Choosing a Great Neighbourhood

by Cara on September 13, 2018

Moving to a new town or city can be overwhelming, particularly if you’re trying to choose a neighbourhood to buy a home in. While it’s true that what a great neighbourhood looks like can differ person to person, all great neighbourhoods do share some common factors that are universally appealing. Here we explore 10 signs the neighbourhood you live in (or would like to live in) is a good one.

Great schools

Even if you don’t have children now, buying a property within an area renowned for great schools has a very positive affect on property prices. In most places, you generally need to live within a public school’s catchment area in order to send your child to that particular school, and some parents are willing to pay top dollar to ensure they live in the catchment area of a great public school.

Low crime rates

This is a pretty universal sign of a good neighbourhood. We all want to live in an area where we feel safe and secure and savvy property buyers will do their research and look at crime rates when it comes to moving to a new area, with this information readily available online.

Lifestyle options

A well-rounded neighbourhood is one that offers different things to different people. This could mean they’re plenty of nearby cafes and bars for foodies, walking and hiking trails for active locals, or even local clubs and leagues for engaged community members.

Outdoor activities

Living in an area where residents don’t have to travel too far to get out and about and enjoy the great outdoors makes an area more appealing. Think of parks, playgrounds, golf courses, tennis courts, public pools and even nearby lakes and rivers.

Well-presented homes

Not only does a neighbourhood look amazing when each house is well presented, but it also shows that your neighbours take a lot of pride in their home, a good sign for any prospective property buyer or seller. This doesn’t have to mean you live in a street of luxury properties either, great presentation starts with a mowed lawn, neat and tidy yard, freshly painted façade and clean, well-maintained footpaths.

Leafy and well established

Even in inner-city areas, a leafy main road, with well-established older buildings and homes can look really inviting. It shows the area has a bit of heritage given the age of the trees that line most streets and the age of the buildings which have been maintained over time.

Family friendly

Aside from great schools lots of factors play a part in making an area appeal to families. Funnily enough, most are listed above. In addition to these an area which has larger homes on potentially larger blocks is probably going to appeal more to families than say the heart of the city, where units run significantly smaller, with little to no outdoor spaces available.

Public transport and walkability

In larger areas being close to public transport is a must with a huge number of commuters relying on buses, rail and ferries to get them to work every day. Walkability is also a big factor though, being able to leave the car at home to get to nearby attractions like markets, shops and cafes makes an area really desirable.


Not everyone loves the idea of travelling into an inner city to have dinner, see a movie or catch-up for drinks, so residential areas that also boast great local cafes, bars or theatres are always popular. As are those with great famiy entertainment options such as playgrounds, sports grounds, libraries and cinemas.


Being close to the shops is not just convenient it can be a drawcard that gets people to visit a neighbourhood. Weekend markets are popular neighbourhood attractions, as are large-scale shopping centres, supermarkets, and unique local boutiques.

This weekend, why not look around your local neighbourhood and see what makes your area special. It’s great to be aware of the major selling points in your location, and if you’re interested in buying in a particular area, why not see how it stacks up in the desirability stakes?

If you’re looking to buy in an area completely new to you your Harcourts sales consultant will have a good knowlege of the local area and will be able to answer questions about a neighbourhood.

CaraChoosing a Great Neighbourhood

Packing to move into your new home

by Cara on September 13, 2018

So you’ve sold your house and bought a new one – now the work of moving really begins! Packing up and moving your family and all your worldly possessions can be a little daunting. So we’ve canvassed our Harcourts team and our Facebook audience to put together a few packing tips and tricks to help the whole process go as smoothly as possible.

