First time home buyer? Your step by step guide

first home buyers

We are grateful to have a number of strong relationships with local real estate agents and the wonderful Warren Bexley at Barfoot and Thompson, Westharbour has just been kind enough to drop us off a number of guides here at Spacemax Self Storage to help you in what may be one of the biggest purchases you have made to date.

Here are some of the most important tips we have taken from his guide:

Getting started

Pick the right agency, one you can rely on to help you throughout the purchase process - from the time you start looking for a new home, right up until the day of settlement and beyond.

How much have you got to spend?

It is great to have an accurate idea of what you can afford and where ever possible get pre-approval.  There are some great online resources to help out your budget, including:

Prioritising your needs and wants

You may have a long list of things you want and a limited budget, if this is the case, you may have to compromise.  It can be helpful to determine the 'deal breakers' as opposed to the things you would be willing to live with.  

how well do you know your neighbourhood?

When looking at a neighbourhood you may not be overly familiar with, there are a few things to consider including:

  • Schools
  • Beaches, reserves, parks and sportsgrounds
  • Transport Options and busy roads
  • Good places to eat, drink and socialise
  • Safety and how well maintained surrounding properties are
  • Whether it is a Pet Friendly neighbourhood

Top six open home tips

Going to open homes can turn into a marathon, here are Barfoot and Thompson's top six tips:

  1. Make a schedule
  2. Go to the first weekend of open homes
  3. Ask plenty of questions and write down the answers
  4. Take the open home brochures away with you
  5. Like the home?  Follow up
  6. Have an open open checklist with you

what reports should you get?

  • A Land Information Memorandum (LIM) 
  • A Valuation, the Council Valuation is only for rating purposes and may not reflect actual value, it is worth gaining and independent valuation from registered valuers or online from
  • Builders and Engineers reports
  • Geotech/engineers reports - if you suspect land may be unstable

making an offer

Found something you love?  The time is right to make an offer, but before you proceed, involve a lawyer, get all your property checks done and seek advice on the conditions (if any) to include.  There are two types of offers Unconditional (straightforward offer to buy) and Conditional (the offer to buy has conditions attached e.g. dependent on a builders inspection or finance approval).  

the different ways to buy

There are several ways property is sold in New Zealand, the four main ways you will encounter are

  • Auction
  • Tender
  • Negotiation
  • Mortgagee sale

For more information on these go to

you have bought the house, now what?

Deposit - The deposit you paid will be held in a trust account for 10 working days or until the sale goes unconditional, whichever is the longest.

The Keys - The keys will be held by the estate agent (or by the seller) until the lawyers advise in writing that the settlement has taken place.

Before Settlement:

  • Finalise finances
  • Arrange to sign all legal documentation
  • Organise the move
  • Arrange insurance (we highly recommend
  • Any questions, always talk to your agent or lawyer.