Category Archives: Mortgages Finance Money

NZ Dept of Building and Housing Determinations

October 22, 2010

Like to be kept informed, or more importantly up-to-date with recent decisions by the government department tasked with looking after home-owners.

All the talk these days is about more info to the consumer, and the home situation is turning out to be no different.

Leaky homes, shoddy work practices, dodgy builders, etc someone should keep an eye on these things, but just as importantly publicly advice the citizenry.

Great news, someone does…although by nature of being a “determination”, it is covering events in a retrospective way. So its after the horse has bolted, but better than no notifications at all.

Anyway, the Department of Building & Housing are here on the scene with their Building sub-site to assist with your research.

Next to what must surely be one of the most popular tabs on their website, “Weathertightness“, you will spot the “Building” one.

Wouldn’t you consider that this above type of determination result news is worth knowing?

Within the site because you can filter your search three ways………..

search by Building Code clause

search by Building Code clause

firstly by the actual Building Code clause itself, and secondly……..

by Subject, a more “english language” friendly version.

And thirdly, by the usual standard search box flavour.

If you yourself want to get regular updates about this stuff – click the above screenshot to be taken to the site where you will find its real easy to subscribe and that way, be amongst the first to know about new determinations.

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Really want to win your next Multi-Offer? – Part I

August 21th, 2010

I hear a lot of talk about the media reporting many regions quoting (per REINZ latest figures) the lowest number of sales in a decade for July 2010.

Obviously that means that there are a lot of buyers waiting for the “perfect one” to come along before they commit. Either that or there may be some truth in the comment I saw on a board that stated “otherwise, based on turnover,  it looks like Kiwis have decided to stay in their present home for the next 27 years!” (can’t remember the exact wording but that was the momentum behind it)

the Renovators Special?

All of this means that when that “dream one” comes along, you will probably discover, much to your chagrin, that, you won’t just be the only one wanting it. When more than 2 buyers want the same property we find ourselves in a “multi-offer” situation.

Who wins?

Well………… for that you have to put yourself in the shoes of the seller.

Sometimes its not just about the price

Is there anything I can do to ensure my offer is in the best position?

Actually glad you asked because there surely is.

Number 1 you need to have organized a lawyer/property conveyancing specialist in advance, way in advance actually, of making any offers. You need to feel confident (aka have some prior understanding/agreement between you & them) that you can go to them at short notice for swift turnaround, and one that won’t cost the earth.

What sort of swift turnaround are you talking about?

The sort of swift turnaround that accompanies this question from you………….

“Hi Bob, its Dave here, just seen a property I really like, and I was wondering if you could please look over the Certificate of Title to 123A Main Rd, Anytown and/or any associated council files to see that there are no problems / issues.”

Now I know that as standard, many of us typically allow 3 working days for a solicitors approval, & that’s usually just for an approval of the Certificate of Title. You want a person who can do this and get back to you, in say, no more than 24hours.

might pay to check out the Form as well as the title.....

might pay to check out the Form as well as the title.....

To ensure the Form of the agreement is correct also, you could ask the Real Estate person involved to prepare a contract and get/fax/email that to your nominated person so that they can check the Form of the Agreement is ok too.

Now, clearly after visiting and falling in love with the property, you need to express your interest with the Real Estate Salesperson involved.

Along the lines of “I’d like to express my interest in this property, if any offer comes in, can you let me know right away?”

Secondly, and hopefully if you have read what I wrote above, you make that phone call to your lawyer/nominated conveyancing specialist and ask them to go over the property details/file/title for you to ensure that they and you are satisfied with any easements, covenants, etc.

Thirdly, (“and by now you’re with the program?”) you’ll also be in touch with your lending specialist to seek a 99% confirmation that the pre-approval*** you are carrying around with you is ok for this nominated property.

