REWINDER - 33 Finch Street, Western Springs

We have been marketing 33 Finch Street, Western Springs, a home that has been meticulously crafted to make the good life even easier. Featuring 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 living plus a single garage! A picture of modern style and luxury, this completely renovated home delivers a fabulous family lifestyle.

SOLD: Thursday 5th September 2019

An incredible campaign resulting in:

  • 20 days on the market

  • 113 buyer inspections

  • 8 repeat inspections

  • 8,608 Online views

  • 14 enquiries

  • SOLD for $2,175,000

    Want to talk through a campaign with us? Get in touch to start your journey.


We have great local knowledge and are achieving lots of sales in your neighbourhood. Do you want an appraisal or to check in with us over your future plans?

Get in touch if we can help

REWINDER - 101A Te Kawa Road, Greenlane

We have been marketing 101A Te Kawa Road, Greenlane. A spacious and sunny architecturally designed urban retreat nestled on a 497sqm freehold site. Featuring 3 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 lounge, 1 dining and a double garage.

SOLD AT AUCTION: Wednesday 4th September 2019

  • Only 5 days on the market

  • Pre auction offer - brought forward auction

  • 27 buyer inspections

  • 4 repeat inspections

  • 3,885 Online views

  • 5 enquiries

  • SOLD $1,154,000

    Want to talk through a campaign with us? Get in touch to start your journey.

We have great local knowledge and are achieving lots of sales in your neighbourhood. Do you want an appraisal or to check in with us over your future plans?

Get in touch if we can help

REWINDER - 74 Gribblehirst Road, Sandringham

We have been marketing 74 Gribblehirst Road, Sandringham. This beautifully presented 1910 square front villa has impeccable street appeal and centrally located in the sought after suburb of Sandringham. With 4 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1 lounge and a single garage.

SOLD AT AUCTION: Wednesday 28th August 2019

We have great local knowledge and are achieving lots of sales in your neighbourhood. Do you want an appraisal or to check in with us over your future plans?

Get in touch if we can help

REWINDER - 10A Gladfield Lane, Te Atatu Peninsula

We have been marketing 10A Gladfield Lane, Te Atatu Peninsula, A home with a modern living environment that promotes lifestyle and flexibility with great indoor/outdoor entertaining options.

SOLD AT AUCTION: Wednesday 28th August 2019

  • 52 Inspections

  • 13 Repeat inspections

  • 4,900 Online views

  • 6 enquiries

  • With a fantastic result sold for $800,000

    Want to talk through a campaign with us? Get in touch to start your journey.

We have great local knowledge and are achieving lots of sales in your neighbourhood. Do you want an appraisal or to check in with us over your future plans?

Get in touch if we can help

REWINDER - 19B Cormack Street, Mt Roskill

We have been marketing 19B Cormack Street, Mt Roskill, A spacious entry level family home with 4 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, 2 living & a double car garage!

SOLD AT AUCTION: Wednesday 28th August 2019

  • 57 Inspections

  • 9 Repeat inspections

  • 6,500 Online views

  • 5 enquiries

  • With a fantastic result sold for $818,000

    Want to talk through a campaign with us? Get in touch to start your journey.

We have great local knowledge and are achieving lots of sales in your neighbourhood. Do you want an appraisal or to check in with us over your future plans?

Get in touch if we can help

Health home standards - what you need to know!

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There is some trepidation amongst private sector landlords at the prospect of meeting the new healthy homes standards for rental homes that have been set by our Government. However, we must not lose sight of why these minimum standards have been created and what they will ultimately achieve.

Currently there are almost 600,000 households in rental accommodation in New Zealand and they tend to be older and of poorer quality than homes that are occupied by the owner. Source: www.hud.govt.nz

These measures will improve the standard of housing in New Zealand and will improve the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders.There are five healthy homes standards that all rental properties will need to comply with by 1st July 2024, and sooner if you have a change to a tenancy after 1st July 2021.

