Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: Home (Is Where I Want to Be)

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  • Stewart,

    Auctions seem such a cop-out to me. It is as though neither the vendors nor the estate agents know enough to put a decent value on the property. If I was looking to buy I would be most reluctant to buy at auction because, as a member of the interested but essentially uneducated public, I too wouldn't really know the value of the property.

    And I tend to agree with earlier posts about the worth(?) of auctions when selling.

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report

  • Phil Sargent,

    The concept of bidding against somebody on the phone bothers me about the house auction process. Who's to say the real estate agent isn't pretending?

    Since Nov 2006 • 28 posts Report

  • Glenn Pearce,

    beyond their limits

    Depends on your definition of "limit". ie: the amount that we can "prudently" afford to pay OR the amount the bank will let us go to.

    Over the last few years they have been quire different things, although the game has all changed now

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report

  • Damian Christie,

    Ah how I love coming back to a good conversation. Where to start?

    The reason I bought, is because at present it's actually cheaper for me to do so than renting. A few years ago (when my rent was lower and interest rates higher) that wasn't the case, which is when the calculations come into it, but I'm pretty sure that paying $50 a week less to live in a bigger house that I'm paying off at the rate of at least 1/20th of a year, which may or may not but probably will increase in value, makes financial sense?

    Secondly, I'm so with Sofie on this one, my current landlord is great, but doesn't let me put stuff on windowsills because he once painted them. And no shoes inside. And no hooks in the walls, which means none of my heaviest art. And no smoking, not even when it's been a long night and I just want to tell my friends it's fine just this once because it's cold outside (its always coldest before the dawn).

    And because I want to make a mess in the garden and buy lots of plants and not have someone sell from under me just when the lemon tree is starting to make lemons.

    And because like most NZers I'm not very good at saving for the future so I'd rather put a half-million-dollar house on HP and pay it off and know that in the future I'll own a house worth slightly more than that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report

  • Damian Christie,

    As for auctions vs sales, tenders etc, obviously they all have advantages and disadvantages.

    At a set sale, you're never going to get more than you ask for. And if you set that price, and pretty much get that price the very next day, chances are you should have gone to auction. On the other hand, you're happy because you got what you wanted. And at least you had help setting the benchmark price.

    At a tender, everyone knows they only have one chance to make an offer, so if they're serious they'll make something as close to the highest they'll consider going. There's no unbiased indication of price and they could easily overshoot the rest of the buyers - great for the vendor, not great for the buyer.

    At an auction you might not get the highest price, it's true, but at least there's a degree of confirmation that what you are spending is only slightly higher than someone else was prepared to spend, and that what you are getting is more than any other person was going to give you. And I think often the vendors get a fair price + the emotional premium caused by the auction.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Was your opening bit about Logan Campbell to soften us up for the news that to help pay the mortgage you are going to start renting out one of your spare rooms by the hour?

    After going through the resource consent process, I doubt it would be financially viable to run a knocking shop out of the box room. :)

    And kudos to Damian for avoiding that Sunday paper hardy perennial: "It's so unfair that I can't afford to service a gigantic sub-prime mortgage on a massively over-valued property in a trendy inner-city neighbourhood."

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report

  • Paul Campbell,

    I should add to my comment about buying US real estate - in California at least most houses are in essence sold "by tender" - but as I said the buyers mostly have realtors on their side to help figure out their bid - no lawyers are involved (unless something goes bad) instead a neutral title insurance company manages escrow, researches ownership, etc etc

    I say "in essence" because most bids are encumbered with contingencies (like termite reports, building inspections, banks actually making loans) - in some situations the bidding process can turn into a sort of auction.

    When we sold our house to move back to NZ we paid for a building inspection from a very reputable inspector - to encourage unencumbered bids - we packed up most our belonging, and moved out for 2 weeks while the place was on the market - the market was hot and when the time came for bids to be presented we were on tender hooks - what an eye opener - bids are presented by the buyer's realtors, to our amazement 9 of them, the realtor cautioned us to keep poker faces - we got written notes from the potential buyers, a cake, chocolate, pictures of and by their kids, letters to our cat, plans to turn our back yard into a tiki-bar ... and an increasingly large sets of bids - fortunately the highest was also unencumbered so the choice was not hard - we offered a backup position to the second highest bidder just in case - we got to keep the cake

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Personally I bought (despite it possibly making more sense to keep on renting, and invest in a property in studentville) because I wanted a home. I wanted some place that my kids could grow up in and that I could guarantee that to them for as long as we wanted. I wanted a dog, and a swing and art installations. I wanted to be able to invest in the garden and the house and have it feel like that was worthwhile. I wanted to rip up carpet and paint it funny colours and plant stupid trees and build fences and let the lawn go crazy when I felt like it.