  • Pack paper plates between your dinner plates to reduce the chance of breakages. We’ve had loads of suggestions from Facebook for variations on this one such as using your tea towels, pillowcases, hand towels, face cloths or clothing instead of the paper plates to kill two packing birds with one stone! Layers of paper towels or folded serviettes is another great option – plus you can re-use them for cleaning when you’re unpacking.
  • Pack fragile, awkward shaped items in inflated plastic bags if they’re too delicate to wrap in bubble wrap.
  • Leave your clothes in their drawers and cover with newspaper to avoid having to pack into boxes.
  • Use wine boxes to pack glasses and fragile ornaments. Then stack them inside other boxes for extra protection.
  • Pack an “unpacking day” box so you have easy access to essentials such as the kettle, mugs as well as tea and/or coffee, as well as a few quick, portable snacks.
  • It’s a good idea to also pack one box that will get the whole family through the first night, so you don’t need to rummage through everything to find bedding, plates, pyjamas and toothbrushes.
  • When you’re moving with children it’s a good idea to have them pack a box of their favourite things as way to get them engaged and excited about the move – as well as reassured that their things are moving with them. Have them write their name on it or decorate the box so they can recognise it, and if possible, load it into the car or truck themselves.
  • If you have a portable clothes rack keep your clothes on hangers on the rack collected into wardrobe lots covered in plastic rubbish bags. Then you can hang them straight back up in groups when you arrive.
  • When you’re packing your boxes make sure you label them with the relevant room, for ease of unpacking.
  • Take photos of all the cords plugged into televisions and other electronic set-ups, so you can reconnect them easily after unpacking. And label each cord as you pack.
  • If you are downsizing, it can make the moving process less stressful if you pack and move some of your belongings into storage, rather than having to get rid of a lot of your belongings in the midst of moving.
CaraPacking to move into your new home

What to look for at an Open Home

by Cara on September 13, 2018

This handy guide will help you to get good intel from your first impression. So, you can be sure you get as much information for yourself before engaging professionals to inspect the building’s structure and health.

The Structure

When inspecting a property, chances are the current owners are going to present the interior of the property in the best possible light. They will have cleaned and tidied, perhaps added a new coat of paint, or even had the home styled with beautiful furniture. Whilst these things will help you to appreciate what the home could look like for you, at this stage, it’s more important to focus on the dwelling’s structure.

4 things to look for are:

1. Damage from pests. Recent termite damage in wooden structures is a huge red flag. Have a look for bores through wooden frames, or dirt tubes in the foundation or exterior walls that hint to borer infestation.

2. Poor construction. Windows and doors that jar, or cracks in the walls around doors and windows are both signs of poor construction.

3. Wet spots on walls or ceilings. Condensation within the home can lead to mould build-up, timber decay, leaks, corrosion and even loss of structural integrity.

4. Cracks in the foundation. Some small cracks in a home’s foundation can be harmless, but large cracks either running down the foundation or across could mean a home is shifting, which can cause significant structural damage over time.

If you see anything through this process make a note of it, and make sure to mention it when you have a professional building inspector go through the property.

The location

Location means more than the general neighbourhood. You may be attracted to the area, but take a look at the property’s exact location for things that may bother you over the long-term, hurt re-sale value, or cause lifestyle issues.

9 things to consider are:

1. Is it on a busy main road? Houses on main roads can attract lower prices than those on quieter, private and less congested roads. You’ll also have to get used to the noise of heavy traffic.

2. Is it next to a retail or commercial space. This can create high levels of traffic and additional noise, depending on the type of business and its operating hours. Also be mindful of properties next to land that may be zoned as retail or commercial. Talk to your sales consultant about what zoning around the property means for potential development.

3. Is the property near railway lines? A home close to public transport is always convenient, but a home that shares a border with a train line, for example can cause a lot of excess noise, potentially hurt re-sale value, and cause safety issues for young family members depending on fencing around the property.

4. Are there power lines over the land/property? Sometimes found on larger parcels of land, power lines have been known to drop property prices.

5. Is the property on a flood plain? Depending on the city, the climate and the proximity to dams, lakes and watercourses, the potential of flooding on the property will be different. Be aware that houses within the same street can be impacted differently by flood waters. If you have concerns talk to you sales consultant, property inspector and the local council.

The surroundings

6. Take note of the neighbouring properties. Look at the houses on each adjoining border for any clues you might not be comfortable long term.

7. Are the neighbours’ yards neat and tidy? It might not directly impact on the property you’re considering, but what about when it comes time to sell the property? Would untidy yards next to yours reflect poorly on the area?

