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Property Experts You Need on Your Team

Surrounding yourself with property experts is not just a good idea; it’s absolutely necessary. And while it sounds expensive, you don’t need to be rolling in cash. In fact, in many cases the advice is free. Today we look at who you need on your quick dial list.

Note: all costs are obviously estimated. They may vary so make sure you ask first.

Mortgage broker (free)

Useful for: home buyers, current homeowners, property investors.

When to get this property expert: As soon as you start preparing to buy a home or investment property, or if you are looking to make changes to your current mortgage.

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 broker. 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 (free)

Useful for: first home buyers.

When to get this property expert: when preparing for a mortgage pre-approval.

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 with a KiwiSaver Adviser if your Prescribed Investor Rate is correct. Many of our Mortgage Lab brokers are also KiwiSaver advisers.

Solicitor (~$1,500)

Useful for: home buyers, current homeowners, property investors.

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 home buyers or investors? 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 the sale & purchase, so call one today and get on their books. 

Life and health insurance adviser (free)

Useful for: first home buyers, current homeowners, property investors.

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. You may have never considered life, health or income insurance before, but now with a big asset to protect it is worth looking into. If you already have cover, now is the time to get it reviewed as 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 insurance policy. 

Fire and general insurance adviser (free)

Useful for: home buyers, property investors.

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 best insure 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 (free)

Useful for: home buyers, property investors.

When to get this property expert: when you have a mortgage pre-approval from a bank.

We 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 buyer’s agent out (and they won’t help you in the future).

Accountant ($ varies)

Useful for self-employed buyers and property investors

When to get this expert: when you’re preparing to apply for mortgage pre-approval, if not sooner.

If you’re self-employed the bank will want two years of financial records and IRD returns. Generally the bank asks for accounts completed by an accountant as they are looking for  the reassurance of a third party verification of the accounts. If your accounts are very simple then the bank may accept IR returns in the place of accountant verified financials.

If you’re looking to invest in a property an accountant will help you identify the best legal and financial setup to maximise your profit.

Builder for building inspection ($100-$600)

Useful for: home buyers, property investors.

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 any 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. 

Why no registered valuer?

You may have noticed that we haven’t 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 broker.

Summary

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. If you use one of our Mortgage Lab brokers, ask them about their network of professionals and they will provide you with some recommendations.

If you find our articles useful…

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