Important fact I need to know before I make the move!

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8 years 9 months ago #35902 by Salvo
Hello everyone! My partner and I have decided to buy our little corner of country paradise. We have been looking at properties of max 3 acres, max 2 hours commute from Auckland, either way, north or south – Waikato to Northland. We’ve been looking now for months, we came across properties we truly liked but got always discouraged by the fact that all dwellings were not permitted. Agents or vendors keep giving us the same excuses, “the 1958 flood destroyed all records”, “the house is 100 years old and back then there were no permits”... So, question, how really true is this?
What are the real annoyances and problems that we may incur if we bought a property with a non-permitted dwelling?
Is it possible to find a do-me-up character home on a few acres that is permitted?
Thank you!
Salvo

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8 years 9 months ago #469522 by Ruth
Northland has a lot of unpermitted structures. It's the "wild north" so par for the course. You presumably pay a little less for a building without permits, but you don't have a formal process of ensuring the building was built to good standards. You have to be careful to do (have done by someone appropriately skilled) your own inspections to assure yourselves you won't be buried in what you buy.

I've heard the 1958 (?) flood one before, but can't remember which council. There were similar issues with fires and losses of records too. You'll be better off in a really well-built non-permit structure than some of those crappy leaky buildings with all the permits and councils not wanting to take responsibility for them!

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8 years 9 months ago #469526 by Mousewhisker
A couple of things I'd think about carefully would be the question of resale - it might be difficult to sell, if you ever need to later. And also you may not be able to get insurance?

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8 years 9 months ago #469532 by Salvo
Oh yeah, good points! .... Is there a way of getting the dwelling consented? Or it's just too complicated or impossible?

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8 years 9 months ago #469533 by igor
I have never had any difficulty getting insurance on very old houses with lost or never issued permits etc. A lot of records were lost or deliberately dumped in the council amalgamations of the 1990's and anything constructed pre WW2 could easily have never had any sort of documentation. The good side of that is that you can easily alter things in an old building and, if you do it sensibly, no-one can prove it wasn't always like that. Don't even bother looking at getting a retrospective consent on an old building.

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8 years 9 months ago #469541 by max2
I would also think its a council to council thing as well as to the difficulty level.
There was a property up here that was up for auction with three interested parties, however the house had never received consent nor completion approval and its my understanding from the agent (who I know particularly well) Council was making the current owner upgrade everything including septic to today's building standards before signing off on a Code of compliance.

The property has now been advertised as sold, so whether he dropped the price to avoid the hassle or found middle ground with council I do not know. What I do know is the 3 interested parties were not able to obtain their bank finance without the CC in place.

Our area comes under the former Raglan council where a lot of records were destroyed by fire. In the case above the records for the property did exist.

Best find a property that you like and go and see council for yourself to ask the hard questions.

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8 years 9 months ago #469559 by Salvo
under our hands there is a property in the Waikato region, we are thinking of asking for a LIM report, would that be enough or should we go to the council and ask around?
Ordering LIM reports for each property that we are interested in really isn't our intention as it costs, but it's what we think we should do.
We make sure we ask all the questions (septic tank, water, boundaries, etc.)... but still it's so much more complicated than buying in the city.

Thank for you reply.

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8 years 9 months ago #469560 by RLD Landscapes
Any building should be up to the requirements of the Building Code, unless it is a garden shed etc. The main gist of the BC is to protect inhabitants from sudden and catastrophic failure. Its about making sure you are safe in your building! If a house doesn't have consent then a retrospective one can be issued, but that can be costly and time-consuming. If minor additions have been carried out, then they may not even require consent, or for a few thousand dollars, you'll get one.
Get a building report done of you're serious about buying and concerned about the structure. As part of any lifestyle block purchase, make sure you have all the information you need (get it from the council or from Land Information NZ) and then make an educated decision about what is involved regarding structures, building regulations, planning regulations and also things like overland flood paths, soil structure, sewage disposal systems, water reticulation and runoff.
In my experience a lot of LSB's are runoff paddocks , and although they appear desirable they aren't always suitable for grazing, cropping or gardening. It's a longterm investment and it requires good advice and a good understanding of the implications of the COMPLETE environment that you will subject yourself to over the ensuing years - make the decision wisely and make it last.
Sorry to rant, but I have seen many people get stuck with a block that doesn't work in the longterm. Remember it's hard-work but good fun! www.lifestyleblock.co.nz/vforum/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif !

