A mortgage broker can be your trusted adviser providing introductions and connections to help you with the whole process of buying a home or an investment property in New Zealand.
Stuart Wills (that’s me) has worked as a mortgage broker in Auckland since 1997 and it is hard to imagine the number of first home buyers, property investors and overseas property buyers that have used our services to finance the property purchases.
Buying Property In New Zealand
If you are currently living outside on New Zealand but planning to emigrate or return to live here then you may wish to purchase your new home before returning. The advantage is you can lock in the price now and therefore budget more easily for when you arrive here.
Of course New Zealand has some great locations and this may be your major decision – where to live.
There are two major websites that list properties; Trade Me Property and my favorite Realestate.co.nz which has a great search function. Another website that is popular in the interest.co.nz website that has the current mortgage interest rates available from most of the banks and non-bank lenders here.
The house buying process is very easy here.
The process of purchasing a house in New Zealand is quite straightforward in comparison with many other countries.
When you have found a property you like, you then put in a written offer, usually through the real estate agent who has shown you through the property. In New Zealand, a verbal offer to purchase a property is not considered to be legally binding.
Your offer must be completed in writing using a Sales & Purchase Agreement, and is usually made conditional on factors such as mortgage finance, title searches and sometimes building reports or property valuation. When all the terms of the sale (including the purchase price, settlement and possession dates and any other conditions you may require) have been agreed to by the buyer and the seller, a contract will be signed.
Once the Sales & Purchase Agreement is signed and dated, you may be required to pay a deposit (usually 10% of the agreed purchase price) which your solicitor will hold for you. Sometimes this is not due until all of the conditions have been met.
This contract is legally binding, and therefore neither party can pull out of the transaction once it has been signed, unless one or more of the conditions of the contract are not able to be satisfied. For example, if your offer has been made conditional on you gaining mortgage finance, and you are unable to obtain that finance, you are entitled to withdraw from the contract on that basis.
Once all the conditions of the contract have been met to the satisfaction of both parties, the sale is then considered to be unconditional and is fully binding.
At this point, your deposit is normally released to the owner and will not be refunded should you fail to settle for any reason. There is also usually a clause in the contract for interest to be paid on the remainder of the purchase price if you are late to settle the balance of the purchase price on the due date and for any reason.
Understanding Property Investment In New Zealand
Property investment in New Zealand is really quite simple and is available for residents and non-residents; albeit there are some tax implications that you will need to consider. The great thing is you can still buy investment properties that produce enough rental income to cover a reasonable mortgage, plus cities like Auckland are seeing some significant price gains which add to the overall return that you may expect to receive.
There are some great books on property investment – the principals are the same all over the world.
Good New Zealand mortgage brokers will offer more help than just finding the best home loan, they will also be able to offer advice on all the facets of buying in New Zealand and help connect you with the other professionals that you will need.You can leave the financial issues to the New Zealand mortgage brokers who will know which bank will suit your situation the best.
Mortgage Link have offices throughout the country which makes them an ideal choice for finding a mortgage broker to work with.
I personally operate as a mortgage broker with Mortgage Link in Auckland and we have inquiries most weeks from buyers living outside of New Zealand. Some of those people are Kiwi’s living overseas, quite a few are people who are planning to shift to our country and then there are some who never have nor plan to live in New Zealand but who see the investment opportunity that we have here for property investors.