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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 3rd January 2011, 12:34 PM
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Maybe we should start a separate thread called Leaky Homes-New Zealand to warn new arrival of potential headaches.
I realise many countries have problems associated with buying houses ie:

New Zealand -Leaky homes

Australia- Flood zones & bush fire areas

Cyprus- Title Deeds

Spain- Illegal builds & land grabs

but by revealing them on forums like these can save others from the same pitfalls

Leaky homes- True stories

A family newly arrived from South Africa bought their first home only to discover the view they had paid for was soon to disappear when the house nearby was demolished & a new one built. They sold at a loss & then bought a large brand new townhouse with views that could never be built out. Imagine their horror to discover the reason they had been constantly sick shortly after moving in was the fact they had a Leaky Home. This was not evident until they had lived in the house almost 2 years.
They went to mediation & settled for an undisclosed amount which in turn was nowhere near the amount to correct the problem. They had to move out for 6 months whilst every bit of the exterior & interior walls & roof were removed & replaced. It almost cost their marriage & now they have a massive mortgage & a house nobody wants to buy because in recent times buyers have voted against any house that has been or could be potentialy Leaky!

Another- a retirement village built had same problems & I remember a pensioner couple being interviewed sad, they had invested every cent they had into their dream villa & did not have the money to rectify it.

I have a real estate agent friend who sold a house without realising it was Leaky. The company performing the most expensive testing for Leaky homes gave it an all clear & the sellers withheld their knowledge from the agent.
Buyers were going to sue the real estate agent but settled out of court for $25,000 which the agent paid, the buyers then went and sought compensation from Auckland City Council.
Also it is a fact some Leaky home owners received payouts to fix their homes but kept the money & sold the homes to unsuspecting buyers. And you can only make 1 claim against a leaky home.
As a home purchase is the largest money you ever outlay in your life & many spend a lifetime paying a mortgage off I really believe any newcomer should be warned & armed with the facts.
The tests are not accurate & dependent on the areas of the house they are testing only, short of dissecting the house there is no guarantee in my opinion.

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Old 3rd January 2011, 03:03 PM
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Anski,
Rather than scaremongering, by giving unreferenced anecdotal stories wouldn't it be more constructive to give information that would assist expats identifying protential leaky homes.

Leaky Homes doesn't effect all homes in NZ, only some built in the 1990's and early 2000's.
Potential leaky homes:
- built with untreated wall framimg timber - 1998 the New Zealand standard for Timber Treatment was changed to allow untreated timber for wall framing
- monolithic claddings - there were cases where these claddings were not used within their specifications or not installed correctly. Many buildings built in the "Mediterranean" style used these types of cladding. Not only that, they had features such as recessed windows, flat roofs, minimal eaves, multiple stories, complex roofs, solid balustrades, balconies and penetrations of the exterior cladding. These features increased the likelihood of water infiltrating the structure.
- Lack of detailed drawings for buildings was a contributing factor. Architects and building designers were allowed to specify weathertightness without drawing how it would be made so.
For more detailed info Why homes leak

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Old 3rd January 2011, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NZCowboy View Post
Anski,
Rather than scaremongering, by giving unreferenced anecdotal stories wouldn't it be more constructive to give information that would assist expats identifying protential leaky homes.

Leaky Homes doesn't effect all homes in NZ, only some built in the 1990's and early 2000's.
Potential leaky homes:
- built with untreated wall framimg timber - 1998 the New Zealand standard for Timber Treatment was changed to allow untreated timber for wall framing
- monolithic claddings - there were cases where these claddings were not used within their specifications or not installed correctly. Many buildings built in the "Mediterranean" style used these types of cladding. Not only that, they had features such as recessed windows, flat roofs, minimal eaves, multiple stories, complex roofs, solid balustrades, balconies and penetrations of the exterior cladding. These features increased the likelihood of water infiltrating the structure.
- Lack of detailed drawings for buildings was a contributing factor. Architects and building designers were allowed to specify weathertightness without drawing how it would be made so.
For more detailed info Why homes leak
Hi NZ Cowboy,

You are obviously not affected hence your smug attitude.

Take a look at these websites

Leaky homes crisis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Leakyhomeforum New Zealand Home
Auckland City Council - Search


I am NOT scaremongering but as a former resident of Auckland & a current Auckland City Ratepayer I know how big the problem is. My rates keep increasing BECAUSE Auckland City Council have to continue making payouts for mistakes of the past.
Our rates have constantly increased to fund these mistakes because of Auckland City Council Dept of Building ineptitude.

I have built several homes in Australia & I can tell you that local councils are a lot more vigilant about how you build. Every crucial stage of building (owner built or professionally built has to be inspected) failing to meet current council specifications means that a Certificate of Compliance is refused on completion until ALL outstanding issues are rectified. Without this Certificate of Compliance you cannot occupy or sell the home.
This was not the case in New Zealand. There was little or no building supervision!

Lack of investing in the building industry in New Zealand by way of apprenticeships with on site training & off site technical college training meant there were many unskilled workers involved in the building industry.
Would you have a serious operation performed by a student doctor? I think not.