Fourth – we’re nearly there…..if you believe the property needs a specialist report, from a builder or an engineer, get that organized before too – obviously its very handy if you know a builder, whereas for an engineer there will an upfront expense involved so you do need to take that into your calculations.

Fifth – check with the Real Estate salesperson for what would be the most suitable / ideal time frame required for possession / for the sellers to exit the property – be aware that if tenants are involved there are legal rights / requirements regarding notice for them to vacate the premises too.

We’re just about there……what we are trying to achieve here is a Sales & Purchase Agreement to buy a home that has hardly any, or preferably no conditions or extra clauses.

That way you will have an Agreement that, excepting the price issue, will shine the brightest.

This list is by no means 100% comprehensive, for example there may be a few other circumstances where further conditions can be satisfied before the offer is presented too, but after all this exact process that I have described is exactly what you would already do if you were buying at auction anyway!

Many folk also advise to investigate a LIM report, I would discuss this with your conveyancing specialist prior too any offer, again, ……….exactly the same process you would conduct were you looking to bid at a property auction.

Knock Knock......

Knock Knock......

Now I can paint a picture.  Real Estate Salesperson/Branch Manager arrives at home of seller at 7pm ready to present 3 buyer offers in sealed envelopes.

…….Continued in Part II

*** – be aware that some pre-approvals will still require a registered valuation on the property – please check with your lending specialist on this, or at exactly what dollar figure you can go to before its necessary to get a registered valuation.

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Do Real Estate Salespersons need to know about new Financial Advisers Act 2008?

August 16th, 2010

In a word, yes. Let me explain.

Be very careful next time you feel like saying….

“well of course you would want to invest in a rental property….when compared to….Exhibit A ….Exhibit B or Exhibit C”

…..well….just don’t!

If you do make such a statement, and you are not a qualified person under the new Act, you could very well find yourself in serious trouble, possibly in contravention of the new Financial Advisers Act 2008.

thinking out loud

In case you are unsure about this, the words in the FAQ over at the NZ Securities Commission website say;

“…..only Authorised Financial Advisers can give advice on Category 1 products.”

And yes, Real Estate is included in the list of Category 1 products, as in;

Category 1 products are securities (for example shares and many types of investment products), any estate or interest in land, and futures contracts.

They spell it out pretty clearly too….

Q:  What is financial advice?

A: The Act covers people who are in the business of giving financial advice, making investment transactions or providing a financial planning service. For the purposes of the Act, people give financial advice if they make a recommendation, or give an opinion or guidance in relation to acquiring, holding or disposing of a financial product. Providing factual information only about a financial product, in the absence of any recommendation, opinion or guidance, would not be considered financial advice.

I’ve highlighted above in orange the “interesting” bits.

So if you believe that you could find yourself accidentally saying something like that mentioned in the first sentence up above, or have said it already, then I suggest you head on over to the Securities Commission site. (link below)

And once there, make sure you are very familiar with the new Financial Advisers Act (FAA) 2008. (there’s plenty of links to the actual Act but more importantly, plenty of down to earth info in the FAQ section written in easily understood plain English)

Alternatively if you want your 15 minutes of fame, having your name or photo broadcast by the media on the nightly news as a result of them publicizing a court case about the 1st NZ Real Estate salesperson charged under the new Act, (which becomes 100% operational on 1st Dec 2010) then ignore what I have cautioned about at your peril.

Sunday Star Times - August 15th 2010

Sunday Star Times - August 15th 2010

You may have noticed this in one of the Sunday papers. Let not yourself be one of the first to help establish precedents / case law for these new Acts.

Financial Advisers Act 2008 (latest versions available)

NZ Securties Commission Financial Advice Section – FAQ regarding new Financial Advisers Act 2008**

** NOTE – Changes were made to the Financial Advisers Act by Parliament on 23 June 2010. As a result, the following (link above) material is currently under review by the Securities Commission.

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Ramifications for NZs Financial Planning Industry

Yesterdays headline from the Financial Review says it all.

