Buying Auckland Housing

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Are you considering buying Auckland housing and need to know more about the process?

Then read on, it's really not that complicated.........

The regeneration of Auckland city’s waterfront for the 2003 America’s Cup yacht race resulted in the popular Viaduct with it's restaurants, bars and cafés and first class apartments offering the finest luxury accommodation in Auckland and some of the best views in the city.

This generated a lot of new interest in the Auckland housing market and since that time there has been a steady increase in property investment in and around the area.

This is great news for the Kiwi property investor interested in buying Auckland housing for investment but it does mean house prices have now escalated in and around the city to levels that make it difficult for Aucklanders just starting out on the property ladder.

The Process

Once you find your dream property for sale in Auckland you put in your offer, usually in writing, to the seller, if they are selling a house privately, or to the seller's real estate agent.

This offer is of course subject to the usual requirements of raising the required capital, usually in the form of a mortgage and having a local search and house inspection report carried out to check all is well.

If the seller accepts your offer then you will have to pay a ten per cent deposit which is usually held by your solicitor until the terms of the sale have been met by both parties.

At this point a legally binding contract of sale will be drawn up and once signed neither party can withdraw from the transaction. 'Gazumping' is not permitted in New Zealand.

The whole process of buying Auckland housing usually takes around a month from finding your property to taking possession of the keys.

If you are an overseas investor looking for property for sale in Auckland, you will need to apply to the Overseas Investment Commission as there are certain restrictions involved.

Raising the finance

As long as you meet all the usual requirements, the banks will generally lend you up to ninety per cent of the property's purchase price repayable over a twenty five year period.

As well as the property price you will also need to budget for the following extras:-

Solicitor's fees of approximately NZ$1,000
Building inspection report of about NZ$400
Valuation fee of around NZ$400
Transfer fee of around NZ$50
Land Information Memorandum of NZ$150

You will also be required to pay a registration fee of about NZ$50 if you are buying with a mortgage.

All costs including GST (goods and services tax) at 12.5 per cent.

When selling a property in New Zealand you will will have to find your solicitor’s charges (approximately NZ$1000) and estate agency fees (real estate agents in Auckland charge around three per cent of the selling price).

Interest rates vary from bank to bank and whether you opt for a fixed or a variable rate. Currently this is between six and eight per cent.

You may also be able to split the loan and repay some of it on a fixed term and the rest on a variable term, your bank will be able to advise you what's best for you.

The repayment mortgage

The capital and the interest are added together and divided by the number of instalments so you pay equal amounts throughout the term. At the end of the term the house is paid for and belongs to you.

The interest only mortgage

With this kind of mortgage you only repay the interest on the loan. At the end of the term you will still owe the full price of the house. It is important therefore that you invest your money somewhere so that you will have the capital available to pay it off at the end. Your financial advisor or bank will be able to help you make the right decisions about investing.

The reducing mortgage

Your repayments with this kind of mortgage reduce every month. This works by paying a fixed amount off the capital each month and the interest part reducing every month as the interest is paid back. This means your payments start quite high but reduce over time. At the moment in New Zealand there isn't any stamp duty, inheritance tax or capital gains tax (for private buyers and sellers) but there are rumours this could change.

Buying Auckland housing is the same as buying houses anywhere else in the world.

Take your time when choosing property for sale in Auckland. Get to know the area, check out the local schools, health care and transport facilities and visit some of the local real estate agents.

For more advice on buying a home in Auckland we recommend you contact Auckland Homefinders. They are experts in helping new migrants and overseas investors find suitable homes and can advise you on any aspect of buying your home in New Zealand.

Buying a property is a huge investment so it's something you really want to get right. Take your time and do your research.

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