8. Do they have pets? It might not be an issue, particularly if you have pets of your own. But look for problem pets. Is a neighbour’s dog barking non-stop during the inspection? Are animals loose or roaming? Is there evidence of pet damage to shared fences or common areas?

9. Do you have a comfortable level of privacy? Take a look at different angles around the home, particularly on smaller blocks or apartments. Are you too close to neighbours? Can you easily hear them through the walls? Are certain windows placed directly opposite a neighbour’s window? Is the property fenced off from neighbours?

It’s important to remember that none of these things always have to be immediate deal breakers on a property you’re interested in. It’s about arming yourself with as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision and end up with a property you are happy with, for an amount you feel is reasonable.

Once you have made your first visit and if you decide you wish to proceed in making an offer, seek good legal, building and financial advice from the experts.

CaraWhat to look for at an Open Home

What is a LIM Report & Why Do You Need One?

by Cara on September 13, 2018

We can’t overstate how important your due diligence is when buying a home. That means doing official research into the property you’re interested in, and top of the list is usually a LIM report. What is it, and why do you need one?

A LIM or Land Information Memorandum is a report issued by the local city or district council which provides a summary of all the information that local authority has on file about that property, in particular, all works on the property that council has had involvement in.

It will typically include:

  • Zoning information
  • Information on natural features which impact the use of the property (such as flooding or erosion, wind risk and subsidence)
  • Scheduled roads or utility (such as drainage) developments which impact the site
  • Details of current rates, and outstanding rates, if any, owed on the property
  • Information on any protected or heritage buildings or trees on the property
  • Details of resource consents, or building consents issued for work on the property.

The important thing to remember with a LIM report is that while it can contain vital information on a property you’re interested in buying, it won’t contain ALL information on any given property.

For example it won’t contain recent survey measurements, or information on the building’s structural integrity, or address fears of contamination from substances such as methamphetamine.

You will need to have those concerns addressed with separate reports from building and meth contamination inspectors (note: the NZ Standards Authority is currently preparing a nationwide standard for meth contamination testing).

So, why do you need a LIM report?

It can tell you if previous alterations or construction works has been signed off by the council. It may show areas liable to flood or which may be prone to subsidence or erosion causing problems in the future. These are things which you may not notice in a typical viewing of the property.

A LIM may also alert you to things such as road widening or new routes which may affect your amenity or the future value of the property.

Always look at the LIM in the context of what is currently in place at the property. It’s important to note that not all works done on a property will appear on a LIM as not all works require council involvement. However, if there is noticeable construction not listed in the LIM you should discuss this with your lawyer and the real estate sales consultant prior to making an offer.

Generally speaking it is a good idea for your lawyer to look over the LIM anyway as they may spot something you miss. And remember you can request aspects of the LIM that are of concern be remedied by the vendor as a condition of sale.

Of course, as with any due diligence, there is a cost associated with requesting a LIM report. This can be a hurdle, given that there’s no guarantee you will have your bid or offer accepted.

Most NZ councils will charge somewhere between $200 and $400 for a LIM, depending on the urgency. In most cases you can cancel a LIM request, though it must be done in a timely manner and there may still be a cancellation fee depending on how much work on the LIM has already been undertaken.

The crucial aspect to consider when paying for a LIM, or any other aspect of due diligence such as a building report, or meth contamination test, is comparing it to the cost of finding something fundamentally wrong or non-compliant in the property at a later date; what it might cost to fix or insure, or the impact it may have on your resale value.

Think of the cost of a LIM as a kind of bright line test for how much you really want the property in question.

If you have a clear idea of what you want in a new home and the property ticks all those boxes, the cost of a LIM, given the information it provides, and the proportion of the overall property value it represents, is probably worth it. In the end it represents peace of mind around one of the biggest purchases you will ever make.

CaraWhat is a LIM Report & Why Do You Need One?

Purchasing Off The Plans

by Cara on September 13, 2018

You’ve seen your dream home – the only problem is it isn’t built yet. Is it ever a good idea to buy off the plans?

The short answer is yes – there are some advantages to buying property before it’s been built, but there are some obvious cons too. The trick, as with any purchasing property of any type, is doing your due diligence and when buying off the plans that means really digging down into the detail.

