Top Tips - Buying a House - What you need to know 30 May 2016

We have seen a lot of people make some mistakes when buying a house.  These are the top 10 things to consider when making that purchase...

1.  Talk to your lawyer first

The sooner you can talk with us about the process, the property and the contract (particularly what conditions to include in any agreement) the better. We’ve done it before - let us be your guide!

2.  Make sure this is the right house for you

Don’t sign an offer to buy a house if you are unsure whether this is the house for you. Once you sign it is much harder to change your mind!

3.  Give yourself plenty of time

This is probably your biggest purchase – don’t rush it! The process can be stressful and tight timeframes will only make this worse. Try to give yourself sufficient time to investigate the property thoroughly and try not to be pressured into speeding through this process.

4.  Watch out for earthquake issues

If you’re buying in Christchurch or wider Canterbury, you need to consider what damage was sustained to the property following the Canterbury earthquakes. Ask for details of the EQC and private insurance claims and confirm if and how the claims have been settled.

5.  Is insurance cover available?

Talk to your insurer early in the process as you need to be sure satisfactory insurance cover is available. Check whether the insurer has any exclusions on the policy – exclusions can create  issues for both you and your lender.

6.  Don’t overlook LIM and Title

LIM reports and title documentation provide useful information about a property and can highlight significant issues. Try and review these documents so issues can be identified and so you don’t inherit the problems.

7.  Be willing to spend $$ on professional reports

Don’t be afraid to engage qualified professionals to undertake inspections of the property (i.e. building reports, engineer reports, electrical inspections, and valuations). These reports are a vital part of your due diligence. Spending some money now can save a lot in the future!

8.  Do I have finance to complete the purchase?  

If you are borrowing to complete the purchase, contact your lender or mortgage broker as soon as possible. Often banks will impose approval conditions which need to be satisfied before the bank will lend. You need to be prepared to work through these conditions with your bank. Remember – if you are eligible for a Kiwisaver withdrawal or a Housing New Zealand First Home Deposit Subsidy – let us know sooner rather than later.

9.  Think about your future plans

What is your intention for the property? Will it be your family home, a rental property, will you run a business from there or do you intend to develop the property further? It is important to consider and discuss with us your future plans. Other specialist advice from accountants, tax experts, town planners and surveyors may be required.

10. Remember your pre-settlement inspection

Your contract will almost always allow you the right to complete a pre-settlement inspection. It is a good opportunity to make sure the property is in a similar condition to when you signed the contract and to avoid unwanted surprises when you move in!

Parry Field has been helping Canterbury home buyers since 1948.  Based in Riccarton
we have the experience and resources to help you.

If you would like to discuss this further with us, please do not hesitate to contact Tim Rankin at, Ken Lord at, Paul Owens at or Doris Tu at