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Measuring the value a bathroom renovation adds to your home

July 2022


There is a lot of value in renovating your bathroom. While it can offer a good return on investment, it is a huge undertaking, costing unprepared investors thousands of dollars. However, with the potential return of $4 for every $1 spent, to make the most of this room it is critical not to overcapitalise.


As one of the most expensive renovation projects of a property, those needing to stick to a budget need to spend strategically to see the return when they decide it is time

to sell their home.

What sort of return can I get on a bathroom renovation?

Behind the kitchen, the bathroom is the most profitable room to

renovate in a property, and it should be on every investor’s list when it comes to home renovation.

The bathroom is also one of the most expensive renovation projects, and to ensure you maximise your return you do not want to overcapitalise on this project.

While anything beyond a simple cosmetic renovation – which covers painting tiles, replacing the vanity and lighting, as well as new fittings – will cost a sum, budgeting carefully and making astute choices can still bring in a significant profit.

Of a property’s total renovation budget, a decent portion needs to be dedicated to the bathroom alone. As a guide, allowing 10 to 20 per cent of the total budget to your bathroom project would be a good starting point.

If you have already tackled the kitchen in your home, the bathroom should be your next project. This is an area where buyers see value.

There are a few ways of renovating this space and it will largely depend on the condition and size of the existing bathroom as well as your budget. There are three options to consider:

The simple makeover – painting tiles and updating the vanity or new tapware. You may need to budget around $2000.

The minor renovation - adding a new vanity, shower screen and/or toilet. This may also cover some tiling. Budget for around $3,000 - $8,000.

The major renovation – new flooring, tiling, bath or shower - this could stretch anywhere from $8,000 to $25,000. Just the price of installing a new shower could cost anywhere from $1,600 to nearly $9,000.

Bathrooms may be a third of the size of a kitchen, but they can cost the same to renovate. For this reason, it is doubly important to watch your outgoings.

A good rule of thumb when working out your budget is to allocate 1.5 per cent of the property value. Generally, of this figure, 50 per cent is labour and the other half is materials.

Unfortunately, there is little scope for DIY in a bathroom renovation due to water proofing. However, there are many ways to save money such as a more affordable selection of materials and hardware. Look for end-of-the-line products being sold through discounted trade or online via Trade Me or Facebook Marketplace. Someone may have over-ordered tiles, which could be your gain.

Keeping the items and fixtures in place may actually be the most effective option. For instance, it may simply be a case of changing tap fittings and handles. You always want to be thinking about the result and whether you have added the wow value or not.

While it may be tempting to switch the position of the vanity or toilet, keeping items in their original place is often the most cost effective option. Changing tap fittings and handles, adding lighting or updating the mirror are some inexpensive ways to give your bathroom a new look. Don’t forget to buy some new towels or even a pot plant to freshen up the space.

How much DIY can I do in my bathroom?

The bathroom is an area that should be left to a professional to ensure your plumbing is well installed and everything is watertight. However, many renovators do consider getting their hands dirty with a spot of tiling.

This can help reduce labour costs, but investors need to be honest with themselves about their abilities. If you do not do a good job, you may reduce the value of the renovation.

The other factor to consider is timing. A professional can usually complete an entire bathroom renovation within seven days.  If you are learning as you go it may take much longer and this can affect the bottom line far more than many calculate.

Pick the best bathroom upgrades for resale

If you are looking to attract more rent or profit, consider your target market. Is this a property where a spa-like bathroom could net some extra income? Do you need to go that extra mile and add in some heated flooring or towel rails, for instance. Or if you are looking for the ultimate in relaxation, what about converting your shower into a private steam room?

Shiny surfaces have a higher perceived value than matte or satin surfaces. Vessel sink vanities with stone counters are also seen as luxurious. If you are trying to appeal to a family, odds are they will want an actual bath included, so don’t rip it out during your makeover. Freestanding tubs remain popular for any bathroom renovation, while frameless glass shower doors make for easier cleaning.

There are many tricks to make cheaper items look expensive. Laying tiles in a herringbone pattern, adding wallpaper or even hanging a chandelier can add a touch of opulence.  

Water-efficient showerheads are also an absolute must, whether for a home or rental property. And don’t forget storage for toiletries and makeup is a must-have for any bathroom.

Overall, it is important to remain emotionally unattached if you renovate a rental property. Too much time on minor details is a sure-fire way to overcapitalise.


Property market slows, prices remain stable

June 2022


Sales activity in the residential property market continued to slow in April. Although there were fewer listings sold, property prices remained stable, according to the figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

Compared to March, there was nearly a 30 percent decrease in sales across the country in April. However, March is typically a strong month for real estate sales. While the change is significant, the seasonally adjusted figures for New Zealand show a decrease of 0.9 percent moving from March to April – only a marginally weaker result than usual for this month.

However, it is clear there has been a change in the property market, and the demand for property has weakened, REINZ chief executive Jen Baird said.

“We’re seeing a slowdown in activity, there is more stock staying on the market for longer, and while annual price growth is more moderate, the month-on-month trend shows a fall in median prices.”

“April residential property sales decreased annually by 35.2 percent across New Zealand, a story reflected across all regions. Looking at the underlying reasons for the continued decrease in sales count, the seasonally adjusted figures provide some insight. Last year sales volumes were underperforming due to supply challenges, and post-October 2021 when we began to see an influx of stock, it became a market underperforming due to demand challenges.”

Baird also noted REINZ received reports of fewer people attending open homes and auction rooms, as well as a decrease in buyer enquiries. However, the number of public holidays in April may have influenced this trend.

“Those who are backed by equity and secure in a job market with a low unemployment rate, will continue to see opportunity in the market as more stock increases choice, and prices ease. Owner- occupiers are the most present and active in the market, so while we see a softening in the mid to low price range, interest is solid in the mid to high bracket,” she said.

Kiwi Bank Senior Economist Jeremy Couchman said the data shows the housing market is paying for last year’s excesses.

“It’s also clear that the NZ housing market is in for a rough ride over the year ahead. The market is adjusting to the new reality of rising housing supply, investor-related tax changes, and far tighter credit conditions. Mortgage rates rose sharply over April as financial markets anticipate ongoing and aggressive OCR hikes to be delivered by the RBNZ this year and next,” Couchman said.



Pointers for getting ready to buy a house

May 2022


We may often ask ourselves when is the best time to buy a house? There are many signs that can indicate a person’s readiness to purchase a home, but there are also others who might suggest the time is not right.