Some of the pros of buying off the plans are that you can often get the property you want, in a good location within the development, at a lower price by getting in early. Prices can often rise as a development nears completion, especially if it is proving popular.

By buying early and making your deposit (generally between 10% to 20% of the sale price) you are securing a place in the market and can benefit from any market price increases over the period of construction.

The cons of course are not ending up with the property you thought you were paying for, built and finished to a lower standard or, worse, having the developer default on construction because they don’t have enough funds to complete it.

Here are some things to think about before handing over your money on a planned development:

  • Check your sources. Once you’ve found a place you like the look of do some homework on the developer. What projects have they been involved in previously? How successful have they been? Do they have a track record of happy customers or a litany of complaints?
  • Be visionary. If you can, visit the development site and figure out where your chosen property fits within it. How much sun and natural light is it likely to get and at what times of the day in which parts of the property? How much outdoor space will you have? What is the street access and or off street parking like? How close are your neighbours? What will the views be like? How likely are they to be built out? Make sure you have a clear picture of how big the house and all the interiors will be. Don’t rely purely on plans, artist impressions and show homes.
  • The devil is in the detail. If you decide to proceed you need to go over the sale and purchase agreement with a fine-toothed comb – and a lawyer. You need to make sure you have an extremely thorough and clear understanding of what you are buying. Most disputes arise because buyers are disappointed the finished property is not up to their expectations. Make sure the contract covers everything the developer is responsible for including in the finished development. You should be clear on how much the developer is permitted to deviate from the original plan during construction. Most contracts will include a percentage amount that developers may change from the plans. Buyers should keep this as low as possible and be clear about what it can affect. Remember even a small percentage change can impact the size of your view, or outdoor living or storage space for example.
  • Be clear on the financials. Make sure you know where your deposit will be kept and how long the conditional period is. Contracts for off-the-plans purchases can also include a cooling off period during which buyers can change their mind, but be aware there will still likely be a financial penalty. Contracts can also include a sunset clause which allows buyers a way out should the project completion be excessively delayed. However, buyers should also be aware that these clauses have on occasion been used as a loophole by developers to cancel contracts and resell at a higher price. Aim to negotiate so the sunset clause can work in your favour as a buyer and not just for the benefit of the developer.
  • Seek independent advice. On completion of the build it’s a good idea for buyers to seek an independent building report to ensure everything is completed to a legally required and contractually agreed level.
CaraPurchasing Off The Plans

Avoiding Buyers Remorse

by Cara on September 13, 2018

Here are some tried-and-tested preventatives for what is known in the real estate industry as ‘home buyer’s remorse’ – it is worth running through these before you go house-hunting.

A recent study in the UK revealed that about one new buyer in 10 regrets their choice to some degree, with the most common cause of their dissatisfaction, thinking they could have got a better deal if they had taken more time to choose.
You need to feel sure that the home you’re buying is good value and will meet your needs at this time of your life. Getting caught up in a bidding war early on in your home search can also lead to you making emotional decisions that you may regret later.

Other reasons that buyers may suffer remorse include not liking the new neighbours, finding that their new home is too small, finding that their new home requires more work than they expected and finding that their mortgage payments put them under financial strain – and that with this in mind, Harcourts Canterbury has the following advice for prospective buyers:

1. What’s your wish list – now and the future?

Think very carefully about what you need from a property, and may need five or 10 years from now. For example, a large garden might appeal to you, but will you really have the time – or money – to maintain it? On the other hand, we find that people who are downsizing are also liable to underestimate the amount of space they will need – such as an extra bedroom to use as a home office or to accommodate family visitors.

2. Can you afford it?

Double check your finances to make sure you can comfortably afford the mortgage payments and the other ongoing costs of home ownership, such as insurance, rates and maintenance. And be sure to create a contingency fund so that an unexpected repair or interest rate increase won’t send you into a tailspin.

3. Does the location suit your needs?

Research the area in which you are thinking of buying. Picking the wrong location can have a negative effect on the future resale value of your property as well as your current lifestyle. Look out for positives such as good schools, public transport, medical facilities and clean parks, and for negatives such as nearby road-building or large commercial developments.

