Check out the link to my article on LinkedIn about the landmark decision of the Court of Appeal in New Zealand in the case of Chief Executive of The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) v Broadbent.
In the wake of the horrific events on Friday the 15th of March 2019, we have all had occasion to reflect on what is happening in our little country. I thought (hell I think we all thought) that we were immune from this sort of horrendous hate crime way down here in the South Pacific but sadly, that naivety has now been proved wrong.
As my sister in law has just so eloquently and poignantly put it in a Facebook post, today we get to hug those we love, tell them we love them in person or give them a call or send them, a message, but for 50 families this week that is not the case.
Like many of you, I have been so impressed with the reaction of particularly Cantabrians, but in truth, all of New Zealand, in rallying around the Muslim community to show them that they are not alone, their pain is our pain and that we all hurting at this terrible crime which has been committed at their place of worship.
My business, like some other law firms, has tried to do its little bit by offering the services of our bi-lingual lawyer, Sandra Iskander, who speaks both English and Arabic fluently. That offer remains true and if any family affected by this dreadful tragedy requires pro bono legal services, you are welcome to call Kannangara Thomson on 377-4421 and, ask for Sandra in the first instance. If your legal query is outside the scope of her experience, she will find someone else who can help you.
I think we can all be proud of the reaction of our government, our country and our people. Evil cannot triumph where there is love, compassion, unity and understanding.
This article is kindly supplied courtesy of the team at Advanced Mortgage Solutions. Their expert team can assist you with any aspect of obtaining a home loan and if you are looking for expert help from a mortgage broker in Christchurch, we can highly recommend Scott and his team.
The Welcome Home Loan product has been put in place to help first home buyers purchase a property for themselves.
For many home buyers, the problem with getting a normal home loan is finding the deposit. Most lenders currently require a minimum 20 percent deposit. With a Welcome Home Loan you only need a 10 percent deposit.
Help with your deposit is available.
There are several deposit assistance options available:
- Your deposit can be gifted by a relative (Please contact us for clarification around the gifting tules).
- You can apply for a KiwiSaver Deposit Subsidy or KiwiSaver Savings Withdrawal.
- You can team up with other borrowers to put together your deposit and purchase a home.
Maximum amount you can borrow:
The maximum amount you can borrow with a Welcome Home Loan depends on the region you are buying in. Each region has a maximum house price cap. The maximum loan for that region is the house price cap less your 10 percent deposit.
Find out your regional purchase price cap below.
- Auckland – $600,000.00
- Hamilton City, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Kapiti Coast District, Porirua City, Upper Hutt City, Hutt City, Wellington City, Nelson City, Tasman District, Waimakariri District, Christchurch City, Selwyn District, Queenstown Lakes District All – $500,000.00
- Rest of New Zealand – $400,000.00
Additionally, to incentivise the supply of new builds, the Minister has established a second tier of house price caps. For new builds, each house price cap is $50,000 greater than the cap for existing homes.
|Region||House price cap for existing/older properties||House price cap for new properties|
|Hamilton City, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Kapiti Coast District, Porirua City, Upper Hutt City, Hutt City, Wellington City, Nelson City, Tasman District, Waimakariri District, Christchurch City, Selwyn District, Queenstown Lakes District||$500,000||$550,000|
|Rest of New Zealand||$400,000||$450,000|
There are two income caps that apply for a Welcome Home Loan.
- For one borrower you must have earned no more than $85,000.00 (before tax) in the last 12 months.
Are you eligible for a Welcome Home Loan?
- If you are borrowing with one or more other people you must have a combined household income of $130,000 or less (before tax) in the last 12 months
You will need to meet the specific lending criteria below.
- You must be a New Zealand citizen or a permanent New Zealand resident (holding a ‘Permanent Resident Visa’).
- Have worked with the same employer for 12 months (there are some cases where this can be 6 months) – Cannot earn over the limits put in place
- Cannot purchase property over capped limits
Other things you need to know:
- Cannot currently own property (If you have owned property in the past there a couple of circumstances where the Welcome Home Loan product can be used).
- The Welcome Home Loan is for owner-occupied properties only and cannot be used for rental or investment properties. – You must not own any other property.