A property is a large investment, and when you make that commitment, you want to ensure it is a financially sound decision. To achieve this, you need to be open and honest. By taking the time to look at the key indicators, you will be well placed to determine the right outcome for you.

This article will help explain what should stop you from considering a purchase at this time, but also what you should look for to show you are ready to buy.

The signs that you are not ready to buy

While you may be eager to move into your own home, you should consider all the external signals that may indicate you are not ready to buy just yet. The existence of these signs might be disheartening, however, they can save you from making a massive financial commitment at a time that is not right.

Sign one: You have a low credit score

Borrowing money has become easy, and purchasing new items on high purchase has become very common. Depending on whether you keep up with the payments, it could impact your credit score, and a low credit score could show you are not ready to buy a home just yet. This is because people with a high credit score will receive a better interest rate on their mortgage and lower monthly payments.

Sign two: You do not have enough cash for the deposit

When it comes to putting down money for the deposit, ideally, you should be able to afford 20 percent. Anything lower will require you to pay for private mortgage insurance, which increases your monthly payments.

Sign three: You have only considered the sticker price

The process of buying a home can be quite costly. Suppose you have not considered and saved for extra associated costs such as rates, insurance, utilities, renovations, maintenance, and even moving costs. In that case, you are not ready to buy a home just yet.

Sign four: Be a realist about your financial goals and ensure you can meet them all

If committing to buying a property and entering into a mortgage means that financial goals in other areas of your life suffer, it may not be the best decision. It is important to consider potential future factors. For example, do you plan on making any other large financial decisions in the year? Is there a chance you will have to move away in the long-term, for work, for example? These are essential questions to be asking yourself when you are looking to determine if you are ready to purchase a property.

When are you ready to buy?

When asking yourself ‘am I financially ready to buy a house?’, look for the following signs that indicate your financial security, market awareness, and stability.

You are realistic

A lot of people dream big and set their hopes too high. This might mean that they look for homes well above their budget, which would result in a higher mortgage and less manageable repayments. If you are aware of your financial limitations, do your property search accordingly. You better position yourself to cope with the mortgage repayments and will reap the benefits of a carefully planned budget.

Understand the market

The market goes through periods of fluctuation. For example, at any given time, it may be a seller’s market or a buyer’s market. Having an understanding of the current market and local house prices will help you make a financially sound decision.

You can gain a thorough understanding of the market by talking to real estate agents and property managers. They can guide you through the process and the pros and cons of buying at certain times, in certain areas.

You can afford the upfront costs of buying

There are many costs associated with buying real estate. There are initial costs such as your solicitor’s fees, and getting a building report. Then there are recurring costs like council rates. Do not forget that extra costs like moving fees and utility connections also need to be considered.

The extra costs of buying a home are often overlooked. That’s why, if you have considered these costs and have saved enough to cover them, you can likely afford the costs of homeownership.

You have a secure and stable income

A secure and stable job means that you can afford to make monthly mortgage repayments. Without regular income, you might be unable to maintain and keep on top of loan repayments, as well as daily expenses, which can add up fast in the wake of a large financial decision. Therefore, having a steady stream of predictable income is a key indicator that you are financially ready and equipped to buy a home and commit to regular mortgage repayments.

Start your home buying journey with LJ Hooker

Buying a home is one of their most important decisions in life. However, such an important decision comes with great financial and personal responsibility. That’s why it’s not uncommon for people to take a step back and consider if they are really ready to buy a home.

Luckily, such a stressful process can be made easier. When determining if it’s the right time to buy property, there are some key signs. These signs indicate that you are ready and, in some cases, that you are not.

For those who are ready to take the next step, LJ Hooker can provide invaluable expertise and market knowledge to help you find the home of your dreams. Contact LJ Hooker and connect with an agent today to start your home buying journey.


Designing the perfect nursery for your newborn

April 2022


When you have a newborn on the way, there is a lot to plan for. It is an exciting time as your family is about to grow. If planning what your child is going to wear is not exciting enough, you also have a whole room to decorate.

Setting up a beautiful nursery is a highlight during a pregnancy, even if it means assembling flat-pack furniture.

With so many products on the market, it can be easy to go overboard with decorating ideas. Before you get overwhelmed with wallpaper samples, it is important to remember you and your baby’s needs. You want to create a space that is cosy, functional and within budget.

When is the right time to set up a nursery?

Pregnancy can feel like a long time, especially in those last few weeks, but you will be cradling your precious new arrival before you know it.

While it is tempting to leave designing the nursery until maternity leave, chances are you will be too exhausted to be doing anything. Energy levels are typically at their best during the second trimester, between 13 and 26 weeks, making it the ideal time to get started. If you have opted to find out early if it is a boy or girl, this might also influence your design choice.

Set a deadline to complete the nursery no later than the 36-week mark. Babies are not known for always sticking to their due date, even those with very organised parents. It pays to be prepared.

What will it cost to set up a nursery?

Parental guilt starts even before your baby arrives, but don't feel pressured to buy the latest and greatest gadgets for your nursery.

When it comes to nursery furniture, everyday essentials such as a cot, car seat, and pram can be expensive. BNZ estimates, on a medium budget, it will cost around $304 per week, or $15,834 per year, to raise a child.

Be sure not to spend on unnecessary items that will end up in the cupboard. Instead, start your research by asking friends with children about what they consider to be must-haves for a nursery. They may even offer to lend you an item, such as a bassinet or car capsule, which you will only use for the first few months.

You should search on second-hand websites, such as Facebook Marketplace or TradeMe. However, safety is paramount for your newborn, so you should always check your items meet guidelines recommended by groups such as Safe Kid Aotearoa, Plunket and Consumer NZ.

You could also consider hiring equipment, as it is unlikely you will need it for a long period of time.

To keep track of costs, and make sure you are keeping within your budget, track these on a spreadsheet so that know where you stand.

Turning a small room into a nursery

Babies are small, and they do not need large rooms to thrive. If you are tight on space, but big on love, they will not notice.

Most parents will want their newborn close by during those first few chaotic weeks while settling into a routine. Set aside a corner of your own bedroom as a 'mini-nursery' with just the essentials such as a bassinet.

Small bedrooms are great for children of all ages, especially new arrivals. Decorating your nursery in soft pastels or neutral colours can give a room an airy feel. Vertical patterned wallpaper is another styling trick for creating the illusion of space.