4. Check it out – at all times of the day.

Visit the home you are thinking of buying at different times of the day and on different days of the week. In this way, you may well discover noisy neighbours before you move in next door to them – or a noisy local gathering place that only gets busy after dark. In addition, you may find that traffic in the area is worse than you thought, or that the commute to work is actually further or more difficult than you estimated.

5. Stay focused on your priorities.

Don’t let a lovely entertainment area blind you to a floor plan that won’t suit you. Try to find the home that most closely matches your original wish-list and that is within your budget. It is not worth buying a home you can’t afford as it will very likely prevent you from reaching other financial goals.

Home sellers don’t offer a refund policy, so take the time to make your decision when buying and avoid being counted amongst the regretful home owners.

CaraAvoiding Buyers Remorse

Beginners Guide to Buying at Auction

by Cara on September 13, 2018

If you’ve been considering buying property at any time in the recent past, it’s almost certain you’ve been introduced to the idea of buying via auction.

For the uninitiated the auction process can seem a little daunting, but there’s a reason they are so often recommended to both buyers and vendors – property auctions offer many advantages to both sides of the sale.

For both buyers and sellers the biggest advantage of an auction is transparency. Everybody knows the terms and conditions of sale before they start, and bidders or their representatives are on site during the auction bidding in the open.

  • An auction means you know exactly who your competition is on the day.
  • All buyers are given fair opportunity to buy.
  • Negotiations are open for all to see.
  • You know you are dealing with sellers who want to sell on the day.
  • At the fall of the hammer, the auction is final and your successful bid means the property is yours with no further negotiations, and the contract is signed then and there.

What you need to do to prepare before auction:

  • Have your finances organised by auction date. Know exactly what you can afford to bid. If you’re successful on the day you’ll be asked to sign the sales agreement and pay a deposit. This is normally 10% of the purchase price.
  • It’s also a good idea to have your other affairs sorted by this date, such as the sale of your existing property, organising a check of the property you’re bidding on and familiarising yourself with auction documents.
  • Have your solicitor inspect the property title and all legal matters related to the prospective purchase.
  • Talk to your Harcourts sales consultant to gain a better insight into the local market, so you can accurately assess the market value of the property. You should also consider obtaining an independent property valuation.
  • If you’re new to auctions visit a few before attending the auction of the property you wish to bid on. It will familiarise you with the process.
  • Sometimes the property may be sold prior to auction day. You can submit a pre-auction offer to the property owner for their consideration – a key step of identifying your interest in the property. If you have let the sales consultant know you are interested in the property and another purchaser submits a pre-auction offer, you’ll be given the opportunity to submit your own offer.
CaraBeginners Guide to Buying at Auction

Pros & Cons of moving to a new subdivision

by Cara on September 13, 2018

New subdivision developments are springing up all the time, and attracting buyers from all walks of life. Here’s a look at the good and the bad of these new neighbourhoods.

PRO: Amenities on your doorstep

Unlike older suburbs that have gradually evolved over time and often outgrown the capacity of their local schools, shops and parks, new subdivisions carefully plan these facilities into the area. The benefit of having amenities such as a shopping centre, school, day care facility, and park right on your doorstep can’t be overestimated.

CON: Your commute could get longer

One of the downsides of new subdivisions is that they are often at a distance from main centres, which means some residents face a longer commute to work and schools. They can also be off the beaten track when it comes to public transport, so check with the local council to see if there is future development planned to minimise your time spent in traffic or on the bus.

PRO: You can make substantial capital gains

If you buy early in a new subdivision that boasts a good location and has a reputable building company behind it, you could stand to make considerable gains when you come to sell it. Many subdivisions gain steadily in popularity as they grow, so you may be rewarded when it is time to move on.

CON: A lack of established trees and green spaces

While all new subdivisions incorporate green space into their plans, it’s sometimes a little disheartening to see the tiny trees, shrubs and freshly laid grass lining the streets. It takes time for new developments to establish greenery, so if you’re moving into one, you’ll need to be patient.

