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Property Info That Matters

Nick Gentle explains how to access the information you need to make an informed decision and what that information means.

By: Nick Gentle

1 February 2019

So, you have a deal in your sights and now it’s time to find out what you can.

The best place to start is to ask the private seller or the agent for the information they have on the property.

Please bear in mind that if an agent is selling the property then they are legally obligated to share with potential purchasers any information they are aware of about the property.

Someone who is trying to sell the property privately may not be aware of their obligations to disclose.

However, it is an online world these days and you can do a lot of research yourself. Below are some examples:

  • Rates: Usually published on local council websites
  • Government/Rating valuation: Council websites, QV
  • Insurance cost and provider: You can often ask for a copy of the invoice for insurance from the vendor or vendor’s agent. This is particularly useful in areas where insurance can be problematic
  • School data: Trade Me, QV
  • Certificate of Title: From the vendor agent or QV
  • Current tenancy details: The vendor agent or vendor
  • Footprint of house: QV
  • Size of section and shape: QV
  • Position of the current house on the site: Google Maps
  • Type of dwelling (home & income, single house etc): QV, Certificate of Title
  • Median values for a suburb & annual growth: QV
  • Median weekly rent: QV • Previous sales: QV
  • Building and resource consents: QV, LIM, and council files
  • Recent sales data: QV, Property Guru
  • For sale data: QV, Property Guru
  • Past consents and claims: The council files.

Note: There are several alternatives to QV such as RP Data, Property Guru and Real Estate Investar.

Another great source of information is to get access to the council files on the property. Every council seems to have a different system and policy for this so I suggest contacting directly to confirm for yourself.

There is no lack of information that you can uncover, however, once you have all of that material . . . then what?

Getting data, reports and other information is one thing. Being able to use that to make the big decisions and get them right is something else altogether.

While the information sources listed above are important, I could summarise the purpose of most of them into one question: Is there something out of the ordinary with this property?

Everything else to do with making a good buying decision comes down to a mix of experience and local knowledge.

  • Local knowledge says that police are often called to this street and rentals change ownership often.
  • Experience works out what the ideal tenant profile is, considers why they would or wouldn’t live there and if that could be improved somehow.
  • Local knowledge says that fog is an issue in winter months, resulting in high tenant turnover.
  • Experience checks for structural issues first and considers cosmetic improvements later.
  • Local knowledge understands the optimal standard to maintain a rental to, neither overcapitalising nor neglecting the property.
  • Experience sees that the property will get poor sun in cold months.
  • Local knowledge knows that the school on the other side of town is preferable to the one this side. Young families often move closer to the better school.

Example: When you look online at many listings, one may look like a real bargain. However in the above case, only those investors with access to the market, experience and knowledge will know that the property is likely to be cold and damp in the winter, tenants won’t stay long, the ground care will be very expensive, the cost of renovating to a rentable standard will be much higher than it is made to appear and that the other side of town is more popular with the long-term residents that investors would like to attract.

iFindProperty is a licensed Investment Property Agency and our clients tell us we are great at helping investors find, analyze and buy great properties to build an awesome portfolio. Our team of Property Finders operate all over New Zealand and each are successful investors in their own markets. Successful investing starts with you and your property goals, so contact us today to talk about what you want to achieve and we will put a team in place to make it happen. Contact:[email protected] or 0274 866 146.

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