2 4 [Edition datE] Home heating – electricity, gas or wood? How you heat your home depends on a number of factors. Figuring out the best way to heat your home continues to be a matter for debate. Several things are undisputed. A warm, dry home is essential for comfort and good health, good insulation dramatically increases the efficiency of any heating system and ventilation is an important consideration. Most homes are heated by electricity, gas, or wood. In New Zealand, heating accounts for approximately 30 percent of a home’s annual energy consumption. There are many things you can do to reduce consumption and cost. The World Health Organisation recommends a temperature of 18 deg C for indoor living areas, and slightly less for bedrooms. It recommends slightly higher temperatures for vulnerable people – the elderly and small children. Studies have shown that indoor temperatures below 12 degrees can disrupt sleep. Among all these considerations, how you heat your home is a matter of personal choice, with many options available. Heat pumps are generally the most common and cost-effective form of home heating in New Zealand. Used properly, they heat quickly and are convenient. However, you need to have the right sized unit for the area and they don’t work when electricity is not available. They tend to be room-specific but ducted heat pumps are becoming more popular and are costeffective, especially in new builds, but can also be installed into established homes. Modern wood burners may be the closest you can get to an open-fire feel, but are much more efficient. Wood is generally a renewable fuel, and if you have a cheap or free supply, a wood burner may be the least expensive heating option. They heat large areas and are not dependent on electricity but there is the chopping and stacking to be done, flues need to be cleaned regularly and older models can contribute to air pollution and may violate strict air quality regulations – www.mfe. govt.nz has detailed information regarding this. Pellet fires are typically more efficient than wood burners but can have a smaller output. They require electricity but some have a battery backup and they are thermostatically controlled with timers. These must comply with regulations which are also detailed on the Ministry for the Environment website. Gas heating is common and convenient. Central heating systems can be zone controlled and provide warm air circulation. Flued gas heaters are best, as unflued and portable gas heaters produce lots of moisture and emit pollutants that can be unsafe. Flued gas heating systems can be installed in most homes. They are fast heating and are relatively inexpensive to run. However gas is not a renewable resource and prices can vary widely. The greatest source of energy is actually free. Harnessing the sun can dramatically reduce heating costs and is the most environmentally friendly way to heat your home. Passive heating combines insulation with good design, accomplished more effectively in new builds but also able to be incorporated into existing homes. Getting the sun’s warmth into your home is a function of the design; keeping it in is a function of the insulation. There is a wealth of information online as passive heating becomes normative in the design and building industry. Websites such as energywise.govt. nz and smarterhomes.org.nz have comprehensive information on and tips for, heating your home in the colder months.
2 [Edition datE] Buying a lifestyle block 5 City life getting you down? Dreaming of living in the country, where you ‘commute’ from the breakfast table to a barn or your home office? It might look like an easy life but buying a lifestyle property can be a complex business. While living in the country has much to recommend it, you need to do more preparation for buying a place there than buying a pair of gumboots and comparing the merits of ride-on mowers. “We recommend comprehensive due diligence when buying any kind of property, but rural ones come with a whole extra set of things to think about compared to buying a straightforward stand-alone home in town,” says Kevin Lampen-Smith, chief executive of the Real Estate Authority (REA). Lampen-Smith says that while it’s tempting to focus on the dream wish list for your bucolic bolt-hole, but you should also compile a list of issues to be aware of (and people who can help you learn about them). “If the property you like is being sold by a licensed real estate agent, remember that you can ask them anything you like about it,” he says. “Rural real estate agents have special skills in this area and they’ll be able to help you figure out what information you need to make a well-informed decision. It’s also a good idea to get your lawyer onboard early to check titles, consents and other information that you gather in the process.” It might feel like you’re getting away from it all when moving out of town, but rural developments can be subject to rules that restrict what you can do. Lampen-Smith recommends getting your lawyer to check if there are any covenants on the property that might have an impact on a future business you may run there, or any planned building projects. You don’t want to invest in an alpaca herd for your new dream property only to find that it’s not allowed to carry any livestock. Similarly, it would be tough to discover that your subdivision plans are not permitted by council rules. Be aware that there may be tax implications if you’re planning to use the property as a business, Lampen-Smith says. “In general, if it is currently being used for a business that is tax-registered – whether that’s selling organic eggs, grazing stock or running a B&B – then the seller will probably add GST to the price. This means you’ll pay an extra 15 per cent, unless you are also registered for GST. Ask your lawyer or accountant to check if the house or any other buildings on the property are