Understanding the Differences Among Tradespeople Accreditations

With so many tradespeople belonging to different accreditation organisations, how do you know which one to use and what tradesmen accreditations are right for the job you want doing? Is an industry based accreditation offer the same as one from the government? We’re here to dive into the mysteries of what the most common tradespeople accreditation are. Let’s jump on in!

Tradesmen Accreditations

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Posted In: Ashburton, Auckland, Banks Peninsula, Builders, Buller, Carpenters, Carterton, Central Otago, CHB, Choosing Tradespeople, Christchurch, Clutha, Coromandel, Dunedin, Far North, Fiordland, Franklin, Gisborne, Gore, Grey, Hamilton, Hammerhand & Labourer, Handymen, Hastings, Hauraki, Hauraki Islands, Horowhenua, Hurunui, Hutt Valley, Inspectors, Invercargill, Kaikoura, Kaipara, Kapiti Coast, Kawerau, Locations, Mackenzie, Manawatu, Manukau, Marlborough, Masterton, Matamata-Piako, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, North Shore, Opotiki, Otorohanga, Pacific Islands, Painters & Decorators, Palmerston North, Papakura, Paving Contractors, Piling & Foundations, Plasterboard Fixer, Plasterers, Plumbers, Porirua, Project Managers, Queenstown, Rangitikei, Rental Property, Resource Management, Rodney, Roofers, Rotorua, Ruapehu, Scaffolding, Selwyn, South Taranaki, South Waikato, South Wairarapa, Southland, Stratford, Surveyors, Tararua, Tasman, Taupo, Tauranga, Timaru, Waikato, Waimakariri, Waimate, Waipa, Wairoa, Waitakere City, Waitaki, Waitomo, Wellington, Western BOP, Westland, Whakatane, Whanganui, Whangarei

Summer is here and our skin is not the only thing we need to protect from the harsh NZ sun. Our decking areas also need protecting. Not only are our decks areas to relax or dine upon. They are also an entranceway into our homes, making it important they are kept in top condition. To keep your deck looking great year after year, we’ve put together this handy guide about the steps you need to take to summer proof your deck.

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Posted In: Builders, Carpenters, Choosing Tradespeople, Landscapers, Painters & Decorators, Rental Property

moving houseMoving house is a hellish experience and there is no short cut to it. There are some tricks, though, that will save you a lot of drama. Whether you’re hiring a professional removalist or moving with the help of friends or family these tricks will make your life much easier.

15 tips to make moving house easier (more…)

Posted In: Auckland, Christchurch, Removalists, Rental Property, Wellington

bathroom renovationIf you’re thinking about undertaking a bathroom renovation, then you’ll no doubt be considering what you want to achieve by doing so.  Whether it’s updating the look, increasing resale value or adding functionality, amenities and storage, the scope of your bathroom renovation project will depend on many factors but primarily your budget.

Other factors include how long you’ve been living in your home and how much longer you plan on remaining there.  We’ll also be sharing our knowledge on what features to expect for $3,000 to $100,000-plus, to help you plan your bathroom renovation.

Like all home renovation projects, there’s generally 3 levels of renovating: good, better and absolute best.  In this series of #bathroom #renovation articles we’ll walk you through the basics regardless of your budget. All price ranges are indicative only to give a general guideline. Hire a professional bathroom renovator or designer to get an exact free quote or use our online estimator. (more…)

Posted In: Ashburton, Auckland, Banks Peninsula, Builders, Cabinet Makers, Christchurch, DIY Guides, Dunedin, Far North, Horowhenua, Hurunui, Manawatu, Manukau, Painters & Decorators, Plumbers, Rental Property, Tilers

Dog is mans best friend, a relationship that spans back to the beginning of time. Today, our relationship with dogs has evolved to where the dog is as much a part of our home and family as our children or parents.  Simply put, your home belongs to your dog as much as it does to you.  By making a few changes to the house with these dog friendly home ideas, your life will be much easier and you’ll give pleasure not only to your dog but to the rest of your family.

dog friendly home (more…)

Posted In: Auckland, Handymen, Rental Property, Waitakere City, Wellington, Whangarei

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moving house checklistMoving house is one of the most stressful events in your life, especially if you have been in the same home for a long time.  Our moving house checklist will help you plan your move and help make your move run like clockwork.

The first thing you need to confirm is the actual date that you need to move. Until this is finalised, you can plan and prepare, but you can’t hire a removalist, organise a cleaner or do a lot of other tasks. This can be stressful because although you’re planning what to do, you can’t actually do anything! (more…)

Posted In: Gore, Grey, Removalists, Rental Property, Transport & Deliveries

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preparing your rental propertyWhen preparing your rental property for tenants, it’s handy to have a pragmatic approach to home design and decorating.  Of equal importance is having knowledge of the practical and legal requirements of being a landlord. This includes understanding about a tenancy agreement and the  residential tenancies act.