Let’s look at each standard:

Heating Standard
A fixed heating device must be installed that can achieve a temperature of at least 18 degrees Celsius on the coldest of days. This temperature is a standard recommended by the World Health Organisaton for the minimum indoor temperature. It is important to note that this requirement is only for the living room of the property. It is anticipated that in most cases the fixed heater will be a heat-pump or wood burner for the larger living rooms, however a fixed electric heater may be enough for smaller rooms. If you have existing heating at your property, it may not meet the new standards if it’s inefficient, unaffordable or unhealthy to run. Examples of these are un-flued gas heaters, open fires and electric heaters (excluding heat pumps) – depending upon home size and the number of heaters provided. An online tool will be available later this year to assess the requirements for heating the living room at your property. Your Harcourts property manager can perform this assessment on your behalf and advise you of a recommended course of action, if any. Harcourts and Noel Leeming are working together to bring our clients a special deal* with regards to purchasing heating devices.

Insulation Standard
Properties managed by Harcourts are set to meet the 2016 insulation requirements by the 1st July 2019 deadline. However, under the new insulation standard, there is a new group of rental homes affected. The minimum level of ceiling and underfloor insulation must now either meet the 2008 Building Code, or for existing ceiling insulation, have a minimum thickness of 120mm. These affected rental homes will already have approximately 70-120mm of ceiling insulation, so the requirement is to increase this to a minimum of 120mm where required.Adequate insulation provides health benefits through minimising heat loss and is key to maintaining a warm, dry and healthy home.

Ventilation Standard
Ventilation is an important factor in preventing mould which can result in respiratory illnesses and worsening asthma. If that isn’t bad enough, mould can damage properties and belongings. Under the new standards, all kitchens and bathrooms must have mechanical extract ventilation. In addition, all living rooms, dining, kitchen and bedrooms must have windows that can be opened. The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) is calling for the Government to make an exemption for shower-steam domes, arguing that these are cheaper and quicker to install than an extractor fan and don’t have an ongoing cost to run. Harcourts works closely with REINZ and will ensure that we are abreast of any changes to this standard. Your Harcourts property manager is connected with a team of tradespeople including electricians and will be able to arrange the installation of any mechanical ventilation required. In addition, through our partnership with Noel Leeming, we will be able to provide discounts on kitchen rangehoods for our clients*.

Moisture Ingress and Drainage Standard
Properties must have adequate drainage and guttering, downpipes and drains. If there is an enclosed subfloor, it must have a ground moisture barrier (if possible to install) that will protect the home from rising moisture.

Draught Stopping Standard
We can insulate and heat our houses; however, this is ineffective if we do nothing to prevent draughts. Guidelines will be made available as to how we can best prevent draughts, however the standard states that landlords must stop any unnecessary gaps or holes in the walls, fan and don’t have an ongoing cost to run. Harcourts works closely with REINZ and will ensure that we are abreast of any changes to this standard. Your Harcourts property manager is connected with a team of tradespeople including electricians and will be able to arrange the installation of any mechanical ventilation required. In addition, through our partnership with Noel Leeming, we will be able to provide discounts on kitchen rangehoods for our clients*. Once we have further clarification on the new healthy homes standards, and when the online tool to assess heating requirements is available, your Harcourts property manager will perform an assessment of your property, with professional assistance if required. We can then advise you what work if any, is required to meet these standards. As we typically inspect our rental properties every three months, we are taking note of what standards your Your Harcourts property manager will then work with you to formulate a plan to action the required work to an agreed timeline. Be aware that the final date for complying with the new healthy homes standards is 1st July 2024, however if you have a new tenant or a varied tenancy after the 1st July 2021, you will only have 90 days to comply. We anticipate that now the healthy homes standards have been set, savvy tenants will be asking to have these requirements met when looking for new rental accommodation. If the property they are renting does not comply on the 1st July 2021, you may find them looking for properties that are compliant with the new standards rather than having to remain in a damp cold home for another three years. If your tenants leave and new tenants move in, you will only have 90 days to complete any workSmart property investors will want their property to be attractive to prospective tenants and/or retain their existing tenants and will therefore be planning to meet these standards before July 2021.

Police have rolled out a new non-emergency number

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Police have introduced a new phone number people can call for non-emergency incidents they want to report to the authorities. Kiwis can call 105 for issues that aren't emergencies, but still want to report them to police. For example, if someone discovers their car is missing, they would be encouraged to call 105 instead of 111. Likewise, if someone finds a broken window, or some new graffiti, from now on they should call 105. 