So why would you allow an untrained person to participate in the biggest expenditure of your life & a dwelling that is supposed to shelter you in all weathers?

And incidentally all this occurred whilst NZ was experiencing a huge influx of overseas arrivals with wads of money & there was so much hype & demand. Banks were awash with money & loans easy to obtain. Prior to 2001 the housing market had been stagnant for 12 years!


I think if you had personally been affected you would be adopting a different stance but for the innocent victim’s of these Leaky Homes I can only feel sympathy, I could have been one of them had I not read the article in The New Zealand Herald in May 2001.

Having lived in many countries I can put myself in their shoes. You arrive everything is new & exciting & you have little information. If you can afford to buy a house you are eager to do so, to help you feel part of the newly adopted country & it is such a comfortable feeling sleeping under your own roof. You inspect homes for sale they are usually a different style of architecture to what you are accustomed to but hey this is a new country & many things are different.
You fall in love with a particular house & move in adding your own furniture & buying new & it is so exciting. You write to family & friends telling them of your achievements a job, Fabulous house, new friends & lifestyle.

Then one day it becomes like something from a horror movie. You have bought into a problem-Why because you did not know & the house looks lovely. Slowly the worries mount & it strains your relationship, you become sick & what do you do? No-one wants to buy your mistake; you are stuck with it or bail out at a much reduced price if you are lucky enough to find a buyer.
All very well telling people how to avoid it BUT what if they are already in that situation.

And furthermore it not only relates to your statement "Leaky Homes doesn't effect all homes in NZ, only some built in the 1990's and early 2000's" because I personally inspected some houses built prior to this but re-clad in Monolithic material in order to appear more attractive & these had problems!


Last edited by anski; 3rd January 2011 at 05:36 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 3rd January 2011, 06:13 PM
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I think both NZCowboy and Anski have good points. Leaky Buildings are a small part of the housing stock - the majority do not have problems. So please don't come to New Zealand expecting every house to be leaky (or badly insulated or cold etc...) - they're not.

But I agree with Anski that it is really important that new immigrants know about the problem with leaky houses so they can avoid them. My cousin has a leaky home, and it has cost him and his wife their life's savings trying to put it right.

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Old 3rd January 2011, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topcat83 View Post
I think both NZCowboy and Anski have good points. Leaky Buildings are a small part of the housing stock - the majority do not have problems. So please don't come to New Zealand expecting every house to be leaky (or badly insulated or cold etc...) - they're not.

But I agree with Anski that it is really important that new immigrants know about the problem with leaky houses so they can avoid them. My cousin has a leaky home, and it has cost him and his wife their life's savings trying to put it right.

Topcat

So sorry to hear about your cousin & wife it must have been devastating for them & situations like this really put relationships to the test.

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Old 3rd January 2011, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anski View Post
Hi NZ Cowboy,

I am NOT scaremongering but as a former resident of Auckland & a current Auckland City Ratepayer I know how big the problem is. My rates keep increasing BECAUSE Auckland City Council have to continue making payouts for mistakes of the past.
Our rates have constantly increased to fund these mistakes because of Auckland City Council Dept of Building ineptitude.
Auckland is not NZ. Most of the leaky homes are in the greater Auckland area.



Quote:
I have built several homes in Australia & I can tell you that local councils are a lot more vigilant about how you build. Every crucial stage of building (owner built or professionally built has to be inspected) failing to meet current council specifications means that a Certificate of Compliance is refused on completion until ALL outstanding issues are rectified. Without this Certificate of Compliance you cannot occupy or sell the home.
This was not the case in New Zealand. There was little or no building supervision!.
Oh so you have lived and built houses outside Auckland ... you will then know a number of councils disagreed with the use of untreated timber for framing, and would only allow houses with treated timber. I also built a house during this period but the council for the area in which it was located, didn't allow the use of untreated timber(like I would be stupid enough to use untreated). We currently still own over a dozen houses in NZ, no leaky homes.



Quote:
And incidentally all this occurred whilst NZ was experiencing a huge influx of overseas arrivals with wads of money & there was so much hype & demand. Banks were awash with money & loans easy to obtain. Prior to 2001 the housing market had been stagnant for 12 years!.
Where do you get your info from ....
Using auckland prices as you think auckland is NZ
Stagnant for 4 to 5 years prior to 2001 not 12
93 to 97 Auckland house price index almost doubled
New Zealand Property Price Trends

Quote:
Having lived in many countries I can put myself in their shoes. You arrive everything is new & exciting & you have little information. If you can afford to buy a house you are eager to do so, to help you feel part of the newly adopted country & it is such a comfortable feeling sleeping under your own roof. You inspect homes for sale they are usually a different style of architecture to what you are accustomed to but hey this is a new country & many things are different.
You fall in love with a particular house & move in adding your own furniture & buying new & it is so exciting. You write to family & friends telling them of your achievements a job, Fabulous house, new friends & lifestyle.
You are talking to another global transient, we have owned homes in 3 other countries other than NZ, I'm very cautious about buying in a new country, usually lease for a year or more, so I can research, get a feel for the market and what suits us. But a market I know, such as certian areas of NZ, it is a different story, this year have made 3 trips back to NZ of about 2 weeks each and brought a house each trip.


