Below are some of the issues you may find when you are researching properties.
Heating and ventilation
The climate in New Zealand varies. Some areas have high rainfall, and homes that don’t get much sun can be damp.
Most houses do not have central heating, and many rely on electric heat pumps or gas heaters to warm the home. Older homes may have less insulation than modern homes, and windows that are not double glazed so they can get chilly in the winter.
Heating and ventilation are important because mould and mildew can be an issue, especially if the home isn’t ventilated or aired regularly (for example, opening the windows each day). Mould usually appears as green, grey, brown, black, white or red (pinkish) growth or stains on walls, ceilings and other surfaces. It appears in speckled patches or streaks that become larger as it grows.
Small amounts of mould are common in most houses in New Zealand and usually don’t cause any health concerns. However, when mould is left to grow in large quantities, it can cause serious health problems.
Important: New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere so rooms that face north get the most sun and are likely to be warmer and drier. Homes in hilly towns and cities may not get much winter sun if they are on the south side of a hill.
New Zealand has an issue with buildings that have a high risk of leaking. These were mostly built between the late 1980s and the mid-2000s, using plaster-style monolithic cladding systems.
The exterior walls typically have an unbroken or smooth appearance. A leaky building is one where moisture gets between the outside of the house (the cladding) and the inside walls.
Find out more about leaky buildings here.
Problem building materials
Some New Zealand building materials have not been reliable. If you’re interested in a property, make sure to look out for Dux Quest piping, Weatherside cladding and asbestos.
If the property you want to purchase has been built with materials that are known to be problematic, it’s a good idea to get a property inspection from a qualified property inspector who can help you to identify any issues.
Find out more about problem building materials here.
Find out more about researching a property here.
Download our checklist for researching the property here [PDF, 415 KB] [PNG, ] [PNG, 93 KB].