HOMETOPIA insights


Putting together your A-Team

Successful home buying requires a collaborative effort. Here are some tips on putting together your A-Team.

The rule for recruiting all members of your team is the same. Choose someone that you can identify with; someone who is on your wavelength and understands the life issues you face now and in the future.

Check out all of your potential team via their websites before deciding who to talk to in person. How do they communicate, is their content original and practically valuable?

The home buying journey rarely goes according to plan and there will be bumps and scrapes along the way. Ask yourself is this the sort of person you could work with in times of pressure and high drama.

Mortgage Broker

Finding a professional who can advise you of your home loan opportunities, restrictions and financial realities is a key starting point to the home buying process.

If you are an investor, should you be looking to work with a variety of lenders to limit your reliance on any one party? What are the pros and cons?

Are there any lenders that the broker doesn’t have access to?

Besides the best interest rate, what other benefits can lenders provide, eg, a contribution to legal fees, or other added value services?


Check out mortgage brokers here.

Building Inspector

It’s important that you have any prospective home properly inspected to ensure it is sound, or that you know exactly what’s wrong with it before you sign on the dotted line.

The inspection industry is largely unregulated and there is an enormous variation in the quality of reports produced. Some are inadequately brief, while others are ridiculously long, packed with filler and short on conclusions.

Many companies have examples of their reports available for download on their websites. If not, ask two or three companies to email you an example of a report so you can see their approach for yourself. Choose an inspector that writes reports that are thorough but also to the point.

When you have chosen an inspector, try and accompany him or her to the inspection itself. Much will be revealed in person that will never come out on the report. If that’s not possible follow up the report with a phone call to talk things through in more detail.

Check out building inspectors here.


Pick a lawyer that is right for the job you require.

If you simply require conveyancing services you may use a company that specialises in it. They offer good value compared to general firms because they don’t have the same overheads or access to specialist functions like litigation.

On the other hand, if you are wanting to form a family trust to hold the property, you need to ensure that the firm can also offer this service.

You may be new to the country and want a solicitor that you can build an ongoing relationship with as your family or business lawyer and offers a wide range of private and commercial services.

Check out property lawyers here.


Be prepared to call in the specialists when you need them.

Is there evidence of borer damage in the timber? Want to know if you can convert the cross lease to freehold? Need thermographic imaging to identify moisture? Concerned about subdivision issues or being built out? Your building inspector and lawyer can point you in the right direction of specialists to get help on all of these matters and more.

For more home buying tips and advice read Stephen's column at BNZ Good Home

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