- kerwynMember@kerwynJoin Date: 2004Post Count: 145
Just a friendly reminder for all those who are thinking of jumping on a plane bound for NZ to buy property: do your due diligence.
I have personally had 4 out of 5 properties come in with a valuation much lower that the price I was willing to pay for property. Now, this is not the asking price from the estate agents but my negotiated price down from the original asking price. On some of these deals I offered as much as $10000 under asking price with most around $5000 to $8000 less. The valuations are coming in around $4000 to $8000 below my offered price.
What does this suggest? It means that the property market is overheated and people are paying too much.
Why is this you may ask? The reason is simple: it is all those moronic Aussie investors who are flocking to NZ with pockets full of cash and offering cash deals. These idiots offer to pay cash with no due diligence thinking that they are getting the deal of the century when they buy for a few thousand under asking price.
Do you think the wily old real estate agents are not aware of this, if you do then think again? They see these idiots coming from a mile off and they know they can get big commissions from them, so they mark up the properties to the max.
I was beaten to 3 deals by cashed up investors who just had to have the property at all costs. I even had a little game with one of these idiots and kept upping my offers even though I had zero interest in buying the property and they kept right on out bidding me: I hate to think how much above the true value of the property they actually paid.
So the moral to my little story is!
Do your due diligence or face the consequences.
Kerwyn.RentMasterMember@rentmasterJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 85
Unless you are paying cash or a large cash deposit, the banks will require you to get a valuation anyway. The banks are not dumb. If they are going to give you a lot of money, then they are going to ask you to do their due diligence for them.
So if the banks thing it is important, then it should be important to the investor as well.
Software for LandlordsaptamParticipant@aptamJoin Date: 2004Post Count: 61
This is a very good point.
Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if agents marked up properties by a few thousand as soon as they get a whiff of an aussie. I have been working on my kiwi accent and drinking my tui’s [cap]
I suppose the moral of the story is that if you put in an offer and think you are lowballing, you may not end up actually be lowballing…
Kerwyn, as you say – let the idiots do the over paying – the numbers speak for themselves.
andrew.wilandelMember@wilandelJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 761
Very wise Kerwyn, this is what I was trying to explain to the KA2 people. I hope they take our warning.
There are going to be lots of Aussies left holding the baby! [cigar]
One house that we bought there at the start of the boom had been on the market for 7 years!
DelkerwynMember@kerwynJoin Date: 2004Post Count: 145
Thanks for that Wilandel.
I hope people pay attention also as they will get seriously burnt in the future if they don’t.
Plus if everyone started to do their due diligence the prices of property would not be skyrocketing and there would still be deals around for everyone. As you said on one of your other posts you could not find any deals around when you were in Tokoroa. I think you were there a couple of days after we left and there was not much around for us either.
What put me off was the lists as long as your arm of houses with no tenants in Tok, unfortunately one of those is mine around 6 weeks now.
A great deal is not a great deal if you are without a tenant, it is a liability.
[One house that we bought there at the start of the boom had been on the market for 7 years!]
Well, how things have changed, every deal we have going at the moment has backup buyers waiting in the wings.
All the best.
KerwynwilandelMember@wilandelJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 761muppetMember@muppetJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 900
Location rules supreme in Tokoroa.
Our tenants left one day and new ones were signed up next day at an increased rental of $25 per week.
Heard tell that there is a vacancy rate of between 130-150 properties. Harvey’s is the only agency who is posting their list in the window.
Don’t know exactly why the vacancy rate appears to be so high.[angry2]
Owner of house next to ours accepted an offer of $65k for his house but before it could be fully signed up a backup offer of $71k came in.
This was accepted and quess where the old owner is moving to, yep that is right, Australia. [biggrin]
Regardskay henryMember@kay-henryJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 2,737mortyMember@mortyJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 25
I think you’ve raised a great point there kerwyn, and people should definatly do their due diligence before flying in.
But i must add that each deal should be judged on its own merits. If the numbers still stack up on a property you’ve gotta ask yourself if it still fits with what you’re after (yield wise),providing its not shockingly overpriced, and put in your offer based on that.
Some valuers won’t be up to date with rises in certain areas, most will of course, but aren’t we buying these properties based on the yields?
By the way some banks, including ANZ don’t require a valuation on properties bought above $60,000.
MortyredfishMember@redfishJoin Date: 2004Post Count: 6
All that applies to birddogged properties as well.
