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Surrounding yourself with property experts is not just a good idea; it’s absolutely necessary. And while it sounds expensive, you don’t have to go full-Thomas-Crown to get the advice you need.  Today we look at who you need on your quick dial list.

Note: all costs are obviously based on the typical costs.  They may vary so make sure you ask first.

Compared to investment property buyers, first home buyers don’t need as many property experts. For instance, tax advice isn’t as important to consider. You do need a few advisers on hand though.

Mortgage Advisers (cost of property experts: $0)

When to get this property expert: the first person you should talk to

It’s not just a self-serving ad for our services… one of the first people you need to be in contact with is a good Mortgage Adviser. They will be able to tell you what you can afford and, possibly more importantly, what you can do to increase the amount you can purchase. 

KiwiSaver Adviser (cost of property experts: $0)

When to get this property expert: once you know you can borrow a mortgage

If this is your first home, you may be eligible to withdraw your KiwiSaver. Even if you don’t want to use it, it’s an opportune time to check your Prescribed Investor Rate is correct. 

Solicitor (cost of property experts: ~$1,500)

When to get this property expert: when you’re starting to seriously look at houses

While the bulk of a Solicitor’s work is done at the end, it’s a good idea to engage one early. Make sure they are on the same page as you and that they are within your budget. Do they do a lot of work with first home buyers? Or are they a classically corporate law firm? Once you find a property, you may need to get your Solicitor to look over the Title and Sale & Purchase, so call one today and get on their books. 

Life and Health Insurance Adviser (cost of property experts: $0)

When to get this property expert: when you’re starting to seriously look at houses

If you don’t already work with an Adviser, it’s time to get one onboard. Purchasing a house means a significant amount of your income goes towards your mortgage and your old Income Protection policy may not be the best fit. There are plenty of insurance policies out there that can almost double the amount you get paid out but cost the same as your normal Income Protection policy. Call your local Life and Health insurance adviser and let them know you’re in the market for a new house. 

Our book “The Successful First Home Buyer” walks you through each step to present yourself to the bank as the perfect first-home buyer. Available in paperback at The Book Depositary or on Amazon Kindle.

Fire and General Insurance Adviser (cost of property experts: $0)

When to get this property expert: when you’ve made an offer on a house

You’re buying a house so you need to know how to get the best insurance for it. There are plenty of off-the-rack policies you can go to. However getting advice around which company has the best cover, particularly if you are in an earthquake prone area, has huge benefits. Fire and General brokers don’t usually charge for advice but do charge a premium on top of their insurance. The additional cost is well worth it when it comes to claim time though!

Real Estate Agent (cost of property experts: $0)

When to get this property expert: when you know you can borrow a mortgage

I know what you’re thinking – the Real Estate Agent is just there for the vendor. But this isn’t true. A good agent will often help buyers find the right property by looking through their listings. We have had many clients buy “off-book” by keeping in touch with a good Agent and receiving listings from them – often before they even go to market. The key is to understand that the Agent gets paid if they introduce you to the listing. If you turn up by yourself, you’re cutting the buyers agent out (and they won’t help you in the future).

Builder (cost of property experts: $100-$400)

When to get this property expert: when you’re starting to seriously look at houses

Depending on the age of the house you are looking at, you may want to get a builder to walk through and check the property. Some will give verbal feedback which is helpful for you but doesn’t have an legal ramifications if they miss something. A more in-depth report will be more expensive but will give you a good list of To-Dos when you finally purchase the house. 

Summary

Note that we have not included a Registered Valuer in the list. This is because the banks now require a Registered Valuer to be ordered through an independent system. This stops you from finding the most optimistic Valuer around and getting a higher than accurate valuation. Don’t order a Valuation before you speak to your Mortgage Adviser.

As you can see, while you need a few experts for the buying process, the overall cost to surround yourself with property experts isn’t terribly high.  If you’re looking at the moment, we highly recommend you get at least one phone number for each category into your phone. When you find the perfect home, you’ll know exactly who to call. 

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