Buying in New Zealand

If you’re moving home to New Zealand and are in a position to buy your own home, we can definitely help.

You might like to start by reading our handy guide: How to buy property in New Zealand

Another really useful read is our Step-by-step buying guide, which covers everything from mortgage pre-approval, right through to making an offer and settling on your new home.

Step one: Budget and finance

You'll probably have a budget in mind for your perfect home. Don’t forget to also budget for specialist reports, legal advice and valuations.

Before you begin looking, it’s important to find out how much money you can borrow. Rules around LVRs (loan-to-value ratios) are constantly being reviewed, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve saved enough for a deposit.

Banks, mortgage brokers and other financial institutions can guide you through the mortgage pre-approval process. Having pre-approval puts you in a much better negotiating position and enables you to bid with confidence at auctions.

Step two: House hunting

There are many different ways to search for a home. Online is the most common method, and particularly useful if you’re still overseas. Our website has all of our listings. You can also check out for a wide range of listings in New Zealand.

A handy way to search by suburb, is to use the interactive maps on our Barfoot & Thompson app. It clearly highlights suburb boundaries and school zones.

Speaking of school zones, if you’re looking for a home for your family, you may want to consider what schools your children will be eligible to attend. Our app shows you the school zone boundaries, but you might also like to check on the NZ Schools website, which shows you school zones by address.

Our salespeople will be very happy to help you with your property search. They know their areas really well and will be able to give you advice on local amenities, schools, shopping and the best place to get coffee.

We've put together some videos tips to answer some of the more common questions buyers have. You might also like to check out our Guide to New Zealand housing styles.

Step three: Due diligence

Due diligence is the process of thoroughly checking out the property you're interested in, to make sure it's a good investment.

This may include getting a building inspection done, reading through the LIM and property file from the council, getting a valuation report for your bank, and getting legal advice from your solicitor.

Take a look at our property inspection checklist for some helpful tips on what to look for when viewing a property.

Step four: Making an offer

In New Zealand, all offers must be made in writing using the correct documentation. The two types of offer are:

  • Unconditional - a straightforward offer to buy according to the terms set out in the contract
  • Conditional - when your offer to buy has conditions attached, for example, arranging finance or being satisfied with a building report you arrange.

In New Zealand, particularly in the larger cities, auctions are a common method of sale.

Read our Buyers guide to auctions to find out how the bidding process works, what you need to prepare beforehand, and what happens when the hammer falls.

Other common methods of sale in New Zealand are by negotiation, tenders and mortgagee sales.

What happens if your offer is accepted?

Your offer is accepted once all parties have agreed to the terms, including price and deposit, and the contract agreement has been signed by all parties.

If the agreement is conditional, any conditions need to be satisfied by the due date. It is the buyer's responsibility to satisfy those conditions. Once the conditions are met, the offer becomes 'unconditional' and neither the buyer nor seller can change their mind.

Check out our Purchase to possession guide to find out what happens after you've signed the Sale and Purchase Agreement.

Our salespeople share their top tips for buying a home

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