It is incredible that properties can be gone 30 seconds after they go out on a client list. I am sure that I have missed out on a few because I have not been keen to be a ‘fool rush in’, but even if you wait and do the numbers you are able to pick up properties that’have problems that the ‘average aussie investor’ does’t want to/or know how to solve. I don’t want to pay a birddog fee for a property that 2 days later turns into a lemon – no disrespect to the birddogs, but I trust my due diligence not others.
Be encouraged to run the raceaptamParticipant@aptamJoin Date: 2004Post Count: 61
Redfish – spot on.
Birddogs bring you potential deals, but thats only the start of it. Every deal brought forward by a birddog is not necessarily a good deal.
You still have to do your due diligence…
andrew [cap]foundationMember@foundationJoin Date: 2005Post Count: 1,153Originally posted by wilandel:
There are going to be lots of Aussies left holding the baby! [cigar]
But surely capital appreciation will soon make up the difference even if investors pay 10% over the odds, no? Or has the NZ market hit a ceiling? If the latter, why on earth would anybody want to be left holding the baby, even if they negotiate 10% below market value?
F.[cowboy2]Nigel KibelParticipant@nigel-kibelJoin Date: 2005Post Count: 1,425
When it comes to in ivesting money, most people give little thought to what their doing. Firstly if the returns are large there is a reason. I avoid purchsing in areas with little infurstructure, like country towns. I perfer main cities in New Zealand. In these cities you can still buy positive cash flow and get capital growth. If you look at these types of properties(I like period home for high growth and older apartments and outer suburbs for cashflow)then you will not have a problem with valuations. If you want to purchase for yourself you need to spend a week in one location and get to know it like the back of your hand. If you dont do this you are taking a risk.
Nigel KibelDon NicolussiParticipant@donJoin Date: 2005Post Count: 1,086
what you really really dont want is a deal that the local agents have left for the aussies or the bird dogs.
A particular deal may be refered to as “not yet on the market” and miraculously signed up by a bird dog who lives in another country.
It does not make sense that the agent would not put a property to the open market if it is a valid deal.
So if the property goes straight to the bird dog be carefull you are not paying to much or getting “the fish john west reject”
So the moral – USE THE BIRD DOGS – as it makes good sense to leverage off their time and experience but be very carefull of deals that just seem to pop up or have garage conversions and sleep outs included in the rental assesments. (Scary stuff)
I’m still extremely positive about real estate, investing and the NZ market. However, you have to consider all the variables in relation to a property and not just its yield.
It can be very tempting but paying a premium just to secure a deal will always be a mistake. Paying too much is paying too much. There’s no point settling for or being excited about a 10% yield when the market yield is 12 or 13%. Or, on the other side of things, expecting a 13% yield when the market is telling you 8.5 or 9%.
CheersIbuycashflowMember@ibuycashflowJoin Date: 2004Post Count: 274
Two things I’d like to add to this:
1. You need to know the market you are buying in before making hasty purchase decisions.
2. Valuations are based on “historical evidence” and will always be behind in a rising market. Comparative sales analysis is used as evidence to justify a recommended value, that is, actual sales in the area. Keep in mind that the opposite is also of equal importance.
JeffpooombaMember@pooombaJoin Date: 2004Post Count: 8
Can I suggest as a NZ investor that you would be mad to be putting in offers at $10,000 below asking. I put about 10 to 20 offers a week in for property in and around Auckland and I would usually start at about 30% below asking. I have bought just under $4,000,000 worth in the last 12 months in Auckland and every property has been at least 9% below valuation, best one 20% below.
Due diligence issues are much more about council dramas than valuations. If you’re offering close to asking, you’re offering too much. The hardest part for an Aussie investor is organising to view the council envelope on the property. It is essential to do that before going unconditionalkiwipropertyMember@kiwipropertyJoin Date: 2005Post Count: 24
Couldn’t agree more – LIM (Land Information Memorandum) checks are essential, as omissions in these can seriously affect your sale price if you want to exit a property with a “LIM defect”.
Best bet if you can’t do it yourself is to get a building inspector to do it all for you – it’s worth the money – but make sure you get someone who is well known for their accuracy and integrity!
Otherwise you can use a property buyer like Nigel Kibel who’s had a lot of success buying for clients.
New book “The Guide to New Zealand Property Investing – Australian Edition”
Available at our web site along with other NZ Resources for Australian InvestorsMiniMogulParticipant@minimogulJoin Date: 2002Post Count: 1,414
just to answer a few quotes here
“It is incredible that properties can be gone 30 seconds after they go out on a client list.”
Tell me about it! (whether or not you were talking about our list!)
