Is a commercial property investment more difficult to man... Is a commercial property investment more difficult to manage than a residential one?
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How do we choose the right real estate agent?

​Where can I get help?

At First National Real Estate, we're here to help you. Contact a First National Real Estate agent prior to moving into their area, and get chatting. They are well placed to give you general information and advice about your upcoming move.   They can also add you to our database of potential property buyers or renters, and can send you updates when properties that suit your needs and preferences become available.

How can I generate income from livestock on a Lifestyle Block?

If you want your lifestyle block to generate some income while you hold on to your current job, farming may be an option.  If you're going to run a small farm or "hobby farm" as they are sometimes known, consider farming only low-maintenance animal breeds. Be realistic with your expectations. Hobby farms rarely make a significant profit, but they can produce income to help balance your daily living costs.

Low-maintenance livestock breeds recommended for lifestyle blocks include:
  • Goats
  • Sheep
  • Alpacas & Llamas
  • Cows
  • Chickens
  • Ducks
  • Pigs
  • Rabbits
As you’ll likely have only a small supply of livestock on your block, you'll want to market your animals (when it comes time for sale) using niche or value-added marketing. Raise an animal species that can be marketed to a specific demographic, or local wholesalers, or local restaurants. Free range chickens and ducks, for example, are in constant demand, and don't take a lot of space to farm.

Consult your First National Real Estate agent. We'll advise whether the property you are considering is suitable for the particular livestock choice you have in mind. 

Should I sell my current property?

It can be difficult to decide whether to sell your home or not, when you are considering moving to a retirement village or retirement home. Make sure that you've considered all possibilities, and the financial outcomes of each.  Some reasons you might decide to sell your existing family home include:
  • You no longer need as much living space as you did and a smaller home would be easier to maintain
  • You’re struggling to cover day-to-day living expenses and most of your wealth is locked up in your home
  • You have good reasons to suspect you would get a higher price from selling your home now than in the next few years
  • Your home is properly prepared and well presented for sale
  • Real estate agents and financial advisors you've consulted are comfortable that selling your home now will help you achieve your financial goals
If you do wish to sell your home, talk to our First National Real Estate agents.

Is buying into a timeshare property a good investment?

Buying a timeshare property can be a low-cost way to initially invest in a holiday home, but there are often hidden costs that are not always immediately apparent. If you’re looking into a timeshare investment, make sure to consider the following:
  • There may be extra costs other than those associated with purchasing your timeshare rights. These might include hidden fees, levies that rise over time, and future obligations to fund repairs and maintenance. Make sure you understand all the costs involved before signing anything.
  • Do not expect to make money reselling your timeshare rights. While it is possible these will increase in value in some instances, it is not a common occurrence.  Many owners lose up to half of their investment when reselling.
  • Some timeshare purchasers end up even worse off, because the value of the property they have invested in depreciates drastically over time. Make sure you understand how long your investment will last, along with the obligations property owners have to reinvest in the property.
  • In an economic downturn, demand for your timeshare period may decrease, particularly outside of peak holiday weeks. As money gets tight, people tend to take less holidays, not more.
  • While timeshare sales people may try to sell you on the benefits of being able to swap your timeshare rights for those in different properties, make sure you investigate how active the exchange market really is. If the swapping process is difficult, inconvenient, or costly, or there are not enough participants willing to swap, then the promised benefits may never materialise.
  • Make sure to investigate the quality of any properties you wish to swap your rights to, and make sure they are of comparable quality and desirability to the one you are investing in.
A well run timeshare scheme can provide a low cost and flexible way for you to access a holiday home, especially in prime tourist locations.  If you're looking for an investment that offers a positive return or capital gains, consider other options. 

Should we sell before we buy?

