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Coronavirus: ‘Total panic’ – Vendor describes having house settlement delayed

House settlements are unable to proceed during the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown forcing sellers and buyers to stay where they are.

Having sold her house unconditionally, Auckland homeowner Trish Turney was working towards a March 20 settlement date on her property only to have it postponed until May 8.

House movers were booked and plans put in place to renovate her new property when Turney’s solicitor said the New Zealand Law Society had instructed everything to be put on hold.

“I panicked, to begin with, I thought ‘what am I going to do here?’,” Turney explained.

“They said ‘exactly where it is now, that’s where it stops – if you’ve sold, you’ve still sold’,” she continued.

Agreements had been signed and were still legally binding, but instructions were that everything else had to stop for a month. Movers had to be cancelled and renovations – including a new kitchen design and install and an upgrade to...

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Here’s what you should think about if you want to break your fixed-term loan

OPINION: It’s a good time to take a look at the cost of your funding.

Over the past year, Kiwis have seen interest rates drop like a rock. Then Reserve Bank cut the official cash rate to 0.25 per cent – of which almost all has been passed to homeowners.

You might be wondering whether it’s worth breaking the term of your current fixed home loans to take advantage of these new, lower offers.

If you have lending of, say, $670,000 fixed at 5.25 per cent until February 3, 2021, you have another 317 days in that contract.

This lending will likely be costing you around $4015 per month. But if you broke it you could get a 12-month rate of 3.05 per cent (ANZ) which will make your repayments $3195 per month.

On the face of it, that’s a saving of $8610 over the term of the fixed loan. Even if you went to a floating rate you’re better off by nearly $6000.

But to break that contract you will likely be required to pay a break fee to your...

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5 Property Lessons You Must Know In This Crisis How To Survive & Thrive

  • Lessons learned from years of property investment - That will help you get through.
  • Why you need to take this 1 action immediately - or you may regret it.
  • How to balance the financial & emotional stress - without pulling your hair out.
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Airbnb: All but dead?

I wrote an article about moving my Petone, Lower Hutt 3 bedroom property from a long term rental to a holiday rental on Airbnb a few weeks ago.


I took the house from being rented at $700 per week ($36,400 pa) to getting $5,500 per mont from airbnb and booking.com ($66,000).

Some what astounding figures when you think about it but you need to consider the reality too that I’ve been paying $1,100 per month in cleaning fees, toilet paper, power and maintenance that’s over a above the previous arrangements.

I’d say in all reality my profitability is probably up by $800 per month or $9,600 pa, which really just makes it boarder line as to being worth doing or not.


What you need to consider is the cost of furnishings, the time it takes to manage and let the property and the stress of having people expect a standard residential home to be a 5 star commercial...

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The best spend when renovating for profit

Quite often, I am asked what my “top 5 tips” are for renovations and where you’d get the most bang for buck. This is a hard question, because it largely depends on what each property needs.

I tried to answer the question the best I could, in an article I wrote for Stuff.co.nz a few months ago.


Although the market has changed significantly since then, the advice still stands the test of time.

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5 Property lessons to help you through this crisis.

What’s First? What’s next after that?


Then what?

In uncertain times it can be hard to think straight.

Do I expand?
Do I retract?

Do I hide under the bed?

In this video I share from my experience where you need to take action first and tips to help you get through the crisis.

>> Grab it here 

*If you think it can help others – I would appreciate you sharing it.
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Save your short term rental

Statistics show that 1 in 5 guests who visit New Zealand stay in Airbnb accommodation. That amounts to 8.8 million nights or 18 percent of the total short-term accommodation market.

It’s no wonder that the wider short-stay/self-book accommodation market neared $400m in revenue last year in New Zealand Alone.

That was of course until New Zealand closed for business this March, effectively ending the international tourist market for the foreseeable future.

Large numbers of short term accommodation suppliers, myself included, had 100% of their future bookings cancel in a few short days. The only saving grace being that some of us had a fairly robust cancelation policy in place to protect us from last minute cancellations, or so we thought.

Unfortunately for us “hosts”, Airbnb pulled out a swift move to protect the general public’s confidence in the platform with a change of policy called the “Extenuating Circumstances Policy”.

This basically...

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Sometimes not paying back your home loan is a smart move

OPINION: In the current environment of historically low interest rates, it’s possible to borrow a million dollars and yet only be repaying around $570 per week back.

As insane as this is, you need to ask is that healthy to your investing and to your portfolio?

The only way to get repayments that low is if you choose to only pay the interest on the loan rather than the traditional “principal and interest”.

This means that after two or three years of paying your mortgage you are still going to owe the full principal amount of $1,000,000 and you haven’t at all chipped away at the lending.


  • Online valuations, valuers and real estate agent appraisals
  • The only good relationship with a bank is a short one
  • The interest-only mortgage catch

In essence all you have done is kick the can down the road.

Most people will tell you, and quite rightly, that this is a dangerous way to leverage.

You’re paying the absolute minimum amount the banks will...

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Housing still the investment of choice.

The share market has dropped 20% across my portfolio since last week.

Gold has taken a knock too but they will both come back over time.

House prices continue to surge and I’m taking calls from clients, being interviewed and continuing to develop my own thoughts of where this is all going and you know what?

My head just keeps going back to some very simple facts.

“Everyone has to live somewhere.”

  • Most people at the moment just want to be at HOME.
  • People coming from overseas need to be quarantined in a HOME.
  • Local tourists are arriving back in droves to their HOMES.

I’ve had a bunch of Airbnb bookings cancel in the last few days (14 of them) as New Zealand quite rightly closes up shop and people stay HOME.

Interest rates have dropped today to an OCR of .25% which means very little to most kiwis.

What does mean something is the reserve bank saying these low rates will be for the next 12 months, giving kiwi borrowers the time they need to refix floating rates...

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I’m not going to say sorry.

Not too long ago I wrote an article about taking one of my houses from long term rental to Airbnb.

After the article was picked up by the press I committed a cardinal sin….I read through the comment section on stuff.

It seems that I am the root of all evil in the world, for taking a rental property out of the housing stock available in a housing crisis.

Hold on a minute: I own a few houses and I only live in one of them at a time. All the rest are rented to people who need somewhere to live.

I know what some of you are thinking. “This is why we need a Capital Gains Tax”.

Ok maybe that wasn’t what you were thinking, but every time I have a property related article in the press it’s the comment made within a few moments of the article being posted.

Here is my reply:
1. A CGT is not the fix all you think it is.
Houses will still be expensive. Some people will continue to be wealthy and some people will continue to struggle.
2. I rent houses to people who...

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