    For a lot of us, financial considerations are important, but they're not the most important. No matter how many time Michael Cullen and economists tell us otherwise, they won't change that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report

  • Hadyn Green,

    plans to turn our back yard into a tiki-bar

    The exact reason I wanted to own a house. No landlord would want me building a structure in their backyard, and definitely not one to serve rum-based cocktails out of. (you're all invited round when it opens in 2011)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I just have to reiterate how much I love your house. You took good bones and made it completely and utterly yours.

    Oh shucks thank you Jackie. I must admit without the other halfs unlimited talents ;) ;), I would probably have 2 mortgages.The balance is good too, I'll say "you know what I'd like..." he says "I can do that" I say "when?" he says "next year" but if something breaks he fix immediately. I paint lots so if I want to change the colour of a room, I do.

    And because I want to make a mess in the garden and buy lots of plants and not have someone sell from under me just when the lemon tree is starting to make lemons.

    Get a herb garden(pots or ground) handy to your kitchen and you are set for the dinner parties.The first hole dug is always the most satisfying because it's yours :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report

  • Steph,

    I identify with what Kyle says-and on top of that, knowing that I can stay in the same house, get to know the neighbours, the local shop owners, have my son attend the local school and be involved with that...I like that sense of community and belonging that can come with staying put.

    Doesn't mean that you can only have that by owning a house, but the odds are you're renting you'll have to move on as a result of someone else's decision, at some point.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2009 • 2 posts Report

  • FletcherB,

    The concept of bidding against somebody on the phone bothers me about the house auction process. Who's to say the real estate agent isn't pretending?

    I wouldnt worry too much about that.... They dont even need someone to pretend to be on the phone.

    If you read the terms and conditions of the auction, you'll frequently find terms like "vendors bid" and other legalese for "making up a bid"... They do it all the time.

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report

  • Paul Brislen,

    Did someone say builder?

    In Three Kings, near Domnion Road?

    cough cough, I'm looking at getting a man in to do a bathroom job if anyone's got a good recommendation...

    Social media AT its finest.

    cheers in advance,

    Paul (email me at paul dot brislen at vodafone dot com or post here if you like. I'm sure there are plenty of folk reading this who would like a good builder/plumber/electrician recommendation).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes,

    Paul, eMail me, let's talk Bathrooms.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • Damian Christie,

    Steve - didn't realise you were a builder. Good to know. Although we're very lucky, two builders are close friends, then there's an architect, a sparky, landscape gardener etc. And of course I'm a lawyer so that's the buying and trust stuff sorted. Anyone friends with a bank?

    Sofie - There's a bunch of herbs in big pots that are going to taste freedom come August 21st, don't you worry. And a huge number of other plants that have grown to big for their pots over the past 10 years too. They won't know what hit 'em.

    If you read the terms and conditions of the auction, you'll frequently find terms like "vendors bid" and other legalese for "making up a bid"... They do it all the time.

    The first auction we went to was at Barfoot & Thompson, I was impressed to note that they have an explicit policy of no vendor bidding. Ray White don't, but say that the auctiioneer will clearly identify if that's what he's doing, and say they don't plant bidders. B&T's policy (and given their size in the market) would suggest it's a trend on the out...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    There's a bunch of herbs in big pots

    When we moved here we needed removal guys and the biggest truck they had for pot plants. The total count when loaded and then unloaded was 260. Wasn't that rediculous? I THINK NOT! Most are in the ground now and of course many more, Our Puka was a potted one which is why I felt drawn to mention it on the swearing thread when possum showed up and gave it a strip tease.Still, have some large cycads in big wooden planters that builder made so if need be I will replace Puka with one of those. Possum don't seem to eat cycads.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report

  • Paul Campbell,

    one of the problems with moving from California back to Dunedin is that while used to live just about on top of the fault and now feel we missed the really big one .... we're also very aware of what a house should be like to survive and the piles of bricks our old villa sits on scares the shit out of us ......