It’s always a good idea to find a buyer for your current home before committing to purchase another.
  • With your current property sold, you’ll know exactly how much money you’ll have available to spend on your next property.  If you are downsizing, you can then work out how much you'd like to spend on your new home, and how much cash the downsizing will free up to support your lifestyle.
  • If you buy a new property first, you may find yourself in the position of having to make mortgage repayments on two houses at the same time.  If your first home doesn’t sell quickly, or for the price you expected, you might put yourself under unnecessary financial strain.
If you have the financial means, consider keeping your first property as a rental and using the income to help finance your next home. Talk to a financial advisor or mortgage broker for any financial advice needed.

Can I take my pet on holidays with me?

Some holiday rental accommodation is pet friendly, but check with the owner or real estate agent first about what is permissible on the premises. Most pet friendly holiday homes will ask you to bring your pet’s own bedding.  Some holiday homes may additionally require you to keep your pet outside. 

What is a Tenancy Bond?

When you move into a rental property, most landlords will ask for an amount equivalent to a few weeks of rent (usually four weeks) up front, for security. This is called a Tenancy Bond and gives the landlord funds that can potentially be used in the event of any tenancy issues. The maximum bond amount that a landlord may ask for is 4 weeks’ rent.

It's important that a Tenancy Bond is held independently.  New Zealand Tenancy Bonds must be lodged by the landlord with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment within 23 working days of being collected.

At the end of a tenancy, the landlord may claim for any breaches of the Tenancy Agreement such as damage caused to the property, non-payment of rent, removal of chattels or for cleaning purposes.  If there are any disputes over how much of the bond should be refunded, either the landlord or the tenant can make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal for mediation or, if necessary, a legal decision.
If there are no claims made by the landlord, the full amount of the Tenancy Bond will be refunded to the tenant.

Should I be looking to invest in a new or existing home?

New homes are generally clean, fresh, modern and energy efficient.  Older homes are more established so any building problems are known, and they tend to be in areas with more services and facilities nearby.  There are advantages and disadvantages associated with each choice.   Here are some points to consider:

Buying an old home
  • Older properties are often cheaper than new ones, but this is not always the case.  House prices will largely depend upon the home location and condition.
  • Older homes sometimes have charming period features that modern homes don't have.  These features include higher ceilings, unique architectural features and quality New Zealand native timber floors.
  • Older properties may need upgrading of their heating and cooling systems, electrical wiring, plumbing and roofing.  Sometimes these improvements can lead to good capital gains, so the expenses are offset against resale values.
Building a new house
  • New homes are designed to suit modern lifestyles so will appeal to a wider range of tenants (and some owners).
  • There can be additional tax benefits from purchasing new properties, including the ability to claim depreciation.  Consult a taxation specialist or other financial specialist to discuss your individual situation.

Is it a good idea to buy a property 'Off the Plan'?

Buying a property before it has been built has advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages of buying off the plan
  • In a rising market, real estate purchased off the plan can end up being worth much more than what you paid for it by the time construction is complete and the settlement date has arrived.
  • Where this occurs, investors can realise a substantial capital gain just days after settlement, without having invested much more than an initial deposit.
Disadvantages of buying off the plan
  • As you’re buying something that doesn’t yet exist, you can’t be 100% confident it will end up exactly as you expected it to.
  • If you’ve speculated on a quick profit and the market moves in the wrong direction during the construction period, you could be left struggling to find a buyer.  As a result, you might have to accept a significant loss.
  • Often, architects plans are amended mid-construction due to the inevitable obstacles that arise during the construction period. This could result in the finished property being different to what you signed up for.
  • It’s difficult to gauge from looking at a plan whether the quality of eventual construction will be up to the standard you expect or not.  Some builders provide show homes or show apartments that you can visit before ordering.
  • Delays in construction can upset your financial plans, and may result in money being tied up for much longer than anticipated.   Many builders have insurance to cover this eventuality, but this is not always the case.
  • It isn't common for developers to go bankrupt during apartment or building construction, but it can happen, and is therefore a risk for investors.

What else does the Tenancy Tribunal do?

The Tenancy Tribunal can help with any disagreements between landlords and tenants, or general Tenancy Agreement breaches.  Commonly raised issues are Tenancy Bond repayment disputes, overdue rent payments, and property damage.
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