Why insulate?

Insulating your home is the single most effective action you can take in order to keep your home warm and to save you both energy and money.

Right House Insulators

Right House Insulators

Heating an uninsulated home is a huge waste of energy and money as a large proportion of the heat simply escapes through the roof, walls, floor, any unblocked chimneys and draughts around doors and windows. The roof is the main offender as more heat escapes through the ceiling and roof than through any other part of the home.

As mentioned previously we are working through the process of making our home energy efficient. Having assessed our current energy use we’ve identified that if we are to improve the comfort of the home we need to insulate both the ceiling and underfloor area. During the last month we’ve had a number of meetings with various registered installers who have provided us with their assessment and quote for the job.  After reviewing the different options, we accepted a quote from Right House, a subsidiary of Meridian Energy.

We were impressed at the quick two week turnaround from when we accepted the quote until the job was completed. Right House sent around a team of experienced installers and the installation itself was completed in a little over one day. The ceiling cavity has now been installed with R 3.6 Pink Batts and the underfloor has R 1.5 Autex Greenstuf.

Further on in our project we will be blocking up the disused fireplace and chimney as well as insulating the external walls which will provide additional comfort.

Related:

How to make your home energy efficient

5 Steps to make your home energy efficient

What is your home’s current energy use

Insulate your home with a government subsidy

November 30 2010 | Waikato Rural Real Estate Agent | No Comments »

Real estate continuing education requirements

While attending an Assessors’ meeting at the REINZ ITO in Parnell today discussion was held as to when – not if – the Real Estate Agents Authority would be introducing provision for compulsory continuing education. At the present time, there are no continuing education requirements set, however one could be fairly confident that this state will not continue indefinitely.

Real Estate Agents Authority

Real Estate Agents Authority

Under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 the Authority (REAA) has the power, through its practice rules, to require licensees to undertake continuing education. Furthermore, completion of the requirements will be a condition of licensing renewal.

Specifically Section 15 of the Act reads:

Continuing education

The Authority may, by notice in the Gazette, make practice rules that—

(a) provide for the times or frequencies at which continuing education must be undertaken and the topics to be addressed:

(b) require that particular continuing education be undertaken, or (in addition or as an alternative) require that the continuing education comply with specified requirements:

(c) exempt, or provide for the exemption of, any agent, branch manager, or salesperson from all or any practice rules made under paragraph (b).

In future the public will be able to search the register of licensees to see whether any mandatory continuing education has been completed.

November 09 2010 | Real Estate Industry News | No Comments »

Facebook and real estate

At the Future of Real Estate Conference held in Auckland recently, Simon Baker’s keynote presentation included the statement that ‘smart social media strategy will differentiate agents’. This further supports one of Alistair Helm’s favourite quotes ‘traditional agents will not be replaced by technology; they will be replaced by agents with technology’.

Facebook and real estate agents

Facebook Page

As real estate agents it’s a given that we will be active networkers, traditionally this may have meant attending the local Chamber of Commerce meetings, joining the PTA and taking part or sponsoring other community events. Real estate training 101 typically includes the prospecting script ‘do you or anyone you know want to buy or sell a property?’ said as you hand your card to a virtual stranger. These more traditional methods of prospecting for clients have obvious disadvantages, including the limit to how many people you can physically meet.

While it’s still essential to be active in your physical community, online networking is growing exponentially and offers the opportunity to actively engage and attract a greater number of people. The more people we are talking to wherever they may be the larger our sphere of influence.

In a break-away workshop on Facebook, Simon provided us with many practical suggestions on further developing our social media strategy that we could immediately apply. According to Simon, Facebook has now overtaken Trademe and he strongly encouraged us to engage further with Facebook users.

Prior to the conference we had our own personal Facebook pages but admittedly were at a loss as to how to engage our audience at a meaningful level. However as Simon suggested, a ‘business page’ is more appropriate for real estate agents and we are now developing our own page where anyone can leave a link or comment.  We say ‘developing’ as with anything this is an ongoing project which will grow and change as we do. We’d love to see other agent’s efforts and hear about their experiences with Facebook.