Use clever storage to keep the room functional. For example, babies do not need long hanging space for their clothes, so adding another rack inside a wardrobe or additional drawers may be better. And be sure to utilise any empty space such as under the change table or cot.

Nursery styling tips

Now the real fun begins. Styling is one of the best parts of designing a nursery. It is when you can really add your personal touch by picking some nursery decor and accessories: bed linen, artwork, lighting and more. The aim is to create a sleep sanctuary that is both serene and a safe space, so go for colours and patterns that are inviting and calming.

A host of inspiration can be found online for some nursery ideas. First, start by picking the look and theme you want for the nursery. A mix of textures will add to the warmth of the space. Night lights and dimmers are also perfect for creating a sleepy ambience to the room.

We do not like staring at blank walls and nor do babies, so be sure to include prints in your design. You could create a feature wall or use wall stickers. And do not forget floor coverings. Creaky floorboards can play havoc when trying to creep out of a room without waking the baby.

To sum up, here are our best tips to design a nursery you will love:

  • Select a colour palette
  • Choose a look, such as scandi, traditional, vintage, minimalist, boho
  • Pick a theme to match, like botanicals, animals, celestial
  • Choose furniture and bedding to compliment your look
  • Select some soft furnishing to add texture
  • Include artwork, as no one likes a sterile space
  • Do not forget mum and dad and add a comfortable chair for feeding
  • Ensure everything is within easy reach

There you have it, the perfect nursery!

It is now ready and waiting to welcome your little one home.



Top tips for adding equity to your home.

March 2022


Your home is your castle, but when it comes time to sell you will want to walk away with the best price you can get. It may be worth considering what work you can do to boost the resale value of your home.

Your mind might be instantly going towards those big ticket items, and you might be asking yourself where can I add another bedroom? Is there room for a pool or a granny flat? Or do I need to install a new or larger garage?

This may be tempting, but it is important to remember that not every home renovation is going to benefit you when the time comes to sell. You need to focus on changes to your home that suit the lifestyle of the neighbourhood.

Where do I start?

If you are still unsure about where to start, getting some expert advice will set you off in the right direction. We are not talking about getting an architect in to decide which walls should stay or go and sketch the plans for a new designer kitchen, we are talking about a professional such as a real estate agent or an interior designer. These two experts will be able to give you advice as to what they believe would add value to your home.

The benefit of asking a real estate agent is, they live and breathe property in your local area, so they are in-tune with what buyers are looking for in a new home. They will be able to give you advice as to where you can start. And if you take this opportunity to get a free property appraisal, you will know approximately what your home is worth in the current market.

Draw attention to standout features

Does your home have a beautiful view? This is an example of a feature you can make standout. You can enhance that view by installing larger windows, or changing the window treatment so it is easier to see out. If you don’t have a view, can you create one with smart landscaping?

If you have a swimming pool, make sure the lighting is good to help make it a feature. Does the fence around your property look ugly? Transform it with paint and by adding vertical planter boxes. If your living area does not flow into your garden, bring some nature inside and introduce indoor planter boxes, potted or hanging plants.

Work on your garden early on

Well established gardens are very popular. Manicured hedged and mature trees casting shade over your lawn are not goals you can achieve overnight, it takes time – in fact, years. This is why it is a good idea to invest in your garden as soon as you move in, and you will also get to enjoy your efforts while it is your home.

Modernise your kitchen

The kitchen is a room that can make or break a sale, but it is also the room you can spend a lot of money upgrading and not necessarily get the best return. Your dream kitchen may not be what a prospective buyer wants, so there is no need to get a total upgrade. Focus on smaller things, such as door handles or cupboard doors to make your kitchen more appealing.

Other things you could do are:

  • Update appliances
  • Fresh coat of paint
  • Lift the lighting with fluorescents or spotlights above benchtops and potentially a pendant light for some visual interest.
  • Replace old benchtops
  • Re-tile or fix the floorboards
  • Ensure you have good storage and have maximised your bench space

Amplify the bathroom

Who does not like a beautiful bathroom? Buyers want to see a bathroom where they can relax and pamper themselves. This is a room where it is okay to spend some money to make the most of what you have.

If you have cracks in your basin, toilets or tubs, you may want to replace them.

To inject new life, consider replacing your vanity or mirror and add new lighting fixtures to make a good impression on your buyers.

If your bathroom is small, consider wall-mounted sinks and toilets to help maximise space. Put that towel rail behind the door and hang a big mirror to make the room appear twice the size.

Once you have added a fresh coat of paint on the walls, your bathroom will look brand new.

Make sure your property flows

Your home needs to make sense, and it needs to naturally flow from space to space. Spending time getting this right can add significant dollars to your property value.

A few things you may want to consider are:

  • Where is the kitchen located and does it flow easily into the eating / living area?
  • Do you have an outside eating  / sitting area where you can entertain friends in summer or simply relax with a good book? This is an extra room in the eyes of a buyer.
  • Is there a smooth indoor / outdoor flow.

 Another thing to consider when improving the ‘flow’ of your property is ventilation. Cross breezes in summer can be life saving when it is hot. By adding shutters, louvres or large windows, you can help bring that fresh air in.

Is there room for a granny flat?

If you have plenty of space, a granny flat could be a drawcard for buyers for many reasons. Families love granny flats because they can be a play area for the kids to hang out, somewhere for the in-laws to stay, or a home office.

Buyers who have an eye for an investment opportunity might see it as an opportunity to be able to lease it out as an external flat to help with the mortgage repayments.

Don’t underestimate a fresh coat of paint

Paint can be the answer to transform your home from a shell that harps back to the 70s or 80s, and transport it into the 21st century. If facades are looking a bit tired, repaint them, even if it is brick. This will help create a good first impression and set the tone for the rest of the property.

Take that paintbrush inside, probably with a different can of paint, and consider re-painting the walls. This will have a positive effect on buyers as it instantly refreshes the entire home. It is hard to go wrong with fresh, crisp paint jobs in modern, neutral colours.

Where you can, add more storage

Storage is always in demand. Whether it be in bedrooms, family rooms, hallways, garages, people are always searching for more space. Adding cupboards is a great way to make your home much more appealing.

Showcase your outdoor space

New Zealanders love spending time outside. If done right, your outdoor space can become another room to your home, and buyers love this.

When planning your outdoor space and how to make it an entertainer’s delight or somewhere you can rest and relax, envisage how it could be used. If you have a large space, add a large dining area, with a BBQ and a cooking area.

