Assessed Value
The valuation placed on a property for the purposes of taxation by an authority.

Assignment
The transfer of a mortgage or lease from one person to another.

Bridging Loan
A short term loan (usually at a higher rate) taken out to cover the financial gap between buying a new property and selling an existing property.

Building Code
Local Council regulations that control design, construction and materials used in construction.

Buyers Market
When the demand for property is less than supply so the advantages shift to the buyer.

Certificated Salesperson
All Salespeople in real estate who have not qualified by exam to be an Associate (AREINZ), who are employed by a licensed Real Estate Agent.

Certificate of Occupancy
A document issued by a local government to a developer permitting the structure to be occupied. This generally indicates that the building is in compliance with public health and building codes.

Certificate of Title
A description of a property with the name of the registered owner, encumbrances, i.e.: mortgages or easements on the property. It must be produced by the vendor before the sale of the property.

Chattels
Moveable and removable items of personal property. In real estate transactions, chattels included in the sale usually include the stove, television aerial, carpets, blinds, curtains, drapes and light fittings. However, unless chattels are specified in the agreement, they are not sold as part of the property.

Special Conditions in a Sale & Purchase Agreement
Cash out
Conditional upon a Specialist Report
Conditional upon the sale of the purchaser’s property
Conditional upon an existing agreement
Conditional upon a LIM report
Conditional upon Finance

Clear Title
A title that is free of or legal questions as to ownership of the property.

Collateral
An asset (such as a car or a home) that guarantees the repayment of a loan. The borrower risks losing the asset if the loan is not repaid according to the terms of the loan contract.

Commission
A proportion (usually a percentage) of the sale price of a property paid to a real estate agent for negotiating a real estate transaction.

Conditional Agreement
This is a legally binding contract, but it is subject to conditions being satisfied, usually by the purchaser. The conditions will be detailed in the agreement and may, for example, require that you are able to sell your existing home by a set date or to arrange finance by a certain date. Conditions can also be included by the purchaser that require the seller to do something by a specified date - for example, that settlement will take place only on the conditions that the house is painted, the windows repaired or that rubbish around the section is removed. Note: Purchasers' conditions usually do not prevent the sale-taking place, but may allow the purchaser to delay settlement without penalty or claim damages if the conditions are not met in time.

Covenant
Terms, conditions and restrictions noted on the title. A covenant may affect future plans or resale of the property.

Credit History
A record of an individual’s current and repaid debts which is usually used by a lender to assess the risk of a potential borrower.

Credit Report
A report of an individual’s credit history prepared by a credit bureau and used by a lender in determining a loan applicant’s creditworthiness.

Cross Lease
This type of ownership is common where there is more than one home on a block of land. You are all owners of the land and you each lease your home. The lease will usually provide for an exclusive use area for each cross-lessee. It's like owning a freehold property but there are some restrictions. Another form of ownership for more than one home on a block of land is a unit title.

 

D-F

Deed
A legal document conveying title to a property.

Default
Failure to make mortgage payments regularly or to comply with other requirements of the mortgage.

Deposit
A percentage of the purchase price given to bind the sale of real estate.

Easement
A right that someone has to use the land belonging to another, eg: a water authority may have a sewerage easement across part of your property.

Exclusive Listing/Sole Listing
A written contract that gives a licensed real estate agent the exclusive right to sell a property for a specified time.

Fee Simple
The greatest possible interest a person can have in real estate.

Fixed Rate Mortgage
A mortgage in which the interest rate does not change during the term of the loan.

Fixtures
Fixed items that cannot be removed without damaging either the property or the fixture itself, eg: cupboards.

Footing
The footing supports the building on its foundation.

Foreclosure
The legal process by which a borrower in default under a mortgage is deprived of his or her interest in the mortgaged property. This usually results in the selling the property by auction and the proceeds being used to service the mortgage debt.

Freehold
An estate in real property which continues for an indefinite period of time. Freehold estates may be inheritable or non-inheritable. Inheritable estates include the fee simple absolute, the qualified fee, and the fee tail. Non-inheritable estates include various life estates which are created by acts of parties, such as an ordinary life estate, or by operation of law.

 

H-L

Home Inspection.
A thorough inspection that evaluates the structural and mechanical condition of a property.

LIM Report (Land Information Memorandum)
A LIM is a report prepared by the local Council at your request. It provides a summary of property information held by the Council as at the day the LIM was produced.

