Body Corporate – When you’re buying a town house or apartment and the title is a ‘unit title’, there is a legal entity that makes arrangements for maintenance of common areas and helps resolve any disputes. They are called the Body Corporate.
Certificate of Title (CT) – The CT is housed at Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and records all the legal interests in the land. When you buy a property, your lawyer will register a transfer of the land to you and your name will be recorded as the owner on the Certificate of Title.
Chattels - The items in a house that are included as part of the sale, e.g. curtains and whiteware.
Commission – The fee a seller pays to an agent when the house sells.
Conditional agreement – This is a negotiated sales and purchase agreement that is subject to conditions, e.g. finance or a legal review.
Cross lease title – This generally applies to town houses and flats, when all the owners share ownership in a section of the land.
Easement – This means someone else has to use your property for a particular purpose, e.g. to use a drain on your property.
Equity – If the value of your property is more than how much you owe, the difference between the two is referred to as ‘your equity’.
Fixtures and fittings – These are the items attached to a house which cannot be removed when the seller leaves. See chattels.
Freehold – This is ownership of the land and the house with no restrictions on your ownership rights, apart from those covered by laws or regulations.
Government Valuation (GV) Home loan agreement – See rateable valuation.
Instalments – Your weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments of principal and/or interest off your loan.
Home loan agreement – This is the agreement that outlines the value and terms of the loan, e.g. the interest rate, repayments and how often these are made.
Insurance certificate – This is the certificate that is issued by your insurer and confirms the assets you have covered and the maximum amount that can be paid out in the event of a loss.
Interest – This is the amount you pay the lender for your loan and it’s a percentage of the amount you borrow.
Fixed interest rate – This is when the interest rate and repayments are fixed for a set period, e.g. fixed at 5% for 2 years.
Floating or variable interest rate – In this case the interest rate can change depending on market conditions, e.g. floating rate at 5% for 2 years.
Land registration fee – The fee you pay to Land Information New Zealand to record the transfer of the land to you.
Land Information Memorandum (LIM) – The council document that records all information they hold about the property.
LINZ – This is Land Information New Zealand, the government department that holds the land registration records.
Legally binding – This means the terms of the agreement can be enforced by law.
Market value – This is the price a house is likely to sell for.
Mortgage – A loan to finance the purchase of the house
Mortgagee – This is the bank or funding agency that loans you the money to buy the house.
Mortgagor – This is you, the person who has borrowed the money.
Principal – The initial amount you borrow.
Rateable Valuation (RV) – The estimated value of the property for rating purposes.
Rates – The fees you pay to the council for their services.
Right of way – If you share a driveway with a neighbouring property, then the rights to do this is called a ‘right of way’.
Sale and Purchase Agreement – The legal documents that records the agreement between the buyer and seller and is legally binding when it has been signed by both parties.
Table loan – The repayments on the loan are the same for the life of loan, assuming there is no change to the interest rates.
Unconditional agreement – This is a legally binding agreement that has no conditions.