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Thread: Tips & Tricks to buy a first house in Auckland.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    35

    Default Tips & Tricks to buy a first house in Auckland.

    Hello everyone!

    It's been more than a year for me being in Auckland. I have shifted 3 rental houses for several reasons (house not insulated, landlord sold the property,leaky, etc...) and now i am thinking if its wise to buy a house. On seeing the house prices i am scared to step in. Any tips or tricks from someone who has recently gone through this and bought a house, or process of buying a house, some one who has done some research and open to share information is much helpful for me and forum member:

    Not sure if this is feasible , but i want to buy a house,

    1. In a good neighborhood and Safe Area
    2. With good primary school
    3. Distance to city is not a major concern, but have good transportation
    4. affordable price (cant afford more than 550K)
    5. Not very old and not more maintenance / repair
    6. 2-3 BR is fine

    I have started working on to find out answers for all these initial questions and will keep the forum posted.

    Also please advise when and how to start the process :-)

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Waimauku near Auckland
    Posts
    502

    Default

    Use this weblink to identify areas of Auckland that you fancy and can afford http://affordability.org.nz/ and engage a mortgage broker to find the best mortgage package for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rogercruse View Post
    Use this weblink to identify areas of Auckland that you fancy and can afford http://affordability.org.nz/ and engage a mortgage broker to find the best mortgage package for you.
    Many thanks rogercruse for your information!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    NZ (Auckland; via Canada)
    Posts
    1,333

    Default

    We went through this exactly a year ago here in Auckland. Here are a few tips:

    1.) any house that is perfect--fully decorated and immaculate grounds--will attract the offshore folks who are more than happy to pay up to 2x c.v. We dropped out of every auction on such properties because they went 100k$ more than our budget.
    2.) look for a house that is structurally sound and livable, with a mind to update it incrementally over time.
    3.) Anything in a "grammar zone" will go for stoopid money. Something in an area with decent schools will be much more affordable. Though we don't have kids we were quickly made aware of how important school access correlates with selling price.
    4.) Westpac's Hidden gems list was very helpful. We focused on search in these suburbs and eventually bought in one we'd never heard of before: New Windsor.
    5.) We asked our friends and everyone seemed to be migrating to Kiwibank for their mortgages. We found their rates and packages yonks ahead of our primary banks. We've now switched all our stuff to Kiwibank. Their mortgage reps are super helpful.

    Your price point means you possibly could get a 2 bedroom former state house that needs work. It'll probably be a cross lease rather than freehold. Such places are around in Hillsborough, Mt. Wellington and the South Auckland suburbs.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    412

    Default

    Hi Guru,
    As you do not seem to have a problem with transport a possibility might be Stanmore Bay in Whangaparoa the houses are very reasonable and there are some good schools around, also a lovely place to live, but perhaps not if you work in South Auckland!! enter Stanmore Bay and Rodney in the space

    http://www.realestate.co.nz/resident...y_types/1/subu

    Gran
    Last edited by Gran; 2nd December 2014 at 02:27 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Auckland, NZ
    Posts
    14

    Default

    A few things that worked out for me:

    - If you like a place, go to the auction just to see what happens. It might go for $100k over your budget, or it may get passed in for some reason. If it gets passed in and you think it's a good one, then make a conditional offer and see what happens. Auctions are just as stressful for the seller as for the buyer and if the place doesn't sell they may be keen to accept a conditional offer. That gives you a bit of space to satisfy any concerns you (or your bank) may have about the place, and you can walk if the concerns are unresolvable.

    - It's hard to find auction results, but there are a few places to look. http://www.northshoreauctions.co.nz/index.php/results is a place to see the results of Harcourts auctions in the North Shore. There's no data associated with them but often you can google the addresses and still come up with an advertisement for each place.

    - If you don't have to travel into town regularly, consider Waiheke. It's such an amazingly laid-back and beautiful place to be. I've got friends who bought there a couple of years back and they insist that it's worth all the time/$$ they spend on the ferry (both of them work in town). Every visit, I get off the ferry and feel my pulse slacken and my mood lift - it's magical. Just remember to factor in ferry costs when thinking about how much you could afford there.

    - Don't discount older housing. It's usually made of solid native timbers and is of equal or greater quality craftsmanship. Deferred, dodgy maintenance affects 10 year old houses just as badly as 50-100 year old houses, so it's better to use a trustworthy builder and look for signs of a decent standard of maintenance rather than rely on a place being newer.

    - Adjust your expectations on space. For example, do you *really* need a garden? Consider whether there are amenities in the neighbourhood that reduce the need for having it at home. Many parts of Auckland have an amazing quantity of parks and beaches that are walking, scooting, or cycling distance. If you need inspiration, investigate the tiny house movement a bit and think about what can be achieved in smaller space. If you're thinking of a guest room, it might be worth critically assessing how often that room would be in use for guests, and whether it would be better/cheaper for you to offer to subsidise off-site accommodation for those guests.

    - Our top-end price range was similar to yours. I do need to travel to the city during the week so public transport there was important in my search. I focussed on the west side of the North Shore (Glenfield, Birkenhead, Beach Haven) and in a few neighborhoods of south Auckland (Otahuhu, Hillpark). We got insanely lucky and wound up in a fabulous apartment in Devonport near where I'd been renting, hence my first suggestion. There's a 3bd townhome for sale in Birkenhead right now that is probably in your price range. I can vouch for the complex (I have good friends who live there and have visited them several times) http://www.trademe.co.nz/812817396.

    So there are a few things. If you do decide to take the plunge I wish you luck!

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