If you are limited on space, having comfortable seating with shade could be your best option. If you have a balcony, adding a table set, even if it is small, will be appealing to buyers. They will be able to visualise themselves enjoying their morning coffee in the sun.


Style your living room with wall art.

February 2022


Family photos, abstract images, landscapes and animals are all regular features on walls across New Zealand. No one likes a bare wall, but at the same time you want to strike a balance to make sure you have wall art that adds personality and interest to your spaces.

Wherever you look around your home, you are bound to have space on the walls, whether it be above a couch, in the dining room or above the TV, I’m sure it is not hard to find a wall that could do with a bit more character.

Before you hammer in a nail to hang a picture you found in the back of your wardrobe, consider how you use that space. Do you entertain guests regularly? Is it an area the family hang out in? Do you need it to inspire creativity or offer a more relaxed vibe? Ideally, what you want to hang from the nail should reflect the mood you want to convey.

Here are a few ideas to consider bringing inspiration to your wall art search.

Uniting colour and abstract,
When you have no idea what to hang on the wall, turning to abstract designs is a fool proof answer. Abstract paintings suit all spaces and everyone tends to interpret them different – so it’s a real people pleaser.

All you need to know is what colour you want to add to your room. Whether you match it with the curtains, the cushions you have on the sofa or fit it in with the theme of your house, it is hard to pick the wrong abstract wall art.

If your home has a natural theme, consider earthy colours. But if you are lucky to be near the coast, try incorporating blue and green tones.

3D illustration,
From black and white, to a spectrum of colours, 3D graphics are high-impact features, perfect for a living room wall. The shapes can be squared, flowing curves or a mixture of both – what it will be is eye catching and an instant feature in any room.

Portraits add personality,
A portrait or two in your living room is the easiest and best way to add more personality that genuinely reflects you and your family. There are many ways to elevate the traditional phone snaps to help make that screensaver photo a work of art:

  • You can blow the photo up on a massive canvas in black and white.
  • Turn to photo editing tools such as Lightroom or Canva to add effects that transform standard photos into works of art.

Line up mini prints,
Wall art doesn’t have to be big and striking, you can make the small effective too.

You can find several smaller prints and line them up side- by-side to create a rectangle. Get a few photos printed on small canvases you can line up, or buy several photo frames to neatly position side-by-side. Make sure there is a theme with all your photos, and line them up on your wall.

Who said photos have to be square?
Just because photo frames, canvases and a lot of art are squared, does not mean you have to settle for traditional shapes – you can try something different and unique.


Top tips to consider when upsizing your home.

January 2022

There are many things you may be considering as you start your search for a larger home. You might have started to feel you have outgrown your current home. There could be plans to expand your family, or you might just want more room so you can have friends and family come to stay.

In your search for a larger space, you might be after more floor area, a larger backyard, or a multi-storey home. However, the main benefits from any upsizing option are more space and comfort.

There are other benefits from upsizing, including a larger home generally holds more value than smaller properties. This means they are a good long-term asset to invest in.

Whatever your circumstances, here are a few tips to consider when upsizing.

 What to consider in a larger home,

For any property you buy, knowing what you want or need in a new home will make the decision process easier.

Before you start your property search, sit down with your partner or family and discuss why you are upsizing.

These reasons could include:

  • To have more bedrooms to accommodate existing family or additional children
  • To accommodate an elderly relative
  • For work-from-home opportunities
  • As an investment property or hopes of potential financial return
  • More section space for the kids/pets

Once you have considered your reason, and you think upsizing is the right choice for you, then it is the right time to factor in how much space you really need. It could be worth considering whether making alterations or adding an extension to your current home is an option.

For example, if your home is feeling a little tight due to older teenagers inviting friends over, it is possible they will move out in the next few years, then will you still need extra space?

Should I buy or sell first?

If you have been browsing online, and visiting a few open homes, there is a chance your heart has already picked your new dream home. While it may tick all of the boxes, and you might be tempted to buy this home before you sell your current place, take a deep breath and consider your options.

Typically, it is better to sell your home before buying a new one. By doing so, you will have the funds ready and will know what your budget is. You will also be able to make a larger down payment on your mortgage and avoid having to juggle two mortgages or bridging finance.

If you do sell first, you may need to find temporary housing until you can move into your new home.

If you absolutely must buy before you sell, it is a good idea to meet with a real estate agent and get an appraisal to estimate how much your current home is worth and to get more detailed information on your local market.

Preparing your home to sell,

To get your home in the best shape to sell, you need to style it so that it is buyer-ready.

Preparing your home to sell includes decluttering, removing personal possessions and having all interiors professionally cleaned. This is the time you must tackle those lingering repair jobs and make any necessary home upgrades to put your property in the best position to sell.

Styling your property will also help you achieve a higher selling price and attract more buyers. However, if you are not in a position to hire an expert to style your home and get in the right staged furniture, here are some upgrades you can do:

  • Add a fence or repair your existing one
  • Increase curb appeal with landscaped front gardens
  • Make your house number clearly visible
  • Clean windows, gutters and roof
  • Water blast the driveway
  • Add outdoor lighting
  • Freshen up interior paint
  • Get rid of clutter
  • Replace old tap and light fittings
  • Steam clean carpet, polish floors

Make sure you can manage the upkeep,

A bigger home is great for storage, more space to entertain and for the kids to play, but with that comes more and new responsibilities.

One of the most obvious tasks that comes with a bigger house is cleaning.

Since you have more space, you will have to allocate more time for doing housework. The same for the section, you may have to dedicate more time for gardening, lawn mowing and regular maintenance.

Before you make any decisions, think about whether you will be happy with the extra responsibilities, whether you can afford extra help in the way of professional cleaning/landscaping services, or if going bigger might be more than you bargained for.

Settling on your dream home

Making a big decision, such as upsizing, it not something you want to rush. You should take your time and make the call when the time is right.

Start compiling a list of all your must-haves. This could include the number of bedrooms you need, through to the size of your section and the floorplan. With this list of required features, you will be able to narrow down your search. You should also check this against other requirements you have, such as location and price point.

If you have committed to upsizing, you want a home you can grow into and that will accommodate your family or life circumstances. You need to think long- term, consider potential growth of your family and the need for extra bedrooms or space for a granny flat.

You should also consider whether this will be your ‘forever home’, or just the next step along your property journey.


All you need to know to prepare for a summer sale.

December 2021


Everything is at its best in summer – the temperatures are up, the sun is out and your garden is flourishing.

