Extra costs when buying a house

FIRST HOME

Extra costs when buying a house

When buying your first home the big cost you focus on saving for is understandably the deposit. However, it’s also important to remember that there are other costs in the home-buying process and ensure you have money set aside to cover them.

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LIM report

A LIM report is a Land Information Memorandum report, and it is produced by the council which governs a property. It covers everything the council knows about the property, including important information like zoning, resource consents, whether the property or any trees on it are protected, and a lot of other relevant information.

It is important to get a LIM report for any property you are interested in buying, and to look it over with your lawyer. The cost of a LIM report depends on the council which issues it, but is generally between $250 and $400.

Building inspection

A pre-purchase building inspection is a top-to-bottom, non-invasive visual inspection of a property. The inspection is to identify any significant defects, overdue maintenance, possible future problems, poor building work, or other areas of concern. While an inspection can’t detect every problem with a house, it is important to get any house you are interested in inspected to spot if there are likely to be expensive issues down the track.

While there are no formal qualifications or training required to be a building inspector, the New Zealand Institute of Building Surveyors is an organisation that specialises in coordinating and regulating pre-purchase building inspectors. Using an inspector who is an NZIBS member is a good way of ensuring your inspector knows what they are talking about and uses the official forms.

A building inspection usually costs between $450 and $1,200, depending on the house and the quality of the inspector.

Legal fees

A lawyer is a necessary part of the home-buying process, but they can be costly. Depending on the lawyer or firm you use you may pay an upfront fee or by the hour. These fees usually start at around $1000 and can extend to over $2000.

Loan application fees

Some lenders charge loan application fees of around $400, but this will depend on which lender you end up going to for your mortgage.

Home insurance

All lenders will require you to insure your property as a condition of your mortgage. The cost of this is based on the value of your house. It’s also a good idea to look at mortgage protection insurance and life insurance as well. These things are all worthwhile to have but can become expensive.

Registered property valuation

A registered property valuation is when a registered property valuer makes a determination of the market worth of the house or property. The valuer comes up with the worth of the house by doing a thorough inspection of the property, looking at zoning and resource consents, and analysing the market and other comparable house sale statistics.

Most lenders will require a registered valuation before they issue a mortgage, as they need to know how much the house is worth and how much they can loan you.

A property valuation costs around $600 to $1000 depending on the size and location of the property.