- You may need to pay fees such as application fees or Lenders Mortgage Insurance fees.
There is a common misconception that conveyancing is ‘easy’ and that you should be able to get your house purchase done ‘on the cheap’ by anyone claiming to be competent in this field. In this post, we will try to bust a few of those myths and at the same time, explain a few of those confusing terms which you will hear used often in connection with your house purchase.
To many, the term ‘conveyancing’ itself is a confusing one. After all what exactly does it mean? Put simply, it is the process by which we, as your conveyancing lawyer, help you ‘convey’ or transfer ownership of a property from the existing owner (the vendor) to you (the purchaser) as the new owner. At the same time, in the vast majority of cases, we will also be instructed to act for your bank to register
This again is an area where many
You see, when you finish paying off your loan(s) to the bank and you no longer owe any money to the bank, you have in fact cleared or paid off your loan, but the security for that loan is a different issue altogether. The mortgage you hear referred to is the security registered by your conveyancing lawyer to give your bank security for the money it has advanced to you by way of loan. In order for the ‘mortgage’ to be removed once you have repaid the loan in full, it is necessary for someone to write to your bank requesting that the mortgage security be released. Once you have paid off the loan and discharged or removed the mortgage from the title, you can truly be said to be ‘mortgage free’.
In some cases, even though your loan has been repaid, it is still a good idea to leave the mortgage security in place on the title. If, for example, you were contemplating buying an investment property or upgrading the kitchen or the bathroom in your home, you might want to borrow funds from the bank to help with this. Having the mortgage still in place over the title saves you the time and money of registering new security for the further advances, whatever the purpose of those advances might be.
The phrase ‘equity’ is another term which often confuses some people. The equity you have in the property is calculated by taking it’s current market value of your home and deducting any loans you owe to your bank. The net figure you arrive at will represent the equity which you have in your home.
This can become particularly important if you wish to buy an investment property as a part of your retirement plan. In many cases, rather than having cash savings to put toward the deposit, you might borrow against the equity you have in the family home. The purchase price is often therefore 100% borrowed, partly against your ‘equity’ in the family home and then partly against the security of the investment property itself.
If you want conveyancing done well, and everything explained in Plain English by an experienced practitioner with 30 years’ experience offering guaranteed fees at competitive rates you don’t need to look any further. Just enter your details on our contact page and we will get back to you, usually within 24 hours at the latest.
With recent changes to the law, we have had a lot of inquiry regarding the recent changes to the Overseas Investment Act 2005, and whether clients are eligible to buy a home in New Zealand. The rules can be confusing, particularly if you are not a New Zealand Citizen. Since 22 October 2018, anyone purchasing land in New Zealand is required to complete a Residential Land Statement relating to whether the transaction requires consent before they can proceed.
An area of confusion is if you are not a New Zealand citizen but are in a relationship with a New Zealand citizen. In most cases, the answer will usually be yes and you will be able to purchase a home. However, we need to temper that by saying that your relationship will almost certainly need to be a qualifying relationship as defined by New Zealand law. This is because there is an exemption if your spouse or partner is a New Zealand Citizen or ordinarily resident in New Zealand – no consent is required.
You can also purchase land in New Zealand if you are ordinarily resident in New Zealand yourself (have a residence class visa and have been living in New Zealand the last 12 months and are a tax resident – have been in New Zealand for 183 days in the last 12 months and tax residency has not stopped).
If you are unsure about your eligibility to purchase a home, feel free to contact your conveyancing lawyer to discuss your eligibility.
Everyone has a story about a conveyancing lawyer who has quoted them one price and then charged them another. Most lawyers record their time in six minute units and live in a world where they have a large budget to meet each month. So every time you pick up the phone and talk to that lawyer, if their hourly rate is say $350, which is par for the course among Christchurch lawyers, your phone call just cost you $35! It doesn’t matter whether that phone call took 30 seconds or five minutes! But watch out, stretch the call out to 7 minutes and all of a sudden you’re likely to be up for $70 for that phone call!