PRO: New homes built with the best technology

Looking for the latest in warm, dry and sustainable homes? New subdivisions have the benefit of utilising the latest in home building technology, boast clever storage solutions, and offer easy-living layouts. New homes also cut down on the amount of maintenance required, which means you have more time to enjoy your weekends.

CONS: Your ability to personalise or individualise your property can be restricted

Many new subdivisions place covenants on what you can do in order to maintain the aesthetic of the neighbourhood. Restrictions can include limits on additional structures, the location of washing lines and satellite dishes, the parking of caravans or mobile homes on properties, and guest parking on the street. Make sure you check these out before you buy.

CaraPros & Cons of moving to a new subdivision

I want to buy but auction day is scary.

by Cara on September 13, 2018

Bidding for and buying a house at auction can feel intimidating if you have never done it before but a little bit of preparation and homework can make the process far less stressful and more empowering.

Familiarise yourself with the process

The simplest and one of the most helpful things you can do is go to a few auctions to familiarise yourself with the process and the environment. Consider doing this well before you’ve found a place you’re ready to bid for, so you can view the auction process and watch buyers bidding strategies.

Once you’ve found a property you’d like to bid for, see if you can find another auction called by the same auctioneer who will oversee the sale of that property. Anything you can do to make your bidding auction day more familiar to you will help you on that day. Feel free to ask the sales consultant you are working with to introduce you to the Auctioneer, but also talk the whole process through with the consultant, they will know you are interested in the property, they in turn will be keen to assist you to buy.

Do your due diligence

This is obviously important before buying any property but it is vital that you know everything you need to know before the auction starts, because if you win the auction you will be signing the contract immediately, and handing over your deposit right there.

This means checking building reports, LIM reports, having any contamination or pest checks completed and having your solicitor check the contract of sale. The benefit of auction is that a lot of these reports are provided to you, please realise any reports are commissioned by the owner for the owners benefit, but they will give you some comfort and are usually commissioned from reputable companies.

Some buyers do get frustrated at the expense of this process, only to not be a successful bidder and having to repeat the whole process with a new property. It helps to think about what the long-term cost could be of not completing that due diligence only to find something critical is wrong with the property. This due diligence process is vital in Christchurch now following the rebuild, do not bid on a rebuilt or remediated property that does not provide the necessary basic documentation of the repair strategy.

You can also avoid that problem in part by being very clear about what you are looking for in a property to purchase by viewing as many as possible before you commit to the next stage of doing the due diligence.

Before the auction it’s also important to register your interest in the property. That way the sales consultant can keep you informed of any pre-auction offers which may bring the auction forward, or any other developments impacting the auction, additional documentation.

Also make sure you have read the auction particulars and conditions of sale and discuss with your solicitor.

Get your finances in order

Make sure you have your finance pre-approved by your bank so you are ready to sign on the dotted line and pay the deposit – usually 10% of the purchase price – immediately following the auction.

And, of course, make sure you are very clear about how much you have to spend. It’s a good idea to have two prices in the back of your mind: the amount you would prefer to pay and an absolute upper limit that you would pay if you had to. We call this the “fighting fund”.

Being prepared in that way will mean you don’t need to try and make snap decisions in the heat of an auction, you feel well prepared to make good decisions.

At the auction

Arrive early to the auction and find a good position where you will be clearly seen by the auctioneer, and ideally, where you can have a good view of other bidders.

Before the auction begins the auctioneer will identify and describe the property being sold.

The auctioneer may also indicate if any bidders are participating by phone, and that he may through the course of the auction make “vendor bids”. These are bids made on behalf of the seller, below the reserve, they are sometimes utilised just to get the auction started. Vendor bids are allowed provided they are clearly identified by the auctioneer. The best way to think of the vendor bid is that it is a counter offer from the owners and if you are not prepared to bid more than the vendor bid they are happy not to sell. Typically, an auctioneer will place their last vendor bid well below the reserve price, so if you are prepared to pay more than the vendor bid announced, feel confident and bid again.

To start the auction the auctioneer will call for an opening bid and will then nominate the increments at which the bidding can be raised.

To place your bid, confidentially attract the auctioneer’s attention by raising your hand and calling out your bid amount, if you or no one else bids that’s when a vendor bid might be placed by the auctioneer to start the bidding.