All of these factors coming together make your property look its best, and buyers are more willing to head out and view open homes when the weather is on their side.

While you will want to slip on your jandals and head to the beach, if you are listing your home this summer here are some tips to keep in mind to wow potential buyers.

Style for the season

Everything is full of life this season, and your home should be too. Inside you want to introduce light and bright summer colours. Hide any heavy curtains, rugs or cushions in darker colours, because they detract from the season when you want your home to look light, bright and airy.

Pull out the fresh fragrant diffusers and fill your home with floral scents to bring the smell of your garden indoors to suit the weather. The smell of gardenias dancing beneath your nose can create a positive impact and can bring back happy memories.

Now your indoors match the season, it’s time to reflect that outside.

Outdoor living

Who wants to be stuck inside on a gorgeous summer day? No one, right. Which is why outdoor living spaces need to be inviting and comfortable.

Adding plants that add colour, aroma and life to your garden is one part, but having outdoor furniture and a BBQ area is going to create a whole new living space. Without realising it, buyers will start to image the gatherings they can have there and how they can share that space with guests for entertaining, or just relaxing on a summer’s day.

It goes without saying, but we will remind you anyway, make sure your lawns are mown, weeds are pulled, and give your house a water blast to remove dust and grime, and maybe give the exterior a fresh coat of paint to freshen it up.

Same for the windows, give them a good clean, make sure they are crystal clear so buyers can get excited about the amount of natural light filling the living room or master suite.

Complete any maintenance

Although the buyers may be attracted to the beautiful outdoors and your bright and natural-light-filled living spaces, the serious buyers will notice any repairs that need to be addressed. If there are little things at home bugging you, it is likely they will bug someone else, so this is the perfect time to fix them.

Serious buyers will be looking for reasons to negotiate a price decrease, so you want to minimise all those red lights. It’s also a good idea to get all of your pipes checked to make sure there are no leaks, repair any cracked tiles and fix that peeling wallpaper in your bedroom.

Embrace the cool

The weather outside maybe toasty, but we all like to retreat to a cool, airconditioned area when it’s hot and that breeze is not cutting it. When it is open home time, keep your air conditioning running at a cool, but comfortable temperature. If you do not have air conditioning, get a nice breeze flowing through the house to show buyer how you can keep your home cool while its hot outside.

Summer is a great time to sell your home because it shows off your property at its very best.



What you need to know about online property auctions.

November 2021


Recent restrictions meant we had to stay home and could not host open homes or auctions. To be able to continue to help people buy and sell properties, the real estate industry had to embrace digital alternatives, and online auctions were one of these.

Online property auctions have been with us since before COVID-19 was known around the world. But it has since become a newfound necessity for this method of sale, which allows homebuyers to receive a new level of convenience and ease when bidding for their dream property. The team of real estate experts at LJ Hooker Karaka knows best. Not only is the Top Agency in Auckland, Dylan and Renee Turner have a fantastic hold on online property auction coupled with their years of industry experience.

Auctions have been very popular in the market in recent times, and having the option of an online auction means sellers and buyers do not need to miss out when circumstances change.

With COVID alert level changes, this may mean in-person auctions cannot take place. If an auction is postponed or delayed, it could mean sellers have to wait several weeks before the chance to have an in-person auction. LJ Hooker Karaka has a team set up to work virtually with you when it comes to live auctions. No stone is left unturned.

How do virtual auctions work?

Online property auctions work in much the same way as in-person auctions, except you can be wherever you want via the internet.

This gives you the comfort of being able to bid from your own home or anywhere you have access to a mobile device. Dylan Turner and his team at LJ Hooker Karaka will give you all the access and information, so you are comfortable prior to the virtual auction.

As the seller, you get the ability to watch a live stream of the auction which allows you to follow the bidding in real-time. Every step of the way you will know exactly what is happening.

Registering to take part in an online auction

The process to register for an online auction can vary depending on the auctioneer and the platform their organisation uses. No matter the situation, if you want to try and buy a property through an online auction, you need to register ahead of time. Dylan and Renee Turner from LJ Hooker Karaka will assist you with the registration process from the get-go. 

A potential buyer should contact the listing agent, who will take them through the registration process. The real estate agent should encourage buyers to register early to become familiar with the paperwork and the process required. The experts at LJ Hooker Karaka have all the necessary information. Being the Top Agency in Auckland, LJ Hooker Karaka prioritises this step for all buyers.

During Level 3 and 4 COVID-19 restrictions, potential buyers must register via the Telephone Bidding authority, and during this process, they will have to provide:

Full legal name
Phone number
Copy of photo ID
Solicitor details
Any variation to auction terms as agreed to by the sellers.

Once you are a registered bidder, you will have a dedicated salesperson you will be talking to. That salesperson will communicate with the auctioneer and place your bids on your behalf. At LJ Hooker Karaka, Dylan Turner has a team of experienced real estate professionals that will be bidding on your behalf at the auctions.

Advantages of virtual property auctions

Online auctions offer excellent benefits that will guarantee a quality bidding audience.

Because buyers are bidding from the comfort of their own lounge room, the pressure is usually reduced. It becomes easier for them to stay level-headed and make better decisions. At the same time, they can also consult with advisers who might not have been able to attend the on-site auction. This will help attract serious, qualified buyers.

In some cases, virtual auctions can also encourage more activity due to a fear of missing out. As bidders cannot see and gauge the other buyers, they might be tempted to bid more to try and get ahead of the competition. This may help achieve a higher sale price for your property. LJ Hooker Karaka is a local, experienced and is a trusted brand in Auckland.



Best advice on how to avoid the most common maintenance pitfalls when selling or buying a home.

October 2021


Why is Auckland rated the best city to live it?

According to a recent survey, the housing market in Auckland is one of the hottest in the world.

It is New Zealand's most "global" city. The jobs are here, the lifestyle is great and it offers vast outdoor living options for all walks of life. If you want to develop your career or are looking to invest time outdoors, you'll consider moving to Auckland, or you won't want to leave because you're living the best life.

It's also a beautiful city with exotic marine life. From a sub-tropical climate and 2003 sunny hours per year, it is surrounded by rainforest and breath-taking black & golden beaches.

Auckland also draws in families, ex-pats and those who want to sample some of the glitz and glam of a global metropolis without migrating to Sydney, London, or Singapore.

