Young Couples

If you have a growing family, are about to start one, or just want more living space, you may wish to upgrade into a bigger property. Here are some questions you should keep in mind if you’re considering making the move.

The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.

Yes, you can make conditional offers on property, by including conditional purchase conditions into your New Zealand Property Sales and Purchase Agreement. These terms are reasonably common in New Zealand, although there are some downsides:

  • If your sale falls through, or takes longer than expected to settle, you may have to watch your dream home go to someone else.
  • If you’ve put in a conditional purchase offer, this may place pressure on you to sell faster, and for less money, than you might have otherwise sold for.
  • Some sellers, particularly in competitive markets, may be less willing to accept conditional offers. A lower offer from a competing buyer without any conditions may be more appealing because it offers a quicker sale and greater likelihood of the sale completing for the vendor.
  • If you haven’t sold your current property yet, you won’t have as much certainty about how much you can afford. This can lead to you overextending financially, and it also limits your opportunities to bid successfully at auctions.

Finding a buyer for your current family home before purchasing a new one is usually recommended, for a number of reasons:

  • If you buy a new property first, you may find yourself in the position of having to make mortgage repayments on two houses at the same time (if your house does not sell in a timely fashion, or for the price you expect). This might put you under unnecessary financial strain.
  • With your current property sold, you’ll know exactly how much money you’ll have available for your next property. Being a cash buyer may give you better leverage on the pricing and terms of your new property.

Some financial advisors recommend that you never sell a property, but keep the first property as a rental, and use the income to help finance your next home. This is only realistic to achieve if you have the sufficient financial means to do so. Speak to a financial advisor orFirst National Real Estateagent for advice.

While moving to a bigger house can be an attractive prospect, it is also a significant commitment. When making your decision, consider the following:

  • If your current home is not big enough for the size of your family, then moving to a larger home will probably be more urgent. This could result in you paying a higher price for your new home. If your need is less urgent, you'll have more time to evaluate housing options, and to find a great deal.
  • While a larger home will have a number of attractions for you, it will also likely be more expensive to maintain on an ongoing basis.
  • Speak with a financial advisor to assess your current situation and see if you are able to comfortably service a bigger home loan. Consider what might happen in the event of a personal financial shock or increased interest rates.
  • Review any other debt you have (e.g. credit card, car loan, hire purchases etc.) as these debts or facilities can negatively affect your ability to borrow. Make sure debts are either paid up-to-date, or paid off entirely before investigating or applying for a new mortgage. Lenders often ask to see the last 3 or 6 months of any debt related financial statements.
  • Tools such as a home loan calculator can help you assess your options and budget for a new home. Most New Zealand bank websites make this functionality available for you to use.

If you’ve decided that moving to a larger property is right for you, talk to a First National Real Estate agent about selling your current property and finding your dream home.First National Real Estatehas over 400 offices across Australia and New Zealand, with property coverage in all major towns and cities.

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