchase a second home for real estate investment or for vacation reasons, here are the top cheapest places you should focus your attention on, as these locations dominate as markets of opportunity.


Bulgaria is a beautiful European country filled with amazing landscape and stunning architecture. It is one of the cheapest places to live in Europe. Generally due to cheap land you can buy a good plot of land for price under 10 000 euros. Though pricing is mostly affected by demand and supply, you can find a house for as low as 18 000 euros. Bansko is an example of a great place in Bulgaria, it is now quite cosmopolitan with good infrastructure making it an attractive site, most especially for foreigners. It’s also filled with high mountains that provide a perfect opportunity for memorable skiing experience during winter. Its excellent climate makes it a great destination for tourists, so if you wish to rent your home out to tourists while away, you can do so as long as you want. Property management during rent is cost effective, you can find an affordable body corporate administration to take care of maintenance and every rental issue.


Colombia is a thriving country that offers access to affordable world class healthcare and low cost of living. Colombia is a bio-diverse country so finding a climate and environment that suits your taste is a possibility. If you love the swirling and cool movement of spring, then you’d love Medellin, a town in Colombia. It has a perfect spring-like weather all year round that leaves you feeling refreshed. Though it’s not the cheapest place in Colombia, It still has some areas that provide cheap rental properties and skilled property managers. For those that love the green lands, Cali is a place to experience the true gift of nature. It is surrounded by tall green trees dividing roads and serve as shades along the streets. Its residents are known to be welcoming and warm hearted. To easily adapt to living there, you’d need to learn Spanish or at least be willing to try.


Ecuador provides a wide range of places to live with appropriate weather conditions. For example, you can have the cooling sea breeze from the Humboldt Current, the warm weather year round on the coast, or a more temperate climate in the Andes. If you’d love to live by the coast, Ecuador has some affordable and undeveloped beachside properties. Salinas is another example, it is a seaside town located in the far west of Ecuador with the most affordable real estate. You can buy a home in Salinas for as low as 45 000 euros.

Lastly, is the city of Loja. This is a safe city, and the temperate climate makes it a walkable one too. The local bus system and low-cost cabs make Loja an easy place to live without the expense of a car. Loja is not only attractive to the eyes and soul, living here is also easy on the wallet. It is an affordable city to live in. You can buy a house in an exclusive area of Loja for around 113,000 euros. 


Panama is known to provide rental and agricultural opportunities and at the same time, reasonably low medical costs. Language barrier is quite limited as there’s quite a large English speaking population. The infrastructure is high quality with clean water, alongside great internet access. If you daydream about sunshine, tropical beaches, and welcoming locals, then Panama may be for you. It offers a variety of places with different climates, we have the beachside Coronado with its gleaming white sands and cool breeze.


Italy is a beautiful country steeped in the arts, family, architecture, music and food. It has beautiful mountains surrounded by flying pigeons. They are mostly seen flying around buildings and artwork, so removing birds’ droppings from your car’s paint and windows may be an unavoidable situation living there! Several regions of Italy offer plenty affordable real estate, for example, in the island of Sardinia, you can buy a house for as low as 23,000 euros. Some of these houses are a bit old and may need some carpet fixing and other renovation work before you can live in them. So knowing how to repair damaged carpets may come in handy, together with some exterior house washing and roof treatment and you’ll be good to go. 

Another place you can buy cheap houses is Abruzzo, it’s one of the recently discovered places in Italy surrounded with boasting hills and snow-capped mountains perfect for skiing in the winter. If you’re keen on living the quiet life, Abruzzo offers properties around 45,000 euros. 


Costa Rica is an amazing place that offers several outdoor lifestyle options, from horseback riding to golfing and fishing. It also has favourable climates ranging from warm beach regions to cooler mountain towns that provide houses with affordable prices. For example, in central valley, an area in Costa Rica, you can get plenty of homes on offer for less than 1800,000 euros. Another town you can find houses with affordable prices is Maceio, it is a town with a long stretch of beach fronts surrounded by swaying palms that leave refreshing air. If you’re a lover of the beach and in need for a beachfront property, you can buy a large 3-bedroom apartment for less than 68,000 euros. Remember though that the language barrier might be a bit of a problem due to the low English speaking population.


