Legal information for property buyers and sellers
0800 PPTYLAW (0800 778 952)

Buying a house

For many people, buying a house is the single biggest financial investment they will make. There are practical, financial and legal considerations to take into account before you start house hunting. Even more importantly, you’ll want to make sure that your property checks out before you sign any agreement.

Before you start house hunting

Create a property checklist

Before you begin your property search in earnest, it can be a good idea to consider the reason for your purchase, and make a list of your requirements. Are you looking for a family home, an investment property, a holiday home or a home for a family member? Will you need a certain number of bedrooms, a locked garage or a fully fenced section? Preparing a checklist before you shop for a house will help you and any real estate agent find your new property more quickly. Trawling through advertisements and attending viewings, it’s easy to be tempted by a house that looks great but doesn’t meet your needs.

Set a budget

Contact your bank, accountant or financial advisor before you start looking for a property. What you’re able to spend, what you’re comfortable borrowing and what size repayments you can afford will all play a part in setting your house budget. Setting a budget can help you avoid the stress of purchasing a property that will strain your finances and help you to find a property that meets your practical and financial needs more quickly.

The buying process

If you’re buying through a real estate agent, remember that the agent works for the vendor and not for you. Disclosing your top price or your need to finalise the sale urgently may not be in your best interests.

Before you make an offer, you may wish check out the property more thoroughly. This might include obtaining a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) report, a builder’s or engineer’s report and reviewing the details of the title, zoning and boundaries.

If you’re serious about the purchase of a particular property, check that you have sufficient finance in place before you make an offer. This may include refinancing property or other assets to enable the current purchase to take place. In addition to the purchase price there may be other costs to take into account, for example, a portion of the property’s rates.

You’ll also need to decide on the type of property ownership structure for your new property before your agreement is finalised. Options include, owning the property in your own name only, joint ownership, tenants-in-common, company, trust or partnership structures.

The property purchase agreement

Before signing any purchase agreement, check with a legal professional. Your lawyer should check that any contract you sign clearly sets out the full details of the transaction and includes any special conditions you require. Your special conditions may include, for example, making the sale subject to you obtaining finance or obtaining a Land Information Memorandum (LIM).

How can Property Law Service help?

Property Law Service provides advice on your property agreement before you sign as part of our standard service. If you’d like our assistance with your property agreement, please contact us for property purchase agreement advice

Alternatively, you can talk to one of our team on 0800 PPTYLAW (0800 778 952) or +64 6 3705102.