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A guide to Buying Auckland Property in 2016

If you or someone you know is about to buy residential property in Auckland you/they will become aware very quickly that the house prices have not yet stabilized, and buying in Auckland will now be a bigger investment than elsewhere especially for younger families and many senior citizens/ elderly
After deciding on the usual issues such as area affordability, school zones and work location, take some time and research to prioritize some of the following points:

  • Location in relation to other places such as sports venues, clubs, shops, medical centres
    (traffic issues & noise, or handiness to the above)
  • Distance to motorways & arterial roads, public transport.
  • Airport flight paths, power pylons, industrial buildings (noise /air pollution)
  • Local area transport plans for roading / building zone changes.
  • Neighbouring property heights, boundaries and potential for redevelopment and building
    heights
  • Cross Lease properties – check for extensions or garages added on that have not been
    registered on both or all titles (additional legal costs could be incurred)
  • Methamphetamine is being manufactured in some residential suburbs—if a previously rented property is freshly painted over, the owners have moved out suddenly or you detect strange odours, you can have the property tested for residual chemicals. The cost and delay will far outweigh the huge stress and cost if you move in and discover issues later.

Auckland House Market
The average selling price for the Auckland market is predicted to rise to around $1 million in 2017.
What does this really mean? Essentially there are not enough properties available or on the market for the number of motivated and financially approved buyers, who were being fired up by the fear of not finding a property before the prices increase even further beyond their range prior to April.
(If you are on the move, ensure a meeting with your banker and be “pre-approved” to spend at a certain level so you are not wasting time or being disappointed by missing out)

Interest Rates are still affordable for most buyers 5.3% -6% range. Consider buying in the suburbs previously not considered as a choice, as the more new buyers spread out into the suburbs, so do new refreshed communities form.
In this year 2016 it’s not uncommon in Auckland to expect sales to be in excess of 25% – 30% above the current CV of properties in inner suburbs that buyers are desperate to move to.
Record numbers of bidders at many auctions of desirable properties are still fueling the rush to live in leafy suburbs of Auckland and North Shore. Despite reports of people moving to small towns or hamlets and commuting to Auckland, Hamilton or Manukau, many buyers are still cautious of the impacts that long hours of work and commuting can cause on families and relationships.

Several agents are now promoting properties in far outer suburbs that are affordable for first home buyers, but the compromises require careful research. Is it better to rent and invest in a property in another town to rent out? ( in which case a valuation and building inspection will be essential).

Bookings for our Dwell Healthy Homes house inspections are still running at a high level – always an indication that the savvy buyers are taking the right precautions before purchasing.
There are still too many houses on the market that have serious deficiencies and non compliance even if they look grand or pretty and buyers must do their homework thoroughly to make informed decisions.
It is important to call us early for your discussion or building inspection before auction or in the due diligence period of a purchase offer – last minute rushes put undue pressure on busy agents and inspectors. For best results call soon.

It’s Painting Time

With the height of summer passing and the social rounds that take up weekends and week day evening have passed, NOW is a good time to book in and complete those paintings jobs that are essential to keep our homes protected from cracking, drying out or letting in moisture during winter months.  The weather in March and April is really conducive to repainting & staining in Auckland as it is not as hot and humid and paint applies better.

Consider

  • Touching up or repainting /staining/oiling wooden window frames, sashes and stills
  • Barge boards, external doors, door steps, check your claddings for cracking during summer.

It’s old but true; preparation, preparation, preparation, then paint.

  • Use the correct type of paint for the surface and situation.
  • Use registered contractors who have integrity and use environmentally appropriate products.  Call us at Dwell to discuss your maintenance programme.
  • Repair where it’s required before painting.  If there is rot, have it checked out as the source may not be at the site where you see the rotten wood.
  • Avoid buying super low cost paint, you get what you pay for – have a conscience.  Is the quick flick socially and economically sustainable in the long term?

If you are painting your entire house exterior call us, we will visit your site with a paint specialist and specify the right types of paint finishes to use for your surfaces and roof.

Tips For a Healthier Bathroom

These four simple tips will help you to have a healthier bathroom with minimal effort:

  1. Always rinse shower walls (if you have a hand piece) and wipe down walls and shower base with a rubber squeegee to minimize the soap and body oil build up.  This minimizes cleaning time for you or your cleaner and keeps shower dry.  Leave shower door open so the walls cool down quickly in warm weather, slowing down the environment for fungi breeding.
  2. Fit a timer and auto sensor to your bathroom extractor fans so that they stay on for 5-10 minutes after you leave the steaming bathroom, ensuring that steam is removed.  Excellent for rental properties.
  3. Leave a window open in bathroom and fit stainless steel security stays.
  4. Clean bathrooms every week including window frames, sills & skirting’s to prevent fungal and mould growth.

Is Your Roof Santa-Safe?