GST-exempt. They will also be able to advise you on whether you need to be GST-registered.” A good place to start when trying to figure out what tax obligations might attach to your purchase of the property is Inland Revenue’s property tax decision tree (available at http://www.ird.govt.nz/property/propertyterms-and-tools/property-decision-tree/), but keep in mind that it is always best to seek professional advice before you make a decision. Rural properties (like all properties) can also have easements on the title that relate to access, water or power. Lampen-Smith says you should ask your lawyer to check the title and work out what the easements are, and how they will have an impact on your rights and responsibilities as an owner. “For example, if the title allows a neighbour access to a piece of their land through your property, do you have any right to limit the type and frequency of that access if you buy it?” Be aware too that there may be ‘unofficial’ easements operating; the incumbent owners may have an informal arrangement with their neighbours, but this may not remain when the property passes into new ownership. Things that we take for granted when living in urban environments, like water, sewage and access, can require more involvement in rural areas. Check the water sources for the property – if it has its own bore, are there limits on the amount of water you can draw from it? What is the process for ensuring it is safe to drink? What happens to wastewater and sewage? Are you prepared for life with a septic tank? Will the current owner ensure the tank is empty as a condition of sale? When it comes to access, will you share a private road or right of way with other properties? What will be your responsibilities and potential costs for maintaining it? Don’t forget that your neighbours may be involved in unglamorous activities at ungodly hours – check the zoning rules for nearby properties if you’re worried about noise, smells or traffic. You might think it’s lovely to have stock grazing out the window, but are you ready for a milk tanker driving past every morning? Be aware that the LIM will not always alert you to any pending or current NZTA decisions regarding local highway linkages that often divert traffic away from urban centres in favour of immediate rural areas on the town boundary. Check with NZTA if you think your property could be affected by road changes. “Like all property purchases, buying a place in the country requires careful, objective consideration,” Lampen-Smith says. “There are lots of great things about living on the land, but it’s best to be realistic about it. You don’t want to be like the former townie I met a few weeks ago, who mournfully told me that their lifestyle block had become “a life sentence”. Do your homework and you’re far more likely to live happily ever after in rural bliss.” For independent advice on buying or selling property, check out settled.govt.nz. REAL ESTATE SPECIALISTS 5 Derrynane Lane, Cashmere ONE MORE LISTED 19 Platform Way, Prebbleton OFFERS OvER $679,000 (all offers to be presented 5pm, 15th August unless sold prior) Tranquil Haven in a Private Location! Situated in a peaceful and sought after setting this contemporary and cleverly arranged 5 bedroom home offers flexible family living. Positioned at the heart of the home are the open plan living area and interconnecting formal lounge which has been thoughtfully configured to allow for separation. The master bedroom is a relaxing retreat and benefits from a walk-in wardrobe, an ensuite with under tile heating and also a sliding door out to a dedicated patio that adjoins the deck. Located just a short stroll from the cafes and stores in Prebbleton Village, you can ejoy a charming village lifestyle while still being within easy reach of the city. Contact Mike for more information. DEADLINE SALE 5pm 23rd August (unless sold prior) Miles of Style and a Magnificent Outlook! Superbly elevated and designed to embrace the breathtaking views from every angle, this substantial and striking five-bedroom home offers resort style living from a private and peaceful position on the Cashmere Hills. Thoughtfully crafted using an abundance of glass which bathes the home in natural light while also framing the sweeping vistas, the property also enjoys seamless indooroutdoor flow which ensures you can spend countless hours soaking up the sun and admiring the views year round. The home’s quiet cul-de-sac location coupled with the Longhurst Reserve boundary provides you with incredibly peaceful surroundings. Victoria Park and the numerous walking tracks are only a short stroll from your door. Space, style, situation and sublime views have come together to create a truly outstanding property that will attract plenty of interest. Contact Mike today for further information on how this could be your new home. 64 Othello Drive, Rolleston Tranquil Haven in a Private Location! BY NEGOTIATION Tucked away on a private rear 926m2 section in the ‘Hamlet’ subdivision is this four-bedroom brick beauty that will steal the hearts of many but can only be sold to one! Central to everyday living is the open plan kitchen, dining and lounge area with an adjacent formal lounge which interacts superbly with the open plan living area. This well presented home adorned with a largely neutral colour scheme has four double bedrooms. The master is a relaxing retreat and enjoys an ensuite, walk-in wardrobe and direct access out to the patio. Don’t delay – make this your next home! Contact Mike now for further information & viewing times. Mike Goatley 027 249 5561 Stephen Ferguson 021 224 2000 Trevor McIvor 027 444 2814 Fraser Mackintosh 027 286 8161 Elyse Campbell 021 187 6217 Nicola Curtis Administrator Julz Sibbe Administrator 68 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston 0800 645 346 www.oneagencyres.co.nz Real Estate Specialists Ltd Licenced REAA (2008)