Hands up for rates rebate

A $5000 rates remission was available to first home buyers in Wellington who were buying a newly constructed home, an apartment off the plans or building their own home. This year 49 applications were approved.

Are Auction Sales A Thing Of The Past?

Auction sales can cover all kinds of products that you wish to sell. When you think of auctions we often think about eBay. eBay is a great way of searching for products that you want and then having the ability to be able to put in a bid for a particular item. If you are the highest bidder then you will win the item that you have bidded for.

Below we will discuss some of the different types of auctions that are available and how they have changed over the years.

Property Auctions

When you have decided to move house or buy a property, the majority of us start to search for property for sale. However, your mind quickly moves to the legal side of things and you soon start to look for a suitable property lawyer or a realtor lawyer and then you will finally turn your thoughts to property inspections. Once all of this boring stuff has been thought about, your attention then turns back to your dream home. You will probably ask yourself the following questions:

  • What type of house do I want?
  • How many bedrooms do I need?
  • How many bathrooms do I need?
  • Does the property have a front and back garden?
  • Does the property have off road parking?
  • Should I buy an auction property?

As you can see from the questions above, they seem fairly straightforward. That is apart from the last one. When buying a property, the standard way you will put in an offer, do all of the appropriate searches, search for drug and meth testing companies to perform a search on the property that you are interested in, put in an offer and then wait to see if it gets accepted. Alternatively, you could opt for the auction route. The advantage to the auction route is that you could save money on your dream property. In many cases you buy the property as seen so you could be buying a relative unknown. This type of sale is fantastic if it goes the right way for you but it can be troublesome if it does not. Property bought at auction can be very stressful for those who are putting in the bid. The number of properties on the market for auction is slowly decreasing and therefore people are opting for the standard way of purchasing a property. Consequently, auction houses are slowly on the decline.

If you do decide to purchase a property using the auction system there are other pros and cons to be mindful of:

Pros:

  • You may pay less than if you would have bought the property the standard way.
  • You will get the property much quicker as auctions offer a speedy turnaround

Cons

  • You can end up going over budget as your heart ay rule your head.
  • You have less time to arrange a survey and your solicitor has less time to look over the legal pack.

Car Auctions

Another huge area for auctions is the car industry. There are many places that now offer car auctions. Vehicles bought this way tend to be cheaper and more readily available. The reason for this is that many companies that buy and sell cars are selling them via the auction route. This means the quality of the car has increased and there are varying makes and models available. Car auctions have seen an increase due to these reasons and there is a need, across the world, for cheap motoring. This is one type of auction that is seeing an increase as opposed to being a thing of the past.

Small Item Auctions

Small item auctions are auctions that we all recognise. Whether it is an expensive piece of artwork, memorabilia from somebody famous or just sales of general household items, these types of auctions are very popular. The attraction to these types of auctions is very simple. The general public visit these auction houses in the quest for a bargain. Additionally, there are many collectors and experts that travel around to different auctions houses to find specific items. These auction houses have varying lots that are placed in front of the potential buyers. Buyers are then able to view the items before the auction takes place. This allows them the opportunity to make a note of the lot number. The lot is then called and offered for sale and at this point potential buyers can place their bids. This type of auction is bucking the trend due to its popularity and therefore demand for small item auction is high.

eBay

This now leads us nicely back to the giant that is eBay. As we all know eBay is a huge auction site and has enjoyed its dominance in auction sales for many years. However, it appears that there is now a decline in its popularity. The decline could be due to many different factors. One of the main factors could be that many sellers are now opting for the fixed price option as opposed to the auction option. Also, with stiff completion form sites such as Amazon and other retail companies, it has become more difficult for eBay to continue to have the precious success that it had.

All in all, it appears that the type of auction in question plays a part in whether or not auctions sales are a thing of the past. If you are referring to eBay then there has been a decline. Alternatively, car auctions and small item auctions seem to be booming and coping pretty well within the economic climate that we are living in today.

