Auckland woman Lucy Walker and her family have lived between two building projects for the past four years. Now, she’s had enough.
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.
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.
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!
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So! You’re ready to build a home! Whether you’re building for yourself or building to rent it out eventually, there’s a lot of overwhelming information you need to know and comply with before you even get started. To help you navigate, here’s a guide to some of the main laws you need to comply with when building a home.
The first big step with building your own home is to figure out how exactly you’re going to build it, right? Finding a builder is a big step, and you’ll want to make sure you’re finding a licensed one, on top of being professional and in your budget and with the right experience. Finding a licensed builder will be information going into your building consent, and they’ll need to be approved by the council before even proceeding, so it’s a waste of time if you don’t find a reputable one. New Zealand requires certain parts of your home to built by someone licensed, so make sure you don’t proceed with hiring someone until you know they have these qualifications.
For those of us crazy enough to want to try and build our own house, you’ll need to be extra aware of what you’re allowed to do in your area. For New Zealand, you’ll need an owner-builder exemption. You’ll still need to obtain building consent just like any other builder, as we’ll talk about below, and you’ll apply for this exemption at that time.
Essentially, you must agree to build to code, agree to home inspections to ensure it’s at code, and that you’ll live in the home and build it yourself. You aren’t, however, allowed to complete certain tasks like plumbing, gas-fitting, drain-laying and electrical work. You can find more about this exemption and apply for it, here.
Once you’ve found a builder you agree with, you and the builder need to apply for a building consent. The consent will be submitted to your council, if you’re building in New Zealand, and decided upon using data from your plans. They’ll make sure that you’re following code, and will inspect you throughout the building process.
Every consent might be a little different. For example, if you’re building a house to sell in Cambridge, the council will check for any laws for that area, like heritage laws, as well as any district plans. Make sure you’re aware of the council fees required, and when they’re due.
Building on empty land
When a lot is empty and you’ll be building there, you might think there will be less rules, bylaws, and permits because you aren’t building over anything or tearing anything down. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. There are local and regional plans, resource consent and permits that you need to contend with. Your best bet, every time, is to go and talk to your local council to figure out what you need to apply for for that area. Use this guide to help you find your local council.
If you’re using it for rental property and plan on being a landlord, you have even more laws to abide by. Having tenants in your home means that you have to provide certain basic amenities. For example, having a home that has lock hardware to keep the home secure, or that the home is in a reasonable state of repair. The home should be heated and cooled appropriately, with working smoke alarms in all areas of the home.
One new bylaw as of 2016 is the Insulation Statement, which is required to provide to tenants moving in. Essentially, the statement tells the tenant what kind of insulation is present and how warm it will keep the home. If you’re using an apartment property management company, you might be able to work with them to help you get the statement. If you’re building new, this should be an easy step that you can obtain from your builder.
If you’re just purchasing your rental property, you’ll want to invest in a rental appraisal for the home once it’s been built. This will tell you how much the place can and should rent for, which protects not only you as the landlord from getting a good price, but also the tenant from not grossly overpaying. Even if you’ve just built your property, you’ll also want to get an appraisal to make sure you’re setting a price that will get your building costs back within a reasonable amount of time. Make sure you get your property in great shape before the appraisal, using tips like these to help you.
When all’s said and done, your home is built, and you’ve moved in or started renting it, it’s time to make sure that your investment is protected. First off, hire a wills lawyer to start drafting up plans for what happens to all your assets in case of certain emergencies. Next, make sure you get insurance for your property. New Zealand requires landlords to purchase insurance that covers rental properties, and that you pay the premiums as well.
For rental properties, property managers can be a huge lifesaver for you. For example, getting a holiday home manager can make sure that security is up to date for a home that you don’t visit that often, if ever. They can also make sure that tenants are properly vetted, and deal with any disputes. If you’re building to sell, make sure you get the expertise of a real estate solicitor to help you draw up the documents and liaise between you and the seller.
When you’re home or investment property is finally complete, and you’ve paid your final bill to the builders, your last step is to get a code compliance certificate (CCC). Essentially this is a final signoff from your council, which is basically just showing that you’ve built to code, that you own the property, and that you’ve stayed within your original building consent.
After that, congratulations! You’ve just made it through the tenuous and exhausting laws and regulations to build a home. Now you can move in and enjoy, or start renting and enjoy the profits rolling.