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Selwyn Times: March 28, 2018

2 10 [Edition datE] Your

2 10 [Edition datE] Your guide to Show Homes & New Sections in the Selwyn District Flushing in the 21st century Pop Quiz: When was the first flush toilet used? We don’t often think too much about them. We like to make up neat names for them. The Privy Council; The Supersitty; The Study. In Maori it is the wharepaku. If you are old school it’s the WC. Perhaps it is being a little squeamish about such things, but often the toilets are overlooked when buying a house, or simply considered mundane necessities when renovating. But as with everything else, toilets have evolved, and should be given dutiful consideration. After all, they are heavily used in every house. The concept of the toilet has been around a long time, and in some respects has not changed. Waste goes in and is flushed away, to be forgotten by most. Innovations, however, roll on and the humble lavatory has adapted to human advances and needs. Simple adaptations such as comfort height toilets make life easier. These are toilets up to several centimetres higher than conventional ones. Even such a small height increase greatly increases the ease and comfort of use for the elderly, pregnant women, and anybody with back or leg/knee problems. Whether an S-trap or a P-trap toilet (you must check which you have if you are renovating as each is plumbed differently), the general design and shape of the bowl has improved sitting comfort. Softclose lids are quiet and convenient. If you are not connected to a septic tank or sewerage main, waterless toilets are an option. They save on water and turn waste into compost. They require a lot of maintenance, but are the longdrop of the 21st Century. See www.smarterhomes.org. nz With everything from phones to cars getting smarter, smart toilets were bound to happen. They include features such as touchless flushing. The toilet either senses when you have moved away, or incorporate a hand wave sensor. Some use a remote control that can be operated by smart phone. Most are self-cleaning. Integrated bidets with air drying sensors are common, as are sensors to warn of potential problems such as tank leaks. Heated seating, nightlights, and even Bluetooth sound systems are also common. Smart toilets require installation by qualified professionals, plumbers and electricians. You may not require a Hundertwasser style toilet in your home (but wouldn’t that be fun?), but you will want something efficient, functional, and aesthetically matched to the décor. From transparent seats complete with goldfish to wall hung machines more technically advanced than any other appliance in the house, toilets have come a long way. And the first flush toilet? Primitive versions, using a drainage system rivers, date back 5000 years! Modern toilets similar to ours were used by Queen Elizabeth I (16th Century) and were in common use after that. Devon Green, Rolleston. Beautiful Homes, Great Community. Home & land packages from $449,000 Generation Homes Christchurch www.generation.co.nz Live mo

2 [Edition datE] 11 Four things you MUST do before buying a home Buying a home is a big deal. It’s likely to be the most expensive thing you buy, and it can be a complicated legal process. It’s even tougher in a hot market, where there is a lot of competition for a limited number of properties. It might be tempting to take a few shortcuts, but failing to do things properly could cause more problems later. Here are our top four tasks for home buyers. 1. Research the property The real estate agent selling the property acts on behalf of the seller, however they are also required to tell you everything they know about the property. They must respond professionally to all your enquiries and not withhold any details. Remember that you still need to do your own due diligence. That means getting a title search so you can find out all the facts about the property’s ownership, boundary and access, as held by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). It’s a good idea to get a Land Information Memorandum (LIM), which shows information held by the local council about the property and land. For valuable feedback on the property’s condition, get a report done by an inspector who has professional indemnity insurance and carries out their work in accordance with the New Zealand Property Inspection Standard. Although this all costs money, it will save you more in the long term. Sellers may occasionally provide some of this information for you. If this happens, check that it is up-to-date. 2. Get legal advice Buying property is expensive, and it can cost even more if something goes wrong. That’s why it’s important to get legal advice before you sign anything. A lawyer will handle all the paperwork involved in the process, including the title search, and offer impartial advice. If you don’t have a lawyer, the New Zealand Law Society can help you find one at propertylawyers.org. nz. 3. Understand the sale process There are several methods of buying and selling property, for example, tender or auction. It’s important to understand the process for the property you are buying. Practices can vary between agencies so make sure you confirm details with them. The Home Buyer’s Guide at buyingahome. reaa.govt.nz has more helpful advice. 4. Read the sale and purchase agreement and understand what it means The sale and purchase agreement is your contract with the seller. It is crucial to read it very carefully and get legal advice before you sign. You can negotiate the terms and conditions of an agreement, but once you sign it, there’s no going back. Want more free and independent advice on buying a property? Check out the Home Buyers’ Guide at buyingahome. reaa.govt.nz. If you still have questions, call the Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA) on 0800 367 7322 (please call 04 471 8930 from a mobile phone). Buying your first home? Think Flemington You will be surprised at how easy it is build your first home at Flemington. Head along to our Showhome Village onsite and check out the amazing showhomes from some of Canterbury’s top builders. Showhome Village open Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-4pm. 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