Legal and Negotiation Processes
Preparation and Planning
Settlement and Post-Purchase
The Market and Compliance
Viewing and Inspecting Properties

How To Use The Step Guides
Buyer Introduction
Your Current Scenario
Understanding Real Estate Market Dynamics and Influences
Assessing the Benefits of Owning vs. Renting
Assessing Your Readiness and Financial Planning for Homeownership
Establishing a Budget for Property Purchase
Deciding to Work With A Mortgage or Financial Adviser
Deciding on Whether to Proceed with Home Buying
Analysing Financial Capacity for a Mortgage in New Zealand
Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Proceeding As a Cash Buyer
Attending Property Seminars and Workshops
Exploring Various Mortgage Options in New Zealand
Property Sale Types in New Zealand
Anti Money Laundering Rules and Regulations
Determining Long-Term Goals and Future Plans for Property Buying
Costs Associated with Buying a Property
Creating a List of Must-Haves and Nice-to-Haves
Potential Purchasing Partners for Property Buying
Researching the Housing Market in Your Desired Area
Location and Commuting
Understanding Property Taxes in New Zealand
How to Compare The Values of Similar Properties
Exploring Property Listings and Conducting Online Research for Buying Property
Interacting with Real Estate Agents
Arranging Private Viewings of Properties
Guide to Attending Open Homes and Viewing Properties
Arranging Professional Property Inspections
Seeking Comprehensive Legal Advice Before Making an Offer
Choosing the Right Conveyancing Lawyer when Buying Property
Understanding Legal Obligations and Rights as a Buyer
Considering Community Amenities and Infrastructure
Conditional Offers Versus Unconditional Offers
Formulating an Offer Strategy
Buying a Property at Auction
Buyer First Mover Advantage Offer Strategy
Engaging in Negotiation of Purchase Terms
Ensuring Compliance with Agreement Conditions When Buying Property
Discussing Agreement Details with Your Legal Advisor
Undertaking a Geotechnical Report
Reviewing Property Inspection Reports for Potential Issues
Requesting and Analysing a LIM Report
Requesting and Analysing a PIM Report
Things to Do During Due Diligence Period to Prepare for Move
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Moving Company
Organising Home and Contents Insurance
Settlement Day Procedures
How to Deal With Settlement Delays in Property Transactions
Planning Interior Layout and Design
Settling In and Post Purchase Steps
Purchasing Necessary Furniture and Appliances
Tools and Services To Help Manage Your Property & Finances Post Purchase
Re-evaluating Your Budget Three Months Post-Property Settlement

Previous Step
Do you need help with this step?
Submit & Finish
Do you need help with this step?
Buy / Step 54 of 54

Re-evaluating Your Budget Three Months Post-Property Settlement

Staying on top of your financial situation after settlement

After three months in your newly acquired property, it's time to take a step back and re-evaluate your budget. This process is not just about crunching numbers; it's a strategic reassessment that ensures you remain on solid financial ground.

The first quarter after settling into your property is a significant milestone. It provides real-world data reflecting your actual living expenses, rather than estimates. This timeframe is pivotal because it's long enough to start seeing patterns in your spending but still early enough to make necessary adjustments without significant repercussions.

Start by collecting all financial statements, bills and receipts from the past three months. This includes mortgage payments, utilities, council rates, maintenance costs and any other property-related expenses. Organise this information to gain a clear picture of where your money is going.

While some costs are predictable, like mortgage repayments and regular bills, others are less so. These unexpected homeownership costs can range from emergency repairs to appliance breakdowns. It's essential to differentiate between these types of expenses to understand how they impact your budget.

Predictable Costs

These are expenses you can anticipate each month:

Mortgage Payments: For most homeowners, their mortgage payment is likely their most significant monthly expenditure. This expense typically remains stable unless there are changes to interest rates. It's worth noting that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand occasionally adjusts the Official Cash Rate (OCR), which can affect your mortgage interest rate. So, it's vital to keep an eye on OCR announcements and understand how they might impact your budget.

Utilities: These are necessary costs associated with running a household and include expenses such as water, electricity, and gas bills. While these costs are predictable to some extent, they tend to fluctuate with the seasons.