If you’re converting your own home to a rental property, remember your tenants may not have the same taste as you.  You may love your brown carpet and cream floral wallpaper, but others may not!

If you have bought a property specifically to rent it out, then its best to decorate it with neutral colours. Creating a bright blank canvas is preferable. This will appeal to a wide range of tenants. It also lets them personalise the rental property  without clashing with the decor.

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Posted In: Cleaners (Interior), Rental Property, Rodney, Rotorua, Selwyn, South Waikato, Waste Removal

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Starting home renovations or new home build is a major task.  Knowing whether you need to choose a Project Manager or a Building Contractor  is one of the first questions you’ll ask yourself.  You may not even know the differences between them.

To confuse things even more, it’s not unusual for their roles to overlap.

Building Contractors employ a number of skilled workers, and the majority of core trades are often done in-house or sub-contracted to companies they have built up a good working relationship with. They own (rather than hire) most of their own equipment, are able to take on larger projects and may be members of the Master Builders’ Association.

choose a project manager

You may save time by choosing a Building Contractor due to them having in-house back-up and not being so reliant on sub-contractors. When choosing a Building Contractor over a Project Manager be aware you may have to organise and supervise other contractors. (more…)

Posted In: Carpenters, Choosing Tradespeople, Masterton, Matamata-Piako, Napier, Project Managers, Rental Property

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Having a good real estate agent on board is a necessity to secure the best price possible for your home.

A good real estate agent will have in-depth knowledge of the current state of the real estate market and will act swiftly to adjust their business and marketing strategy to deal with it.

Ian Keightley of Salescoach training, advises sellers to be meticulous in their approach when employing a real estate agent. “Be very careful. They’ve got to understand the principles of marketing – they have to know the product [your home], identify the targets and understand the best way to reach them. You have to package and price the product correctly and market it well. This is not a market for short cuts.”

real estate agentWhere do you start? Scan through the local property media and see which real estate agents are busy in your area. Take a note of names on local ‘for sale’ signs.

Be careful, however, about selecting somebody on the strength of their visibility.

Just because a real estate agent has bought advertising space for their vendors or put up signs outside homes, doesn’t actually mean they were able to sell those homes, says Megan Jaffe of Megan Jaffe, Ray White Real Estate, in Auckland’s top-end suburb of Remuera.

Megan believes that word of mouth is best. “Look for a proven track record of people who have recently been through the experience of selling and ask for testimonials. They must be able to demonstrate results.”

Barfoot & Thompson’s training manager Teresa Reynolds says a good way to choose a real estate agent if you don’t already have a preferred agent is to do a shortlist of three then go to the open homes they are running. “This gives you the advantage of seeing them at work and comparing them to other agents in the area. It also allows you to see how the buyers that come through your property will be treated when the agent is selling your home.”

She cautions against selecting a real estate agent based on their price opinion of your home. “Ultimately it’s the buyer who decides what they are prepared to pay for your home, not the agent. Don’t get carried away with real estate agents who promise discounts and commission cuts. Your most valuable tool in the sale of your home is an expert negotiator and marketer. “Even though you employ one agent to sell your home, be aware that you are often reliant on the other salespeople in their company to promote your property. Choose an agent who has the backing of an established company.”

Real estate agents should be able to provide you with material that educates you on the market, providing statistics about comparable properties in your area, the sales process and how the real estate company operates.

A good agent will tell you how to present your home so it’s not just looking its best, but it smells and feels good. Megan Jaffe says it’s a competitive market, so you have to put your best foot forward. “Presentation makes a big difference. Create a homeliness people can relate to.”

Harcourts chief executive Bryan Thomson says the appraisal process is a chance for you to see how well the salespeople communicate and to gauge their attitude and skill in response to your queries. You must trust your salesperson to achieve a great result, he says. “If you don’t have that confidence, move on.” He believes today’s agents should be very comfortable with technology and recognise that relatively new marketing avenues, such as the internet, are critical because of the wide reach they give.

Once you have selected an agent to represent your home, they should devise a written marketing plan allocating promotional budgets you feel comfortable with. The plan should be reviewed weekly, says Bryan, and if it’s not working, analyse what went wrong then change it. Throughout the sales process, expect honest feedback. “If the price is too high, you should be able to discuss that too. You should have a relationship where you can expect feedback, good or bad.”