“I don’t want to pay a birddog fee for a property that 2 days later turns into a lemon -“
Nobody does, and if you say ‘lemon’ well it could be a lemon because it doesn’t value up. This has only happened to us twice in 180 deals (both in the last month as the market rises and valuers are quoting equivalent sales in their valuations as old as 8 months.)
In one case we dropped the deal, and gave the client another deal instead in lieu which did value up (actually valued up 10 percent more).
The deal did go on to sell to an investor for MORE than the contract price we had on it.
In the other case we go to bat with the valuer. Basically because we do so many deals in these areas we have a very broad knowledge of sales in the area. So do they, but they do tend to pick and choose their opinion of ‘comparable sales’. In many cases we are able to say to the valuer ‘why did you include that sale (let’s say they included a low priced sale to back up their low valuation) because it’s 8 months old, not in as good condition, not rented for as much, and at the other end of town. and why didn’t you include this sale (higher priced properties that perhaps we had tried to get and missed out on as they sold for more.)
It’s amazing how the valuers will admit that you are right when they realise you have quite a bit of market knowledge too.
If all else fails, we wave the valuation in the vendor’s face and say ‘we will go unconditional if you reduce the price by XYZ to reflect the low valuation’.
So the end result is that we can say that only 2 deals out of 180 were under value. The ones that value up higher than what we contract them for are by far the norm.
As far as builder’s, us bird dogging a deal that turns out to be a ‘lemon’, well there’s lemons and there’s lemons.
We are great at identifying visual defects and include 50 photos of the property including close-ups of defects. Like rusted gutterings, peeling paper, etc. We are not qualified to check for borer and piles (stumps.)
It is unfortunate that somewhere between ‘sometimes’ and ‘often’ we uncover more serious defects. We have a procedure for this which is outlined in our information sheet.
In theory we don’t refund our bird dog fee, but in practice…we definitely look after our clients and nothing has happened to a client that wouldn’t happen to us if we buy and investigate properties, or that wouldn’t be as likely or more likely to happen to a client just going it alone.
But what I will say is that we do our very best to find great deals.
I have bought properties that needed a new roof within 2 years (but was not leaking at the time) – with 5 percent borer, and with wonky piles.
Some I have fixed and some I haven’t bothered with, thinking ‘I’ll fix the roof if and when it starts leaking’.
What I’ve found with mine has been that capital gains happened in the same proportion whether I fixed problems or not.
That is, provided the house is weather tight and can be tenanted and looks cozy and clean, it will be a good rental investment, whether or not the floor slopes slightly or if it’s a bit springy in places. That’s what I’ve found anyway.
Anyway, some of the worst properties ‘lemon-wise’ have been those we bird dogged for 20-something thousand, or say the late 30 thousands.
Sometimes it’s worth still proceeding, and sometimes it’s not.
Then again it’s also how you manage the investment after purchase.
But if all our deals were just terrible then I daresay we wouldn’t be in business.
We definitely don’t expect our properties to be perfect certainly not at the bottom of the market. Often we buy them deliberately. I.e. 40k rented for 80k but with 15k makeover to turn it into a cute beach cottage, you could sell it for in the 90’s. That’s the sort of deal that it’s great if you decide to do that but if not you can bide your time and do it any time in the future.
“I trust my due diligence not others.”
Interesting point, however…I trust a building inspector more than I trust myself, and they are ‘others’. So my due diligence is basically consulting experts. We consider that we have excellent investing local market knowledge in the areas we bird dog so that’s where the value is. I don’t think that people can get that just by going over for a week or two.
“Birddogs bring you potential deals, but thats only the start of it.”
Absolutely!!!! We basically help the clients out with their deal for a period of at least 6 weeks. Sometimes we even project manage renovations, help them appoint rental managers, continue to consult after purchase, basically it’s a personal and ongoing relationship with our clients.
“Every deal brought forward by a birddog is not necessarily a good deal.”
I believe every deal we bring to clients IS a good deal. Otherwise we wouldn’t sign it up. There are various reasons why each deal is a good deal, and we explain that with the deal brief. Every property is different of course.
“You still have to do your due diligence…”
Absolutely. There are bird dogs who provide builder’s and valuations in the price but they are $5k and we are $2.5k.
So basically we work out cheaper because the client usually only needs to fork out for a builder’s report (usually $150-$400 depending on the property and the town).
Valuations – a lot of lenders don’t need them if the property is listed with an agent and over 60k. So it is a win/win as far as my logic sees it that we leave it up to the client if they need it or not and they only pay for it if they do need it.
OK in regards to “I offered as much as $10000 under asking price with most around $5000 to $8000 less.”
