Natalie and Andy were looking at buying their first home.  They wanted to do as much homework as they could before signing an Agreement to buy a property so they could make a ‘clean’ offer if at all possible. This would mean the offer would be more attractive to the vendor as there would be no conditions to be confirmed before they would be bound to go ahead and purchase the property.  However they had no idea where to start in terms of doing homework.

Below are the most common things that purchasers should be considering or looking into when buying a property.

Builder’s ReportThis involves a builder assessing the structural integrity of the property (among other things).

Land Information Memorandum (LIM) Report from the Councilthis gives you all information that Council hold on the property including building consents, flooding and erosion risks etc.

Titlethis involves your legal adviser searching the title (Land Information New Zealand’s record of the property) to the property and advising on any matters that you need to know about like shared access ways or restrictions on what can be built on the land.

Insurance - checking that the property can be insured.  This is a requirement to obtain bank finance too.

Financemaking sure you have sufficient finance to purchase, including mortgage borrowings, Kiwisaver, cash etc.

Legal advice – your expert legal adviser should always review an Agreement for Sale and Purchase before you sign it.  This involves checking the Agreement for any fish hooks and ensuring you are aware of your obligations.  They, together with the real estate agent involved, will also help guide you through the whole purchase process.

It is important to purchase a property having as much information as possible, and to take professional advice as early as possible in the process.