The 111 number will still be in service - but police are asking for it to be reserved for instances where there is immediate danger. The new number aims to take the pressure off the 111 phone number and to help provide better services for the public. Police receive more than 2 million calls a year, according to Police Minister Stuart Nash. Almost 900,000 calls are made to the 111 service. There are around 1.2 million non-emergency calls to other police numbers.


"Just 20 per cent of 111 calls result in an emergency response, known as priority one," Nash said. He said another 20 per cent are priority two."This means at least 60 per cent of calls to the 111 number could be better dealt with on other channels." Nash said some calls involve complaints about parking, noise - or even cheeky children. "Calls to 111 should be limited to cases where an emergency is happening now or just happened and there's a threat to life or property. If it's already happened and there's no immediate danger, call 105." Nash said he hoped the introduction of the new number would make it easier for callers to get in touch with the right part of the police service for the right reasons.

"There are many other ways people can get help with community safety and crime prevention. The *555 number is for urgent road issues. There are online forms, the anonymous Crimestoppers 0800 line and the 1737 mental health support line. "The new non-emergency number 'ten-five' now makes it so much easier to get the right help from these extra Police," Nash said.
 

When to call 105 (ten-five)

  • Your bike has been stolen from the park

  • Someone has graffitied your wall

  • You've lost your wallet or phone

  • Your handbag was stolen at the library

  • Someone broke your car window

  • If you are a retailer and someone has shoplifted

  • If someone has done a petrol drive off

  • If you want to add information to your existing Police report

  • You see someone acting suspiciously

  • Your car has been stolen

  • You suspect a scam

  • You suspect drug dealing

  • Your shop has been broken into

  • Your house has been burgled (if you think the burglar may still
    be in your home, do not go inside - contact Police
    immediately by calling 111)

When to call 111

  • There is a fire of any sort

  • You need an ambulance because someone is seriously hurt

  • Someone is breaking into your house right now

  • There is a car accident where people might be hurt, or cars are blocking the road

  • Someone has been assaulted and the offender is still there

  • You are afraid for your safety and or for those around you

  • You need an emergency Police response

When to call *555 (mobile phone only)

  • For urgent but not life-threatening traffic matters that don't need an emergency police response

  • Continuous poor driving

  • Traffic congestion, breakdowns and obstructions on the highway

REWINDER - 504/433 Dominion Road, Mt Eden

We have been marketing 504/433 Dominion Road, A fantastic 1 bedroom one bathroom boutique apartment which offers easy living at it’s best!

Sold unconditionally:

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  • 30 Inspections

  • 3 Repeat inspections

  • 3,800 Online views

  • 11 Enquiries

  • With a fantastic result sold for $572,000

    Want to talk through a campaign with us? Get in touch to start your journey.

We have great local knowledge and are achieving lots of sales in your neighbourhood. Do you want an appraisal or to check in with us over your future plans?

Get in touch if we can help

How to add value in the kitchen without breaking the bank

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If you’re planning on selling your home, the kitchen is a great place to start to add value. The kitchen is one of those spaces that can make or break the sale for many buyers, but before you make the decision to totally gut your kitchen and start again, here are some tips on how to get the best out of your existing kitchen without breaking the bank.

 
1) Ease and flow 
First ask yourself if your kitchen functions well or are there some things about it that have always driven you crazy. Is the pantry too small, is the dishwasher too far from the sink or the rubbish bin, is there never enough storage or are the cupboards too high? Consider whether moving an appliance or rejigging those cupboards could significantly improve the flow of your kitchen. Also, think carefully about what you are going to include as chattels in the kitchen. Anything difficult to replace that is a key part of the kitchen should be included in the sale if possible.

 
2) A good clean and splash of paint
One of the simplest ways to freshen up your kitchen is with a coat of paint. Keep it light, airy and neutral – be sure to pick a shade that works with your existing counters and cabinets. Ask for advice at your local paint shop or when in doubt, white is usually a safe bet. A professional clean is a worthwhile investment and should include ceilings and walls. Fly spots and food splatters are big detractors to an otherwise sparkling kitchen. 

 
3) Update your hardware
 
Updating your cupboards with new handles can give your kitchen a more contemporary feel, but make sure they are still in keeping with the overall style of the room. A country style kitchen with traditional wooden cupboards for example won’t suit the same hardware as a sleek minimalist kitchen.