    The 8.2 magnitude (will probably change) quake we just had a few minutes ago scared the shit out of us - it was probably a 2 here in Dunedin but it went on for maybe a minute - we've been through a lot of quakes over the years and we know what's not good it had us up and almost out the door - they don't last that long if they're not bad somewhere. Hopefully the people in Te Anau, Milford and Invercargil are OK

    Maybe it's time to think about proper shear walls, a proper foundation and actually bolting the house to it

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report

  • Paul Campbell,

    hmm the initial magnitude estimate's working its way down now - 7.8 still a really big one and scary scary

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report

  • Kyle Matthews,

    geonet had it at 6.6, near Tuatapere.

    I didn't feel it at all, nor did my dogs.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report

  • JLM,

    Our cat didn't, but we did - it went on and on, and my husband, who loves earthquakes, got more and more excited, watching the clothes swinging on the drying rack. well, it beats watching paint dry!

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 241 posts Report

  • giovanni tiso,

    Potential tsunami warning in place.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report

  • JackElder,

    Who doesn't check out the shower pressure when investigating a house? I make a point of running the shower for a minute or two to check it out.

    We bought a house because we could afford it, we figured it was a good investment, and we were living in a town where finding rental accommodation was a big pain (Cambridge, UK). Fiscally, great decision: we bought at the start of the housing bubble, then moved home shortly before the price crash started.

    But, that said, if we'd been renting that house, we'd have left after a fortnight. As it was, we had to stick it out and grit our teeth until the issues were resolved - which caused a very large amount of stress. And the issue was something that no house inspection would have ever turned up - the neighbours. Turned out that our next-door neighbour was what the local council politely referred to as a "problem tenant" - came around at all hours asking to "borrow" things, use the phone, etc, burned rubbish in her back garden, had kids who broke windows in our car, etc. If you're renting, you can just swear a bit, call the moving firm back up and hightail it out of there - if you're the owner, the stakes are a bit higher.

    And as regards the suburb thing: I find that there's nothing like actually buying a house to make you realise quite how little the relative trendiness of suburbs matter. When we moved back to NZ, we ended up buying in Newlands (Wellington) - a suburb that I had previously considered the back of beyond, but which I soon realised had all the amenities you need for a young family, plus excellent cycling/public transport links for the CBD. So, y'know, it does pay to expand your horizons a bit.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 709 posts Report

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Here's a cautionary tale - a few months ago we had the bright idea of downsizing our house in town & moving our base to our weekender on the Kapiti coast.

    So we put the house on the market (prime location, seriously - had to be recession proof). We were in the fortunate position of not having to sell & determined to opnly if we received an eye watering offer.

    First mistake we made - and we're very experienced in house buying & selling - was to allow them to do open homes. We should have made it appointment only. So all the neighbours & passers by traipsed through our house, the vast majority of them just nosy.

    The second mistake was to make it a closed tender. This has never worked for us, either as buyers or sellers.

    The third mistake was to find a lovely little townhouse in Thorndon & put an offer on that - conditional on us selling our house.

    Now here's the caution bit - we didn't really want to put an offer on the place until our own tender had closed, but we were pursuaded by the agent to put one in. Then he called all the interested parties to put their bids in.

    Unfortunately for the vendor, no-one else did (I seemd to be the opnly person in the process who thought that was a bad tacticv for them.

    A week later our tender closed - we had 3 offers, all of them below the RV. SO we declined them.

    The Thorndon agent called to see how we'd gone - we told him we had no acceptable offers & he said "But did you get any unconditional offers? Because that's what your offer was - conditional on ourselves getting an unconditional offer regardless, apparently, of the amount.

    As it happens all the offers we received werew conditional to sdome extent & so we withdrew our offer completely & have decided to stay in our lovely old houise in its brilliant location.

    If push had come to shove we could probably have fought that one, as it seemed somewhat underhand & contrary to opur5 instructions. In future, we'll make sure we read what we sign very carefully too.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report

  • Sam F,

    Potential tsunami warning in place.

    A NIWA chap on the radio last night reported that there *was* in fact a tsunami as expected - it was about fifteen centimetres high. Surf's up in Tinytown.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report

  • The Other Andrew Smith,

    The earthquake spiced up the end of a dessert evening in Roslyn. First the floor started rattling and then the whole room rolled for a couple of minutes. At least one person at work today was annoyed for not noticing a thing while it happened. Dunedin is known for putting on a little tease like this every couple of years.

    Dunedin • Since Apr 2007 • 10 posts Report

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