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Make Sure “Hot Property” Doesn’t Burn You

Make Sure “Hot Property” Doesn’t Burn You

People looking to bag a bargain in Christchurch should be very careful they are not buying into an earthquake damage nightmare.

Insurance claimant advocate, Ali Jones, says St Albans, Richmond and Edgeware are fantastic areas in Christchurch, but is concerned in recent media reports, to hear they may be in hot demand because they are “affordable”.

“These areas were absolutely slammed by the 2010 and 2011 quakes,” she says. “There’s a lot of Technical Category 3 (TC3) land and although that shouldn’t put people off, it should make them very wary.”

She says prospective buyers should fully understand what they are buying and any associated risks.

“People are encouraged to ask questions but buyers don’t know what they don’t know, and if you’re from out of town, chances are you haven’t been following some of the issues such as damaged foundations and failed EQC repairs,” she says.

Jones suggests people use reputable independent experts to complete specialist reports so they can gain a better understanding of a property.

“Always seek professional advice to help you make informed decisions. The last thing you want is to sign up to a mortgage of hundreds of thousands of dollars and later find your house is worth much less than you owe. Apart from expensive and incredibly stressful legal action, you’re likely to have very few options and believe me, it’s the last thing you want controlling your life for the next decade.

Additionally, Jones (who has an On Sold property) says the EQC “On Sold” programme won’t be of any help to people who buy damaged properties now.

“To qualify for that, one of the criteria is that the person must have made their offer to purchase the property on or before 15 August 2019. So, if you buy a house after that date and it is then found to have failed or incomplete earthquake repairs, you are pretty stuffed. To be frank, there are a number of issues with the On Sold programme that still need clarifying, so those of us hoping it would address our issues have been a little let down.”

Dean Lester, an experienced Canterbury earthquake claims preparer, says, “Christchurch is definitely recovering from the earthquakes and it’s great to see recent progress, but the legacy of incorrect repairs where earthquake damage was missed, or homes weren’t repaired to the new standard covered by insurance, remains ever present. Thousands of homes were incorrectly repaired, and large numbers of Cantabrians are still working with EQC and insurers to have their homes repaired to the full replacement insurance standard; with a significant number having purchased houses they thought were fully and correctly repaired.”

Ali Jones says she hopes real estate agents, banks and lawyers will all do their bit in informing people correctly of the risks buying certain properties so that they don’t fall victim to the failed EQC repair nightmare.


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