Buying a property can be a little daunting, particularly for your first home. So here’s a step by step guide to help get you get started
You need to first work out your budget based on your actual finances. This will involve your income versus outgoings but also things like how much deposit you have or how much equity you have if you currently own property. You can use handy budget calculators on the sorted website.
If you currently own a home and need to sell before buying, get a free appraisal.
Find out how much you can borrow, get pre-approved
Before you even begin looking for a property it’s important you find out exactly how much you can borrow. Talking to a mortgage broker or your bank to get pre-approved can help. Having a clear idea of how much you can borrow will give you a better negotiating position and can speed up documentation. Talk to Mortgage Money if you would like help securing the best deal at no cost to you.
Get independent legal advice
Finding the right lawyer before purchasing a property is important. A lawyer is equipped to ensure legal process is followed and check the all-important documentation like LIM (Land Information Memorandums) reports and title checks.
Your search can begin!
This is an exciting step. You may have your own preferences, whether it’s online, with property magazines or by contacting an agent. Summit’s new website is geared to be the easiest online search option, and the properties will be featured here before any other website. Check out the latest listings here
Do your homework!
Look at houses in the area and what they’re selling for. Look out for our upcoming Market Reports.
Inspect & Check
Check property documents such as Title, LIM and plans related to the property and any renovations. It is recommended that you run these past your solicitor. Also consider commissioning geotech, engineers and builders reports, quotable value New Zealand valuations. Things you can check when viewing:
- Exterior - check the piles, roof, walls, gutters, decks and gardens
- Look at all drains and spouting
- Can you open and shut all doors and windows easily?
- What building materials is the building constructed out of
- Ask about insulation, heating and ventilation, double glazing if any
- Check walls and ceilings - are they in good condition?
- Check the electrical and gas; power points, oven, lighting. If on gas, check the outlets
- Plumbing – is the shower pressure ok, do toilets and cisterns all work
- Style of the home - will you be updating the colour scheme, carpet, window dressings, kitchen or bathroom?
- Is the size appropriate? Numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms, size of living areas. Could you extend?
- Check storage – cupboards, garage
- Do you have children, what does this mean for your property? Fencing?
- If you have pets, are the grounds large enough?
Make an offer
After you’ve got sufficient checks done and your solicitor has also checked documentation, and you’ve decided conditions of an offer (if any), you can make an offer. This must be done with correct documentation – your agent can help you with this.
If all parties agree - your offer is accepted!
If all parties agree to the terms and the contract agreement has been signed, your offer is accepted. If conditional, any conditions must be met by due date, this is the buyer’s responsibility to meet these conditions.
Once met, the offer becomes ‘unconditional’. Once an agreement becomes unconditional, neither buyer nor seller can make changes or change their mind.
The buyer pays deposit payments to the real estate agency. The agency must hold the money in an audited trust account, this is required by law. They release this to the seller when they receive legal authorisation to do so. The buyer must pay the remaining purchase price on settlement date.
Prior to settlement
There are still a few things to sort prior to settlement, and your Summit consultant can help guide you through this. You’ll need to organise things like book a pre-settlement inspection, arrange to meet with your bank and solicitor, organise your move, sort power, phone, internet and of course insurance for settlement day.
Settlement day – you’ve bought a property! Congratulations!
This is the day when you pay the balance of money for the property. Often this is the same day that you’ll get possession and keys for the property also. Summit can only release the keys once the legal settlement has been achieved and we’re notified by the seller’s solicitor.