A LIM provides some or all of the following:

  • Information on special land features or characteristics including potential erosion, avulsion (removal of land by water action), falling debris, subsidence, slippage, alluvion (the deposition of silt from flooding), inundation (flooding), presence of hazardous contaminants which are likely to be relevant to land and is known to Auckland City
  • Information on private and public stormwater and sewerage drains as shown in Auckland City's records
  • Information relating to any rates owing in relation to the land
  • Details of approved building, plumbing/drainage and resource planning permits and consents indicating where further action is required
  • As required by the Building Act 1991 details are included of
    • Code Compliance Certificates: a final certificate of approval for building consents
    • Compliance Schedule: required for certain systems or features of commercial and multi-residential properties
    • Warrant /Statement of Fitness: in conjunction with compliance schedule -issued annually to maintain compliance standard
    • Details of Dangerous Goods, Liquor, Hairdressing and Health Licences (mainly refers to commercial properties)
    • Details of Operative and proposed zoning, road widening, height restrictions, view and tree protection, and any Historic Places Trust listing
    • Any outstanding requisitions or notifications from Auckland City regarding any matters on that property that do not meet Auckland City specifications and which require action within a certain time frame. Satisfying requisitions is the responsibility of the owner of the property.

The Memorandum may also include:

  • Such other information concerning the land which Auckland City considers, at its discretion, to be relevant. Line of Credit
  • An agreement by a lender to extend credit up to a specified amount for a specified time for a specified purpose.

 

M-Q

Market Value
The price at which a seller is happy to sell and a buyer is willing to buy. This assumes that there is sufficient activity in the marketplace to generate enough buyers and sellers so that neither party controls the price. Establishing the market value is the objective of an appraisal.

PIM (Project Information Memorandum)
A report giving information on items such as potential erosion, subsidence, hazardous contaminants, stormwater. It may also include classifications under organisations such as the Dept. of Conservation or Historic Places Trust, as well as authorisations required by the Resource Management Act.

POA
A pricing method used by some Real Estate companies, meaning Price On Application.

Principal
The amount borrowed or still to be repaid. The part of the monthly payment that reduces the balance of the mortgage.

Qualified Buyer
A buyer who has satisfied a lender that he or she is financially able to qualify for a loan. Qualifying the buyer is one of the primary steps taken by the lender as part of the loan process.

 

R-T

Real Estate Agent
A person or Company licensed to negotiate and transact the sale or lease of real estate on behalf of the property owner.

Refinance
The process of paying off one loan with the proceeds from a new loan using the same property as security.

Seller’s Market
When demand for property is greater than supply. The result is greater opportunities for owners who may find someone willing to offer the asking price or even a figure greater than the asking price.

Semi-detached
Also called Duplex. A type of construction where two buildings are attached together by a common wall.

Service (the loan)
The period, normally monthly, collection of mortgage interest and principal repayment and other related expenses, such as property taxes and property insurance.

Settlement
The sale of a property is finalized by the legal representatives of the vendor and the purchaser, mortgage documents come into effect, costs are paid and the new owner takes possession of the property and receives the keys.

Sole/Exclusive Agency
A sole or exclusive agency precludes all other agents from working on the disposal of the property, although another agent may approach the sole agent if the former has a suitable client. But even then the sole agent would finalise the deal.

Special Condition
A condition that must be met before the contract is legally binding. For example, if buying a home the purchaser may specify that the contract is not legally binding until the purchaser has obtained a building inspection and been satisfied by the report.

Strata Title
A title to a unit or lot on a plan of subdivision associated with townhouses, units and blocks of flats and based on the horizontal and vertical subdivision of air space. Owners have a certificate of title, are absolute owners of a freehold flat and have an undivided share of the common property.

Title
A legal document evidencing a person’s right to or ownership of a property.

Title Search
A check of the title records to ensure that the seller is the legal owner of the property and that there are no other claims or outstanding.

 

U-V

Unconditional Agreement
The legal contract that binds both the purchaser and the seller to settle on the agreed date at the agreed price. It is either not subject to any conditions or those conditions have already been satisfied. You should only consider entering an unconditional agreement if and when you are absolutely sure you want to buy a particular property and you already have the full purchase price or 'pre-approved' loan finance from a lender. You should also be confident that there are no other issues or requirements that must be satisfied before you are committed to purchase the property. An unconditional agreement commits you to purchasing the property.

Under License
Early possession of the property before settlement with the permission of the vendor. This usually involves the payment of rent.

Underpinning
Supports placed under an existing wall to provide added strength.

Unsecured Loan
A loan that is not backed up by assets or guarantee.

Utilities
The private or public service facilities such as gas, electricity, telephone, water and sewer that are provided as part of the development of the land.

Valuation
A written analysis of the estimated value of a property prepared by a qualified valuer.

Vendor
The person or entity legally authorised to sell a property.

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