 
4) Declutter storage spaces 
Make sure your cupboards and open shelves are clean, orderly and decluttered. Potential buyers will be looking inside your cupboards, and if they are overflowing it gives the impression that the storage space in your kitchen is inadequate. The same goes for the pantry. Pare back the contents until you have some open space on each shelf. Organise what’s left into a set of matching food storage containers rather than lots of open packets. To make space you may need to remove items from your pantry and store them in a box out of sight during open homes.

 
5) Let the light in
Consider the lighting in your kitchen – you’re looking for that bright, airy feel. Good lighting will make your kitchen seem bigger, brighter and will make it more functional too. No one wants to cook or entertain in a dark, poorly lit kitchen. 

 
6) Help buyers imagine it as their own 
Your kitchen may be very personal to you and your tastes, but now is the time to make it clean, simple and neutral. Buyers may not share your love of bright colours or ornate accessories. They’ll want to stamp their own personality on their new kitchen, so give them a clean canvas to work with if you want to appeal to a wide range of buyers.

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A three minute read on the history of Mt Eden

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Mt Eden (Maungawhau) is a suburb in Auckland with the mountain being a mark on the skyline for many parts of the Auckland isthmus. Mt Eden consists of three cones and is 196 meters above sea level. The mountain archaeological sites bear testimony to the occupation of the mountain by Maori and the mountain remains a focal point for the residents of the suburb. In 1986 a road was built to drive up the summit and at the same time in order to protect the cone, 27 hectares of the Mt Eden domain was set aside as crown land.

The climate, plenty of food, fertile volcanic soil and essay access to the harbours was a great advantage life in Mt Eden for the Maori’s. It as thought to be as early as 1200 Chief Titahi taught the people how to develop terraced gardens on the side of the mountain, he also taught them how to make stone walls to provide protection and defensive against the enemy. In the 1700s when the Europeans came to the area, they cleared the land of the scoria rocks and made fences with them to distinguish the property boundaries. During the 1840s the land was divided into small farms and then most of the land was subdivided into large suburban plots in 1870 and the principal roads were formed by the Crown. The first school, Mt Eden Normal was opened in 1877 on the corner of Mt Eden and Valley Road.

The development of Auckland was dependent on the availability of land, transport the desire of the middle class to move of the    crowded inner city. The population of Auckland had increased by around 25% from 1874 to 1881. However, more dramatic increases were soon following with the population of Auckland Borough doubling from 1881 to reach 33,161 people in 1886.

At the height of development around this time, these centers provided most of the everyday services, supplies, and  entertainment needed by the surrounding suburb. The shopping precincts located on the earliest roads in the area, developed in  conjunction with the rapidly increasing population and improvements in public transport particularly the tramlines, with a significant period of built development in the 1920s and 1930s.

Estate agents touted the lifestyle benefits of living away from the city and the social prestige a suburban address enamored. Suburban life offered the fresh and open space that was missing from the small allotments and narrow lanes of the inner city. Allotments in subdivisions in Mt Eden, Morningside and Kingsland found buyers amongst settlers and speculators alike.

At the dawn of the twentieth-century, housing had largely replaced the farms, which had graced Mt Eden, Balmoral, and Sandringham. The increase in the residential population was accompanied by the development of roads, public transport, churches, schools, and early business and industry.

Volcanic stone was used extensively for early road building, as well as walls and fences and remains an important characteristic of the area. Allotment sizes demonstrate a pattern of more substantial suburban development and the area retains its early housing stock to a large degree, including large one and two-storied timber villas. The villa including its architecture, decoration, and surroundings form a lasting expression of the Victorian middle class in NZ, reflecting a love of home and comfort, spacious interiors, decoration, and display.

REWINDER - 17 Leslie Ave, Sandringham

Abbey and Richard have been marketing 17 Leslie Ave, Sandringham. A stunning example of Luxe Family Living.  

Click to watch the Auction here

202 Inspections

45 Repeat inspections

15 Registered parties

5 active bidders

42 bids recorded


With a fantastic result sold under the hammer for $2,480,000.


We have great local knowledge and are achieving lots of sales in your neighbourhood. Do you want an appraisal or to check in with us over your future plans?