As the world increasingly becomes a digital village and more opportunities open up for digital nomads and globetrotters, the previous limitations are no longer acceptable as the world shrinks in size due to technological advancement, and it is now possible to be a citizen of the world. Now the real question is – Where’s your next stop?

NZ Housing Shortage And What It Means For Buyers

It’s been more than 10 years now that the real estate prices are shooting up at a dramatic rate in New Zealand. This is particularly true of Auckland where the number of newly constructed buildings are far from meeting the rise in population.

In the largest urban area of the country, the average price of a house was around  $916,900.00 last year, up 2.2% from the previous year. Since 2010, the number of homes for sale in the city has actually dropped by 58%, which has pushed up the average price by 88%.

But for buyers, the shortage situation can also land some incredible opportunities. In this article, we tell you what you need to know about the housing shortage in New Zealand and what it means for buyers.

Demographic growth and housing shortage

According to a recent report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a major factor for pushing up housing prices in New Zealand is the high level of immigration, especially since 2012. New Zealand has been facing skill shortages for the past few years and implemented schemes to attract a qualified workforce, preferably young, who have the skills and the financial means to invest, a good knowledge of English, and can easily fill an available job.

For the New Zealand government, immigration is above all a means to ensure the development and competitiveness of the national economy. As a consequence, legal immigrants make up the bulk of immigration flows, and Illegal immigration is limited. That’s also because of the insular nature of the territory, which facilitates the control of population movements. But the problem is that the housing supply did not follow, and New Zealand is not able to house its newcomers anymore —who usually want to settle in Auckland. But even outside of Auckland, prices have been soaring, even in the apparent absence of strong population growth.

The roots of the lack of housing supply

For some experts, the explanation is simple. The construction sector just can’t catch up. The supply response is highly constrained by restrictive and complex town planning rules. The governance of land use is marked by a number of rules, from land clearance to environmental standards. The administrative hassles are so numerous for real estate companies, estate agents and builders that many of them are deterred to develop housing projects.

The construction sector has also been pulled down by insufficient working capacity. Selected immigration has partly solved the skill shortage crisis in New Zealand, but it has increased the need for unskilled workers to provide them with housing. The construction industry does not have enough skilled workers to meet the demand, hampering any rapid progress and considerably increasing the cost of construction. Moreover, since the early 1990s, the supply of new homes moved from low-cost housing to high-end real estate, became less and less affordable.

The failure of housing policies

Some say the housing shortage in New Zealand will be the demise of the Labour Coalition, who have failed to solve it adequately despite making it a high priority. In 2018, the government passed a law prohibiting foreigners from buying residential properties. The law provided that non-resident investors, i.e. people who are neither New Zealand citizens or permanent residents in New Zealand, will not be able to purchase existing homes or other residential land. The provisions remain different for commercial property investment.

Expected to stop the hike in real estate prices, the reform really aimed at preventing investors living abroad, especially in China, from buying homes in New Zealand… The housing shortage was attributed to the growing property appetite of foreign investors with a higher purchasing power than New Zealanders. But some figures show that foreign investors make only 3% of the investors… 

This reform was also supposed to leave more opportunities for the local Kiwis, but it didn’t. New Zealand house prices are still among the highest in the world. The average home price in Auckland is the seventh highest in the world, while Christchurch and Wellington are also considered “severely unaffordable” by the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey of 2019.

At the same time, the Labour coalition government also launched the KiwiBuild scheme aimed at building 100,000 homes over 10 years. 1,000 were scheduled for the first year, but only 47 were built early 2019. The Housing Minister already had to take a step back and admit that the government won’t meet the target. Some critics also noticed that these houses were actually way more expensive than the average!

The persistence of buying opportunities

These reforms barely impact the numerous kiwis who wish to buy a house or apartment as a pied-à-terre. Each investment project is different in New Zealand, depending on the reason for the purchase of a property and a first home mortgage. For buyers who are looking for quick bucks, the situation can look pretty bright. In light of the housing shortage, getting buyers at a later stage or renting your flat will not be an issue!

