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Thread: The folks who live on the hill

  1. #1
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default The folks who live on the hill

    Here are a few photos of the house and land we recently bought in NZ. We’d only seen it on the Internet and through some photos Taffy and Welshgirl had taken when they visited the property, so we took a tremendous gamble in putting an offer in. It's not something I'd particularly recommend, especially with an older house. The land is 3.5 acres and, as we aren’t residents or citizens of NZ, we weren’t allowed to purchase land of more than 2000 sq. metres. Because of this, the transaction went through under Taffy’s name, as he will be buying part of the land anyway when it’s rezoned for splitting in a few months’ time.

    For those interested, house buying is much simpler in NZ (if all goes according to plan). Due to the sale of our house in Spain we were in a position to buy mortgage-free. We put in an offer, which must be in writing, and then came the wrangling over the price until both sides agreed on the final amount. As there was already an offer on the property (subject to sale of another property), we lost a week because the other prospective buyers had to be given a chance to get their act together (this is to avoid gazumping) and either back out or firm up their commitment by going ahead with the sale. Usually the other buyer gets up to 5 working days to make up his/her mind and, in this case, our competitors took it to the 11th hour before finally standing down, which was rather nerve-wracking. Had they not backed out within the stated time, they would then have had to proceed with buying the house. When putting in an offer, it’s always advisable to cover your back with a few let-out clauses in case you change your mind and decide not to go forward with the deal for some reason. This can be that the offer is subject to the LIM or builder’s report and there is something called the ‘due diligence’ clause, which is good to slip in. An offer with these clauses attached is called ‘going conditional’.

    Once the deal was done, the lawyer did the title search e.g. checking on easements including rights of way, drainage and sewerage, electricity, telephone, gas, etc. He/she would also check what needs to be removed from the title before you settle, such as the seller’s mortgage. Meanwhile Taffy went along to the Council Offices to research the LIM (Land Information Memorandum). A LIM provides information the council holds about the property. It will show whether existing works have received council consent and whether the council requires any remedial work. It might, for example, show a fire burner has been installed without the appropriate certification. This could invalidate insurance on the property (e.g. if the burner caused fire damage). A LIM report will also give you information about any site characteristics (such as contamination, whether it’s liable to flooding, etc) and zoning details.

    You can get another party to do the LIM for you at a cost, but going there and doing it for yourself can save a lot of money (sometimes it’s even for free). It just involves reading through the file on the house to ensure that everything is as it should be. When all appeared to be in order with that, a builder’s report was obtained, which gave the house a clean bill of health. Now that all the clauses in the offer had been satisfied, it was time to go ‘unconditional’, after which we could no longer back out of the deal and a 10% deposit was paid. Following this, there is a 3-week waiting period, possibly to allow all the relevant paperwork to be prepared. At the beginning of the sale process, we were given the date for completion and, when this day arrived, the balance of our payment was handed over and the keys were ours. It all went through very smoothly and everyone seemed to know their part in it. I wouldn’t say that it always goes as smoothly, but generally I think it does.

    Seeing as Taffy was the one who was handling matters from the NZ end, I’m sure he’ll add any omissions I’ve made or correct any details I’ve got wrong.
    Mother Bear

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  2. #2
    nattydread's Avatar
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    Default The folks who live on the hill

    MB, I'm getting a "File is locked" message when I click the link to the photos...
    maybe it's just me..

  3. #3
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default The folks who live on the hill

    Sorry Nattydread, I'd got the file marked as "Private by invitation only'. Thinking I'd invited people by placing the link on the forum, I thought it'd be OK. Now I see it's invitation by email so I've altered it to 'Public'. Hope all is well now. Please let me know if it isn't and I'll look into it further tomorrow. Off to bed now as my pillow is calling me and, hopefully, I won't be dreaming of airplanes tonight .
    Mother Bear

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    selchie's Avatar
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    Default The folks who live on the hill

    It worked for me, so I think you fixed it, MB. Nice property with some lovely views. Congratulations, and hope you all have many happy years there.
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
    - Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, mid-1800s

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    saraian is offline Oh Masterful One
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    Default The folks who live on the hill

    Oh my word you lucky things it looks so wonderful, in fact it's my dream home. We really want a place in the country, I'm starting to feel claustophobic in the suburbs!

    Oh well maybe our time will come at least we are here. :biggrin:

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    Default The folks who live on the hill

    Thanks Selchie and Sara. The house isn’t quite what we’d intended to buy (hoped for modern and this is 1960’s), but serves our purpose with regard to Taffy and Welshgirl’s building project. It was a very difficult task to find something suitable and, whereas the house needs a lot of modernising and redecorating, it has potential and a good feeling to it.

    We’ve already made a start by replacing all the grubby and difficult-to-clean light switches with new and staining the decking and fencing. The fuse board for the electrics nearly gave us a heart attack , as there’s a collection of weird and wonderful antique items in there that need urgent attention. They may be functioning well, it’s just that they look like they didn’t ought to be.

    Outside is an electricity pole that the phone line comes in on as well. It looks like it’s about to crumble into dust at any time, so that might need some remedial work. The garden will be quite a challenge, as the bit around the house, apart from the front area, is all steep-ish embankment. It’ll certainly be a labour of love. The building engineer who did the survey reckoned some of the older houses were much better built than the modern ones, so let’s hope he’s right.
    Mother Bear

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  7. #7
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    Default The folks who live on the hill

    That is a gorgeous place there, I love the way it is nestled in. I like also that the land is not flat as a pancake.

    Just counting down the months till we can get out there

    (hurry up PR!!)

  8. #8
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    Default The folks who live on the hill

    Nice property MB, Taffy and Welshgirl!! Labour of love huh? I am sure it will be!!

    Perhaps when you, Taffy and Welshgirl complete the DIY, we can all come for the house warming!!

    pulsarblu

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    Default The folks who live on the hill

    Thanks Moggy and Pulsarblu. It's a nice feeling being on that little hill, looking down on everyone else (figuratively speaking, of course). Sitting on the back terrace, gazing out over the scene laid out below us is only too easy that I'm afraid work will be forgotten about. This area will become a major comfort zone when we finally move to NZ. I hear that the previous owner is already regretting having moved from the house (they went to Invercargill).
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  10. #10
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    Default The folks who live on the hill

    thats looks like a lovely property and me and others will be very bright with envy!
    Gosh a property like that down and over here in the Deep South would cost an absolute packet.

    Must admit just to be in NZ itself will do even if its small place until we settle and sell up completely in the UK.

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