A multi-storey development across the street, a motorway designation through the backyard, or noise from the nightclub
next door all factors that could potentially ruin the perfect property.
But, future property pitfalls can be avoided. Environment Minister Marian Hobbs today launches a new guide aimed at
better informing property buyers.
"Nobody wants to find that a property they have just purchased could be affected by factors they never thought to
consider," Marian Hobbs said. "Asking the right questions and doing some basic homework is the best way to avoid
problems in the future."
In response to concerns from councils, who increasingly have to deal with complaints from unhappy property owners, the
Ministry for the Environment has produced a simple guide for the public called Thinking of buying a property?
The guide points out a few basics, such as how a district council plan can set limits on things like the height of an
extension, what you can do on your property, or how much noise you can make. It also points out how to check on what
restrictions might exist that could affect a property, such as a motorway designation, heritage site or road widening
Often, it is the simple things that can cause the biggest concerns, Marian Hobbs said.
"For example, it wouldn't be uncommon for an apartment purchaser to find that at 5am three days a week, the nightclub
next door empties several hundred bottles into a dumpster. It might not seem like a big thing unless you're the person
If an area is zoned commercial, or allows a nightclub to operate, the apartment owner may be able to do very little to
stop the racket. Considering the noise factor before purchasing and looking at ways to address it, such as with
double-glazing, or even seeking a new apartment, should mean the problem is avoided.
"We’re not trying to put people off buying houses," Marian Hobbs said. "The simple message is do some basic checking on
the things that are important to you before signing up, and avoid problems in the future."
The guide is available free from the Ministry or can be downloaded from the Ministry’s website: www.mfe.govt.nz