For those who have a limited budget, it will be easier in low-density areas. The coastal areas and the low-populated hinterlands are beautiful regions with amazing nature and transport infrastructure. The demand for long-term property is low, but it can be an opportunity for investing in tourists rentals or simply for a secondary home. Property lawyers can help you with that. A house on the Lake Taupo or a flat in Queenstown to capitalize the skiing season are key investments. 

For a buyer who wants to get regular rental incomes and mid-term or long-term capital gains, it’s advised to invest in student flat in city centres, where most educational institutions are located, and where the prices are climbing the fastest. Even though the prices are already very high, a flat in the centre of Auckland could be a great and easy investment as the management can be given to rental agencies. Trust lawyers can help you set up a partnership.

Pros and Cons of Selling your Home Before Buying a New One

In general, the majority of people sell the home that they are living in at the same time as buying a new home, but this does create a property chain. If you decide to sell your home before you buy your new home there are some risks, however, there are also some pros. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of selling.

The Pros:

– In an ideal world, it would be great if you could sell your old home and buy your new one at the same time and all timelines therefore match. However, it’s not likely that things will run so smoothly. What you don’t want is the risk of having two mortgages and for this reason, it is better to sell your current home before you buy a new one.

– If you sell your home before you buy your new home you’ll be in a stronger position when you buy. A seller would prefer to buy from somebody who already has the money to hand or has a mortgage, which has been preapproved. This is more appealing than getting involved in a chain where the sale of their home depends upon the buyer finding someone to buy their home.

– You’ll feel in better control when it comes to the sale of your own property.  This is simply because you won’t feel like you need to sell your house quickly and cheaply as you are not in any rush to sell. 

– You are less likely to be cheated out of a home. If you put forward a decent offer than a buyer is not likely to take an offer from someone else, especially if it means that they will end up in a property chain.

– If house prices are falling when you plan to buy then you are more likely to get an affordable property.

– You will know how much money you have to spend on a house because you already have the money from the sale of your own property. This means that when you buy your new home, the amount that you can spend is clear; as you already know the amount of money you have from the sale of your existing property. Also, bear in mind that you are more likely to get a good price if you find a home where the seller needs to move a.s.a.p. Storage solutions and shipping container conversions can help make sure that furniture doesn’t become an issue. Moving companies will have links to companies that can store your goods. 

– You may not feel ready to commit, as you may not fully know whether the potential neighborhood is somewhere you want to live permanently. For this reason, a lot of people prefer to rent for a short period of time as this allows them the chance to get to know the new neighborhood and experience whether it is the right place for them. Although you may feel like you are wasting your money by renting, it is far worse to buy a property that you don’t like and then have to sell.  This will cost you a lot more in the long run.

The Cons:

– If house prices are on the increase it may mean that by the time you have managed to sell your house and found somewhere to rent, a new home may not be as affordable. For instance, if you have to rent a home for six months and house prices rise by 5% in those six months, you’ll have to get a property that is 5% less expensive.

Although it can be stressful renting a property, being cheated out of a home, selling your property for less than what it’s worth or being stuck in a chain are far worse.

Some Tips to Bear in Mind

– If you do decide to sell your home before you buy a new one, try and ensure that you have organised many things as you can i.e. the mortgage.  This way you’ll be in a good position to buy quickly if need be.

– Make sure that you get your mortgage pre-approved, as this is a good selling point to a seller.

– Once you decide that you are ready to sell, think carefully about what price you want to sell your property for.  It is worth taking a look at the performance of the estate agents in your area before you decide on which estate agent to use. You can also consider using an online estate agent and once again look at the packages and ratings that they can offer you.

– Make sure you build good relationships with more than one estate agent before you sell your home. This way you will be first in their minds when any properties that suit your needs come to the market.

– Before you sell your home make sure that you do your research. Think carefully about what sort of property you wish to live in and also the area that you want your home to be in.

– Always keep your eye on the property market whilst you are selling your home otherwise you may miss out on your ideal new home. Time is on your side so take advantage of this.