November 02 2010 | Real Estate Industry News | No Comments »

Real Estate Seller’s Checklist

Real Estate Seller’s Checklist

Buying and selling real estate can be stressful if you are not fully prepared for the process. The following checklist provided by NZ Law Limited should help to eliminate some of the unknowns and help you achieve a smooth transaction.

Real Estate Sellers

Real Estate Sellers

Before signing the Agreement
Contact your lawyer:
Check Title
Obtain LIM Report, if required
Decide on sale method (agent or private)
Decide on listing type eg exclusive or general listing)
Discuss real estate agents’ commission rates and advertising arrangements
Compare real estate agents’ marketing plans, type of sale eg auction, tender etc
Appoint real estate agent/s
Decide which chattels are to be included in the house price
Have your Lawyer Check the Agreement. Sign real estate agency agreement
Negotiate with prospective buyers
On signing the Agreement
Advise mortgagee (after the Agreement becomes unconditional)
Start shopping around for moving company
Satisfy any outstanding conditions
When the Agreement becomes unconditional
Receive deposit from purchaser
Make booking for moving company, confirming settlement date
Begin to sort out packing
Dispose of unwanted items (garage sale, TradeMe, donate to charity shop)
Make travel arrangements if moving out-of-town
Make arrangements to move children and pets
Three weeks before
Arrange new telecommunications connections
Cancel house insurance for sold property, effective from settlement date
Two weeks before
Settlement statement prepared
Water meter reading ordered
If you are selling a unit title property, you must have a copy of all insurance policies effected by the body corporate and the Section 36 certificate at least FIVE working days before settlement
One week before
Arrange insurance for the house you are moving into. If selling arrange transfer of policy or cancellation of insurance if not on-buying
Confirm arrangements with moving company
Ensure house contents are insured in transit
Sort out valuables and other items that you do not want packers to pack (take them yourself in a secure bag or leave with a friend during the move
Five days before
Arrange to sign transfer authority
Four days before
Do final sort of items to be packed by removal company
Three days before
Confirm arrangements for children and pets
Pre-inspection by buyer, if requested
Ensure all chattels are in working order
The day before
Make sure you have all the keys available to all exterior doors, window locks, garage door openers, plus burglar alarm instructions
On the day
Read the meters and advise utility companies of readings
Moneys received from buyer’s lawyer
Mortgage repaid
Keys handed over to new owner
E-Dealing released at LINZ
After settlement
Payment of water and general rates
Local authorities notified
Transaction complete

To download a copy of this checklist CLICK HERE

October 28 2010 | Buying Rural Waikato Real Estate and Selling Rural Waikato Real Estate | 5 Comments »

Real Estate Purchaser’s Checklist

Purchaser’s Checklist

Buying and selling real estate can be stressful if you are not fully prepared for the process. The following checklist provided by NZ Law Limited should help to eliminate some of the unknowns and help you achieve a smooth transaction.

