Buying a Section – Avoid the unexpected

If you are buying a section to build on you will know there are many things to consider:

– where to buy?
– is it the right section for your needs?
– what is the neighbourhood like – are there schools, shops and public transport nearby?
– what are the local council plans for future development in the area?
– how does the slope of the section affect earthworks and building costs?
– is it part of a subdivision or standalone section?

Whilst a Developer will generally be responsible for providing legal access for power, water, stormwater/sewer and telecommunications to the boundary of a lot, you will be responsible for the costs inside of the lot.

You will need to consider how to finance the section and/or your new build, inspecting the section, and to what level of legal due diligence is required. Often for multi-lot subdivisions, you will be issued with an Information Pack that may contain the Approved Plans, Sale and Purchase Agreement, Resource Consent and any Covenants to name a few. It can seem like a lot of paperwork to review. This is where we can help you, making sure your interests are protected.

We review and advise on:

  • Certificate of Title – who has the legal ownership of the section, along with any rights and restrictions registered on the title for example, covenants, easements. Commonly there will be new easements and covenants to be granted as part of the subdivision process. This could affect where you can build on the section. Commonly the sections are sold off the plan and are still subject to survey (i.e. the size or shape of the section could change). Under the Agreement for Sale and Purchase, you will generally be deemed to have accepted all current and new easements and covenants affecting the title.
  • Agreement for Sale and Purchase – there will usually be numerous amendments made to the standard form of an Agreement for Sale and Purchase and tailored further terms of sale attached.
  • Proposed Land Covenants – reviewing whether there will be any restrictions registered against the land. Common restrictions are no relocatable dwellings, when building has to commence, approval of plans by the Developer prior to applying for building consent, the types of trees that can be planted, and the height they can grow to, the type of pets you can and cannot keep, even stipulating the level of maintenance required – no weeds allowed.
  • Land suitability – are there any other hazards associated with the land eg is the area prone to flooding?

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Before signing any purchase agreement or for further information please contact Sandy Lauder or Jeanine McKenzie or call us on 03 477 8080.

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