Posts Tagged ‘House Buying’

Is the RV a Price Guide?

The Rateable Value of a house (or RV) is often quoted in the advertising for a house for sale - the suggestion is that it provides some kind of indication of the market value of the house - but does it?

What is the RV?

The RV is the rateable value or the 'value' of a house set by the local authority for the purpose of determining and allocating rates. The RV is also sometimes known as the government valuation (GV) or capital value (CV).

Why is the Rateable Value Quoted in House Adverts

Real estate agents often mention the RV in advertising, most often this is because people like to know the rateable value! But sometimes it is because the real estate agent or home owner feels that the RV is a good indication of the market value of the house. The RV's relationship to the market value of the house is ultimately up to you to decide, here are some things to consider:

Rateable Value v Price

The rateable value doesn't usually take into account anything that makes a property better or worse than others in the area, for example condition of the house and land, chattels included, landscaping improvements, and so on. Sometimes the RV is a good rough-guide of value but other times it is completely irrelevant.

An RV can be very out of date! RV's are done at least every 3 years - this can be a long time in the property market. Check the date of the rateable value - it may be 2+ years old - and not relevant in the current market.

Should I Use The RV as a Price Guide?

As a rule, you should only use the rateable value in combination with other information, like your own experience or a registered property valuation. If you are looking for the rateable value of a house - you can find out rateable value information on your local council's website for free.

Property Valuation and Rateable Values

One last thing! A registered property valuation done by a registered valuer is not a rateable value or a RV, and a registered valuation should not be referred to as an RV. To find a registered valuer - visit Property Valuation NZ.

Is the Rateable Value a Price Guide

The Propertytoolbox Home Buyers Guide

This information about the RV as a price guide was from the resources section of Property Valuation NZ – the home of the property valuer profile – making it easy for you to make a good decision when choosing a local property valuer.

Property Valuers – Useful for More Than Just a Market Value

Property valuers - in addition to providing property valuations that determine the market worth of houses - can provide consultation. A consultation by a property valuer is usually a verbal report and discussion about the house you are interested in. Why would you want a consultation with a property valuer when you are buying a house? There are lots of reasons!

An experienced valuer has seen lots of houses and is familiar with house types, building eras, construction methods & materials – they also have an understanding of engineering and architecture. This is handy info to have access to!

Valuers also keep up-to-date with local district plans and will be familiar with the Resource Management Act and other relevant legislation and regulations like the Building Code. Insight into this information can be very useful when looking at a house.

And even though a property valuer is usually not an expert in building and engineering matters – they can identify problems that you can then investigate further, using the relevant professional, if necessary.

Property valuers have a lot of knowledge to reference and can give a knowledgeable, and therefore, very useful assessment of the worthiness of a house. They can quickly point out the good and the bad points and, better yet, give an indication as to how this affects, or will affect over time, the market value of a property.

A consultation with a property valuer regarding a house can be good value for money – usually being cheaper than getting a full property valuation report. This expert knowledge is a valuable resource and the availability of property valuers for consultation is handy to know about – if you are after an unbiased property professional to give you an honest opinion – it is the way to go.

Another great way property valuers can help is in estimating of what a house could be worth after planned renovations. You can provide a valuer with a brief of your plans or your drawings and they can give you a post renovation estimate of worth that can help you work out if an investment in renovations is worth it. This is usually done as an add-on to a property valuation – but can be done in a consultation capacity.

So property valuers are not all about market value and are not just a box to tick as part of getting a mortgage – they are a property professional with heaps of great relevant knowledge, and experience – and best of all – they can provide an unemotional, unbiased opinion of the house you are looking to buy.

Interested in find a property valuer to help you out? You know where to go! Property Valuation NZ!

Choosing a Property Valuer – The Valuation Inspection & Report

Last Blog post we got the basic questions to ask a property valuer sorted – now we are getting down to the good stuff - finding out what the property valuer does during the valuation house inspection, and how the property valuation results and property valuation report are delivered. All these questions are answered for you on Property Valuation NZ – so if you want to get straight to finding and comparing local property valuers – head this way.

About the Valuation Inspection and Report


Question 5: How long will it take? When can I expect your report?

The valuer should be let you know when the report will be ready before you hire them. A valuation can usually be done (paper report produced) within 4 days. Many valuers are very accommodating and can work in with your deadlines - good practice for valuers is to not accept the work if they cannot meet your timelines. They should also let you know what is a realistic timeline given your situation - a lot depends on access to the house – this is the biggest delaying factor – if a valuer cannot get into the house it can really impact on delivery times. Valuers can do urgent reports - an urgent report is one that usually needs to be done within 24 hours – an extra cost may apply.

Question 6: Do you fully inspect the property?

