• Sarah O'Gorman

Getting on the property ladder in Akl...

Why investing in a home in need of some TLC can be a great first step to getting you on the property market…

We all need to start somewhere when taking a leap into the property market in NZ. Buying a first home is a huge step and finding the right property doesn’t always come easily or as we know cheap.

As a teenager, I was always obsessed with buying my first home as I knew the benefits of property investment, having grown up with a Father who loved to buy and sell property. By the age of 20 I had managed to purchase my first investment property having scrimped and saved since I started working at 14 and having a guarantor for the borrowings. For me it didn’t matter where or what I purchased as long as I could find great tenants and get on the property ladder. Sure it needed some work but that would come when I managed to pay down some of the mortgage.

Is this how the generation of first home buyers think these days? Are we willing to scrimp and save to put together a deposit just to purchase a home that needs some TLC in maybe a less than ideal location? Or are we expecting too much from our first home?

My obsession with all things property also led me to a love of building and construction. My husband runs a building company specialising in renovations and fit-outs and our building team turn old into new, damp into warm and dry and drap into fab. They work hard everyday to transform our Clients homes and investments into a new and improved space but like with any professional there is a cost involved and first home buyers don’t always allow in their budget to employ the professionals. Here are some tips on how you can transform a run down home into a beautiful family home without breaking the bank.

Here are some tips on what to look for in a first property and pitfalls to watch out for:

Ensure you get a professional Builders Report:

Even if the property looks like it will be an easy renovation with just cosmetic changes needed, there could be major issues hiding behind the walls and you don’t want a surprise when the budget is tight. A professional builders report is worth the few hundred dollars they charge to unveil any hidden major issues with the house.

Ask your builder for a quote to install a kitset kitchen / laundry area:

These days the DIY shops all offer kitset kitchens which just need an expert to fit them for you. The quality is usually similar to that of a custom designed kitchen from some of the franchised kitchen companies. This may save you thousands on kitchen costs and transform your “do up” overnight.

Add colour with wallpaper:

Adding subtle colours to rooms can make a huge difference to the overall feel of a home. It personalises the home however if you stick with fairly neutral designs, it won’t limit the use of the room. Wallpaper can be added to walls that are too rough to paint and can really add a nice touch without costing the earth. Ask your local Resene shop for contacts for professional Wallpapering experts and yes they do exist!

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