This city provides a thriving and diverse fine wine and dining experience, nightlife, arts, and culture scene for its multicultural ethnicities living here. It is also the largest metropolitan city in New Zealand, with an abundance of opportunities within the professional and private sectors.

New Zealand's immigration is also at an all-time high, necessitating the construction of more dwellings — and quickly.

LJ Hooker Karaka is the first real estate office to open in the Karaka area. Their agents are highly motivated and focused individuals with excellent sales, marketing and negotiation skills. They will work in your best interests to ensure that you receive the greatest return on investment.

Dylan Turner, South Auckland's top and accomplished real estate agent is the next best thing in this industry.

Renee Turner is equally committed to her clients when it comes to selling or buying real estate. The client is her top priority. She believes in integrity, positive energy, hard work, and creative service in every detail of any real estate transaction she handles. She ensures all work carried out in the branch is seamless and provides utmost dedication to her clients.

Here below, you will find key tips to avoid when selling your property:

1. Overpricing Your Home

Sellers who market their home for more than it's worth may have to wait an extra two months to sell it, according to a recent study — and that's not the only mistake that can cause a transaction to be delayed. It's critical to place your house on the market at a reasonable price.

To be sure you establish the right price for your home, get multiple appraisals from different estate agents, and do some research on similar properties sold in your area in recent months.

2. Choosing the first agent you meet

If you want to achieve the best price for your house, follow these steps:

1. Don't just go with the first agent you meet.

2. Choose at least 3 agents to come to your home and give you an appraisal.

3. Interview each one about why they believe your home is worth the amount they've proposed and ask for examples of recent sales of similar properties in the area.

3. Not going with Marketing & Advertising Strategies

Selling your property can be expensive, especially if you need to buy something else at the same time. It's worthwhile to look for the best value in return and cost to spend. LJ Hooker Karaka can help you save on marketing & advertising costs whilst providing the best-selling techniques to ensure great returns for your property.

LJ Hooker Karaka provides competitive market rates and are always willing to go the extra mile for their clients. There are options from flat fees regardless of sale to price or no-price strategies; LJ Hooker Karaka will provide reports and a network of resources to help you reach out to a wide range of networks locally, nationally and internationally.

4. Putting off hiring a solicitor/conveyancer

Transferring a property from its current owners to its new owners is known as conveyancing. Because a conveyancer's job entails drafting contracts and moving funds, you may not think you need one right now. To avoid delays, it's a good idea to choose a solicitor or conveyancer as soon as you put your house on the market. Choosing a firm and completing the necessary papers will ensure that you are ready to transfer as soon as you receive an offer. LJ Hooker Karaka will assist in providing all the information required here.

5. Picking the wrong time to sell

When you list your home at the right time, it has a better chance of selling quickly. According to research, the most significant month to offer a home for a quick sale is March. Checking how many houses have sold in the last three months and the price they fetched is a solid indicator of how the market is behaving in your area. Always research the housing market and notice the timeframes that brings the highest sales in your area.

6. Delaying your mortgage application

Make sure you can afford to buy a new home before putting your old one on the market. If the cost of your new house is higher, you'll need to determine which loan is best for you and how much you can borrow. Alternatively, if the new property you're buying costs the same as or less than the old one, you should investigate if you can port your mortgage. The advice here is to speak to a mortgage broker, your bank and your Real Estate Agent to get the proper insight.

7. Failing to spruce up your property

For advertising such as photographs and videos as well as later valuations and viewings, your house should be in the most presentable condition. When a buyer walks in that door, they are looking at how the space of an area is being utilised, natural light beaming in, clean sheets and walls, to name a few. At the absolute least, ensure that your home is clean, tidy, and clutter-free. Try simple home DIY such as painting your front door, tidying your lawn or adding a few character pieces to give buyers a better first impression. LJ Hooker Karaka can discuss staging options for the best look in your property.

8. Using drab photos instead of a professional photographer

The images of your home are crucial in attracting potential buyers. When choosing photographs to use to display your home online and in marketing brochures, take your time. If you don't think the images taken are good enough, don't hesitate to ask the real estate agent for suggestions or have some fresh ones shot. The advice here is to always get a professional property photographer to capture the right shots and angles.

9. Not emphasising key features

It would help if you double-checked that any marketing material, especially the web ad, emphasises the critical aspects of your home. Garden, garage, parking, freehold, and detached are all standard search terms; mention them if they're applicable. Furthermore, emphasise the possibilities of your property. For example, if you get planning clearance for an extension, let people know.

10. Hiding major property flaws

It's pointless to try to disguise severe flaws in your house that might deter purchasers, such as a short lease or a structural defect. Instead, try to confront the issue head-on. While a buyer comes to see your home, be honest when answering their enquiries. Doing a house survey to receive independent confirmation of the scope of the problem and the potential repair costs could help you avoid a structural flaw, such as subsidence. If a buyer discovers marks later in the process, it may jeopardise the sale of your home.

11. Selecting the highest bidder

Although it may seem paradoxical, you should not automatically select the highest offer if you receive multiple bids. While the sales price is critical, you should also evaluate the likelihood of the buyer delaying or withdrawing, especially if you need to sell quickly. First-time buyers, for example, aren't relying on previous purchases to close, but they may have difficulty obtaining a mortgage faster. The safest buyers are chain-free buyers, buy-to-let investors and home movers who have already sold and completed their deals.

12. When it comes to sending money, letting your guard down is a big no-no.

You may use email to connect with the parties involved in the process while selling your home, so be aware of conveyancing scams. Criminals break into email chains between buyers, sellers, and their solicitors or estate agencies to commit conveyancing fraud. They then masquerade as a reputable professional and persuade the buyer or seller to send funds into their accounts, such as a deposit or fee. Call your solicitor or estate agent to double-check the details if you're requested to pay by email.

If you're seeking professional assistance from pleasant and knowledgeable real estate agents in Auckland, you've come to the right place. Dylan and Renee Turner from LJ Hooker Karaka are known to work hours that suit the needs of buyers and sellers, often working late into the evening to close a contract.


It is critical to know how to sell a home. In a sinking market, the house may languish on the market for far longer than you expect. If you don't find a buyer promptly, you may find yourself struggling to pay two mortgages, having to rent your property until you find one, or, in the worst-case scenario, facing foreclosure. If you avoid the costly errors outlined above, you'll be well on your way to putting your best foot forward and accomplishing the smooth, profitable sale that every home seller desires.

