Buying Your First Home

Buying Your First Home

Farmer Freddy is sitting at the dining room table, watching the sharemilker driving past on his quad bike with a trailer full of new calves.  He is taking them off to the calf pen by the shed and being closely followed by their anxious mothers.

The telephone rings and his nephew Johnno is on the line.  Uncle I have found a new house to buy and want to have a word with Pebbles about what to do about it.  Do you have a phone number for her.”

“Sure,” says Freddy.

Johnno gives Pebbles a call. 

Pebbles tells Johnno that purchasing a home is one of the most important decisions he will make in his lifetime.  “The Agreement for Sale and Purchase may well be the biggest contract you will ever sign.  You need to find a legal advisor you trust and who can help you through the process,” says Pebbles.

“Johnno, an agreement for sale and purchase sets out the important terms including:
  1. The parties to the contract. That is the details of the current owner and the purchaser (or purchasing entity).
  2. Details of the property – address and legal description.
  3. Purchase Price.
  4. Amount of the deposit – remember this is an amount you will need to have access to immediately your agreement becomes unconditional.
  5. Settlement date.
  6. Any conditions that have to be satisfied before the agreement becomes unconditional (this may include a finance condition, a builders report condition, a LIM report condition, a check of the Certificate of Title by your legal adviser, or an arranging suitable insurance condition.
  7. The agreement may also contain other conditions like the vendor having to complete certain renovations or repairs prior to the settlement date. 

“One of the important things to remember John is that you should not sign any agreement until you have had the opportunity to talk to your legal adviser.  Most real estate agents are happy to email a copy to your legal adviser for her/him to review.  Remember if you sign the agreement you are bound by its terms.  After signing there is very little a legal adviser can do for you except to explain what the terms of the Agreement mean.

“When all of the conditions are satisfied, the Agreement becomes unconditional and you need to pay your deposit. 

“Various documents are then prepared, including any loan documents from the bank.  Your bank loan will be secured by a mortgage registered on the title to the property you are purchasing.  A Notice of Sale is forwarded off to the vendor’s solicitor and they, in return, forward a settlement statement setting out a breakdown of the amount to be paid at settlement.

“Electronic registration is done through Land Information New Zealand, and you would sign a form regarding registration of the transfer into your name as purchaser and also your bank mortgage.  A photocopy of your current ID will be required.

“When the settlement date is imminent your legal advisor would remind you to do a pre-settlement inspection and to also pay your cash contribution for the purchase to their trust account.

“Following settlement you legal advisor will report to you comprehensively on all aspects of the transaction and will provide you with a trust account statement showing how your money has been dealt with.

“I hope this helps Johnno, I know a great local legal firm who can help you out if you like.  They have a specialist property team available to help you through the process,” explains Pebbles.

“That was great Pebbles, thanks, I will give them a call,” says Johnno.


The content of this document is necessarily general and readers should seek specific advice on particular matters and not rely solely on this document. 

If you would like more information on any of the topics in this document, please contact your usual Auld Brewer Mazengarb & McEwen adviser. 


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