You want to be sure that your valuer will fully measure the property, and report any defects. From any property valuer complying with valuer standards – this can be expected. You may also want to know how much of this information will be in the property valuation report. Some valuers give more detail in a verbal report and put the key details in the valuation report – others provide a very comprehensive report – you can let your property valuer know what suits you.

Question 7: Are you available to discuss the valuation results and report if I have any questions?

All property valuers should be willing to go through the report contents with you and back up any findings. Many property valuers will ring you to discuss their findings once they have completed the valuation inspection and determined a market value of your house. Once all has been discussed, the report is produced and sent. Even after you receive the final valuation report your valuer should be available to discuss aspects of the report and to provide consultation.

Question 8: How will the report be delivered?

The majority of valuers will send you the final valuation report as a .pdf via email – which is great as it is convenient and fast.  It is no longer standard practice to send you an original copy of the valuation report – but it is always a good idea to get an original, signed, paper copy of the report sent to you (this may be  the only thing that a bank will accept for purposes of getting mortgage finance).

One final thing  - to be sure that they are the right valuer for you – asking to see a sample report can give you a good idea of what kind out product you will be getting.

Property Valuation NZ asks all these questions for you! Making it easy for you to choose a residential property valuer near you. Looking for a property valuer – Property Valuation NZ has all the info you need.

Property Valuation NZ – Helping You Find a Property Valuer

Looking for a registered property valuer in Wellington? Or anywhere in NZ for that matter? You need Property Valuation NZ! This new website – created by the team here at Propertytoolbox is a website dedicated to property valuation in NZ.

Why was the Property Valuation NZ website created? We wanted to make it easy for you to make an informed choice when you were choosing a property valuation professional to help you with your house purchase. The Property Valuation NZ website does this through ‘Profiling’ NZ property valuers.

Want to hear more about ‘The Profile’? Here at Propertytoolbox we have always recommended a list of standard questions to ask when you are choosing a property valuer, and we suggest that you ask these questions of a few property valuers before you make a choice. But we understand that you’re busy, and you probably will have the deadline of an ‘unconditional by’ date on a sale and purchase agreement limiting your time – so calling one property valuer is hard enough let alone 3 or more! In ‘The Profile’ we have done the question asking for you!

‘The Profile’ is a standardised listing where all property valuers answer the same essential questions about themselves and their property valuation service. Seeing all the valuers are answering the same questions in their profiles – you can compare them apples for apples. Check out the profiles of Wellington property valuers.

Property Valuation NZ also groups these valuers into local areas. This makes it easier to choose a valuer who has experience valuing houses in your area, and considers your area their ‘patch’.

The property valuer profile is a NZ first, giving you insight into your local property valuers and making it quick and easy to choose the right property valuer for you. This NZ property valuer profiling is advertising, and not all property valuers are represented. But those that are have proven themselves open and forthcoming with answers to our property valuer profile questions – that dig deeper…

And there is more – We have expanded on the information about property valuation that we have in the Propertytoolbox website and created a ‘Resources’ section on the Property Valuation NZ website – this is the best place to go to find all you need to know about property valuation related topics.

And this is all in one place - on – we hope we have made it easy and convenient for you to read about and choose a property valuer near you – helping you to make a confident house buying decision.

Currently we only profile property valuers in Wellington, sorry about that! But we will be rolling out all over NZ in the coming months – Property valuers in Auckland, then Christchurch property valuers, and then pretty much property valuers everywhere else in NZ will soon be profile on Property Valuation NZ so watch this space…

So if you are looking for a property valuer in Wellington, or maybe a property valuer in Lower Hutt, or perhaps even a Kapiti Coast property valuer - check out our current registered property valuer profiles on Property Valuation NZ.

Launching the new website has all the team here at Propertytoolbox thinking about property valuation so for the next few weeks we are going to be focusing on property valuation in the Propertytoolbox Blog. Next weeks article – those infamous questions – just what to ask your property valuer before you choose them and why…

Want an instant property valuation information download – Heres all the property valuation information you will need.

House Buying Traps – A Property Lawyers View

There are many things to be aware of when buying a home, it really can be a minefield! One person to carefully listen to the advice of is your property lawyer. They have been through the house buying and selling process with many clients and have lots of great advice - and coming from the legal corner - it is always good advice to pay attention to!

Thanks to the team at Homelegal we have a property lawyers view of 'traps for home buyers'. Read and beware!


1. Misunderstanding the type of property

There are various types of property including fee simple, crosslease, unit title, company share and leaseholds. Each has advantages and disadvantages that you should be aware of prior to purchasing. Misunderstanding the type of property you are purchasing or the interests in the land may result in an unexpected impact on your enjoyment and use of the property.

2. Misunderstanding the agent's role

Always remember the real estate agent is trying to sell the property at the best possible price for the vendor (the person selling the property). Don't show all your cards to the agent at the outset and don't disclose your financial limit to them.