Selling your property can take a long time and be emotionally draining, especially if you've never done it before. People will enter your home, open your closets and cupboards, and dig through your belongings, which may feel intrusive at times. They will critique a house that has likely become more to you than four walls and a roof, and they will offer you less money than you believe your home is worth.

Therefore, having the right team on board from the very beginning is essential. Not only will you receive all the right advice, support and resources from the beginning, but trust is also created between the agent and yourself from the get-go. LJ Hooker Karaka has its name of being one of the best for these very known reasons. You get all the help from start to finish.


LJ Hooker Karaka - A blog about how you can use property valuations to sell your house

September 2021


It can be challenging to assess the value of a property due to volatile property markets and a variety of other factors. In many circumstances, you won't know a property's total value until it's sold. You can acquire a valuation or market appraisal to determine the market value of your property before selling it to get an idea of how much you'll get for it. That is why we recommend LJ Hooker Karaka! Located in Karaka, New Zealand, at LJ Hooker Karaka, they are a boutique office with a committed team focused purely on quality. Their administration staff is highly qualified for the support of the salespeople and the community, boasting years of Real Estate administration experience, a degree in design, some even hold their real estate license to support the sales team.

 At LJ Hooker Karaka, the team offers excellent marketing packages tailored to suit your individual needs. If you have any real estate needs, including listing, selling your property, or rentals, give them a call to help you.

What's a property valuation?

Only a qualified valuer who has completed specialized education and training can conduct a formal property valuation. LJ Hooker Karaka adopts a systematic approach and considers all elements that may influence the value, resulting in a complete, unbiased analysis of the property's worth.

Dylan and Renee Turner decided to open a boutique office at LJ Hooker Karaka in 2015 after conducting extensive research of having two offices wasn't enough. They are now enjoying the benefits of owning three successful LJ Hooker enterprises. With over 25 years of real estate industry experience, he has knowledge and accomplishments that are indeed a rare find.

A property valuation is usually performed in two to three business days and costs money.

What's included in a professional property valuation?

  1. The number of bedrooms and the size of the property are included in the property description.
  2. Environmental and market risks, for example, have risk ratings.
  3. The state of the property.
  4. Zoning at the local level.
  5. comparable sales in the recent past.
  6. Any concerns discovered during the valuation assessment that need to be addressed.

What's a market appraisal?

It's crucial to understand the difference between a market appraisal and an official property valuation. Instead, it's a free service that will offer you a rough estimate of how much your house would sell for if you sold it right now. Market trends, local demand, surrounding property sale prices, and the primary qualities of your home will all be considered in a market appraisal. LJ Hooker Karaka is the best in this field!

Because no one will come out to look at your house in person, minute things are likely to be overlooked. However, because these evaluations are entirely independent, you will not feel obligated to sell or utilize a specific service provider.

Even if you are satisfied with your appraisal results, it may be worthwhile to seek a second assessment from the professional team of LJ Hooker Karaka before selling or refinancing your house.

What are property valuations used for?

A competent valuation can help both buyers and sellers.

A property appraisal can help buyers avoid overpaying for a home by reducing the risk of overpaying, especially if you're making a private purchase. At an auction, the desire to bid by potential buyers is a good indicator of the property's value.

Sellers utilize valuations for a variety of reasons. One, to obtain an estimate of what their property would sell for, and two, to see if there are any changes they can make to increase the value of their property. They can also help people decide if they should sell now or wait until the market improves.

A competent real estate agent such as LJ Hooker Karaka agents will know what buyers in your region are looking for in a property and what trends are selling if you're thinking about selling or, if you're seeking advice on how to increase value to your home, hiring a property valuer or a real estate agent like them to do an appraisal that can be highly beneficial.

A bank valuation, which is exclusively used for banking or legal purposes, is also available. Mortgage brokers, for example, use property valuations to guarantee that a home is suitable for a loan and that the property's value is sufficient to cover the mortgage in the event of a forced sale.

How to find out your home's actual market value:

Research using an online valuation service

Using an online property estimate service is a fantastic place to start when determining the worth of your home.

Get a professional agent to give you a market appraisal

You can employ a LJ Hooker Karaka real estate agent to give you a free-market appraisal once you've done your research online and have an estimate of how much you could sell your house for.

Appraisals are an excellent method to begin the process of selling your home.

Shopping around for potential agents, comparing their prices and marketing tactics, and getting suggestions and advice on selling is a brilliant idea. You can use this site to reach agents and schedule one or more appraisals.

Get a qualified valuer to value your property

You can pay a valuer to visit and give you a formal property valuation if you're still unhappy with your property estimate or need a more comprehensive perspective of the condition and value of your property and the surrounding market.

Is it a good idea to value my property online?

You must look for an online house valuation calculator that past users have judged to be the most accurate.

Finding out how much detail a tool takes to work is a valuable method to judge its quality. The more information you must enter, the more precise the result will be. Of course, there is much room for error, so getting a second opinion from an expert "in the flesh" is always a good idea.

What's involved in using a real estate agent or mortgage broker to organize my house price valuation?

From the top agents in your area, we recommend LJ Hooker Karaka. When making your decision, look into their track record in estimating real estate values.

If you're looking for a home value estimate because you're thinking about refinancing, they will be able to recommend a good broker.

Where Do I Find Someone to Value My House?

Use the services of the LJ Hooker Karaka team to value your house and save yourself a lot of trouble.

Real estate agents in New Zealand offer the most comprehensive comparison of all real estate agents there.

You may also uncover how many homes an agent has sold to date, their median property sales price, and how long a property has been on the market on average.



LJ Hooker Karaka: New Builds In Karaka and Why You Should Invest In One
August 2021

Karaka continues to be a sizzling hot real estate market, partly thanks to increased demand for new builds. The vast majority of new-builds in Karaka are either in-fill properties tucked in highly sought-after areas of the suburb or green fields that mushroomed in new housing developments.

Greenfield new developments typically focus on lifestyle houses, most of which are in semi-rural neighbourhoods of Karaka. These serene, somewhat idyllic yet exciting housing options attract investors and families alike looking to take advantage of Karaka's proximity to everything the Auckland area has to offer. These perks include easy access to work in the city, remarkable return on investment (roughly 9% capital growth), and an excellent environment for bringing up a family.

Suppose you're interested in in-fill type of new-builds in Karaka. In that case, you're most likely to find a decent number of townhouses, flats, modern homes, and even apartments built into already existing developments. Either way, Karaka is home to some of the best new-builds in the former Franklin District and the greater Auckland City.