The Increasing Gap Between Rent And Wages

The property market has been a popular topic amongst budding entrepreneurs for at least the last quarter of a century. Gone are the days when a house was seen solely as a place of singular dwelling in order to raise a family. Whilst this is still the case, we can’t totally ignore the impact of the buy to let phenomenon. Low interest rates on bank savings and the uncertainty of pensions, have seen so many average investors seek to secure their financial futures. This in turn has caused a chain reaction which has led to the inevitable higher cost of rent for tenants.

As a landlord, your main concern will be investment property management as a way of ensuring your property works for you. You will no doubt want to ensure that your rents are collected on time and that the property is properly looked after. Having said this, you will also want to minimise your workload and not have to be checking on your investment every five minutes. You ideally would want to sit back and watch the money roll in.

With this in mind, the prospective investor will be wise to engage in the services of a rental manager. The rental manager is essentially the conduit between landlord and tenant. This practice serves to facilitate a smooth relationship between the two parties. In fact, in many private rentals these days, it is far more likely that rental agents will be the only point of contact from the point of view of the tenant. The tenant will typically liaise with the rental manager as the representative of the investment property management company which will have been entrusted by the landlord.

What’s actually happening in the market?

So, this brings us to the hot topic of the rents themselves. Rents have been increasing rapidly over the last few years. This is mostly down to the upward trend of inflation, but the problem has been compounded by the fact that wages have not been rising in line with that of inflation. This is a problem to families that have accommodation in the larger cities. Increasing rates for buy to let mortgages and higher insurance premiums have ultimately led to the landlords having no choice but to recoup some of these extra costs. This situation has obviously manifested itself in higher rents.

Another problem could be down to a landlord seeking rental appraisals. They may do this for one of two reasons or both. Firstly, they may need to secure extra financing on an existing buy to let mortgage or more worryingly for the tenant, use this appraisal to justify a further rental rise. This method is being used more and more with landlords securing the highest yield possible on their investment properties. This trend will only continue as more private individuals mostly using credit, actively purchase several properties for their investment portfolios. This is basically an attempt to ride out the low savings rates left remaining because of the banking crash over a decade ago.

The problem is that tenant families are left with very little choice but to pay these increasing rents. Buying a house is widely accepted to be out of the reach of most first-time buyers with house prices literally going through the roof. Even before an expensive mortgage is taken into consideration, a huge deposit will have to be sourced which for most will prove an impossible task especially whilst still having to pay rent. And it will be a rental cost that is increasingly harder to meet every month.

Whilst this may seem like nothing more than an initial annoyance, it will invariably lead to more profound consequences. With no other alternatives but to pay the rent to keep a roof over their heads, families will have to sacrifice other essential items. These could be anything from heating, electricity, water and even food. What we will be witnessing is an inversely proportional relationship between household budget and expenditure.

So, a tenant could ask his employer for a wage increase but there is no guarantee this request will be met with a favourable reception. One could even be putting his/her job at risk, particularly in areas of low employment.

What does this all mean for rent?

The consensus of many wise institutions is that monthly household expenditure should ideally not exceed 30% of gross income. However, in cities such as Auckland, we may see that this percentage has been surpassed and is most likely much higher. In fact, recent figures suggest that weekly rents in Auckland are increasing four times as fast as those of weekly wages.

There is no one reason for this upshift in rents. However, it has been observed that with the increase in net migration into the region, net wages have consequently been held at relatively low levels.  This may have also put some pressure on the requirement for affordable rents. With the nature of supply and demand, this has meant only one direction for rents.

We guess the question might be, ‘is there a solution to all of this’?  Well arguably there could be many approaches to take. One of those may involve enacting some sort of legislation to limit the ability of landlords to increase rent within a given timeframe. This however, may lead to hardship on the part of the landlords (and perhaps rental agents) as most will still have to live within the confines of increasing inflation.

With all of this in mind, it seems sensible that the only real solution would be for the government to commit to a program of increasing the country’s housing supply. Basic economic principles suggest that if there are much more housing options available for rent, then rents will certainly have to remain at equitable levels due to the increased competition. Whilst some may not agree with this approach (including its potential impact on the environment for example), it is an option which perhaps should be seriously considered. Only then will we know if this will be a viable long-term strategy as opposed to a stop gap.

