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How to keep moving up the property ladder?

There’s a lot of focus on first home buyers, with Government incentives designed to help save a deposit and get a foot onto the property ladder. Second-steppers – those  who already own a home and are looking to upsize or upgrade – are sometimes overlooked. If you’re one of the second-steppers trying to move up the property ladder, here are a few ways to do that.

Use the equity in your home

Most people assume that once you own a property, it’s easy enough to keep moving up the property ladder. That’s not always the case, but there are a few strategies that can help you climb a little quicker.


As a second-stepper, you’re already in a much healthier financial position as you don’t have to work nearly as hard to build up a deposit when considering buying your next home. If your current home has risen in value thanks to rising property prices in your area, you may already have enough equity to cover your deposit. What’s more, having already

established a good borrowing record, securing finance for your next home is that much easier.


If you don’t have enough equity in your existing home, you’ll need to boost this with savings which means you may have to put your moving plans on hold until you’ve built up a sizeable savings fund or you’ve paid a little more into your existing mortgage.


Look for a deal

One way to keep moving up the property ladder is to look for a deal – a property that may need a little work but will ultimately bring in the bucks if you spend a little time and effort on it.

You could try buying on the outskirts of a desirable area where properties may be more affordable but likely to increase in value over time, or buy “the worst house in the best street” and renovate or refresh to bring it up to standard.


Sometimes just modernising a kitchen or bathroom, a decent paint job or a garden clear out can improve value and help build equity, so try to look beyond the imperfections. 


Refinance your home loan

If you are thinking about moving up the property ladder, it’s a good time to review your existing home loan and think about refinancing. You should also compare your existing home loan with any new deals on the market as there could be an opportunity for improvement.


Working with a professional mortgage broker/adviser from the start can help set you up with the right home loan to maximise your investment. Talk to a Mortgage Express

broker/adviser about arranging your finances to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.


House hunting tips

It’s easy to get carried away in the hunt for the perfect home and end up overlooking important details – like how much it costs – while being blindsided by the amazing features – the size of that kitchen! And if you’re visiting several open homes each weekend, it can be challenging to stay focused. To help you get organised in the hunt for your dream home, here are three house hunting tips.


1. Decide on your must-haves

Before you set out on your house hunting journey, determine your priorities; the things you would like in a property. These could include the area you would like to live in, number of bedrooms or bathrooms, particular features like double glazing or a heat pump, a garden or a garage. Make a note of your budget too!

Write these down and get your family or partner to add their wishlist to yours. Then decide on the top five must-haves.  These are the absolute minimum requirements you simply can’t live without. Keep your priority list close at hand when you start looking so you don’t get distracted in your search.


2. Take notes and compare

It’s not surprising the details become a little blurry after spending several weekends visiting open homes. So, draw up a comparison chart for yourself to help you keep track

of the features at each property you visit, and make notes as you go.  Aside from the basics of the property – number of bedrooms  and bathrooms – take careful note of things like outside areas - the garden and garage, as well as access from outside to inside - how much natural light there is in each room, and how much storage and cupboard space there is.


3. Stay focused and on track

When you visit a home you really like for the first time, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of it and let your emotions rule your mind. After you’ve had a chance to mentally note your first impressions, take a second walk through and focus on your checklist. You may even want to draw a quick floor plan for yourself of the rooms, any doorways, windows, and stairs, so you can begin to visualise your own furniture in the home. Ask the real estate agent for permission before taking any photos or videos.

Don’t forget to check the things outside of your normal vision – like the ceilings, window trim, floors and even under the sink or behind the toilet. And if you do find a property you really like, it’s worthwhile going back for a second viewing as you may notice features you missed the first-time round.  


What to think about before you buy?

There’s a lot to think about when buying a home – and if it’s your first time on the property ladder, it can seem a daunting prospect. Aside from the obvious questions you need to ask

yourself – “will I be able to afford a mortgage?” “where do I want to buy and what type of property do I want?” – it’s important you carefully research the property you’re

intending to buy before committing. Here are 3 ways you can do that.


Do your research

Before buying a property, it’s vital you find out as much as you can about it. You can do this in a number of ways.


1. Title Search

A title search will provide you with all of the records held by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) for a property at a particular time. Along with the owner details, a title search includes a legal description of the property, and any rights

and restrictions against the property, like a mortgage or easements.


You should be able to get a copy of the title search from the real estate person handling the sale of the property, or you can request your lawyer obtain a copy for you directly from

LINZ. Check the date of the title search to ensure it’s up to date.


2. LIM report

A LIM (Land Information Memorandum) Report provided by the local council for a fee, shows the details for a property like the plumbing and drainage, historical information, and

resource consents within 25 metres of the boundaries of the property.


The LIM Report will also show any building consents and code compliance certificates that have been issued for work carried out on the property. Using the LIM report to check

any work that has been carried out by the owner without notification to the local council, could highlight potential issues you may have to deal with in the future.


3. Property Inspection Report

When it comes to applying for finance, being able to demonstrate good saving habits could mean the difference between being approved for finance and being turned down.

A property inspector will check:

  • Outside areas like the fences, driveways and paths, retaining walls and wash lines.
  • Under-floor area areas for structural defects; foundations, piles, timber framing.
  • Areas where there could be damp or mould; insulation, ventilation and ground moisture.
  • Services including plumbing, drainage, electrical.
  • Out buildings including garages, sheds, glasshouses and sleep outs.
  • Exterior cladding checking for weather-tightness, particularly around windows and doors.
  • Roof space and underside of roofing checking insulation and looking for any evidence that the property could be a “leaky building”.
  • Roofing materials, gutters and chimneys.
  • Checking each room to identify the condition of floor, walls and ceiling, along with the presence of services and systems.
  • Bathroom and kitchen fittings.

Once the inspection is completed, you’ll be presented with a full report of the findings

Big decision

Keep in mind your house is likely to be your biggest asset, so it’s worthwhile spending the time (and money) before you commit to ensure it’s the best investment you can make. If you’d like to find out your options for a mortgage, get in touch with Team Cooling and we will pass on our local Mortgage Express adviser contact details who works from the Harcourts Paremata office.

Team Cooling are here to help you every step of the way.  Give us a call on 0800 468738 to discuss how we can help you in your first or next property purchase or by completing the form below


http://www.realestate.co.nz/blog /tips-and-guides/17-things-every-house-hunter-should-know
https://www.aussie.com.au/blog /keep-heart-check-house-hunting /
https://www.aussie.com.au/blog /one-rungtime/https://community.renovate.com/post/How-To-Climb-The-Property-Ladder-Like-A-Pro1-