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8 years 9 months ago #469626 by max2

Salvo;472065 wrote: under our hands there is a property in the Waikato region, we are thinking of asking for a LIM report, would that be enough or should we go to the council and ask around?
Ordering LIM reports for each property that we are interested in really isn't our intention as it costs, but it's what we think we should do.
We make sure we ask all the questions (septic tank, water, boundaries, etc.)... but still it's so much more complicated than buying in the city.

Thank for you reply.


As long as you are asking the right people such as council and your solicitor, then you should be getting the right info. Some r/e's will tell you anything to hook you to a sale, and then the fun begins as your legal person wades through the rigmorole at your cost.

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8 years 9 months ago #469656 by Aria

Salvo;472065 wrote: under our hands there is a property in the Waikato region, we are thinking of asking for a LIM report, would that be enough or should we go to the council and ask around?
Ordering LIM reports for each property that we are interested in really isn't our intention as it costs, but it's what we think we should do.
We make sure we ask all the questions (septic tank, water, boundaries, etc.)... but still it's so much more complicated than buying in the city.

Thank for you reply.


At a lot of council's you can go and have a look at the Building File for the property free-of-charge. This file will tell you information about building permits, house plan, septic tank plan/infrastructure. You can also ask about environmental planning matters (i.e. the stuff in a LIM report) as nice councils will go into their geographic information system and tell you right then and there whether the property is in a flood zone or other hazard designated area.

I would then, if you are still interested, make an offer subject to obtaining a LIM report and a building inspection report satisfactory to you (this would be a condition of sale, and therefore if anything turned up in those reports that you didn't like, you could back out of the offer).

That way you do not spend any dollars on these reports before such time as you know whether or not the vendor accepts the price you are offering and the terms.

Happy looking!

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8 years 9 months ago #469658 by Hawkspur
You cannot get retrospective consents.

You can apply for a Certificate of Acceptance for work done without Consent, that complies with the Building Act, if it was done after the current Act or it's immediate predecessor was in place. (1992 on.)
It is quite complicated to prove a completed building complies unless it is an unlined shed and you can see all the fixings and framing, but proving things like foundation depths is tricky.

You cannot get a Certificate of Acceptance for buildings that predate the current or the previous Building Act. It really doesn't make sense to try to get them either, as the building regulations were significantly different then, and the durability of the building dates from the time it was built.

So you are best to be most wary of:
- post 1991 buildings without Consent
- any buildings that a competent inspector has concerns about.

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8 years 9 months ago #469662 by KaiapoiKen
RLD Landscapes - Complying with the Building Code certainly stood us in good stead down here in Canterbury - NOT. The only building we had that was not damaged was one that we put up without a permit. Salvo - Just follow your heart if you can buy a block without having to worry about borrowing. If the vendor is selling without the permits etc. why shouldn't you if you ever wish to sell.

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8 years 9 months ago #469676 by Hawkspur
The Buildng Code did not require that buildings that were not critical, (like hospitals), get through a quake without damage, but that they get through a quake without damaging the people in them. This was because until very recently, to design and build to prevent damage was very expensive.

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8 years 9 months ago #470731 by tonybaker
in my book, when buying a property the local district council will always be your best source of information. Check everything with them, preferably in writing!

Secondly, it is easy to get insurance but much harder to get them to pay up when there is an issue. AN unpermitted building would almost certainly not be covered. Rural insurance is quite different to town insurance and will be more costly. Go and have a chat with an insurance company before you let the estate agent get you too excited.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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8 years 2 days ago #489128 by Peterkit03
Never, never, never believe what the Real Estate agents tells you. Been there, it turned out a mess. Took me 4 months to get it sorted. No more friends with him either. Lamest excuse " is that so, oh I didn't know. "
Do what your hearts tells you. Check everything, just got my piece o paradise at Ramarama after sorting out all the bulls droppings the agent told us.
Good luck in your guest. PM me if you want to admire my bare land. LOL.

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