Some maintenance tasks are common to all types of roof; others are specific to the particular roof type. Some tasks will need to be completed more often if you live close to the sea or in a geothermal area. Check with the manufacturer of your roof for specific maintenance requirements. Once a year you should have your roof cladding, chimneys and flashings checked by a reliable roofing contractor or builder.

Build-up of salts and dirt

This encourages rust on steel & galvanized iron roofs, and moss and lichen on tiles. If you live within a couple of kms from the seafront, you will have salt deposits in your gutters and areas of roof.  If you live in a flight landing corridor e.g.. Manukau and environs or Hobsonville/Herald Island and parts of North Shore, roofs will have darker deposits from aviation fuel. Regular annual or 2 yearly cleaning by a professional company will keep the roof fresh looking and clear of buildups that mask deteriorating surfaces.

Block off any gaps where birds can nest (after the fledglings have flown if you have already found them nesting!)

Damaged/unstable TV aerial or receiver dish

With the recent change to digital television in Auckland, many people will have had to replace aerials or have satellite dishes installed.   Generally installers are careful not to damage roofs however it is wise to have your roof checked.   Are there dents in coated metal tiles?  Have they left any unsealed screw holes upon removal of of aerial fittings that will allow water ingress?   Don’t wait to find out when the roof leaks next Autumn, or in a sudden summer storm.

Call Dwell to refer a competent inspector.

Chimneys

Concrete:  Check Mortar on concrete & brick chimneys (keep in mind that we have had several tremors in parts  Auckland in the past year) look for cracks, crumbling mortar and use a plumb-line to check the chimney is still vertically ‘in line’.

Metal:  Check for corrosion and lifted flashings around rooflines at the joints with the house and along the ridge lines.

Corrosion of flue pipe, cowl or fastenings is another common issue and could be due to a buildup of combustion deposits or trapped and ponding water.

Chimney cleaning:  T o keep your House Insurance Policy current you must have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a registered chimney sweep annually.    

Lifted or dislodged flashings

Flashings protect vulnerable areas of the roof – joints.  If they fail they affect the weather tightness of the roof allowing water to get into your home.  Flashings are usually damaged by people – replacing tiles, walking on the roof, cleaning roughly etc.

The condition of your roof is something that should be checked regularly.  How long since your roof was inspected?

Now is a Perfect Time to Draft Your Home Maintenance Plan

We suggest drawing up a home maintenance plan that helps you to programme various maintenance jobs over the summer months, whether you attend to them yourself or engage a contractor.

Maintenance is necessary to keep your home in a good state of repair to maximize its value; this includes everything from regular exterior cleaning and minor repairs inside and out, to repainting the whole house.

As a bare minimum it is sensible to budget $1,500 or better yet 0.3 – 0.5% of the value of your house per year for maintenance. This does vary widely depending on the age, size and condition of your house and the building materials used. You may not use all of this maintenance money one year, and then have major expenses the next! But it will average out over time. Maintenance cannot be avoided; it is important that you budget for it and plan your home maintenance.

This is where Dwell Healthy Homes can help you, with our Home Maintenance Programme:

Dwell’s Home Maintenance Programme provides you with:

  • A clear and detailed report on the condition of your property
  • A list of any regular maintenance that will be required, notes on any
  • Likely future issues
  • A scheduled time-line of maintenance that your home will require over the next 5 – 10 years
  • A reminder, and trades recommendation service, to help you keep maintenance up to date

Some maintenance items could be checked now before Christmas, or if you are not going away, during the holiday period.

Question: Do you have a maintenance plan?

Home Maintenance

For the majority of buyers, a residential home is their biggest single investment, yet so many hundreds of homes are showing signs of neglect and tiredness within 3—5 years from purchase date. The main reason is absence of a Maintenance Plan, and a Budget to carry out this plan.

Building maintenance is critical and a sound home maintenance plan will help you budget in advance for building and home repairs.

There are many variables in the amount of property maintenance work that ‘s required to be done and time frames, depending on age & construction of the property, durability of materials, location and environmental factors.

For example a home on the boundary of the southern motorway in Greenlane and Ellerslie will require more frequent washing and painting than a similar property in a new estate or subdivision like those in areas that are located well away from a Motorway or industrial area. Bush enclosed sites and sea front locations create a need for increased maintenance also.

During our inspections we witness the decay, degradation and depreciation of properties through lack of regular planned maintenance, so we want to develop an awareness through assisting our clients to develop a budget and offer a service to do on-going maintenance checks & to facilitate the work through our network of trades people.

Through an initial building inspection, immediate and short term requirements for the next 1-2 years can be identified and can also be budgeted for in the application for mortgage to purchase the property. Then a long term 2– 10 years plan can be made enabling the property owner to spread the cost through budgeting long term.

Talk to us about the Dwell Maintenance Plan – there’s no time like the present!