3. Signing agreement under pressure

Putting in an offer can be exciting. Don't feel compelled to sign an Agreement straightaway. Once an Agreement is signed it is a legally binding contract. Make sure you understand what it is you are signing. Get your lawyer to look over it.  If you are unable to make contact with your lawyer get the agent to include a solicitor's approval clause.

4. Insufficient conditions

You have an obligation of good faith to the vendor. You can't use a finance clause, for example, to get out of an agreement if you have simply changed your mind. Carefully consider the reports you wish to obtain on the property before you sign e.g. builder's report, valuation report or LIM report. If any of these reports do not meet the standard you require you are able to cancel the Agreement. However as soon as the conditions relating to the reports are formally confirmed the Agreement is binding on you.

5. Deemed consent conditions

Avoid conditions that are deemed to be satisfied unless you notify the vendor. These are dangerous. If you don't confirm or notify the vendor that the condition is not satisfied they are deemed to be satisfied.

These house buying traps were provided by the team at Homelegal. Looking for more home buying advice? Check out our home buying guide, or to find out just what a lawyer is doing for you during the house buying process our Settlement section has a lot of interesting info.

House Prices in NZ – Where are They Going?

So what direction are New Zealand house prices going? Over the last couple of months Quotable Value has reported a gradual trend of declining house prices all across New Zealand – is this the trend we are going to see for a while? Reading around, down, seems to be the general agreement for the direction of house price in New Zealand, by why? And how far down are they going to go? And how long will this go on for? I am leaving this one up to the experts to answer! I particularly like this article by Bernard Hickey from His thoughts are that NZ house prices have another 10% to fall and he gives 10 reasons why: 1. The cheap foreign credit has dried up. 2. Home loans remain unaffordable for most in the bigger cities. 3. New Zealanders are migrating to Australia again. 4. The property tax changes are hurting more than expected. 5. The developed world is de-leveraging from property bubbles. 6. NZ households have hit debt saturation point. 7. Our debt is relatively high compared to many others. 8. Rents are not increasing in most places. 9. Banks face even more funding pressure. 10. The baby boomers will start selling down their houses and rental properties to free up cash. The article not only has food for thought but also references some great resources. So check it out now Opinion: 10 reasons why New Zealand house prices have another 10% to fall – by Bernard Hickey. But don’t let all this doom and gloom put you off buying a house! Check out our house buying guide, it has all the tips, advice and information you need to make a great house buying decision!

The Building Report Says There is a Problem…

It is always a good idea to get a building inspection before you commit to buying a house – either before making an offer or as a condition in your sale and purchase agreement.

When you get a building inspection done you are hoping that everything comes out OK, with maybe the odd minor maintenance issue identified here or there in the building report – but what if there is something unexpected, something big, something that leaves you dazed and confused? Here is a summary of our advice on what to do…

First things first – are you still thinking of buying the house? If not – this is the easy bit – walk away! Tell your lawyer you are not going unconditional, or just don’t make that offer – easy! Or maybe not so easy as you have already invested time, money and emotion into the house...

So you are still interested in buying the house.  Now you need to work out how serious the problem is – a good person to question initially is your building inspector – you need to make sure that you fully understand the problem that they have identified in the building report. Remember, your building inspector is not an expert in all aspects of building so if a particular problem has been identified it is best to speak to, or get quotes from, an expert in the area.

Now that you have the full picture of the extent and cost of the problem you can make a decision with all the facts to hand. Now you can walk away, or continue as if nothing has changed, or begin re-negotiations with the vendor - either negotiating down the price or asking the vendor to fix what is wrong with the house.

If you have obtained this building inspection before even beginning negotiations you are now in a much stronger negotiating position. You can start price negotiations fully armed with exactly what is going on with the house and adjust your price accordingly.

If you and the vendor come to an agreement that involves the vendor having to complete work, or anything changes on a previously agreed sale and purchase agreement, or anything else at all, this needs to be formalised in the sale and purchase agreement by your lawyer.

Finding something wrong during a building inspection is the main reason why you need to give yourself plenty of time to get a building inspection done – at least 5 working days is a minimum! You never know what you are going to find, and what processes you are going to have to go through after getting the building inspection and reading the building report.  So give yourself plenty of time and don't rush any decisions.

For a more comprehensive rundown of your options when there is something wrong with the building inspection – head here.

We have more great advice, tips and information about house buying in our house buying guide - make sure to check out the section 'I've found a house!'


A Property Title Search – What Is It?

A property title search or title check is a search and check done by your property lawyer or conveyancer of the records held by Land Information NZ (LINZ) regarding a house or property.

What Can I Find Out From a Property Title Search?

A title check establishes:
  • Who the owner of the property is.
  • Type of title i.e. freehold (fee simple), cross lease, leasehold, company share or unit title.
  • Any covenants or right of ways.
  • Any easements.
  • Boundaries.
  • Any other interests in the property (e.g. mortgages)

What Do the Results of the Property Title Search All Mean?