We think that is wrong so when we help you with your conveyance we will send you a letter of engagement as we are obliged to do, but in that letter we will specify a fee which we have agreed with you and, here’s the good bit, we will honour that fee regardless of how complicated your transaction might become. How can we do this? Quite simply, because we do not believe in imposing large budgets on our lawyers and legal executives and we do not record time.
As a business we do not fight for work by quoting on price either. If it is simply the cheapest price that you are after then you may find it somewhere else. But if what you seek is a fair fee for a job well done with excellent personalised service along the way then this is what we offer you. We like to call it “no surprises law”.
This can be particularly important for first home buyers who are often utilising the Welcome Home Loan product and who, because their deposit is usually less than 20%, will be paying a low equity fee to their lender and, almost always will not be receiving a contribution towards their legal fees. If that describes your situation then my guess is that what we are offering is exactly what you need, a fee which once quoted is set in stone and will not change.
So if you are looking for excellent service at a fair price for your conveyance which we will guarantee in writing then we invite you to go to our conveyancing lawyer contact page now and reach out to us now for your guaranteed fee quote.
THE VENDOR DIDN’T CLEAN THE HOUSE
So you bought a house and the vendor didn’t leave it clean and tidy. It’s a story we hear all too often. A vendor doesn’t bother to clean the house properly and sometimes, not at all. Surely there’s a legal obligation to leave a home neat and tidy and to give it a proper clean. Right? Sadly, no there is no legal obligation contained in the widely used Auckland District Law Society form for the sale and purchase of property to leave a house clean and tidy.
BUT SURELY THERE’S A MORAL OBLIGATION
Most reasonable vendors will leave a home in a clean and tidy condition for the new owners. But if they do not do a proper job, or just don’t clean the house at all, legally, you don’t have a leg to stand on once settlement has occurred.
IF THERE IS EXTENSIVE RUBBISH AROUND THE SECTION
Sometimes a purchaser will tell us prior to settlement that there is rubbish on the section, sometimes even car bodies or parts. If you buy a home where there is extensive rubbish on the land or in the home and you want it removed prior to settlement, have your agent make this a condition of the contract.
PUT IT IN THE CONTRACT
Likewise, if you would like the house left clean and tidy before you take over, have the agent write in the agreement that it is an essential term of the agreement that the vendor leave the home in clean and tidy condition. That way, it becomes a contractual obligation, which can be enforced. If the vendor fails to leave the home clean and tidy prior to settlement or fails to remove that rubbish from around the section, we can require retention until it is done, or sometimes a deduction to allow you to get it done.
If you want quality legal advice from a specialist Christchurch conveyancing lawyer give me a call or go to our contact page and drop me a line and we will get back to you within 24 hours. We have 27 years’ experience helping clients with the conveyance of their new home purchase.
Buying a New Home?
So you’ve entered into a contract to buy a new home. Buyers will be aware of the range of conditions which are traditionally inserted in a contract for their protection. These include things such as confirmation of finance, approval of a Land Information Memorandum and a building report.
What About Meth Testing?
With recent coverage in the press, people are becoming increasingly aware of the danger of buying a home which has been used for the production, or even recreational use of methamphetamine (meth). If meth has been smoked or manufactured in a home, the cost of repairing the home to a standard which is safe for habitation can be considerable.
How Does Meth Affect a House?
Traces of meth can stay in a property for many years. It gets absorbed into the gib board, insulation, framing, carpets and fittings. In some cases the solution will be to strip the lining, insulation and possibly even the framing. It could amount to many thousands of dollars. In extreme cases where meth has been baked in a home, demolition may be the only solution!
What Should You Do About This?
We believe that the time has come when a special condition needs to be included in a contract for any conveyance of property in New Zealand to allow a purchaser to obtain a meth test report. When going to auction, it could even become standard practice for a vendor to supply a meth test report to give buyers peace of mind.
What Would a Meth Test Tell Us?
A meth report will tell you the sites where sample were taken. Traditionally this will be in areas such as the kitchen, bedrooms and living areas. The report will disclose any traces of meth found, the results compared to known safe levels and a recommendation on what you would need to do to fix the problem, if one exists.
If you would like to know more about including a condition in your purchase contract for meth testing, contact your conveyancing lawyer for assistance. We have many years’ experience in assisting purchaser’s with the conveyance of their home.