Quote:
And furthermore it not only relates to your statement "Leaky Homes doesn't effect all homes in NZ, only some built in the 1990's and early 2000's" because I personally inspected some houses built prior to this but re-clad in Monolithic material in order to appear more attractive & these had problems!
Yes you are correct I probably should have said built or revenovated during this period.

Numbers
Numbers of leaky homes according to wiki is estimated to be between 42,000 and 89,000.
Total number of dwellings in NZ
There were 1,471,749 occupied private dwellings on census night in 2006
QuickStats About Housing - Statistics New Zealand

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Old 4th January 2011, 01:31 AM
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Anski thanks for trying to tell people about the dangers of leaky homes. They are notoriously difficult to spot and I think you have to remove wall plaster to tell for sure if they leak? that's something that isn't going to happen on a routine pre-sale purchaser's inspection.

The other problem is that people are so wary about them now that even if your house is outwardly perfect now people won't buy it if they think it may have problems in the future.

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Old 4th January 2011, 01:39 AM
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I know one family (he was a builder) who removed the plaster skin off of their house and replaced it with brick, even though it didn't leak, he was just worried that it would. Don't ask me how he tied it in to the frame work but he must have got consent to do it.

The problem with some of these houses isn't so much the lack of treatment to the wood but just the way they were built. So many went up very quickly, everyone it seemed was dividing up their sections in Auckland and building investment properties. So many went up with unskilled labour and little or no official inspection during the build. Even if they used the best materials in the world if they're not build properly then they're still going to fall apart eventually.

I'm so glad that my husband's work colleagues told us about this when we first arrived, as I believe it saved us a lot of grief later on.

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Old 4th January 2011, 01:57 AM
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NZCowboy


Oh so you have lived and built houses outside Auckland ... you will then know a number of councils disagreed with the use of untreated timber for framing, and would only allow houses with treated timber. I also built a house during this period but the council for the area in which it was located, didn't allow the use of untreated timber(like I would be stupid enough to use untreated). We currently still own over a dozen houses in NZ, no leaky homes.


No I never had the pleasure of building a house outside of Auckland, I bought a Master Builder (Scotland) that was 70 years old & constructed of double solid brick external wall with a gap between them & on the basis of Location, Location, Location & then renovated it internally. Incidentally I was the 3rd owner the original builder lived in it for 35 years & sold on to another family for 35 years before I bought it.
I know nothing of areas outside of Auckland & never professed to. All of my research for buying was directed at Auckland City as after all that is where the biggest population & hence employment is.


Where do you get your info from ....
Using auckland prices as you think auckland is NZ
Stagnant for 4 to 5 years prior to 2001 not 12
93 to 97 Auckland house price index almost doubled
New Zealand Property Price Trends

I got my information from on Auckland City Property Movements from 2 sources.

1) from a government real estate website
2) From Real estate agents & homeowners.


You are talking to another global transient, we have owned homes in 3 other countries other than NZ, I'm very cautious about buying in a new country, usually lease for a year or more, so I can research, get a feel for the market and what suits us. But a market I know, such as certian areas of NZ, it is a different story, this year have made 3 trips back to NZ of about 2 weeks each and brought a house each trip.

Great- You have supported the NZ economy!


Yes you are correct I probably should have said built or revenovated during this period.

Numbers
Numbers of leaky homes according to wiki is estimated to be between 42,000 and 89,000.
Total number of dwellings in NZ
There were 1,471,749 occupied private dwellings on census night in 2006
QuickStats About Housing - Statistics New Zealand[/QUOTE]

I don't know what these figures are or where the houses are located. I am only pleased I am not affected & I genuinely feel sorry for anyone that is.

AND I stand by my remarks that newcomer MUST be warned. Nothing worse than moving half way across the world that's stessful enough but to find you have sunk your money into a stinky leaky hole would be the last straw.

Finally if most of the affected homes are in the GREATER AUCKLAND AREA well sometimes migrants would not normally choose to settle there but it does offer the greatest Employment Opportunities. We are talking about migrants that have to live where they can obtain suitable positions, and there are many areas of New Zealand where these HIGHLY SKILLED & HIGHLY EDUCATED migrants could not obtain a job suitable to their qualifications. New Zealand should be honoured by the quality of these applicants.
Were are not talking about people who get off the plane to go lodge a form at WINZ.

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Old 5th January 2011, 12:24 AM
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I found these 2 websites they may be of use to anyone who requires more information on the NZ property market. The first one I found very helpful when I first bought it did have more information on individual suburbs then for free now I believe you need to subscribe in order to access more in dept statistics.

www.reinz.co.nz

www.zoodle.co.nz


Last edited by anski; 5th January 2011 at 12:25 AM. Reason: correction
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