Get in touch if we can help



REWINDER - 3 Euston Road, Sandringham

We have been marketing 3 Euston Road, Sandringham, A fantastic example of a Bungalow in one of Auckland’s sought after locations

We had the auction in rooms at Harcourts Epsom. 

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  • 59 Inspections

  • 7 Repeat inspections

  • 3 Registered parties

  • 3 active bidders

  • 18 bids recorded

  • With a fantastic result sold under the hammer for $1,005,000

    Want to talk through a campaign with us? Get in touch to start your journey.


Events you shouldn't miss this March!

Cirque Du Soleil - 15th February - 24th March

The most famous circus in the world is in town for a short time only and it’s something you don’t want to miss! Performing at Alexandra Park until the 24th March it’a an adrenaline rush of acrobatics under the famous blue-and-yellow big top. So take the family or friends and make it a night to never forget!

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The Red Hot Chili Peppers - Sat 9th March

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Touching down in the City of Sails for two shows, this iconic band is proving one of the hottest tickets of the year so far. Despite both shows selling out in record time, we haven’t lost hope in the resales — so we’re keeping our eyes peeled and our fingers crossed. This is certainly one not to miss.

 

Sculpture On The Golf  - Friday 1st March until Sunday the 24th March. 

New Zealand’s preeminent outdoor sculpture exhibition returns in 2019 with a stellar line-up of established and emerging local artists. Spend a day on Waiheke, exploring the 28 works selected for the sculpture trail against the beautiful, wild backdrop of the Island.

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The Heineken Urban Polo - Saturday 16th March

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As the name promises, this urban answer to classic, country polo has reliably drawn crowds over the last few years, and this year, its

looking to be better than ever before! Tickets on sale now, so drab your glad rags and head to Ellerslie Racecourse on Saturday the 16th of March.


 Auckland Art Festival  - 7th-14th March

Auckland will be overrun by various cultural events as part of its highly-anticipated Arts Festival. Highlights for this year includes the classic operatic masterpiece, The Magic Flute, performed by internationally-acclaimed Komische Oper Berlin; Blanc de Blanc — an incredible, burlesque cabaret from the acclaimed creators behind Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour that is set to be an evening of glamour and wonder; and the hair-raising circus that is Backbone, where performers will test the laws of gravity and undertake breathtaking acrobatic feats. Head to https://www.aucklandfestival.co.nz/ for more info. 

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Anti-Money Laundering Implications

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New Zealand is a target for money launderers. It is estimated that well over $1 billion a year from drug dealing and fraud is laundered through New Zealand businesses. New Zealand introduced its Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing Terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation in 2009. Banks, financial institutions and many other sectors have been operating under the legislation since June 2013 and Real Estate agents have been captured under the legislation from 1 January 2019.

Since 1 January 2019 Real Estate agents are, among other things, required to verify the identity of their clients (vendors) in accordance with AML/CFT legislation. This is called Customer Due Diligence (CDD).

 This means they are required to identify who their clients are (i.e. who they are acting for). This could be individuals, companies, trusts, or other client types like societies and government departments etc. They will need to ask for information to verify a client’s full name, date of birth, and residential address. This can be done in several ways, like the banks, they will ask to see identity documents like a Passport, Driver’s Licence or utility bill etc. In some cases, they have obligations to establish source of funds and wealth.

If your real estate agent cannot verify your identity in line with the legislation, they may not be able to act for you. More information about CDD is outlined below.

This change primarily impacts vendors. If you are purchasing property you are not deemed a client of the real estate company (unless you have engaged a real estate sales consultant as a buyer’s agent) however, your lawyer also has AML/CFT obligations and may need to complete CDD. We encourage all purchasers to engage early with lawyers in any sale or purchase process. See ‘Documentation that may be requested’ below for an outline of the things that may be requested.

Who do real estate agents need to complete CDD on?

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They must identify and verify:

  • the client;

  • each beneficial owner of the client; and

  • each person acting on behalf of the client including the authority to act on behalf of the client e.g. a lawyer or representative giving instructions on someone’s behalf.

What is a beneficial owner?

A beneficial owner is any individual (natural person) who satisfies one or more of following:

  • the individual has effective control of the client; or

  • the individual is a person on whose behalf a transaction is conducted;

  • the individual owns more than 25% of the client or person on whose behalf a transaction is conducted (e.g. direct/indirect shareholders).

