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Selwyn Times: February 14, 2018

2 12 [Edition datE] What

2 12 [Edition datE] What to ask at an open home It’s easy to get carried away when you’re searching through property listings for the house of your dreams. But if you’re not careful, home buying can become a nightmare. “Buying a property is a complex and potentially stressful process, not least because it involves such a scary amount of money,” says Kevin Lampen-Smith, chief executive at the Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA). “It’s smart to do as much as you can to reduce the risk of unwelcome surprises or unexpected costs further down the line.” In the first instance, Lampen-Smith recommends drawing up a list of questions to ask about properties you’re interested in. “Remember that you can ask the real estate agent anything you like about the property,” he says. “They are also required to tell you everything they know and not withhold any details.” If you’re not sure what to ask, here’s a handy list of questions. Open homes can be busy, so ask the agent if you can talk on the phone, or send questions via email. - Have there been any issues with the property, such as earthquake damage or water-tightness? - Are there any offers on the property, or have any contracts been cancelled by potential buyers? - How long has it been on the market? What is the seller’s preferred settlement date? - What maintenance, repairs or improvements have been carried out? Do these have permits? - Is there a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) available or a building report prepared by an accredited property surveyor? - Is the property well-maintained? What condition are the roof, piles, wiring, and plumbing in? - Is the property insulated? If so, to what degree (eg walls, underfloor, ceiling)? - Is there any risk of methamphetamine (P) contamination? - If there is a body corporate (usually for apartments), what does that entail? - Are there any issues with neighbours or planned developments? “If you are seriously considering making an offer, you will need to do your own research and seek professional advice. It may well become your home, so you need to know as much about it as possible to save unhappy surprises later,” Lampen- Smith says. “Knowing the right questions to ask is a good starting point.” For more advice on buying a property in New Zealand, or to download a free Home Buyers’ Guide, visit buyingahome. reaa.govt.nz. 3 brand new showhomes, in 3 locations (off Carrs Rd) Lot 435 Faringdon Lot 69 Falcon’s Landing FROM $546,000 655m2

13 [Edition datE] 1 Making the most of show home viewing Looking through show homes is a great way to get ideas for features and fittings to put into a new home. It can also be helpful for getting a spatial feel for other aspects of a house design. Before heading out for a day’s viewing, conduct an internet search. identify the locations of show home villages and the types and sizes of the various building company’s homes on display, noting down the square metre size of each home. if wanting a high end, architectural design, focus on the larger homes that have desirable design features. if at the entry or middle level of the market, earmark homes that fit this taking in other show homes for extra ideas. allow sufficient time when visiting each show home, asking for a floor plan that has room sizes before walking through. Check also the floor to ceiling height of the rooms and consider how this feels and whether you prefer a cosier feel with the standard ceiling eight of 2.4 metres or more spaciousness created with a higher stud or exposed ceiling beams. if doors and windows are taller than normal, weigh their effect in creating a more luxurious and spacious feel, against potential inconvenience for small children, cleaning and maintenance. on entering each room, take account of how much furniture is in each room and whether there is sufficient space for the furniture you will have in the room and the size needed in a walk-in robe. Look too, at storage capacity throughout the home and whether this is adequate. in the living areas, consider whether a lounge separated from the family living room or a true open plan kitchen, dining, living/lounge area is preferable, and compare internal kitchens with those that have natural light. Look too at the layout of the kitchen: whether to have an island sink or breakfast bar where a newspaper can be read, and children can sit and draw or complete homework; the positioning of appliances; and how important having a pantry is. for the little rooms, equate space and features desired with that needed, especially if the budget needs to be sharp. it might be nice to have a large walk-in shower with double shower heads but is this just fanciful and will the extra cleaning annoy you long term. a laundry in the garage is also more economical though a separate laundry may be handier. Bring the garage size into the equation also. as these vary considerably, assess the actual measurements of each garage viewed comparing this with the space needed for your motor vehicles and other items to be stored there. if a good number of toys will be housed there, it may be sensible to increase the size of this area of the home. By imagining what you need, want and will have in your new home, you will be in a better position to confidently choose a design that works for you. Our Onsite Office is Open Wednesday to Sunday, 11-4pm. Call in for the latest information on available sections. Visit one of our showhomes and find your perfect house and land package within a well regarded community. Each home site has been created to enjoy the best possible aspect situated amongst Lincoln’s rural outlook. First National Real Estate Sue Mullins 027 244 1325 Visit Us Onsite Corner of Birches Road and Craig Thompson Drive, Lincoln. Barry O’Neill 021 364 422 www.flemington.co.nz