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Essential Home Buyer Tips for Purchasing Property in New Zealand

Purchasing a home is a significant milestone for anyone, and when it comes to buying property in New Zealand, it's crucial to be well-informed and prepared. As a prospective home buyer, understanding the local real estate market, legal processes, and financial considerations can make a world of difference. To help you navigate this exciting journey, we've compiled a list of essential tips to consider when buying a property in New Zealand.

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Jane Adams - giving back to the community

As a member of the Aspiring Rotary group I have had the privilege to assist Food for Love by delivering freshly prepared food to the less mobile members of the Wanaka ward community and they are so eternally grateful.

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Is a recession coming? What does that mean for the NZ housing market?

I thought it would be good to dig into NZ history and look at some of the past NZ recessions and more importantly what the housing market did and when did it bounce back? What will this mean for you if you are buying or selling in the next 12 months?

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How to decide which home to buy

One of the biggest challenges of the home buying process is deciding exactly which home you want to buy.

In an established location with older housing, properties can vary massively, introducing variables into your search that can be difficult to weigh up.

Follow these tips to streamline your buying process and make the all-important decision of which home to buy, a little easier.

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Is Now a Good Time to Buy?

Of all the times that you could possibly buy a property, is now the right time? When is the right time? What sort of questions should I be considering?

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How to reduce food waste in your home

We are focussed on helping our clients optimise their home life. Whether it's buying a new property, selling for the best possible price, or just finding ways to live smarter and save more. 

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Finding the courage to buy in a changing market

Buying tip: When property investors start entering the market, that's the time to buy.

Right now, we are seeing a flurry of activity from property investors, while owner-occupier buyers have all but disappeared.

What's going on?

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How to sell your home for the best possible price

You can maximise the value of your home by making the right choices in a few key areas.

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Why it's good to get low offers on your home

Who would want to invite a low offer on their home? What a crazy idea.

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Why pricing your home correctly is critical

Buyers are becoming better educated all the time. Online value estimates and all manner of market statistics are now just a few clicks away.

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When to adjust your asking price

No one goes on the market for fun. When you put your property up for sale you want to see a result. As good a price as possible, in a reasonable period of time.

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Should commission be the main factor when choosing an agent?

Could homeowners who choose the cheapest option potentially be costing themselves money in the long run?

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7 Tips to get your mortgage application approved

Are you planning to apply for a mortgage in the near future?

If so, there are steps you can take in advance to increase your chances of getting a YES from the bank.

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On the 12th day of Christmas

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love said to me… wait, well actually its 14 days till Christmas, phew.

That’s right we have 14 days to fit the rest of this years social and professional requirements into it. Eeekkk!

Don’t panic, it’s all going to be ok, it is what it is! And 2021 hasn’t been our smoothest year!

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First Home Buyer Guide

We know that buying a house for the first time can be very overwhelming. When trying to buy your first home it can be hard as often your heart tells you one thing and then your head tells you another! You know you should be sensible but ohhhh you have fallen for a gorgeous home and you have already moved in there before you have made an offer. Not to worry, we are here to help!

In this current market houses aren’t sticking around for long so for you to prepare you, I have put these helpful tips together.

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What To Do With Your Holiday Home During A Pandemic

Wanaka – a beautiful holiday spot that is enjoyed by millions but now that the borders are closed what does that mean for property investors who have been letting their properties out as holiday homes?

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The horse has bolted - but what will come next?

From investor deposit level changes, bright line tests, radical taxation changes, this current government seems very intent on stamping a mark (or any mark) on the rampant property market.  I am going to try and outline what may happen next with the property market?

Why am I going to try and go out on a limb and crystal ball gaze into what may happen? Well, I get asked everyday what will happen? It certainly is very topical around our kitchen table. So, why not put a stake in the ground and try and figure this all out.

Firstly, my personal view is the horse has bolted many years ago with the NZ property market. Many multiple changes of government over numerous decades and each and every government has tinkered around with the property market – why? Because it’s a political football. Easy to attack, easy for each consecutive government that gets voted in to say “they will come in and fix it” – so why do they always fail?

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Hannah Walkers Top 5 in Wanaka

The other day I got asked – what are your 5 favourite things to do? It was hard choosing 5 as there are so many awesome things to do here. However, when I can take a bit of time out from real estate, this is what I came up with….

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To Rent or Not to Rent

For a growing percentage of New Zealanders the answer is no.  According to Ministry of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) the rate of home ownership in NZ has dropped from a peak of 73.5% in 1991 to 64.5% in 2018.  The proportion of households that are renting has increased from 23% in 1991 to 32% in 2020.

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Is your home ready for a photoshoot?

So, you’re thinking of selling. Before you get the photographers in it’s a good idea to step back and take a good look at your property with objective eyes - the eyes of a new owner.