What is effective control?

Effective control is the ability to exercise control or influence over a company or entity. Typically, this will be the directors of a company or entity or those who hold senior positions. It could also be those who are funding the company, so this is something else that real estate agents will need to consider, and where relevant, enquire about.

 

What information will real estate sales consultants need to get?

As a starting point, the following identity information must be obtained:

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  • the person’s full name;

  • the person’s date of birth;

  • if the person is not the client, the person’s relationship to the client;

  • any additional information prescribed by regulations.

The nature and purpose of the business relationship:

Your real estate agent is also required to get information on the nature and purpose of the proposed business relationship with all beneficial owners. This includes understanding what the client is trying to achieve, how much business is expected, and how regular the interactions will be.

Source of funds/wealth:

In some cases, the real estate agent will need to establish the source of the funds for the transaction (i.e. where the funds have actually come from) and source of wealth (i.e. how those funds got there in the first place and how was that money obtained).

Documentation that may be requested: 

The information that a real estate agent requests will vary depending on whether business is being carried out for an individual or as part of a partnership, company, public body, estate or trust.

The following gives an indication of some of the documents a real estate agent may request in person or as certified documents as part of the due diligence process:

Individuals:

Passport, NZ Firearms Licence or NZ Driver's Licence with another document such as a bank statement or statement issued by a Government agency. Clients may also need to provide a document with a residential address (for example, a utility bill).

Trusts:

The Trust Deed and, for trustees, and settlors, the information required for individuals as noted above, together with information regarding the Trust’s source of funds or wealth. Additional information may also be required for beneficiaries. Information regarding source of funds or wealth may also be required.

Companies:

Details of the company, together with the information for individuals noted above for every individual with more than a 25% shareholding, all individuals with effective control of the company and all individuals acting on behalf of the company. Information regarding source of funds or wealth may also be required.

The above list is not exhaustive and is indicative only. Real estate agents will assist clients with specific requirements in relation to individual situations.


Christmas edition 2018

The final Christmas edition!  It's time to give your inboxes a rest.  
Just like that 2018 real estate has begun to wind down.  We are about to take some time off leading into Christmas.  But we won't be away long we have three campaigns kicking off early in the new year, Stay tuned!  2018 Has been a very busy year for us, and while there is considerable commentary about the state of the market this year, we maintain that there hasn't been a better time to re-size (up or down). We managed to help over 80 buyers and sellers make those sometimes emotional decisions, which enabled us to make the Top 20 in Auckland for the whole year, rising to number 5 for July - September.  We will be taking some time to catch up with friends and family in Gisborne & Christchurch to get recharged for a return in 2019! If you have been thinking of moving in the new year, get in touch and we can discuss catching up in January.  

Until next year, safe travels, Merry Christmas & A happy new year! 

Abbey and Richard 

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Your property investment starter guide

If you’re looking at taking the next step to your first investment property then there’s a few things you need to consider first. Property Investment is one of the most popular types of investment in New Zealand, and it’s a big one! So, read the books, magazines, reports and religiously check trade me and realestate.co.nz to get a fair idea on what you’re looking for.

Getting started

  • Learn the basic principles you need to know about property investment

  • Understand how to turn your first investment property into a portfolio

Check your finances! - Can you afford to buy it? Rent it out? How easy will it be to rent out? Work out how much equity you already have along with any savings then get pre-approval from the bank or a trusted mortgage broker to get an indication on how much money you will be able to borrow.

Buying at the bottom
Start off with a low-cost property to make sure you can handle it. Be sure to purchase in a good location where you can generate more of a profit in the future. Also, before you jump the gun and decide on a property, make sure you thoroughly check through the Land Information Memorandum (LIM) and building report to safeguard your investment.

Rental Income or Capital Gain?
Whether you’re purchasing to rent out, or purchasing to add value for capital gain property investment can have significant financial benefits. However, it does have both pros & cons so lets break it down.

Pros

  • Can provide you with extra income, as long as the rent is higher than the mortgage payments and other expenses combined.

  • Flexibility to sell at the right time.

  • Future financial security and Tax Benefits.

  • If you have an investment property, you can also use the existing equity in the property to get another loan or to purchase another investment property.