 

280 social housing apartments

Residents of 139 Greys Avenue, the existing building which has housed low-income Aucklanders since 1957, were told on Monday that a decision had been made to demolish their apartment block and replace it with a new complex, Scott Foley of the Greys Ave project team, said.

9 Things You Wish You Knew Before You Bought Your First Home

Buying a home comes with highs and lows and there are many things that you will have wished you’d have known before you’d taken the plunge and bought your first home. If you’ve not yet purchased your first home but you are about to, we will outline 9 things that you need to be aware of before you take the leap.

  1. Price

When you buy a property, you need to remember that it’s one of the biggest purchases that you will ever make. Therefore, getting your finances in order is one of the best ways of reducing the stress linked to buying. Kiwisaver for first home buyers is a great way to start putting some money away. It can also be referred to as first home Kiwisaver, depending on the lender that you approach.

It is often a worry for first time buyers when they think about the amount of money that they need to borrow in order to purchase their first home. What you have to appreciate is that home loans are over a longer period of time than standard hire purchase. Houses to buy in certain areas may carry greater financial risk to a lender which means they could offer higher interest rates.  Pre-purchase inspections are vital as this will give you and your lender lots of detail about what you are about to purchase. The final point to take into account when it comes to price is that mortgage brokers are on hand to be able to get you the best deal, with the lowest fees and the most favourable interest rates.

  1. Area

We can be very picky when it comes to picking an area to live. It’s not unusual to turn out noses up to areas that we don’t want to love but this may not be a great decision. It may be that these areas that you have decided that you don’t want to live in areas that will suit you when it comes to prices and especially if you are looking to purchase a property when the housing market is booking and the prices are at their highest.

  1. Research

It’s important to do your homework and research what you are thinking of purchasing your first home. Look into freeholds and leaseholds and look if there are any new plans in place in the area which may affect your home.

  1. Aesthetics

When you have decided to purchase your first property, it is easy to get carried away with certain aspects. However, it is also easy to be put off by the interior design and style that’s been put in by the previous occupier. For example, if you have a bright pink bathroom, this is an aspect that can easily be changed and shouldn’t influence your decision to purchase the property.  

  1. Fees

When you have the excitement of buying your first home, you will have usually looked through the local press, estate agents and online. You will be presented with the buying prices of a property but you have to be aware that there are a number of fees that you will need to factor in to the buying process of your property. If for example you have a property worth $200,000 and that is at the top of your budget, you may need to consider looking at a cheaper property so that you can afford to pay the fees that come with the purchase of a property.  Government and solicitor fees are the main fees that you will encounter.

  1. Be Prepared

Buying a home doesn’t happen overnight and you need to be prepared for this. It can take months for the whole process to complete.

  1. Agents

Never undervalue what you will get out of an experienced agent. The agent is there to help you find a home that you want and the process of getting it for you. An agent can also provide you with important advice, answer any questions that you have, negotiate where necessary, clear up any problems and point out any issues with the property. It’s worth looking for a recommendation when it comes to finding an agent and then meet the agent in person so you can get a feel for them yourself.

  1. Buildings Insurance

It may seem obvious to some but getting your building’s insurance in place is often a prerequisite to a mortgage offer. You may not be aware of this but you become liable for the building as soon as you change contracts and not the day that you move in. Building insurance doesn’t only cover your building, it also helps to cover any damage to other property which is caused by your property. Some policies also provide you legal cover in the event that anybody suffers from an injury whilst in your property.

  1. Rental Market

If you’ve decided that you want to buy your first home for rental reasons, it is advisable to undertake a rental appraisal before you make any purchase. You can carry out a rental appraisal online if that suits you better. There are other important areas to consider when renting out a property. For example, getting in touch with a local estate agent to get advice on potential rental incomes. If you have gone beyond that stage and are looking at prospective tenants, it is important that they are vetted properly i.e. credit checks and referencing. Before you rent out your home, it is important that you make sure that all local legislation has been adhered to, even if this means going as far as conducting a meth residue drug test as you may not know the history of the property you have bought. Here’s some other signs to look for in a meth lab house.

These 9 areas are worth having at the forefront of your mind when it comes to purchasing your first property so that you don’t make the same mistakes as other first-time buyers and  end up regretting your decision because you didn’t take any advice into account from the beginning.