Rosie Harvey of Harveys, Taupo, says with their high-profile campaigns, auctions and tenders remove any barrier around the price and attract more potential buyers to the property. Once buyers come out of the woodwork, then the agent can garner feedback from them on what they believe the property is worth. The set sales date of auctions and tenders also gives buyers a timeframe in which to make decisions.

reauctionMegan Jaffe says it’s important you choose an agent who continues to build their database. “In this market, the agents who are selling are extremely well-organised. They’re perfecting their processes, systems, documentation and improving their vendor communications. “Should things go wrong between you and your salesperson, go to the agency licensee, who will then follow-up with the salesperson.

Most problems relate to a lack of communication, or the salesperson hasn’t done their job properly. At the end of each meeting with a vendor, I always ask, is there anything I could have done to serve you better?”

Be prepared with a list of questions to ask real estate agents who are competing to sell your home.

  • What do you personally offer that will help me get the best price for my home?
  • What is your point of difference?
  • What is your company’s market share in this area?
  • Who do you think will buy my property?
  • How do you propose to achieve a premium price for my property?
  • What tools do you have to ensure every potential viewer looks at my property?
  • Can your company give my property the exposure it deserves on the internet?
  • How many websites can a potential buyer view my property on?
  • Which systems will you use to market and sell my property?

Article (modified) courtesy of Resene Habitat magazine.

Posted In: Choosing Tradespeople, Rental Property

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An independent  Registered Valuer’s report will help ensure you don’t pay more for a property than it’s worth.

How much is that house really worth? The real estate agent is telling you one thing; the rateable value carried out two years previously suggests differently. But who can give you a truly independent expert opinion?

Helen and her family moved to Auckland from Wellington last year and were quite daunted by the prospect of finding a good buy.

“When you’re new to a city you have little or no feel for what represents a fair price to pay for a house,” she explains. “We looked around and did our homework as much as we were able but when it came to making a purchase, we didn’t hesitate in using a valuer to ensure the property was a sound investment and we weren’t paying over the market odds.”

registered valuerWhen making potentially one of the biggest purchases of your life it makes excellent sense to employ a local expert to check out all the facts. So what can you expect from a registered valuer? Of prime importance is the quality of the advice you’re getting.

A registered valuer is someone who thoroughly knows the local house market and the locality in question and has accurate information that enables them to give you a genuine impartial, independent opinion.

In preparing a registered valuation for you they will first do a visual inspection of the property, noting any issues that affect the value of the property, such as dampness, leaks and poor design. Where appropriate they will recommend you use a building inspector or engineer to further investigate. They might also advise on ways to add value.

As part of the report they will check the certificate of title, which is important for crossleased/unit titled properties, to highlight any potential problems such as right-of-ways, shared driveways and so on that may need a solicitor’s help to resolve.

Using their local knowledge  a registered valuer will be able to inform you of any proposed developments in the area, such as new shopping malls or transport links or any changes to the local business zoning – could a new business park spring up next door, for example? They can provide a list of recent house sales and a view of how the market is performing.

From this research the registered valuer will then make their value recommendation. Unlike council rating values, which are usually only done in bulk every three years to set council rates, you can be assured a registered valuer has assessed your property individually to determine the current market value.

How do you pick a reliable registered valuer? If you don’t have any recommendations to go on, then one point of contact should be the Property Institute of New Zealand, which has around 3000 members, offering a variety of property-related services to the public.

To become a member, a registered valuer will need to have a property qualification and have passed the high standards set by the valuers’ registration board. They are also bound by the institute’s code of ethics and reporting standards.

The largest valuation company in New Zealand is QV, which has 22 offices throughout the country and a very useful website, with plenty of information on the valuation process. As well as being able to request a full current market valuation, you can purchase a selection of short reports online, such as certificates of title deeds, local sales, property histories and the very handy E-valuer report, for when you’re at the ‘just looking’ stage and simply want a quick price validation.

The cost of a full, current valuation varies depending on the value of the property and its location, but you can expect to pay a minimum of $500 and at least double that if the property is around $1 million. If you’re borrowing more than 80% of the value of the property or if it’s a private sale your lender will usually insist on a valuation.

Pieter Geill, who’s been a valuer for more than 21 years and specialises in the Hutt Valley area of Wellington, says one of the main benefits he can offer his clients is peace of mind. “Purchasing a house can be a hugely stressful process involving a substantial financial commitment. So you really do want to know as much as you can before you sign on the dotted line, including that the price you’re about to pay is indeed a fair one.”

Don’t rely on your council valuation (CV) as a reflection of market valuation unless it is very current. You can, however, compare the percentage difference between houses that have recently sold and their CVs as a reflection of market trends.

Article (modified) courtesy of Resene Habitat magazine.

Posted In: Choosing Tradespeople, Rental Property

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