Real Estate Purchasers

Real Estate Purchasers

Before you sign the Agreement
Contact your lawyer:
Check Title
Obtain provisional finance approval
Talk about future plans for prospective property
Conditional/unconditional offer
Check chattels
Any potential difficulties – unit titles/cross lease, access, restrictive covenants etc
Develop moving budget
Decide if you need a LIM or PIM Report
Decide if you need a pre-purchase building inspection
If the property has a tenant, check the tenancy agreement
Have your lawyer check the agreement. If all in order sign the Agreement
Offer is accepted
Ten working days to check the title
Check and compare finance terms and conditions
Confirm finance within Agreement time limits, discuss ownership structure (personal, company, trust, partnership)
Obtain LIM Report (if this is a condition)
Arrange for a building report to be done (if this is a condition)
Check any other conditions
Pay the deposit
Satisfy any outstanding conditions
Get quotes from removal company
Four weeks before
Make booking for removal company/truck hire, confirming settlement date
Discuss your moving arrangements with the seller to ensure that their moving company and yours do not attempt to operate at the same time on settlement date
Arrange for transfer of telecommunications connections
Arrange for transfer of gas and/or electricity supply to new home
Begin to sort out packing
Have garage sale of unwanted items, list on Trademe or give to charity shops
Make travel arrangements if moving out of town
Make arrangements to move children and pets
One week before
Settlement statement received from the seller’s lawyer (rates will be apportioned to settlement date)
Arrange insurance for your new home. Check and compare premiums and terms and conditions as these can vary significantly
Mortgagee’s interest must be noted on the insurance policy
Confirm arrangements with removal company
Ensure house contents are insured for transit
Sort out valuables and other items that you do not want packers to move (take them yourself in a secure bag)
Notify burglar alarm monitoring service of move to a new property
Arrange with lawyer to sign mortgages
Four days before
Do a final sort of items to be packed by removal company
Three days before
Pre-settlement inspection (if required)
Two days before
Confirm arrangements for children and pets
On the day
Mortgage insurance arranged
Lawyer to receive any cash contribution from the buyer
Moneys received from the lender
Transfer (and mortgage) registered at LINZ
Keys handed over
After settlement
Copy of new title to new owner
Copy of new title to lender
Local authorities notified
Transaction complete

To download a copy of this list CLICK HERE

October 21 2010 | Buying Rural Waikato Real Estate and Selling Rural Waikato Real Estate | No Comments »

Insulate your home with a government subsidy

During the winter it seemed that no matter how many heaters we turned on, our home remained so cold that our children would sit watching TV with blankets wrapped around them and for the first time, we’ve all used electric blankets on our beds. As a consequence, our electricity bill has more than doubled when compared with our previous home although we had remained with the same supplier and our eldest teenager – who has an attraction to long hot showers – has moved out.

Fibreglass Insulation

Fibreglass Insulation

The problem for us is our 50 year old home lacks adequate insulation so no matter how it was heated, the heat simply escaped through the roof, floor and walls. 180,000 New Zealand homes suffer from the same scenario which is why the government has introduced a programme called ‘Warm up New Zealand – Heat Smart’ an Energywise funded programme.

Better insulation means warmer, drier, healthier homes that may be easier and cheaper to heat. This means greater comfort and better health, less impact on the environment and lower power bills. If you’re a homeowner and your house was built before the year 2000, you can get 33% off the cost of installing ceiling and underfloor insulation, and other insulating measures up to $1,300.

During the last week we’ve arranged for several registered installers to visit and assess our home and at present are awaiting their quotes before deciding who we will choose. When getting insulation quotes, make sure that you are comparing not only the same insulation product but also the same R-value, the measure of thermal resistance. For example, Pink Batts fibreglass insulation has an R-value range of R1.6 to R6, the higher the value the better the insulation.

Insulation works in both directions, so while our main consideration is to keep our home warm in winter; the insulation will also help to act as a barrier to the extreme heat conditions of a Te Awamutu summer.  We’ve been told that to insulate both the ceiling and underfloor of our 180 m² home will take less than a day. Additionally, the turnaround at present from when confirming a supplier to the actual installation is now around two to four weeks depending on the supplier.

It will be winter before we really appreciate the benefits of insulation and seeing that the children no longer need to reach for a blanket when watching their favorite TV show!

October 19 2010 | Waipa | No Comments »

What to do in a multi-offer situation

Most farmers would be thrilled to be presented with multiple offers for their property, more so perhaps in the current real estate market where any offers are few and far between. Not all offers are equal however which creates a dilemma as to which the seller should accept.

Consider the merits of each

When presented with the offers it may appear that one is more attractive than the other, perhaps the price is better or the possession date is more suitable. Before reaching for the champagne though, it’s necessary to consider the merits of each, the further terms attached such as being subject to finance or the sale of another farm.  A higher price may seem a lot less attractive if the buyer has made it subject to selling their farm and has requested a lengthy time to do so.