House Been Broken Into? What To Do Next

If you’ve recently been the unfortunate victim of a house break-in, you may be unsure of what you could do next in terms of making your more property safe and secure. Once the police and forensic scientists have been and looked over your home for fingerprints or other forensic procedures such as meth testing, you will be eager to get your home back to the way it was before this incident. We will therefore provide you with a guide of what you should do next to get your home safe and secure once again.

Improve Standard of Locks

Higher quality locks will be harder to snap by thieves which means this will slow down the entry to your property. These are called anti snap locks and are readily available from most DIY stores or locksmiths. If they have been installed, they are usually obvious to a thief and they therefore act as a good deterrent.

Install Security Lighting

Security lighting is a great way of protecting your property as it keeps would be burglars guessing. There are two main forms of security lighting to consider. Then first is external lighting and the second is internal lighting.

Exterior lighting, whether its PIR or dusk till dawn, will keep your dark areas luminated at nightfall. Although most burglaries take place during the day, this extra protection at night will act as a great deterrent, as no burglar likes to operate in well-lit conditions. To explain in more detail, PIR lighting is triggered by movement or the heat of a person or an animal. Dusk till dawn lighting comes on at dusk and remains on until dawn.

Internal lighting works by a timer. You can connect any free standing internal light to a timer. The times can be set to come on at a random time of the day or night, as if you have entered that room. The illumination of these lights can be seen from the outside, giving the illusion that the house is occupied, even when it is not. These timers are inexpensive to purchase but very effective in what they do.

Consider Security Alarms

Adding an alarm to your property is important as a visual deterrent and as an actual deterrent. If for example, a burglar sees that you have an alarm fitted, they may think twice about trying to enter your property. If, however, they are still intent on gaining access to your home, the alarm will be triggered. The noise that an alarm creates will shorten the time that the burglars are in your property unnoticed and the alarm will alert neighbours and passer byers that something is not quite right. You can contact local security services providers to find out more information about the latest technology when it comes to security alarms and which alarm may be the best for you and your property.

CCTV

Closed circuit television is a great way of catching criminals in the act. As with alarms, CCTV also acts as a great deterrent to deter any burglars from your property. Most CCTV units can hold at least one week’s worth of recording, but there is the potential to increase this, it all depends on which CCTV option you go for. Modern CCTV can be purchased so that the footage is in HD Quality and you can even download an app on to your smartphone which enables you to watch live footage of your property.

Upgrade Windows/Doors

Another option to consider is to upgrade your windows and doors to combat criminal activity within your property. Your windows can have an option known as laminated glass. This would mean your windows have a Perspex insert which is very hard to penetrate. This again slows down any potential burglar. Windows can also be fitted with additional locks that will stop the windows from being able to be physically opened.

Upgrade your doors so that they are harder to get in to. For example, you could look into getting composite, steel or wooden doors. These are stronger and therefore harder to be forced. If you have any French doors then it is worth purchasing a lock which prevents the handles from opening. If you have any patio doors, once again you could consider having the glass laminated and adding additional locks to the top and bottom of the doors.

When Your Home is Empty

When your home is empty i.e. you are away on holiday it’s worth asking a friend, family member or neighbour to keep an eye out on your property for you. Ask them to take any post that has been delivered through your door away from the door so that it is not obvious to a burglar that no one is home as the post has not been picked up. Additionally, keep to your normal routines, so for example if you have a gardener or exterior window cleaners which come to your property every two weeks, make sure that they still continue to carry out the work they would have done if you were home, as you don’t want to change any routines or habits, as again these can be picked up by potential burglars.

Additional Points

Other aspects that you could consider are:

–          Leaving a dog bowl at your front door, regardless of whether you have a dog as this could be a potential deterrent.

–          Leave your car parked on the driveway so that there is the illusion that someone is home.

If you take as much of this advice into account as possible, you will start to see and feel the benefit. Your home will feel safer and it will be more secure, which hopefully will work as the best deterrent to scare off any future burglars.

 

Should You Have An Estate Plan?