  • Water Bills: In many parts of New Zealand, water usage is metered, meaning your bill will reflect how much water you've used during a billing cycle. Using water-efficient appliances and fixtures can help reduce this cost.
  • Electricity and Gas Bills: These bills can vary significantly depending on the time of year. During colder months, you're likely to use more heating, leading to higher energy bills. Consider energy-efficient appliances and insulation improvements to better manage these costs.
Understanding Insurance Costs for Homeowners

Insurance is a crucial part of homeownership that offers protection and peace of mind. It's often split into two main categories: Home Insurance and Contents Insurance. Both types should be factored into your budget as they are predictable costs.

Home Insurance

Home insurance provides coverage for the physical structure of your home. This includes protection against damage from a variety of events like fire or natural disasters, such as floods or earthquakes - common occurrences in some parts of New Zealand.

Typically, the cost of home insurance remains fairly constant. However, it's important to note that substantial changes to your property can influence the cost. For instance:

Extensions and Renovations: If you decide to extend your home or undertake major renovations, this increases the value of your property. As a result, you might need more coverage, leading to a potential increase in your premium.

Changes in Coverage: Altering the extent of your coverage can also impact the price you pay. If you opt for additional benefits or decrease your excess (the amount you pay out-of-pocket when making a claim), this could alter your premiums.

Contents Insurance

Contents insurance covers the personal belongings inside your house – everything from furniture and appliances to jewellery and personal effects.

Much like home insurance, unless there are significant changes, the cost tends to stay stable. However, there are situations where you might need to review and update your coverage:

Acquiring Valuable Items: If you purchase high-value items such as artwork or luxury goods, it's vital these are included in your policy to ensure they're protected.

Changes in Lifestyle: Life events like marriage or having children often mean bringing new items into your home which may increase the total value of contents to be insured.

It's crucial to regularly review all aspects of both your home and contents insurance to ensure you have comprehensive coverage. By staying informed and aware, you can navigate the unpredictable and ensure you're adequately protected in all circumstances.

Unforeseen Expenses

Unpredictable costs are where many new homeowners get tripped up:

  • Maintenance and Repairs: From leaky faucets to roof damage after a storm.
  • Appliance Replacement: The fridge or washing machine could give out unexpectedly.
  • Rates Increases: Council rates may rise, impacting your outgoings.

Conducting a thorough review of your finances at this stage helps you identify if you're living within your means or stretching yourself too thin. It'll also highlight areas where you can potentially save money or allocate funds more effectively.

Once you've identified the gaps between projected and actual spending, it's time to refine your budget. You might need to cut back on discretionary spending or find ways to increase your income to cover additional property-related costs.

One fundamental element that often falls by the wayside when planning finances, especially for new homeowners, is the establishment of an emergency fund. This fund serves as a financial safety net, cushioning you against sudden and unforeseen expenses. It plays a pivotal role in maintaining your financial equilibrium and ensuring long-term monetary health.

In essence, an emergency fund provides a sense of financial security by creating a buffer between you and unexpected costs.

How Much Should be in Your Emergency Fund?

Determining the ideal amount to keep in your emergency fund depends on various factors including your income level, monthly expenses and individual risk tolerance. However, a commonly recommended guideline is to have enough funds to cover three to six months’ worth of living expenses.

Steps to Building Your Emergency Fund

Building an emergency fund doesn’t happen overnight. It involves a deliberate and consistent effort. Here are a few steps to get you started:

  • Start Small: Don’t be discouraged if you can’t save the recommended amount right away. Begin with what you can afford and aim to increase your savings incrementally.
  • Set Up Automatic Transfers: Make saving effortless by setting up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account after each payday.
  • Allocate Windfalls Wisely: If you receive a bonus, tax refund or other unexpected cash inflow, consider adding it to your emergency fund.

Re-evaluating your budget isn't just about immediate concerns; it's also about ensuring long-term financial health. Consider how changes in the property market could affect you and plan accordingly.

Previous Step
Do you need help with this step?
Submit & Finish
Do you need help with this step?