Yes of COURSE we try to do that. In fact recently I offered on a development site in a major NZ town, $330k, on a $345k asking price. I would have low-balled more, as it had fallen over already, however I wanted the deal because I could see about hmmmm $660k profit (CONSERVATIVELY!!!)
I didn’t get the deal and someone offered asking price and got the deal.
So now I regret not offering asking price and by trying to ‘save’ 15k, I lost $660k.
So there is always a balance. I don’t think that the person who offered more than me was a ‘cashed up idiot’ – I think they were smarter than me by realising the scarcity of this particular deal and realising (as I did) that it was really worth 600-700k and that the distressed vendor was ‘giving it away’ to get out of debt. It was a seriously negatively geared deal, so that’s a whole other negotiating ballpark than the cashflow properties of course and not the usual sort we find for clients, but the principal is worth discussing – to illustrate that the person who offers more is not necessarily the idiot, but might be the smartest person!
Luckily for me, I have been able to find an even better similar sort of deal in an even better area north of Auckland through the help of my spies, so, yay.
In regards to “what you really really dont want is a deal that the local agents have left for the aussies or the bird dogs.”
Oh, well, one is not necessarily the other. So to explain, sometimes we get offered properties by other ‘bird dogs’ to ‘bird dog’. (!) Example, an Aussie first time in NZ, buys one for themselves, and a few for friends. Uses up the dd phase, can’t get a buyer, friends flake out or get cold feet, and are 24-48 hours off falling over on 4 deals, and in a flap, contact us to ask if we could bird dog the deals. So …we look at them all. find that we have 5 ‘agent photos’ per deal, not 50 photos like we provide and which our clients are used to. we find that they contract price is too high. we find houses that are in bad streets, but they don’t know that because of no local knowledge. we find their ‘rental assessment’ is from the selling agent not an independent agent, and is unrealistic. we find that they signed up a deal we already looked at weeks ago prior to it going on the net, and rejected it because of XYZ, etc, etc, etc.
So yes there are loads of ‘bird dogs’ who don’t have the market knowledge to get it right, let alone having the right clauses in the deals so the ‘bird dogging’ is disclosed, and they are not us.
“A particular deal may be refered to as “not yet on the market” and miraculously signed up by a bird dog who lives in another country. “
I am a bird dog and I do live in another country but of course I am just the ‘hub’ of an ever growing network of investors who are very much on the ground and very much in the agent’s faces, every week without fail, if not twice a week, they on the spot, they are investors themselves, they are doing deal after deal, they have relationships, and THAT is how come ‘I’ can find a deal in NZ that is not yet on the net.
“It does not make sense that the agent would not put a property to the open market if it is a valid deal.”
We are the open market. If we want the deal, we put an offer in. If the vendor wants to take the chance that they might get 5k more (let’s say we are offering on a 69k house and we go in at 63k) then they turn it down and off it goes to the rest of the ‘investor list’ (which we are at the top of) and beyond that, the internet and the great unwashed. So why would they give it to us first?….Oh boy! Remember we really get to know the agents in the towns and we KNOW how stuffed around they get by purchasers.
OK here’s an anecdote from me. Had a house on the market. Got an offer on it. From an Aussie investor who was on an ‘investing seminar’ run by Aussies. Offer made subject to finance within 4 weeks. I thought that was a bit long and wanted a cash out clause, but the agent said ‘don’t be mean’, they are over from Aus and travelling, and the purchaser was even an accountant apparently. Anyway, the deal fell over because the purchaser couldn’t get finance, but no surprise, because they were trying to get finance to purchase in NZ from Aus. I mean, duh. All due respect to the Aus brokers that say that finance can be arranged from Aus to purchase in NZ, but Lines of credits on Aussie properties aside, I have yet to sell a deal to a client who is getting Aus finance on a NZ security. NZ finance for a NZ purchase is So the way to go.!
So compare that with a bird dog offer, made by one of us, AKA, someone the agent has done mucho business with, and on a regular basis, and has a good working relationship with. An offer not subject to finance (the most common reason deals fall over) and a deal where the agent knows we will help the assignee through everything. You may not know that from our end, we only let clients take deals that are pre-approved.
This is basically how we manage it in the timeframe. Often tight. The pay off for our price and other terms is sometimes a shorter DD period. However with our help this is very doable in a way that it might not be for a first time visitor to NZ. So our deal is so much more likely to go through, and the agent knows that, so it’s less work for them, it’s a pleasure. No wonder that the agent basically goes to bat for our deal, even if the price is lower and the conditions are higher. This is basically how we can get our great deals.
