Buying or selling your home or batch? We can complete your property transactions efficiently and accurately, providing helpful advice as needed. We pride ourselves on a personal approach, and we will keep you informed every step of the way.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
Whether you are a first home buyer or an experienced property purchaser, we can help make sure the finance side of your property purchase is smooth and stress free. We can assist with gifts and loans from family members (and helping ensure their gift or loan is protected from future relationship property claims), and processing property transactions involving KiwiSaver and HomeStart Grants.
Contact us for the right advice when buying or selling your property.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is a term used to describe the legal work required for completion of a property transaction — usually a sale or a purchase.
Should I use a lawyer when I am buying and selling property?
Yes. Besides being able to assist and advice during the preparation and signing of the sale and purchase agreement, the deposit and settlement monies should always be paid to a trust account.
When purchasing a property you should never pay the deposit directly to the Vendor, as it may be hard to recover if the agreement is cancelled for any reason, or the Vendor may spend it and not have sufficient funds to repay their mortgage on settlement day. A deposit should always be paid into a trust account. Your lawyer can also provide necessary undertakings to enable a smooth settlement, and not only protect your interests, they also ensure that the bank's interests are protected by either registering the mortgage against the title or releasing it and repaying the amount you owe back to the bank.
Another advantage of engaging a lawyer is that they are qualified to advise in all aspects of the law which may need to be dealt with as part of the overall property transaction — for example making or updating your will, setting up a trust and any relationship property matters which may apply. We take a holistic approach and ensure that all your affairs are in order.
Can I use my KiwiSaver to purchase a house?
You may be eligible to withdraw all or some of your KiwiSaver contributions toward purchasing your first home if you have been a member of KiwiSaver for three years or more. This withdrawal can be a very significant contribution toward the deposit under the contract, and toward the total purchase price for the property.
Your eligibility is determined by various criteria. You must intend to live in the property (it cannot be an investment). If you have owned property before, you will also need to obtain confirmation from Housing New Zealand that you qualify for second-chance eligibility. Talk to us about the process and other things to keep in mind.
What are the different types of property ownership?
When buying a property, it is important to consider what the best form of ownership is for your situation. This will differ depending on if you are buying a rental investment property or a home to live in as well as your personal circumstances, so it is essential to get professional advice on your structuring options.
There are numerous options available, the most common of which are:
- Sole ownership: where one person solely owns the property. If you are purchasing the property in the names of two or more people you can choose to be Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common.
- Joint Tenants: the names of all owners are listed together on the title. If one owner passes away their share will automatically pass to the other owners, it will not pass to the estate of the deceased owner.
- Tenants in Common: ownership of the property is divided into shares. These can be 50/50 or a different percentage based on the amount each party contributes to the purchase. Should one of the owners pass away their share in the property will go to their estate. This method of ownership is suited to business partners co-purchasing a property or couples with children from former relationships that wish to leave a share in the property to their children.
- Family Trusts – held by the trustees of the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries.
All too often, people do not understand the differences and ramifications of the various forms of ownership. It is important to get this right. We can discuss this with you.
What is the bright-line test?
Investors in residential property need to be aware of the “bright-line test for residential land” which has been in effect since 1 October 2015. Since that date, gains on the proceeds of sale of residential property acquired and disposed of within a two-year period are liable for income tax, subject to certain exclusions. Recent changes to the bright-line test have extended the period to five years. Residential land purchased after 29 March 2018 and disposed of within five years can create a liability to income tax, with certain exceptions.
One of the purposes of the bright-line test is to “target people who seek to make a profit from property speculation”, and as such in most situations it excludes property used as your main home, inherited property and property sold subject to a relationship property agreement. However, the “main home” exclusion does not apply when you have used the exclusion two or more times within the two years immediately prior to the bright-line date or if you have a regular pattern of buying and selling residential land. Please discuss your plans with us before beginning the process of buying and selling property.
Suzie clearly delivered to myself and others a focused and friendly approach to all the issues presented to her. We had some older family member matters to resolve; Wills, Trust issues, License to Occupy, etc.. Suzie provided exceptional service, concise and sound advice which we accepted and followed through in the execution of the required legal documents. Suzie is professional, focused and pragmatic in providing intelligent legal solutions and recommendations.
Our family has used Rosie for everything from wills and family trusts to house purchases and sales. I can absolutely recommend her, she is easy to deal with, communicates well, makes things simple and to top it off is a lovely person to work with.
“Rosie helped us with our wills and powers of attorney and she made it such an easy process for us. She gave us a lot of advice and explained different ways we could do it, all along with a friendly professionalism. I cannot recommend her enough and will definitely be using her services in the future.”