Once the property has reached the reserve price the auctioneer will announce that it is officially on the market and will sell to the highest bidder.

If the property does not reach the reserve price the auctioneer can pause the auction.

They will negotiate with the owner and the highest bidder to see if a price agreement can be reached, usually this will happen either in a side room or perhaps on the floor, if agreement can be reached on a price, the reserve will be adjusted and typically the auction comes back out to the auction room and if there is no further bidding by anyone it will be sold at the negotiated price. If further bidding occurs you have a choice ….are you prepared to pay a little more or not.

If either there is no bidding, the bidding stops on a vendor bid below the reserve, or you fail to agree on an altered reserve price, the property is passed in and the auction is over. This is where it could get frustrating for you as a buyer, because then any interested parties who where not in a cash position to bid at the auction, will now also have a chance to buy after auction and you will potentially be involved in a multi offer tender type situation, where you likely get one chance to offer your very best price.

The best advice I can give you is ….if you are in a position to bid at an auction, don’t play games, at least at an auction you can see and hear the competition, or negotiate with the vendor. Once its passed in, you have blind tender, multi offer type possibilities to contend with.

If you really, really don’t want to bid at the auction …

you can nominate a sales consultant to do your bidding for you. If you choose this option make sure you have complete faith that the sales consultant will follow your bidding instructions, and that they are fully informed of your bidding plan.

All the best with Auction, don’t be frightened, just do your home work, and bid to whatever level you have decided before hand, if its enough you will have purchased and that will be a relief, if its not enough, no worries……next.

Jim Davis
South Island Regional Manager

CaraI want to buy but auction day is scary.

4 Reasons NOT to renovate when selling.

by Cara on September 12, 2018

Renovation is all about Return On Investment. You want to be sure that the amount you invest in the renovation is less than the value you’re adding to the property.

Here we explore some of the situations where we wouldn’t recommend renovating if you’re looking to maximise your sale price.

1. Check your margins.

If your property isn’t in desperate need of repair and you’re confident you have a decent amount of equity existing in your property, renovations may not be necessary. Especially if after crunching the numbers, you’re not confident you would be increasing the sale price by that much, and remember a return on investment can never be guaranteed.

A general rule of thumb when it comes to renovating a property for profit, is to spend no more than 10% of the property’s value on the alterations.

So, the first step would be to ensure you have an up-to-date valuation of your property, undertaken by a professional. The next step would be to work out a budget, and ensure you add a buffer in case of unforeseen additional expenses. Using the 10% rule, this means a home valued at $500,000 would have a total renovation budget of $50,000. Any more than this, and you risk over-capitalising.

2. Do you need a quick sale?

Most renovations take time, to plan and budget for as well as to be completed. So, if you’re looking to sell soon, renovations may not be possible. Remember too, that renovations often go over budget and can take longer than anticipated so factor all these considerations into your decision.

3. Who are you renovating for?

Some renovations appeal to most buyers, such as a kitchen or bathroom upgrade, but others are personal to you and your needs, taste and style and therefore won’t appeal to the largest number of potential buyers.

This can include adding extensions such as granny flats, converting bedrooms into specific-purpose rooms like a media room or library, and separating rooms by adding additional internal walls.

4. Who are you selling to?

This is where research is key. What is the demographic of your property’s neighbourhood? Mostly singles and couples? Mostly retirees or mostly families?

Finding out who the neighbourhood is likely to attract will help you determine suitable renovations and not so suitable ones.

For instance, if your local market is likely to attract families, think carefully before adding stylish but potentially hazardous staircases, or ornate glass features. Or if your potential buyer is most likely an investor, keep renovations to a minimum as they will almost certainly have their own plans and your changes may add no value to them at all.

It never hurts to ask…

When planning a renovation, don’t shy away from asking your local real estate sales consultant their opinion on the condition of the property, the type of buyer the home is likely to attract, what similar homes in similar condition are selling for and any renovations they would recommend. You may be surprised, if your home isn’t in need of massive renovations your sales consultant will tell you and you may save yourself a lot of hassle, time and money.

Cara4 Reasons NOT to renovate when selling.