As much as you love your garden gnomes and the knick-knacks on shelves – potential owners don’t see the sentimental value.  Here a few simple tips and tricks to help you get your home sale ready.  

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Real estate agents that don’t charge like a wounded bull

I get asked about real estate agents/salespeople commissions all the time.

Are commissions in NZ fair or are they not? Why do you get charged a large fee when selling your home? Is it worth it in this current climate when things quite frankly are selling faster than hot cakes?

The short answer is - if you get good service, a great price for your property, and are happy with the outcome of both these elements then the agent probably did a good job and deserves their commission.

However, what is a fair commission rate to charge?

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Season 1, Episode 1 - A decision was made – we are building!

So, we decided to build! Even in this current climate where building materials are hard to come by and there is a shortage of supplies, we pushed the green light.  We chose an architect – RWA (Rural Workshop Architecture Ltd – Jarrod Midgley & Chris Nott). I have been following Jarrod since he started his career in Timaru and he has created stunning houses over the years, so it was a “no brainer” to get him involved in our project.  

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To build or not to build, that is the question!

We have now owned a piece of land in Wanaka for over a year and have been umming and ahhhing as to what we do with it? Shall we build or sell and make some immediate gains in this heated property market. I decided to ask a few friends about their experience with building and one of my friends have provided this very honest view……..

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How to style your home for sale

Let’s be honest, competing in today’s property market is hard work. We want to get the best offer we can in the quickest time frame.  This can be easier said than done. Weeks may pass by and your home still hasn’t sold, and you are so over keeping the house immaculate for the open home’s week after week. What’s worse is you might have had your home professionally staged and these costs can creep up and up. If you don’t want to go down the route of professional staging, you can always style your home yourself with a little time and effort and maybe help from a hubby/wife/friend.

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Benefits of Using Professional Property Managers Over DIY

Thinking about managing your property yourself?  You’ve invested a great deal in your residential property and you need to maximise its potential.  Managing a rental property can be a time consuming and stressful task.  If you are too busy to do this, do not want the hassle of managing the tenancy and the property and/or lack the knowledge or resources to run the property successfully then having a professional do it for you can actually help you make more money in the long run.

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Buy Like A Boss

Here at, we value efficiency. When you partner with us to sell your home, you’ll cringe at how much time, money and effort you've wasted in the past. We’re pretty confident we’ve got the most efficient way to currently sell your home, but what about buying one? It turns out, there’s a skill to buying a home. Especially if your goal is to optimise your happiness and future freedom. You can optimise the heck out of the process and buy like a boss! The following insights will save you a truck-load of money. I've borrowed a fair bit from and edited for the NZ audience. I’m going to give you a bit of a reality check so you can cut years off your working life to pay down that mortgage.

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Finding a new home – the best time of your life?

You make a pact over a few glasses of wine that you won’t buy anything that you both don’t like, then it’s game on! Or if you’re on your own you say to yourself “I got this’.

The most important thing is to ask all the right questions before signing on the dotted line.

And of course, check with your lawyer! Or as I like to call mine - my life mentor!

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Real estate and Delta – what happens now?

We have been following the news in Australia and generally New Zealand tends to follow suit and Real Estate is no different. I noticed that NSW had 646 cases of COVID-19 delta recorded yesterday - will we follow this trend? Possibly! So, what will housing prices do?

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The governments huge failure…

The government has failed to curb rising property prices with the new Brightline & Interest Deductibility rules. I believe in what I have previously said in another blog -  ‘property sale prices will continue to rise for some time yet’. In spring and summer, I predict it will cascade into vendors trying to get house sales through the door at these current rising price levels and gain those higher prices. 

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Rental Caps?

Until this year property speculation remained largely untaxed in NZ, landlords have been able to claim repair and maintenance costs, expenses related to the property and mortgage interest.  Properties purchased after 31 March 2021 can no longer claim mortgage interest and for purchases prior to this the ability to claim is being phased out over a 4 year period.  Inevitably landlords will increase rents and this could take rents to levels that are unaffordable for many people. 

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Is the NZ property market heading into the Hermit Kingdom?

The other week John Key came out swinging calling New Zealand the Hermit Kingdom, akin to living under a regime in North Korea. I would say in many regards the way I feel right now is that he is somewhat right. Never have I felt so disenfranchised with the very government trying to keep us safe. Whilst I feel politics is something we certainly try to keep to one side and I like to take an objective view on this, I am seeing more than a few people’s attitudes changing and they are changing fast. I wanted to take a quick look at all of this and relay it back to what we know well here at which is the NZ Property Market.

