Not the most professional way to start a blog post I know, but I feel like we’re friends now. Besides, I don’t know how else to express the relief and excitement of having our (basically) unconditional offer accepted. You know what that means? We are just a stack of paper and a few dozen signatures away from being homeowners!
Because our dream house was subject to subdivision, we did have a bit of a wait before the settlement date was confirmed. It ended up being longer than we expected – a couple of months in fact. But we just relaxed and enjoyed having our weekends back for a while, and slowly got rid of the stuff in our house that wasn’t worth boxing up and moving across town.
Once we had confirmation that titles had issued, it was all go – with help from the wonderful team at Legal Solutions we filled out KiwiSaver applications and signed our lives away to the bank. At this stage you will also need to get insurance sorted and get a copy of the Certificate of Currency to send to your lawyer. We also organised to transfer our savings to the law firm’s Trust Account ready to be sent to the vendor’s solicitor on settlement day.
The final step is to go and do your pre-settlement inspection. This is where you have a chance to go through the house and make sure that it is in the same condition it was when you entered the Agreement to purchase, and to make sure all the chattels are there and in working condition (chattels are things that are in the house but not fixed to the land e.g. carpet, stove, light fittings, curtains). The pre-settlement inspection can be arranged with the real estate salesperson and should be done two days before settlement. If there are any issues, let your solicitor know straight away – to be able to legally do anything about it they need to know early on the day before settlement.
And naturally, take a cheeky selfie or two.
After the tumultuous ups and downs of the house hunt, settlement day itself is often uneventful – you sit waiting by the phone while the solicitors are busy doing all the admin in the background. Then, BAM, a phone call and you’re officially a homeowner!
Since I was in the office where settlement was taking place, I was in the midst of the action, and got this lovely surprise from my Legal Solutions family…
Next, organise with the real estate salesperson to collect the keys, then head to your new abode to take the mandatory photo with the sold sign, and enjoy fish and chips on the floor (and hopefully a bottle of bubbly if that’s your thing).
The first-home buying process can be pretty stressful, a rollercoaster with plenty of ups and downs, and lots of paperwork. But it is a ride worth taking – especially if you have some top-notch professionals helping you through the process.
I wish you good luck in your journey to home ownership and beyond - and might see you at Mitre 10 sometime soon (you will be spending a lot of time there from now on)!