Source: Financial Review - Australia

Source: Financial Review - Australia

There has been a fair amount of regulatory involvement of late over the ditch regarding Financial Planning, and more specifically its remuneration basis – especially the commission side of things. Some are already objecting to its stringent format.

Tentacles from the companies mentioned, MLC, AXA and AMP do reach NZ.

Just like the changes augured by the new Real Estate Act 2008, Kiwi financial planners and brokers have had to implement the new Financial Advisers Act 2008 too.

I sense some more tightening coming, however there is no doubt that brokers and planners in NZ provide a worthwhile service.

I’ve recently seen two home buyers, who in practically all circumstances should easily have qualified for a mortgage, get turned down, only to later, with the assistance of a broker be successful in gaining that home loan.

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Boomers – Top 5 Value Add ons for your New build Home

From a practicality point of view, Tip 4 is probably the most “wanting” thing that I see missing from new homes, be they for aging boomers or other age categories.


Vertical slide out Pantries

Photo Credit – YES


Because they just make so … much sense.

Walk-in pantries are so last ………….

Conveniences to look forward to with a slide-out…….. are things like;

1] not having to reach over something to get to it.

2] having easy access for bulky / heavier items, that could simply…..because of their weight / obscure handling design.…..just slip from hands under a normal pantry environment

3] assisting to reduce the amount of “out of date” merchandise, mainly by quashing the amount of “I’ll use that one day” but it gets something put in front of it ….pattern


4] just ease of physical use, especially if mobility was ever to be an issue

5] everythings clearer! courtesy of the fact that once everything is rolled / wheeled /or slid out you can so much easier conduct a visual examination of an item rather than trying to dechiper one buried in the corner of a dark corner pantry.

6] pound for pound (oophs thats kilo for kilo) you get more real estate, more storage space


7] almost the single most overlooked part of this equation, you know that sort of “deja-vu” when you look at the final plan, or arrive on site to do a “3/4’s finished construction eyeball” that all of a sudden that space between the fridge and the wall or oven isn’t really that big now……….thoughts spring to a dual width vertical “bookcase style” winerack about now….but theres about another 2-3″ you just can’t figure what to do with.


Forget the bookshelf cubby hole style winerack and use that plus those extra 2-3″ to give yourself a present….yes thats right……..a fantastic pull out vertical pantry.

PHOTO CREDIT –Hettich New Zealand

Download their flyer here. (PC disclaimer here – nope I’m not in any way associated with them – they just are smart when it comes to using the web to show me exactly what can be done, in very clear large photos, and I like that.)

PHOTO CREDIT – thelaminexgroup

There are others too.

Its not hard to see that in the end it just comes down to imagination…….oh and physically possible techniques…….then again even on that front……if its something that you conceive, in the world we live in today, it just might be possible?

To my way of thinking few other innovations in the house can make the difference that this small change can. Talking to just about everyone who has one now in their kitchen, the elevator pitch is just about universal “how did I ever do without one of these?”

Most of those that I have seen in new builds conform to the standard cupboard / shelf width style, but hey theres nothing stopping you from being creative….even as far as having adjustable shelving……remember Point 2] above.

Some folks actually have 2 of them! And in questioning them, if they built again they’d probably go for 3! Now what does that tell you?

You really do owe it to your long term sanity to build one of these into your next new kitchen, heck if you don’t want to pay someone else, watch this and DIY.

And in ending heres a great comment from HowStuffWorks….

Store items in your pantry by category. A well-designed pantry can hold much more than food, including dishes and cookware.

Pots, Pans, cooking bowls, surely the advantage offered by a slide-out pantry must be one of the blessings of life now?

But at the end of the day, in all but 1% of cases, it all comes down to cost, and frankly everyone would have all these extra features and more….as long as it doesn’t cost more than 3% of the build cost……..that’s the figure that all the worldwide research shows could turn the corner.

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