Tis the season to keep your home safe
By Stewart Bunn
With Christmas right around the corner, First National Real Estate is reminding all New Zealanders ‘tis the season to keep your home safe.
For people heading off on holidays, First National Real Estate chairman, Joe Mullins, says Kiwis should be careful to make sure homes are left safe and secure and to think carefully too, if considering a holiday home purchase.
‘Holidays are great times for criminals to get to work if they believe a home is empty. It’s also a time when vacationers ponder their existence as they sit back and enjoy the relaxing lifestyle on offer in popular holiday spots,’ Mr Mullins said.
‘No one likes returning from their holiday to find dead plants, over stuffed mail boxes, or even worse, that a burglary has taken place.
‘But they do like to think about ways of making the holiday euphoria last longer than the few weeks away.’
Mr Mullins said with some careful planning and forward thinking, home owners can find they peace of mind they seek whether they are leaving for vacation or looking for ways to extend it.
‘Anyone considering heading off for a well-deserved rest should start now to put some simple, cost-effective measures in place for while they are away. Unattended homes and cars act as green lights for burglars, which is why it’s important to take as many precautions as you can to ensure you don’t return from your holiday to find you’re a victim of crime.
‘Turning on security lights or alarm systems is a great place to start, but the best thing you can do is ask the assistance of a trusted friend, neighbour or family member to collect the mail each day, put out bins at collection times, park a car in the driveway or adjust curtains and blinds. This helps give an impression of someone still being at home and deters unfriendly and unwelcome visitors.’
According to Mr Mullins, a common trend for people on vacation is to fall in love with the holiday spot and look at purchasing in the area to either move into, or retire to, at some later stage in their lives. ‘It is easy to get carried away with the relaxing lifestyle of a holiday home and many people want to either relive this time away, or adopt it as a new way of life,’ Mr Mullins said. ‘But, purchasing a holiday home should only be done after careful planning and consideration of all the factors, beyond the pleasant experience.
‘A holiday home purchase comes with some financial considerations such as use or purpose of the home when the owner is not there. These matters have potential long-term impacts and tax implications.
Mr Mullins advises when looking to purchase a holiday home, to approach it in the same way you would any property investment and make sure it is in the right location. ‘A holiday home may also double as an investment property, given it is vacant for most of the year,’ Mr Mullins said. ‘So, it is important to ensure it is close to transport or employment opportunities, especially if it is in a regional area, otherwise it will be less desirable as an accommodation option for renters.’
There is a lot more holiday property advice available and every First National Real Estate team throughout New Zealand is ready to help says Mr Mullins.