Hi Guys!

Long time no speak.
Sorry I disappeared on y'all but I have had a lot of settling in to Kiwiland to do.

I agree with everything that you have written and there isn't much that I can add to it. I have been doing lots of research on house buying lately and although I haven't actually got a property in my name yet I have successfully negotiated one already although I did have to walk away from it.

My advice:
Get a solicitor involved at an early stage, preferably before the offer stage but if you don't know where to find a good one or think that there is a possibility that you might need to move quickly... make sure that you have a copy of the official sale and purchase agreement form from the Real Estate Institute of NZ and the Auckland Law Society, DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING ELSE... It is currently in the Seventh edition (although a revision is due soon). Most reputable agents will use this exact form for their business or you can order them from http://www.adls.org.nz/products/form...y/property.asp.

Important clauses to consider adding at the end are
"Subject to solicitor approving the Unit Title arrangements" ESSENTIAL ie - Is the house theirs to sell? What rights would be conferred?
"Subject to solicitor approving all local authority matters" This is important because this includes the LIM but is also a useful get out incase anything fishy crops up in any of the searches. For instance, if your home's own sewage pipe turns out to run under a main road, you would be responsible for it's maintennance.
"Subject to solicitor approving the minutes of the last Body Corporate Meeting and AGM" Only if applicable... this applies to flats and units, the agent will know if it applies.
"Subject to valuation and builders report" - very important but try to get at least the valuation done before you put the offer in so that you know that you are not being ripped off. Once you are able to drop these clauses you are one step ahead of the competition in being ready to proceed.
"Subject to obtaining suitable finance" - It has already been discussed how important the word "suitable" is, you don't want the seller offering you a 60% APR loan that you are obligated to accept.

That said, whereever possible, you should still get the offer reviewed by a qualified legal person first to ensure that you are not going to be stung.

Anyway, back to the importance of the LIM. I very almost bought a house today, we had spent a fortnight negotiating it and it seemed to be a bargain. The price negotiated was already 10% below the valuation by an independent valuer but when the LIM came in it disclosed that the house was basically built on quicksand and had been declared uninhabitable due to flooding as recently as two years ago. Thank god for clause two. ;-)

Speak to you soon all,