In life we all face many challenges and there is nothing more trying than having to sort out your affairs upon your death. We all have an ideal, that any money that you have amassed over the years with be left to those that you care the most about. However, all too often we have not planned our futures in time and many aspects of your estate may not have been dealt with, which therefore makes it difficult for those who are left behind. Below we will outline why you should have an estate plan in place and what it is involved in estate planning.

Your Estate Size

The size of your estate can affect the way in which your estate is legally handled. For example, larger estates are liable for more taxes and charges and are often more complicated in nature compared to smaller estates. If you have property, it is worth contacting some estate agents to value your property and a property manager from a property management agency to then take over with the sale side of things. Once you are happy with the valuations that you have received for your property, you can now look at getting a home property management company to manage your affairs for you. It is also worth bearing in mind that it is good practice to get a builder’s report for any property or properties that you have as this will give the people that are inheriting your property the peace of mind that they will not have any headache or costs resting on them.

Taxes

Depending on the size of your estate, there is usually a tax liability to pay. Around the world, there are different rules and regulations that are in place related to inheriting money. Contacting an estate lawyer is the best way to obtain advice and information on how to best deal with your affairs. Even if you have a relatively straightforward case of one property and material effects, there still needs to be a solid, robust plan in place so that any beneficiaries have a stress-free situation when you pass away. It is hard enough dealing with a loss and grief without having to deal with messy affairs related to an estate.

Children / Future Children

Your children are often the first in line when it comes to inheritance. Therefore, if you already have children it is worth having a conversation about their inheritance with them, so that everyone is aware of your decisions and wishes. If you have no children at present but you may do so at some point, you need to make sure that they are included in your estate plan and in your will.

If your children are under the age of eighteen, having an estate plan would be highly recommended. The reason for this is because any money is often held in trust until a child turns eighteen and some cases, the plan can initiate regular payments when your child hits specific milestones in age. For example, eighteen years of age, twenty-one years of age etc and the money is then fed to them in stages.

To Keep Affairs in Order

Having a complicated estate or leaving things unfinished will only give your beneficiaries trouble when it comes to inheriting. It is important that any outstanding debts are dealt with and a clear plan is put in place for any properties, assets and personal effects that you may have. It is not worth leaving leave things to chance because if you have a particular wish or request, this may not be fulfilled legally as it’s not been noted officiated. Try not to over complicate matters related to your inheritance.

To Protect Beneficiaries

Having an estate plan in place will help to protect your beneficiaries. There are two reasons why people use estate plans to protect beneficiaries:

–          Adult Protection: this will help the beneficiary with their inheritance. It will help them avoid making bad decisions, creditor problems, outside interference and divorcing spouses.

–          Protecting Minors: young people don’t have the maturity to deal with inheritance and therefore they are protected in this aspect.

To Avoid Probate

It is becoming more and more popular that people are now giving over their inheritance to their children and family before they actually pass away. This is to avoid any charges and taxes which arise through probate. This also eliminates solicitors being involved and having to work out who inherits what. Even in a case where an estate has not been contested, it can take over twelve months for an estate to be settled and there is no guarantee that it will settle in the way that you would have wished.

Privacy Concerns

An estate plan is imperative if you wish to minimise any concerns related to privacy that you may have. When somebody’s estate is in probate, information can be accessed by the public. Therefore, this can affect your privacy. It is also worth noting that other relatives and creditors can access these records and are able to make challenges to your estate, via the courts. If however, your estate plan is robust, then these challenges and claims will be thrown out of court.

Charity

If you wanted to make a charitable donation with your estate, having an estate plan would be the best way to go about this as giving an estate to charity is not something that would happen under normal circumstances. This is unless it has been specified in your estate plan.

It is clear that there are many reasons for having an estate plan. Although we may think that this issue may never affect us, it affects everyone at some point their their lives. An estate plan is a relatively simple thing to organise and the benefits of it are far reaching.

 

State housing’s big reveal

The future of state housing in Porirua features private landscaped sections, double glazing and balconies.

Housing NZ is preparing to seek building consent to build 24 one-bedroom, 20 two-bedroom, four four-bedroom and five five-bedroom houses along Castor Cres in Cannons Creek.

