Property Briefs

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Grants available to insulate rental properties

Recent changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 require all rental properties to have ceiling and underfloor insulation meeting a set standard, where reasonably practicable, by 1 July 2019.

A limited number of grants (for 50% of the cost) are available through Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes, on a first-come-first-served basis for rental properties occupied by low-income tenants and are not owned by a government agency. The criteria are:

  • Rental property was built before 2000
  • The named tenant has a Community Services Card, and
  • The named tenant has been referred by the Ministry of Health’s Healthy Homes

It’s important to keep your tenants warm and dry. To find out more, click here.

Your KiwiSaver funds – more flexible that you might think

By now, most first home buyers are aware that they can use a portion of their KiwiSaver balance to contribute towards the equity in their house purchase.

What isn’t commonly known is that it’s possible to have a home owned by a trust, or partly owned by a trust, or a home owned in part shares by other people (parents, for example) and you can still use your KiwiSaver funds to contribute towards the purchase.

This flexibility comes with certain conditions, the usual one being that the person using their KiwiSaver must use the property as their primary place of residence.

If you want to buy your first home using a trust as your ownership structure, or want an ownership structure that allows you to be flexible with parents or other sources of cash which contribute towards the equity position, it’s well worth talking with us and your KiwiSaver provider to see if this will work for you.

More on multi offers

In a property market short of stock, buyers are hearing that their offer “might be a multi offer.” This creates a lot of confusion and uncertainty. Although we covered multi offers in our Summer 2016 edition, we believe it’s worth reiterating our advice in this tight real estate market.

Once you see a property to buy, you’ll need to get your offer prepared, checked and presented quickly.

First in – first served. Right? Wrong! There are no real rules around how offers are to be presented to sellers by real estate agents. If one buyer makes a written offer, but the agent knows a second party is also wanting to make an offer, the agent is in a difficult position. Their client (the seller) will want to view all of the offers and most sellers are prepared to wait until all offers are ready to be presented. This can often mean a situation that started out as a single offer, can quickly evolve to a multi offer situation.

As a prospective buyer, what do you do if you have invested time and money getting an offer prepared, thinking you would be the only one?

There’s no simple answer unfortunately. It’s the real estate agent’s responsibility to treat each purchaser fairly. The only real way to do this is for them to put the first offer on hold until all other prospective buyers also have their offers ready.

This results in almost every listing being a de facto multi offer. In order to manage and protect your own expectations, you should approach a purchase with this in mind.

Real estate agents are not the only ones who can prepare and present offers to the seller. A buyer can instruct their lawyer to prepare an offer and present to the seller’s lawyer which has the effect of getting around the multi offer process.

If you are experiencing multi offer situations, talk with us on how best to protect yourself and give yourself the best chance of succeeding with your purchase.

 

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