Freehold? Cross lease? Easement? Confusing! For explanations of all of these terms – head to our definitions section.

A lot of information can be found in a title check – your lawyer or conveyancer is an expert at working out exactly what is going on and can highlight any potential issues.

A title check can bring some information to light that can really affect the price you are prepared to pay – perhaps the title type is not what you expected, or the boundaries do not correspond with the fences, or easements are a problem.

Implications of covenants or right of ways may affect your enjoyment of the house, or put a stop to plans you have for the house (extensions or additions). Therefore it is a really good idea to get a title check done before you make an offer.

Making an Unconditional Offer?

If you are buying through auction or tender getting a title check done before making you offer is especially important. Commonly, the normal vendor warranties (promises) about features of the property and the purchaser’s right to requisition (raise objections to) the title are deleted from the sale and purchase agreement in the case of auction or tender.

This means you need to get your lawyer to check the title and any other reports on the property before the auction or the lodgement of a tender as you have forgone your legal right to raise objections by signing an agreement with the vendor warrantee clause crossed out.

Property Title Search


The Propertytoolbox Home Buyers Guide

The title is one of a few things your lawyer should check for you before you make an offer. This information is all part of the Propertytoolbox home buying guide.

I Want To Buy A House – Take Your Time…

You have just seen the perfect house, you have looked at so many, you have missed out before, the real estate agent is asking when they can come around with the paperwork! It is all a bit of a rush... if you feel you can - take your time - sleep on it!

10 key rules 1-img At least take the time to make a few checks. First double check your 'not negotiable' list – this list is not a wish list it is an ‘absolutely must have list’ - it is the list where you have worked out what you need in a new home. If the house doesn’t tick every box then it is either the wrong house for you or your list needs some work! We have some tips on how to make a ‘not negotiable’ list here.

Another good thing to think about at this point is what you want to achieve with this house purchase, what did you picture when you thought about a new home? Did you see your kids going to a great local school? Did you see weekends gardening? Did you imagine an office room or a spare room for guests? Did you imagine yourself renovating, maintaining or putting your stamp on a house? Did you see your family somewhere safe and warm? And how much did you want to spend?

It is a big decision, and it could be an expensive mistake if you get it wrong. So after sleeping on it and applying some rational though - you could be surprised at how your feelings have either firmed or wavered.

So take your time to make your decision, could this house be your home? If it is the right house for you it will still be available, and if it is not, there really will be another!

‘Sleep on it!’ Is the 1st of the Propertytoolbox ‘10 Key Rules before you make that offer’ – check out the other nine!

Want some more helpful advice for the house hunt? The house buying guide has it all!

And if you want a helpful tool for deciding just what it is you want in a house - the Propertytoolbox house visiting checklist is a good place to get some ideas.

I’ve Got My LIM Report – Now What?

Your LIM Report has arrived from your local council for the house you are looking to buy – now what! There is a lot of information in a LIM Report and knowing what to look for, knowing what it serious and what is minor, and wondering what is missing can make assessing the LIM Report a daunting task – you went to the time and effort of getting it – make the most of it.

Getting a LIM Report

You may have ordered your LIM as part of working through your conditions on an agreed sale and purchase agreement, or you may not have agreed the sale yet - the house may be for sale by auction or tender and you feel that a LIM is important to have before deciding on a price for the house – whatever the reason - the LIM Report needs to be gone over carefully.

Looking Over Your LIM Report

Read through the summary pages – potential issues are likely to be obvious here. Then dive into the main contents of the LIM. Look for outstanding financial obligations, resource consents, building permits, and related plans. Check that all issued consents have been signed off. For building work from 1992 onwards, check that a code of compliance certificate has been issued for works completed.

Take your personal knowledge of the property, its buildings, retaining walls, land use and the surrounding properties and the area and consider that against the information contained in the LIM. You should ask questions of the seller and the council if you find differences.

Getting Expert Help With the LIM Report Analysis

It is always a good idea to look over the LIM report with your lawyer when you receive it. Your lawyer’s experience and expertise regarding LIMs, combined with your knowledge of the property and your thoughts on what you intend to do with the property, will ensure that the LIM is understood and the full implications of any aspects of the LIM are realised.

Get additional expert help from a valuer or builder (the councils ‘on duty’ building officer is a great free resource), or any other relevant professional if you feel you need it to get the full picture.

What To Do With the LIM Report Results

Consider what impact the findings of the LIM report will have on your enjoyment of the property and the value of the property before you make your decision on whether this is the house for you.

Your LIM Report - What You Need to Know

The Propertytoolbox House Buyers Guide

For all you need to know about LIM’s check out the Propertytoolbox information on LIMs. For everything else there is the Propertytoolbox Home Buyers Guide.