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The Central Otago Golden Triangle

Where the borders of Wanaka, Cromwell & Queenstown meet. It's not just a round trip to be done in a day, its full to the brim with amazing places to see, extraordinary places to eat, awesome activities to do and it’s safe to visit and live. Everyone is in love with the Golden Triangle.

Let’s talk about the weather, we wouldn't be Kiwis if we didn't, one day I'm wearing T-shirt & jandals, the next we are up the mountain for one more ski after an epic dump of snow.

Work hard and play hard is the golden triangles motto!

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Rob Muldoon vs Jacinda Ardern

Sir Robert Muldoon was the prime minister of NZ between 1975 and 1984. Under his leadership we had decision making largely in one man’s hands, and a lack of reserve bank controls which was rather a dangerous thing. The economy after his tenure was not particularly pretty. However, Rob Muldoon did some fantastic things throughout his leadership and not for one moment I am comparing Muldoon to the latest Ardern reign in politics. Largely because after the Muldoon era there were some fantastic infrastructure assets left behind for all New Zealanders to enjoy and they still are.

Actually, the two leaders are chalk and cheese really but both appear to have caused economic carnage.

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Online auctions vs the traditional auction

Ever found yourself taking the day off work, traipsing down to an auction room, and waiting in a room full of people to try and bid on a house? How do you know that all of the people in the room are actually legitimate buyers? Sometimes you are bidding and your work colleagues are watching, where is the anonymity? What about auctions onsite? Some real estate agencies like this method – the way I see it is if it rains it’s a disaster! Let’s face it, it rains a lot in NZ, and the last thing you want is nobody turning up to the sale of your biggest asset because of the weather. Traditional auctions are hard, time consuming, antiquated, and basically a waste of time and money!

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How many hats can one wear?

My name is Hannah Walker and I wear many hats! Mum, business owner, friend, teacher, nurse, referee, IT professional, wife, chauffeur, cleaner, laundry maid and sales weapon - just to name of few of my daily hats!

My story today comes from a view of a Mum in business...

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The Big Move South



I have been thinking lately……..what a great way my family finished an absolutely amazing year off and started the new decade. We had such a fantastic year with The company was firing on all cylinders, the team was on fire, we had won the Westpac NZ award for Digital and Technology Innovation in the BOP. Then back to earth I came, when my good wife Hannah drops a bombshell on me. She asks….shall we move to the South Island?  Wanaka to be precise - the other end of the country!

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Are we in a K-shaped recovery?


According to Investopedia a K-shaped recovery occurs when, following a recession, different parts of the economy recover at different rates, times, or magnitudes. This contrasts with an even, uniform recovery across sectors, industries, or groups of people. A K-shaped recovery leads to changes in the structure of the economy or the broader society as economic outcomes and relations are fundamentally changed before and after the recession. This type of recovery is called K-shaped because the path of different parts of the economy when charted together may diverge, resembling the two arms of the Roman letter "K."

So, if that does not make sense to you…essentially growth happens in some parts or industries of the economy and slower recoveries and negative sentiments can continue in other sectors & industries.

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Under the mattress

Should you stuff money under the mattress or buy property?


The old adage of stuffing your money under the mattress may sound far-fetched but that’s what we think Kiwis are starting to do with these low deposit rates.

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Here we go again

Here we go again


So here we go again I hear you say, “What a shambles is what I’m thinking right now. “

Auckland in Level 3 of Covid 19 alert status and the rest of the country in Level 2. Where and when will this end? Could we go back to Level 4 - some are saying by Saturday?

Well, I thought it may be a good time to look at what we learned in the past lockdown and talk about why you would be foolish to not look at the to manage your property sale.  

I’m going to cut to the chase.

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Are you reading or listening to media sound bites about the property market about to drop? Are you reading sales are down and the property market about to drop further? I would suggest you don’t!

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The boomers are set to boom again!

The boomers are set to boom again!


I have been thinking a lot recently about the current situation. There are always winners and losers in a recession. Who do you think will be the winners? I think my friends the baby boomers, will come out on top, yet again!

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Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.

When we came up with the idea for online real estate, we had visions of people sitting on their sofas in their PJs buying and selling homes. Much like people buy a car on trademe, book a bach on AirBnB or buy some new shoes online - all from the comfort of their home.  

We never imagined that a global pandemic would see thousands of people isolated to their homes, making the business model essential in today’s world of self isolation.

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Will you ever go to a traditional property auction again?


With New Zealand now at level 4 it has stopped the $1.7 billion dollar residential property industry in its tracks, or has it?

There are currently 30,781 houses for sale on Trademe but no open homes available and the removal of selling by auction occurring quickly. The auction market for most large real estate agencies in New Zealand is the life blood of their operations but this has all vanished overnight. Leaving auctioneers, auction sales agents, and their teams essentially locked out and closed for business.

Get in touch today!