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  House in New Zealand is the preferred way of living. If you ever get the chance to go up the Auckland tower, you will see a sea of houses as far as your eyes can see. The house for the New Zealander is a castle, it is where they raise and play with their children in the backyard, care for their gardens on the weekend, use their garages as workshops, and where they have their comfort and privacy, and also their investment. Apartments donít have the same privacy as a house and also have many neighbours, sometimes very irritating ones. Apartments are mostly used by younger people, who are starting their lives, but even then for a short time, waiting just enough time until they can have 10% to be able to ask for a mortgage.

A mortgage is the name given to a loan made for a house. Most banks give out home loans, with most loans being taken out for around 25 years. For a bank to agree to give a home loan (or mortgage) the person needs to put in at least 10% of the value of the property, and then bank will loan the rest. The interest rates charged is normally in accordance with the government interest rates. Interest rates in 2005 was of 4.6% per year. It has once been as high as 9.6%. Until the mortgage is paid in full, the house belongs to the bank. If in the middle of the mortgage you decide to sell the house, you will need to firstly ask the bank, and when the house is sold you will need to pay the rest of the amount owed to the bank, anything that is left is yours. The mortgage is paid like as if you were renting the house, and how much you pay per month will depend on different factors. For example, if you put in 50% of the value of the house and borrow 50% fro the bank, then you may reduce the time to pay for the mortgage from 25 years to 10 years, with possibly a lower interest rate.  As renting a house monthly will not give you nothing in the end, most kiwi opt for the mortgage option so that their monthly payments are actually going towards their ultimate goal of owning their own house.

When decided to take out a mortgage, it is important to shop around to get the best rate, and save the most money. If you donít want to go through the trouble, you may choose to hire the services of  a mortgage broker, who work exclusively in comparing rates, and giving you the best advice. Or you can go to banks and ask about how much you can borrow, and their options. Normally the bank will want to know here you work and how long for, how much you earn, how much you can deposit, how many years of financing you would like to have etc.. once they have analysed your specific situation they will provide you with a figure, eg. $378000. This means that now you can go around visiting the Real Estate, and look for that dream home. Keep in mind though that you will probably need around $10000 to be spent on layers, taxes, registration of the property, certificates etc..

Auctions of properties has seen a huge increase in the last few years. Instead of putting your property for a fixed price, what you do is you set what you call a reserve price or minimum price and let the bidders bid for it until  someone offers the most money, and that person takes it. If the price of the house does not reach the reserve price, the owner has the right to reject the offer. The Auction is taken by a specialised Real Estate agent, who will organise and advertised a set date and time.

It is no secret to the Kiwis that property is a great investment, as almost no other investment guarantee such positive returns, with almost no risks. Property in NZ values on average by around 10% per year. In 2003 and 2004 a boom of sales saw some property increasing in value by 30 to 84 % in a single year, making some property owners very happy. Much better than what they would get for putting their money into a savings account with the average interest rate paid being 5.6% per year.

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