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Raewyn Stanaway: Residential property investing - new builds vs existing

Friday, October 23, 2020


There are lots of options available when looking to invest in residential property and one consideration is whether to buy an existing property or a ‘new build’.

With the current RTA and Healthy Homes legislation, there is indeed a lot to think about.

Existing Homes

Unless you are buying an existing house that is already 100% compliant with current legislation, or wish to do any work required yourself, you should be prepared to spend some time and money to ensure an existing home is completely compliant for rental purposes.

Having a Healthy Homes check done as part of your due diligence when buying an existing property is important. Does the property meet the current and impending Healthy Homes Standards? This includes insulation, heating, draught stopping, ventilation, moisture ingress and drainage. If not, have you allowed for the costs to make the home compliant?

Can the property be legally rented? Is the property a legal dwelling that meets current building codes? This includes any extensions, alterations, decks, granny flats and sleep outs.

Are there likely to be any major upcoming maintenance or expenses over the next few years For example, how old is the hot water cylinder? Will the house need rewiring or new plumbing? Is the roof and/or guttering likely to need repairs or replacement? Will the kitchen or bathroom need work? Does the exterior need painting? Are the floor coverings wearing out? Are the grounds in good condition and easy for tenants to keep maintained?

Is the property going to attract good quality tenants? The best properties get the best long term tenants and the best rents!

New Homes

New properties should be compliant with current building codes and will meet the Healthy Homes standards apart from perhaps heating in the living room.

New homes will have minimal maintenance for many years and you will have warranties for workmanship, fixtures and fittings, and any appliances installed.

You may have to invest in some easy care landscaping, tree planting etc to attract good long-term tenants and add value to your investment, but generally, a new build should be relatively low maintenance for many years.

In summary, you will need to weigh up the potential return on your investment either way, but making sure you have planned for any immediate compliance costs and/or upcoming maintenance needs to be taken into consideration.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if you would like some information about our professional property management services.  I am always happy to have a chat! You can reach me at r.stanaway@barfoot.co.nz or call 0274319471. 


Raewyn Stanaway

Raewyn leads the Property Manager Team at Barfoot & Thompson Grey Lynn. Her extensive background in corporate management along with running her own businesses has made her the perfect candidate for the role. She has a strong focus on customer service and believes that communication is key to building long term relationships.






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