What's more, this small rural suburb has a diverse range of new builds, meaning there's something for everyone. Whether you fancy single-storey or two-storey properties; freestanding, duplex, or terrace homes; 3-bedroom, 4-bedroom, or 5-bedroom property, there's a new-build design for every kind of real estate buyer in Karaka.

Here at LJ Hooker Karaka, we understand that the question of whether to invest in a new build versus an existing property isn't an easy choice. Both property types do come with their pros and cons, but today we're going to walk you through top reasons why you should invest in a new build.

First Things First: Shining the Spotlight on Karaka Hot Real Estate Market

Dylan & Renee Turner and their team at LJ Hooker Karaka would love to show you around Karaka, so you can get a feel for the quality of new builds the suburb has to offer. Get in touch with our friendly and highly experienced area specialists to discuss your real estate ambitions today. We'll listen to your specific requirements and help you find your dream new build property in Karaka in a breeze.

But why should you relocate to Karaka or invest in its real estate in the first place?

Part of the former Franklin District, Karaka is a real estate gem located 33km just south of the central business district of Auckland City, on the southern edge of the Manukau Harbour. This well-appointed and thriving suburb community has a lot to offer both investors and families.

Karaka is one of the many residential suburbs that form the Territorial Authority of Auckland. It's the 80th biggest suburb in this wider region regarding residential property stock, with the vast majority being constructed between 2010 and 2019. Even so, the area boasts an abundance of new builds, as well.

Residential properties make up the most significant chunk of housing stock in Karaka (or about 66 per cent, to be precise), while lifestyle real estate accounts for the remaining 34 per cent. Most of the new buildings in Karaka are strategically located near train stations, bus stations, and motorways, making it easy to get in and around the suburb and commute to the city.

In addition to its proximity to Auckland City, Karaka is also positioned 12km from the famous Manukau City Centre, which offers a basketful of sports, shopping, art, entertainment, and fine dining opportunities. Getting to the business district of Auckland Airport is a snap from Karaka.

However, you look at it, Karaka is a truly unique real estate gem that brings the best of both worlds – country lifestyle and modern living. The real icing on the cake is that residents are minutes away from superb amenities, great entertainment, excellent educational centres, and open greenery.

The suburb itself is endowed with an array of walkways, beautiful scenery, and breath-taking architecture, plus the area is surrounded by impressive reserves, parks, and much more. There are plenty of things to be excited about for both visitors and residents. Well, this could be your home or property destination, and our team at LJ Hooker Karaka is here to make your real estate dreams come true.

Here are the Top 4 Reasons to Invest or Buy New Builds in Karaka

1- You're Investing/Buying a Modern, Well-Constructed Property

Perhaps the first and most compelling reason to prefer new builds over existing properties is that you're purchasing a brand new, well-appointed, and modern property in every sense. Generally, these new properties in Karaka must meet the new "healthy homes" standards pertaining to insulation, heating, ventilation, draught-stopping, and drainage & moisture ingress standards.

That means you can leverage sustainable design practices as the owner of a new build that meets stringent standards. Besides, a well-constructed property that's up to par with the latest building codes and regulations will require minimal, if any, maintenance for years, if not decades to come. That's more money in your bank (cost savings due to reduced maintenance) and fewer headaches (because of minimal repairs) for you, especially if you plan to be a landlord.

2- Loans for New Builds Require Smaller Deposits

Many Kiwis looking to buy or invest in real estate love the idea of owning new builds because they can tailor the design to meet their investment requirements and specifications. If that isn't good enough, those planning to borrow to purchase new builds can expect to pay down smaller deposits than they'd require for existing properties.

Thanks to the new investor-targeted housing tax changes, the current Reserve Bank's loan-to-value ratios (LVRs) make it easy for would-be homeowners and investors to get loans or mortgages with a significantly lower deposit. For instance, for a first-time homebuyer, the deposit for getting a loan is 10% for a new build, while the deposit required for an existing property is double at 20%.

This is a massive advantage and a game-changer for first-time buyers. In Karaka, where the median property prices stagger around $1,194,500, that'd mean only having to pay $119,450 rather than $238,900 for the deposit.

Additionally, there are Kiwi-Saver incentives that make new builds especially attractive to home buyers. These include a higher price cap to be eligible for First Home Loans (ranging from $500,000-$700,000 in Karaka) and higher grants (up to $10,000 for new builds, as opposed to up to $5,000 for existing homes).

On their end, real estate investors will have to put down a deposit of a whopping 40% to take out a loan for an existing property. On the other hand, if they opt for a new build, the investor will require a deposit of only 20% of the house price.

The recent tax changes instituted by the New Zealand Government in March have made the prospects of investing in new builds even more lucrative. In essence, new builds are exempt from these changes to property taxes, including extending the bright-line test to a decade and removing interest deductibility, making them a better option for home buyers and investors.

3- Investors of New Rental Builds Get Better Rent and Attract Better Tenants

This benefit is, of course, a no-brainer. With 18.64% of Karaka residents living in rental properties, you'd want to attract the best and highest-quality tenants instead of problem tenants that will bring down your occupancy rate. If your rental building is modern and has the latest appliances, hardware, and amenities, you can expect to pull in the right crowd.

Not just that; new builds tend to command higher rent and longer leases. This makes it easier and more profitable for any investor to run a rental property business. In other words, new builds are likely to earn higher yields than already existing properties, which is the holy grail factor for investors looking to get the most ROI out of their investment dollars.

According to Dylan & Renee Turner's team at LJ Hooker Karaka, new builds may not be a viable option for every investor, though. Suppose you're an investor who makes most of your value in renovations or flipping properties. In that case, this real estate option may not be for you likewise, if you're a property buyer who is trying to purchase at the lowest end of the spectrum or expects a decrease in income in the near future (AKA the next year or 1 1/2 years, new builds may not be a good choice for your real estate goals.

4- Rising Interest Rates Have Lower Impact on New Builds

Suppose there's one thing Dylan and Renee Turner at LJ Hooker Karaka have learned over the years. In that case, it's this: new builds tend to have lower interest rates than existing properties, particularly rentals. This is very crucial when managing the risk associated with swings in interest rates.

For instance, the new tax changes swung the interest rate by around 1.5fold. So, if your initial interest rate was 2.5%, your effective rate would be 3.75% for an existing property, while the interest for a new build will still be 2.5%.

As you can see, buying or investing in new builds protects you against upswings in interest rates.