Six things to think about when you own a home

1. Asset Insurance

Are your assets valued correctly? If there was an event where you had to rebuild your home or replace your contents, would you have enough cover in place to replace them?

2. Life & Income Insurance

If the worst was to happen, would you or your family be properly looked after? When did you last review your life & income polices, or look at insurance to protect you and your family?

3. KiwiSaver

Have you got your investment in the best fund for your retirement? Whether you used KiwiSaver or not to purchase your home, now is the time to review your strategy.

The cost to demolish and rebuild your home may have changed since you purchased your home.

The Mortgage Girls recommend completing a new calculation online to be able to compare your existing insurance and see if its enough.

Cordell or myrebuild online calculators are good places to start, or your insurance provider may recommend another calculator. Alternatively, you could obtain a quote from a registered building inspector for a more thorough calculation to figure out how much it would cost to rebuild your home.

Get in touch with your insurance company to discuss reviewing your current policies.

Alternatively, if you would like a new Insurance Adviser, call The Mortgage Girls today or send us a message here and we can provide you with a contact.

What if you lost your income overnight because of a disease, illness, or permanent injury? Would you be able to maintain your lifestyle, pay your bills (including your future planned mortgage) or be able to help your family with day-to-day costs if your income was reduced or gone? Would you have enough savings to cover costs or specialised treatments?

Insurance is one of those things that you hopefully never need to use. If you do need it, you'll be thankful it's there! This is a friendly reminder to review your insurance or look into your first policy. Insurance can take time to review and be put in place, so the sooner you start, the better.

Don’t have an insurance advisor or would like a second opinion? The Mortgage Girls would be happy to refer you to one of our trusted insurance advisers to review or discuss your options for Mortgage & Income Protection, Life, Trauma and Health insurance.

Want the team at The Mortgage Girls to get someone to call you? Give your adviser a call today or send us a message here and we can get someone to give you a call.

KiwiSaver is a voluntary savings scheme set up by the government to help New Zealanders save for their retirement. You may have already used your KiwiSaver to buy a house, or it may be sitting quietly, picking up contributions.

Regularly reviewing your KiwiSaver will ensure you’re getting the best return on your money.

You may have more in your account than you realised! You also may not be getting all the government money you could. You may be paying too much tax, really high fees, or your money may be in a fund that is entirely wrong for your situation. These small decisions can make a massive difference to the money available to you at retirement. In some cases, the difference is hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Remember KiwiSaver is an investment, so your balance may increase and decrease depending on the fund you are invested in. Everyone will have a different appetite for risk so it is important you understand this and get the best advice for your individual situation.

There are lots of great resources online to help you figure it all out or better yet talk to a KiwiSaver Adviser who will give you expert advice.

Want The Mortgage Girls to get someone to give you a call? Get in touch here, please leave a note to say you would like a KiwiSaver specialist to get in touch.

Alternativley we have a direct link to kōura KiwiSaver you can sign up yourself by clicking here. Learn more about the kōura KiwiSaver Scheme here.

4. Maintenance

Whether your home is new or old, upkeep is important!

5. Future Proofing

Relationship Agreements, Wills & Power of Attorney’s, have you sorted these out?

6. The Next Steps

Reduce your debt (Lump Sum), Top-up, Purchase an Investment, Up or Down Size?

It is important to keep your home maintained in tip top shape to prevent major issues in the future and to preserve its value for decades to come. This is your biggest investment and if you take care of it, you will reap the rewards later on.

You might like to create a calendar reminder every year to keep on top of your maintenance.

Some examples below;

  • Check smoke alarms twice a year to make sure they are working and replace the batteries annually.
  • QuakeSafe your home and get your Emergency Kit updated/topped up
  • Appliance Maintenance - clean filters on your dishwasher and heat pump. Deep clean your oven, washing machine and drier.
  • Waterblast the exterior of your house, including paths and driveways.
  • Check for pests. Mice and rats can cause damage to your wiring and internal features of your home
  • If you have any concerns, get an electrical, plumbing, air leak testing or building reports completed to let you know of any suggested maintenance or upkeep.

Remember, there are hundreds of companies who are experts in all these areas and would be able to help you if you can't do them. The important thing is that they get done and not put off.

If you would like a comprehensive seasonal checklist click here or reach out as we have some excellent suggestions for professionals that can help you.

Are you protecting what’s most important to you? After all, you’ve insured your home, you may have even insured yourself and your income, but it’s important to put measures in place to also you and your family’s financial wellbeing now and into the future.

Wills - If you were to pass away, what would you like to see happen to your assets? What are your wishes for your family? Who will look after your kids? Who will receive your wealth or heirlooms?

It is easy to put getting a Will on the to do list. Unfortunately, dying without one can cause serious legal and financial difficulties  for your loved ones at an already stressful time. It is easy and relatively low cost to set up, but the peace of mind is worth it.

Enduring Power of Attorney – Usually set up at the same time as your Will, EPAs determine who will take care of and make decisions about your finances and/or health if you can’t do so yourself. Again, it’s much harder, more stressful and expensive to have the courts decide who can look after you if you don’t have an EPA in place.

Contracting Out Agreements - Also called pre-nups or relationship agreements. The Relationship Act determines what each party in defacto, married or Civil unions are legally entitled to following a relationship break-up. A contracting out agreement carves out and protects any assets you own before your relationship started, so they don’t get divided if the relationship ends. This is really important in all relationships, but especially those where each party has different levels of equity, wealth or home ownership.

As these are all legal documents, you’ll need a lawyer to help you write them up. The Mortgage Girls can refer you to our trusted network of legal advisers if you want to know more.

You may not have thought about it yet, but what are the next steps for your mortgage now you are in your home.

There is no one answer for everyone. It depends on what you want to do. Here's some questions to help get you thinking;

  • Do you want to pay down your debt as fast as possible?
  • Do you want to purchase another property in the future, this could be a bigger/smaller house, a bach or an investment property?
  • Do you want to top up your existing loan to renovate?

All of these options may take a bit of planning and preparation, but it's important to know how to get where you want to be.

Reach out to us and let us know your plans once you have decided so we can set you on the right path straight away.

Give your adviser a call today or send us a message here and we can let you know the best next steps forward.