Times are Different, So Is How You Buy Property | Buyers Month

Kim and Toby made a wise decision when they decided buying property in 2020 was their goal. They did their research, remained calm and collected, then spoke to all the right people.

It wasn’t until they were well into the home buying process that they realised they needed less noise, and more action. Such action needed to happen before March 26th, when the nation went into a five week lockdown.

Here is their story.

“Everyone knows that buying your first home is one of the most important financial decisions you'll ever make, but you don't learn much about it until you really have to. Then, you suddenly have every man, real estate agent and his dog giving you advice about what you MUST DO and what you absolutely-should-never-do (or else!!!). 

Some of this advice is good, most of it is well-meaning, but pretty much all of it really depends on you and your situation. What was the perfect decision/strategy/bank for one person may not be a good fit for you at all. What worked well for your boomer parents may be a recipe for disaster in a post-COVID 2020.
This can all get very confusing, very quickly. 

Because of what a massive step buying a house is (and because we are nerds) we had done a lot of research already. "How hard can it be?" we figured. The answer is actually quite hard. Especially if you're house-shopping in Canterbury and have a whole bunch of extra zones, T&Cs and pay-outs thrown in the mix to think about. 

I'm not sure if banks/lawyers/agents make this stuff difficult on purpose, or whether they just know so much about what they do that it's hard to remember a time when they didn't, but we soon realised we needed somebody unbiased and in-the-know on our team. 

We were lucky enough to have Simon recommended by a family member who had met him at the rugby clubrooms and thought he seemed like a "good bloke". That seemed like as good a reason as any to have a meeting with him, and we ended up being really grateful that we did. 

From the first meeting, we both appreciated Simon's straight-up way of working. It was very obvious that he is a major expert in his field, and could easily have told us exactly what to do on the spot, but he listened to what we wanted and took our personal preferences into consideration. We felt free to ask as many questions as we needed to and because of this, Simon was able to lead us into the best possible decision for us. 

From the day our offer was accepted (yay, finally), Simon and Corrina kept in communication about what was happening from their end and what we needed to do from ours. They made the whole process smooth and easy until we went unconditional on the very last day before NZ's first Level 4 lockdown. 

Now, we are loving paying rent to ourselves and watching our mortgage go down (albeit by what seems like a tiny amount) each week. We are looking forward to our first fixed period finishing so we can work with Simon to rearrange our mortgage again (especially since mortgage rates are getting even lower, woohoo!). 

Being on the other side of it now, it is really hard not to become one of the people dishing out unsolicited advice to friends going through the first home buying experience. I am trying not to (and failing so far), but the one piece of advice that I am happily pushing to anyone that will listen is to find a good mortgage broker! Also, to buy a pet, that's great advice too”.

We agree with Kim, pets are a fine addition to your new living situation, but so are Mortgage Advisors prior to that.
What sticks out to us are some key points Kim identifies:

  • No matter how much research you do, there will always be unknowns to navigate. 
  • When you understand the opportunities to “paying yourself rent” vs what is currently happening in the world, it heavily outweighs standing by and doing nothing.
  • Things are different. Loans in the 90s are different to the 00’s, just as a loan this year is different to December last year.

This is another fantastic case study of a couple of clients that settled close to the wire. It’s great to feel the positivity and energy this experience seems to have provided Kim and Toby though.

Could it do the same for you?