Cons

  • Management Costs – Compared to other investment types, property is expensive to buy, sell and maintain.

  • Bad tenants can be a nightmare. Not only can they affect your cash flow, but if they don’t pay their rent on time they can cause emotional stress.

  • Sudden changes like rental vacancies or rising interest rates can put huge strain on your cash flow.

  • You may not be able to find tenants for your property quickly.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re venturing into something as fraught as property investment. But don’t give up! Tell yourself this; in ten years I’ll be leaning back with my feet up, cocktail in hand celebrating the decision of going down the property investment road.

Spring cleaning for outside

So you’ve spring cleaned inside, but don’t stop there. Do the maintenance outside, so you can enjoy as it warms up. We’ve made a list of some important aspects of your outdoor area that may need some attention. We guarantee you’ll thank yourself later!

Is your deck looking tired?

Having a nicely maintained deck gives you some where to spent time in summer. You might be thinking “she’ll be right” for now but you don’t want to leave it till your decks beyond repair. There are a few simple steps to spruce up your deck; if its wooden:

·      Start with the water bead test:

Splash some water on your deck and if the water doesn’t absorb and instead “beads” then you’ll need to sand the wood first, until it absorbs a splash of water.

·      Prepare the timber by cleaning with an oxalic acid based cleaner- this brings the timber back to a natural colour and removing stains.

·      Once the deck is dry- apply the oil such as Intergrain UltraDeck which you can get from your local hardware shop. With most oils you’ll need 2-3 coats.

 

  • Clean your BBQ

It’s not a typical kiwi summer without having the cuzzies around for a barbie. So make sure you’re ready.

·     Take apart your grill and clean thoroughly. Use a wire brush and degreasing agent to wash the grates. Perhaps you might need to remove the drip pans and clean out.

 

  • After a season of rain, your windows are probably quite dingy.

 

  • Inspect your gutters to remove any debris. If you find any leaks, repair them with gutter sealant from the inside.


  • Pressure wash the side of your home with a water blaster, make sure you start at the highest parts of the house to avoid washing dirt down onto clean areas.

 

  • Do your weeding, it’s a lot easier when the soil is still moist with spring rain.

 

  • Its spring, so of course your shrubs and bushes would have grown, but continue pruning them back so they have more energy to keep growing.

 

We hope this will help you get sorted. In saying that, we need to do all of this as well so you’re not alone!

Ready, set, GROW!

Spring gardening tips and what to plant this season

Now a few weeks into spring, it’s time to get your garden looking as good as your neighbours! You might be wondering why your garden is looking dull, even in SPRING?! It could be what you’ve planted. Here’s a list of what to plant and what not to plant in spring:

 Plants that flourish in spring:

·      Fruit trees

·      Blueberries & strawberries- Planting as soon as you can will help the root system get established so the plants can survive throughout summer, so no excuses! Another tip if you’re planting berries this spring is pick off the berries as this will take less energy away from the roots that need to get established.

·      Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Chives. There is more moisture in the soil in spring- so get planting herbs!

·      Cabbage and lettuce- these do better in cooler soil so plant them before it starts to heat up for summer.

·      Sunflowers

·      Snapdragons

·      Geraniums

·      Zucchini

·      Passionfruit

What not to plant in spring:

·      Tomatoes

·      Peppers

·      Squash

·      Eggplants

These plants need a warm climate, and can be killed by frost (this spring has been very cold so far) It is better to wait till summer.

 

Spring gardening tasks:

  • Turn your compost- and check to see if any is ready to use.

  • If you don’t have a compost, how about getting some manure to dress your garden beds.

  • Eradicate pesky early spring weeds before they get too established. Do weeds keep sprouting back after you’ve taken them out? After you remove them, temporarily put down a layer of landscape fabric before adding mulch this will discourage weed growth!

  • Repair bowed sides of garden beds- soggy winter soil might have rotted a few boards

  • Lay mulch over bare parts of your garden where you plan to plant, this will minimize the emergence of weeds sprouting before you get around to planting.

  • Early spring brings a lot of slugs- use non-toxic slug control or pick them off young seedlings as you go.

  • Prune existing fruit trees before buds begin to bloom.

Taking the time to complete a few easy spring garden tasks will bring you benefits for the rest of the season. We hope this helps you get control of your garden before the warmer summer months!