– If possible try to slow down the selling process. You can do this by agreeing on the period between exchange and agreeing on an offer. Also, you can agree the time period between completion and exchange. This way you may buy yourself more time so that you can buy the home that you have wanted.

It’s clear to see that there are many more pros to selling your home before you buy a new one if it works out this way for you when you come to moving home. 

What Are The Property Manager’s Requirements On Move-In

Most of us are aware of what the role of an estate agent is. However, a lot of people are not sure what the role of a property manager is and what their day-to-day duties require. In fact, the role of the homes property manager is crucial as they are the people who make sure that a property either holds or increases its value. A property manager can also deal with the a-z of rental properties. Other terms that cover a similar role are residential property managers and apartment property management. Both of which perform a similar role to a property manager. In this article, we will take a specific look at what a property manager is required to do before a tenant moves into a new property. 

Once a property manager has found a tenant for a rental property, the next step is for the property manager to make sure that the property is ready for the tenant to move in.  There are some steps that a property management company need to take into account to ensure that the whole process runs smoothly. As a property manager, it is worth getting into a good routine and following the steps below for each new tenant as this way it will be easier each time a property is rented out and any confusion and problems can be avoided.


Cleaning of the property is important especially if another tenant has been previously living in the rental property. Aspects such as the refrigerator, cooker, toilets, bathtubs and upholstery cleaning will need to be taken care of. It is also worth looking at the exterior of the property. You may need to get in touch with an exterior house washing company, as well as a commercial window cleaning company. Even if the property is brand-new, the property will still need a vacuum and a general clean before a tenant moves in. 


If there is any damage to the property, this will need repairing before a new tenant moves in. Damage could be something as simple as repairing a broken door lock.  Additionally, the property manager needs to ensure that there are no health and safety problems. For example, there must be two forms of exit from the property and both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors need to be working. Another health aspect that needs checking is if there any signs of mould and if so, a mould removal company will need to be contacted. This kind of maintenance is crucial to ensure the health and safety of the prospective tenant.  

Plumbing and Electrics

A property manager will be required to check that all the utilities are working. This is regardless of whether the new tenant is paying for the utilities or not. The heating in each room will need to be checked to ensure that there are no leaks or blockages in the plumbing. The lighting also needs to be checked to make sure that it is in full working order.


Each time a new tenant moves into a property, the locks on the doors should really be changed. It not only protects the new tenant, it also protects you from any liability. It is not worth risking the fact that an old tenant still has keys to a property that they no longer living in, so it is worth spending the money on new locks to avoid any of these problems.

The Lease

The property manager will need to go over the lease agreement thoroughly to ensure that the tenant understands what they are signing and agreeing to. Once the property manager has gone over the lease agreement with the tenant and all questions have been answered, the lease needs to be signed and dated. 

Security Deposit and Rent

Before the tenant moves into the property, the security deposit and first month’s rent needs to be collected.  If the tenant does not pay this on time, then it is highly likely that this tenant may be late with future rental payments.


On the day that the tenant moves into the property, the property manager needs to go over the moving checklist with the new tenants. The checklist describes the general condition of the property and is more specific with the details when it comes to each individual room. This checklist is important as it enables you to compare the property before the tenant moves into a property compared to when the new tenant moves out. The tenant will need to sign and date this checklist. 

Tenants Requests

On occasion, a tenant may have a special request which may be out of the ordinary. For instance:

– They may have a housing voucher

– They may wish to install a dishwasher or washing machine before moving in

– They may have a disability which means they require an animal

– They may want the property to be painted in a specific colour.

If the situation is more of a preference rather than a need, it is up to the property manager to decide whether they are okay happy with the request. It is important, however, to remember to add any special requests in the lease agreement. For instance, if you plan to charge the tenants $600 to re-carpet the property, this needs to be written into the lease so that you have evidence that the tenant has okayed these terms. 

Your Contact Details

Your tenant needs to have your contact details so it is important that you provide these to them. This enables your tenant to be able to contact you if they have an issue or a question. The property manager needs to provide either an email address or phone number and it’s important to highlight the tenant should only contact you during business hours unless it’s in an emergency situation.

It should now be clear what the role of a property manager is and what they have to do before a tenant moves into a new rental property.