Review the conditions

Having reviewed the conditions of each and decided which is the stronger, the seller can then either accept the offer on the terms and conditions offered or counter-sign, adding their own terms and conditions. The seller’s offer will then be presented back to the buyer and the negotiations start.

Prior to accepting

Your real estate agent will be able to offer some guidance as to the buyer’s position and we also suggest you speak with your legal, financial or technical advisors prior to deciding.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

October 14 2010 | Buying Rural Waikato Real Estate and Selling Rural Waikato Real Estate | No Comments »

What is your home’s current energy use

Do you know how to assess your home’s current energy use and where best to spend your money to improve conditions? With our own home, it’s not been difficult to determine it’s been cold during our first winter and just when we thought conditions may have been improving, yesterday brought a sprinkling of snow to nearby Mt Pirongia.

Snow capped peaks of Mt Pirongia Photo/Dean Taylor

Snow capped peaks of Mt Pirongia Photo/Dean Taylor

The temptation is to increase the inside temperature by improving the heating system, for us that means switching on portable electric heaters. Although an immediate temporary measure, turning on more heaters is not going to address the basic problems of the home and neither will installing expensive technologies such as heat pumps.

We need to gather more information on increasing the overall thermal performance of the home and in doing so develop a renovation plan that is individualized to our home and family needs. What may be suitable to us may not be suitable to another family who has differing needs. For instance, a retired couple who are less active and spend more time at home during the day may like to consider other options.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) have an excellent site; ENERGYWISE, full of practical information and advice to help you make choices regarding your energy use. Main pages along the toolbar include:

Choosing to manage the way you use energy means you can have lower power bills, a warmer, healthier home and less of an impact on the environment.

With the image of yesterday’s snow still fresh in our memories, we’re going to spend some time further researching where to start our own renovation with a view to completing the first stage by April next year.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

October 12 2010 | Waikato Rural Real Estate Agent | No Comments »

How to stand out above the crowd

What’s the most important point when promoting property? Picture this, you’ve worked hard to secure the exclusive agency of a fabulous property, the photos have been done professionally and the copywriter has surpassed themselves but for some reason the phone remains silent.

Feature Property, 359 Taylor Avenue, Te Awamutu

Feature Property, 359 Taylor Avenue, Te Awamutu

With no shortage of competition available all vying for a very limited buyers’ attention it’s necessary to think more and more strategically. Your fabulous property needs to be positioned above the crowd in order to get some serious attention.

We find it is necessary to use property websites that are highly optimized, content relevant and which additionally offer the option of ‘featuring’ the property. As an example, the screen shot above shows a property which was listed on 17 August, (7 weeks ago). Up until Monday this week there have been a total of 410 viewings, almost half of those, 210, were in the last 7 days when the property became a ‘feature’ on www.realestate.co.nz.

Having qualified buyers see the property in some capacity is the most important point of our promotions.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

October 07 2010 | Buying Rural Waikato Real Estate and Waikato Rural Real Estate Agent | 2 Comments »

Blogging for Business webinar

On Monday, Kerry Kissane of realestate.co.nz hosted their first webinar ‘Blogging for Business’ which I attended with interest. The webinar was directed at real estate agents who are either considering or new to blogging and provided a wealth of useful information and practical tips including the what, why and how to blog.

Although I’ve been actively blogging for some years, there are always new developments and one tip which Kerry shared in particular caught my attention. The inclusion of video in a blog is as simple as ABC and a wonderful way to make your article come to life. Have a look at this ‘video’ which I put together last night:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoKvMGBNgQs

Blogging is a great way to develop your personal brand and be recognized as the expert in your local area.

To see all of Kerry’s tips, have a look at the presentation on Slideshare

The next two webinars planned are:

  1. Twitter for Beginners – Monday, October 11, 2010 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM NZDT
  2. Facebook Basics webinar – Monday, October 18, 2010 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM NZDT

Email Kerry to register.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

October 06 2010 | Real Estate Industry News | 3 Comments »

« Prev - Next »