155 new state homes

Housing Minister Phil Twyford has announced that up to 155 new state houses in the regions will be ready by June this year.

The houses will be spread across 15 regional centres, with Napier/Hastings getting almost 50.

How To Take Advantage Of The Summer House Selling Season

Summer is the hottest season of the year in more ways than one. Blockbuster movies make their debut, huge summer hits fill the radio stations, and the nearest beaches fill up with sun lovers soaking up the warmth. When it comes to your property investments or your own home, summer happens to also be one of the best times to sell.

With school out and a little more time to spend as a family, many people are on the hunt for a new home that suits their needs. Property management companies are managing a huge influx of new tenants wanting to move in or move out, especially with students entering or leaving university. To help you get ready for this crazy time, and to best take advantage of it without wearing yourself too thin, we’ve put together a quick guide to selling a home this summer.  

Suit up

Having the right team will help your house get on the market faster, sell faster, and get you into your new property faster. Even if you’re moving investment properties around, you’ll still want the best property managers in Wellington or wherever you’re from in New Zealand to help you. There’s a few different people who should be on your team before the selling season kicks off. For one, having the right realtor is vital. Find one who’s familiar and experience in your area, like having a real estate agent in Cambridge for example if you’re trying to sell in that area.

Property conveyancing is important in NZ as well, especially when it comes down to any legal advice, wording with the contract conditions like a sale and purchase agreement, or dealing with banks and loans. They’ll also prepare everything for you, making it quick and easy when you’re ready to sell the property.

It’s all too common that when a buyer puts down an offer, you eventually lose them, or vice versa, because of paperwork not being completed on time or correctly. Once again, find property lawyers in Auckland or whatever town your property is in. They’ll have better knowledge of your area’s council and special rules more than anyone.

If you’re selling an investment property or apartment building, you should look into using a residential property management company to help you appraise and determine its worth. This will help you with pricing later on.

Price it right the first time

Setting your house at the right price is of paramount importance. Set it too low and you’ll lose out on the worth of your home, too high and you run the risk of not being able to sell at all, or taking all summer to sell. At the same time, setting a price at a perfect medium, or even on the low side, may cause more bidders which can help drive up the price anyway.

To set the right price, do your research on what other homes in the area are going for. Consider the age of your home, any renovations done, and what the future of the neighborhood looks like. Use this guide to try and figure out what your neighborhood’s future might be. Try and dig a little deeper and look at houses that haven’t sold, and see if you can figure out why they aren’t. Many times it’s something as simple as having poor photographs advertising the home, or having a bad real estate agent.

Pricing is also a lot easier when you have a realtor or other expert to help, since they have the industry knowledge and years of experience of what sells and what doesn’t.

Sell early

Try and get your home up for sale at the beginning of the summer season. This way, your house is looked at right away when buyers start looking at the market. Summer goes quick, and near the end of the season families will be sending their kids back to school and less likely to buy. Even though it’s not a fair judgement, many buyers may worry about your home if it’s been on the market for a while, and may avoid it altogether.

Be technology savvy

Today’s home markets are all about technology these days. Remember the olden days of looking at houses in the newspaper, or even, driving around looking for ‘for sale’ signs? Those days are all but gone now. If you’re thinking about selling your home yourself, you need to be on top of the technology game. Many homes for sale are now not only on websites, but apps as well. In fact, many buyers are turning towards apps more than ever. Make sure you have professional photos that really show off your home and open up the space to add to the app or website.

Something like a virtual tour is a great idea to let people see the flow of your home without needing an open house. Virtual tours can be a video tour or even just photos moving through your home with descriptions on each one. 360 photos and panoramic photos will show how rooms connect and where hallways go as well.

If you are also putting up a for sale sign in the front yard, you might want to consider installing security cameras for your Wellington home, or any other larger cities. For sale signs sometimes invite local crime to scope the place out, as you may not be living there or wouldn’t notice things gone missing. You’ll want to avoid that serious added stress of theft, crime or vandalism, and the price of installation will often be worth it.

Jumping on the summer house selling season is a great way to get your property on the market and off your hands quickly and easily. It comes with its fair share of stress, but with the right team and with the right price, the stress will be completely worth it!