“So if the property goes straight to the bird dog be carefull you are not paying to much or getting “the fish john west reject”
Not at all, our reputation is on the line and we can’t do that. You wouldn’t believe how many deals I reject compared to the ones that make it through.
You wouldn’t believe how hard and tough we are on the bird dogs at first, on our client’s behalf of course!
“So the moral – USE THE BIRD DOGS – as it makes good sense to leverage off their time and experience but be very carefull of deals that just seem to pop up or have garage conversions and sleep outs included in the rental assesments. (Scary stuff)”
Oh, this sounds spookily like one we sent out a while ago.
Okay, so it was a 2 bedroom unit on a concrete slab. Rotorua. Garage AND a carport which the owner, an old lady, was using as a kind of outdoor ‘dayroom’ verandah type thing. it had internal access to the house. Enclosed on 3 sides. By adding a ranchslider and floor coverings, you basically could create a 3rd bedroom.! This was all done for about 5k all up I believe and project managed by our local spotter who even went to buy curtains etc for the client not to mention endles running around. We ran all this past the valuer, while still in the client’s due diligence phase, and not only did the property value up as is several k more than the contract price, as is, BUT, the valuer gave a valuation projected on it creating the third bedroom which proved it was very much a viable proposition. It was basically a way a client could not only create 3 times the value of the cost of adding the bedroom, but also increase the rent – 3 bedrooms rent for more than 2 bedrooms rent for, obviously.
So it wasn’t ‘scary stuff’ at all, in fact the valuer validated and vindicated everything we had said. It’s all perception I guess. One person’s ‘scary stuff’ is another person’s ‘problem plus solution equals profit’. I felt it was a clever way to make a good deal even better. Yes, of course, that was also reflected in the rental assessment. We asked the rental manager to assess it as is (2 bedroom) and as a 3 bedroom if the ranchslider and floor coverings were added. I guess the only down side was that during the time it took to get the tradespeople to do the work, it was vacant and therefore negatively geared, but I think for the client, the value added more than amply compensated for this in the big picture.
This is the classic sort of thing we do, basically, and there is a lot of ‘work’ involved which clients perhaps don’t realise until they start to do everything for themselves and don’t use bird dogs any more.awinnerParticipant@awinnerJoin Date: 2005Post Count: 8
Minimogul, how does one get in touch with you? You seem to be the only one on this board that doesnt have a www link. I have used the boards email facility to no avail.MiniMogulParticipant@minimogulJoin Date: 2002Post Count: 1,414
Although I am real real proud of it !! yippeee!! I don’t want my posting here to seem like it’s just about “advertising our wares”. The owners of this site are good friends of mine to boot. (Anyway hopefully nobody would think that anyway seeing as I have been posting here for years anyway since long before steve started writing books.!) However, since you asked…
we do actually have a website these days, (yippee!) it’s
it also has it’s own forum. Very small and again mainly word of mouth or for people who want to ask us questions about the CD. At the time we started getting it together there wasn’t even a Kiwi section to this forum, and I am glad there is one now. Now I wonder what smart person it was who suggested that idea. hee hee!!
Anyway, ‘We’ as on the CD, is westan, wilandel, me, familyfirst and castledreamer.
The reason we decided to do an audio CD was in response to all of us getting various requests for mentoring and all of us saying we’d love to do it, but nobody has time. Of course one to one is the least time effective way too. so we decided to all 5 of us get together for 3 days in Sydney and record what turned out to be a double CD.
It cost a fortune to do it ! and get the website up and all the graphic design and editing, merchant facility, argh, you wouldn’t believe how much goes into it when it looks so simple. and we may never recoup, however we knew that when we did it and though it would be fun to do it anyway, sort of a way of giving back – especially for all the people that wanted to have coffee with us or meet with us for mentoring and who we couldn’t give that sort of time to.
Basically it’s a way for people to get 2.5 hours with all three of us for an affordable price.!
In fact I think it’s the only time all of us have ever been in the same place at the same time! Took quite a bit of organising even just that bit!
I made sure we answered within the content over 100 questions that clients over the last 180 deals have asked us to do with investing in NZ.
Everything we do when we buy and find deals in nz. Sorry to go on about it but I haven’t really had the chance to rave about it to that many people about it apart from our client list.
So as for the spotting. NZ bird dogs doesn’t have a website. (yet, it may one day, though I do like it the way it is…more personal somehow.) it is just a mailing list that has grown through word of mouth, if you want to join the list drop me an email at
birddogs at vocalbureau dot com
(have to write it that way because otherwise the web spiders’ll get me and I’ll get 1000 spam emails in 5 minutes!)