 

August Update

Just like that, we are 19 weeks away from Christmas!  So much to do, so little time. Usually at this time of year the longer days mean I am out running, biking and enjoying the crisp air in the lead up to the Auckland half marathon but not that it matters at the moment, my sporting days are on hold, having confirmed that I have torn my MCL and ruptured the ACL, surgery is on the cards in December.  No rest for me, I wasn’t even sidelined a day as many have seen me battle on with crutches at open homes (great talking point)!
We did manage to squeeze a few days away in Surfer Paradise last month 25 Degrees in winter…  why do I live in Auckland again?  While we were away Harcourts Northern region awards were on, and we collected a few awards....   

4th Place in Northern Region

Top 20 for Jan – March 2018 (13th Place) 

Top 20 April – June 2018 (15th place)

We are so thankful to all of our clients for working with us!  We have now sold in 28 suburbs in Auckland.  The buyers have come back over the last month, and it has been tracking this way due to the lack of listings down 33%, and we are seeing good open home numbers, good auction activity and a positive vibe from the market. If you had been thinking about waiting for spring, simply don’t.  If you need help fast-tracking your plans, talk to us, we have a contact for everything.  Its the final weekend on the market for a renovated bungalow in Mt Albert and a retro classic unit in Sandringham.

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Kitchen Renovation Guide

Our Top Tips For Kitchen Renovations 

A kitchen is not only one of the hearts of the home, it's a huge make or break point for future buyers!

When it comes to renovating your kitchen, you know that there’s a lot of work that’s about to be put in and a lot of money that’s about to be spent. There’s so much planning that needs to be done before you even start to renovate, so make sure you’re well prepared and know exactly what you’re doing. Here are a few tips for you to think about before you start on your future kitchen.

Firstly:

How do you want your kitchen to look? The most important step in kitchen renovating is to make sure you know what you want before you commit. Talk to a few professionals and see what they recommend then decide on which design company you want to go with. Have a shop around and get a few ideas on what materials and options are on the market and how much they cost then set yourself a budget, but be prepared to go over with all the extra temptations.

Painting

If you’re looking at painting the walls in your new kitchen, then this needs to be done before the floors are laid. Choose a colour scheme that will blend in well with your chosen cabinets and bench tops. Also think about your appliances, will these be colored or simple? Choose these appliances before you plan your cabinetry. The key is to make sure everything is going to tie in well. 
 


Layout & Design:

Ask yourself this, “Why are you renovating your kitchen in the first place?” lay out on a plan what you really need.

  • What are the pain points of your current Kitchen?
  • What do you need more of?
  • What do you need less of?

Use your space well! It’s crucial that your layout is practical and suitable not only for you, but for future buyers. Don’t rush into anything. Figure out what is going where and place everything on your design knowing that it's exactly where it needs to be. Are you using a double or single fridge? How big is your cooktop and oven going to be? Will you be using electricity or gas? These are all the things that need to be thought of when it comes to layout and design.

Electricity & Plumbing

Are you using existing sockets and plumbing for your sinks and appliances? If this is not the case you need to make sure that all of this is organised before the flooring is laid. For you plugs - make sure you know the placement of your appliances first so you know exactly where your sockets need to go. Wherever you decide to put your sink, make sure your dishwasher is nearby, it’s an obvious fact, but you never know what can travel from the mind in the stressful times of kitchen renovating.

Storage 

Storage is everything! To really know that you have enough, think of every utensil out there and make sure there is a place for it. If you have the budget, we recommend investing in soft close drawers. These are a huge hit point, as it saves the sound of slamming drawers.

Islands or Breakfast Bars

Even though you might only be a family of two, make sure your breakfast bar can fit at least three chairs. Make sure there is a power point nearby for those important phone and laptop chargers.

Finishing Touches to Make Your Mark

Is your home filled with character or is it modern? One of the big things when it comes to renovating is to make sure your new kitchen is going to flow with the rest of your home. Put in some quirky but modern lights above the breakfast bar and an eye-catching splash back behind your cooktop that will really bring your kitchen to life. Think about the colour of your taps to the handles on your drawers and cabinets. Also take a look into current ‘Kitchen Design Trends’ and see if there’s anything that could really bring your kitchen to life.