I drive past people on my way to work daily, struggling to get their cars out of their driveways on busy streets, I mean they are waiting minutes just for a gap to safely get out of their driveway. I wonder to myself, did they research this hours? Surely they looked at it during rush hour (as someone recently pointed out, no one gets to rush st rush hour). Surely they did their homework on what it’s like to get in and out of the property.
I live in Auckland where the prices are going up every hour as 3 more people move into the city. hat’s right we average a new resident every 20 minutes, supply isn’t meeting demand and it won’t for some time.
I was in Europe last year and I noticed in the Netherlands that property which used to have a similar value to New Zealand houses on my previous trip was now cheaper. I looked at real estate in Nashville 4 years ago and there were beautiful homes on an acre or more of land, you know with the big pillars at the front door, for less than half of the value of my Auckland property. I was sorely tempted to buy one, except that I couldn’t afford to travel there frequently to enjoy it.
Those homes weren’t always cheap, but the market bubbled and many say it will eventually happen in Auckland. I don’t think that will be any time soon despite the interventions of Government, simply because so many people want to live here. Council predicts that we will grow by around a million people in under 30 years. That’s a few apartments and houses that will be needed and we already have a shortage, frequently stated as around 30,000. There is even a shortage of quality building materials. Now there’s a thought, what if you bought a house on an unsound concrete base or it was a leaky home.
It astounds me that people put more time into planning a wedding than they do in researching where to live for a big chunk of their lives. They leave it up to the Real Estate Agents to guide them round. I have bought and sold a few houses in my lifetime and can tell you there are some awesome agents around, but like any profession, there are also a lot of people who go through the motions or are simply focused on getting their next commission cheque. (Kiwi spelling folks:))
So what should you be thinking about? Here are a few links of short blogs related to my book.
- Crime statistics on a map. Have you ever been burgled? Some streets have more problems than others, even in the best neighborhoods.
- Value in relation to distance from the city by train stop. With new light rail and improved rail services, this will have an impact on your investment in Auckland. Here’s an example from London.
- Where can an average earner buy in your area?
- I find the racial divide interesting. I didn’t consider that when I bought my latest house because it means nothing to me, but in some areas it can mean a lot to property values. Like it or not, its a fact, even in New Zealand where we truly celebrate the differences. Check out the gaps in America. Is that scary or what?
- How about pollution. Do you have kids with asthmatic tendencies? Did you check out things like pollen? One of the things we liked about our first home was the fruit orchard over the back fence. What we didn’t know was that they regularly sprayed it with pesticides.
- Do you want to live near people who are like you? Have the same income levels, the same interests and opportunities as you, or perhaps slightly better? Do you want to live somewhere where unemployment is high and times are tough. People that have similar values to you might be of concern.
- Does school zone matter? Do you want kids to go to a certain school? Do they have aptitude for something that a particular school offers, but where zoning restrictions limit where you can live if you want to be eligible to go to it?
- What about the looking process, how do you remember which house had the mold in the bedroom and which one had the nice carpet, nice view, man-cave. There are tools and tips.
These are just a few items to think about. There are so many more in my Kindle eBook which will cost you less than 2 small coffees. In fact it looks like they are running a promotion on it, because when I looked this morning it was $5.32! If you got one simple tip out of it that’s worth it’s weight in gold! If that’s too much, have a look at that blogs in the Real Estate stream of my blog. There are plenty.