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The season of spring cleaning is upon us and it is always a bittersweet feeling – I love the result of a thorough clean, but it can take a lot of time and energy. A particularly tough place can be the garage. It’s the place where I store gadgets, gizmos and junk I don’t know what to do with. Whether you use your garage for crafts, storage or other purposes, more often than not, it becomes a jungle gym filled with items we don’t really need.

Here are 4 ways to reclaim space in your garage:

  1. Reuse peanut butter jars or mason jars for screws, nails and other small bits. These pieces can scatter around the work bench and often fall to floor. Keep them organised and in one place by using old jars to store them.
  2. Create a pegboard system to hang items. You can use this to hang rakes, shovels, hand tools, hoses, lawn chairs and more. This gets the items off the floor and makes them easier to see. Create even more room by installing a shelf above the pegboard.
  3. Hang bicycles using ceiling hooks. Hanging bicycles can open up a lot of space, especially in winter when they aren’t often used.
  4. Invest in shelving or cabinetry. Shelves allow you to organise your items and stack bins without the fear of them taking a tumble. Cabinets can look a bit better because the doors hide the clutter that may be hiding inside.

PRO TIP: When decluttering the garage, designate three areas, piles, or boxes as keep, donate, and throw. This is for items you want to keep, things you can donate and junk you can throw away.

We had an email from the REINZ (Real Estate Institute of New Zealand) yesterday with a warning to real estate professionals to ensure that they have a SIGNED AGENCY AGREEMENT with clients before showing properties. Unfortunately we do hear about this happening right here in our region too. If you are approached by a salesperson wanting to show someone through your place, by all means go ahead if you are interested but do make sure that the proper paperwork has been done first.

This is the email we received from the REINZ on 07/04/2021:


Both REINZ and the REA have been made aware of a number of instances where agents have shown potential purchasers through a property (seeking to gain a listing) without an agency agreement. The fact these instances are on the rise suggests that there is some confusion in the profession at the moment.

In very rare circumstances, a buyer will contract a buyer’s agent to look for a property for them. The buyer’s agent could potentially knock on doors, but they must have a buyer’s Agency Agreement in place with the buyer before showing them properties, they must disclose to the seller that they are acting for the buyer, and they cannot act as a listing agent for the seller or obtain a commission in the same transaction. This would breach rule 9.14 of the REA Code of Conduct.

However in almost all cases, the agent knocking on the door is prospecting for a listing. To take prospective buyers through without a signed Agency Agreement is unethical and it breaches Rule 9.6 of the REA Professional Conduct and Client Care Rules 2012. Rule 9.6 states that:

"Unless authorised by a client, through an Agency Agreement, a licensee must not offer or market any land or business, including by putting details on any website or by placing a sign on the property.”

It also breaches the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (the AML/CFT Act). Section 16 (2) of the AML/CFT Act states that the customer’s (seller’s) identity must be verified ‘before’ or at the time of establishing a business relationship. By definition, the business relationship with the seller will almost always begin at the time of listing, prior to which AML must be completed. It may also breach the uninvited direct sale provisions in the Fair Trading Act 1986.

Breach of any of these rules attracts substantial penalties for non-compliance. If you are aware of this practice happening within your organisation, notify the REA. Should you have any questions on this, speak to your supervisor or compliance officer."

Any questions? Don't hesitate to contact us and ask advice.

This week (March 23, 2021) the Labour government announced their plan to tackle the current housing issues in New Zealand. The policies focused on increasing the supply of houses, assisting first home buyers while at the same time slowing down demand from investors. People have been asking us how this could affect them here in the region, so we put together a summary for you with some links to information you might find helpful.

First home loan & grant

From Thursday, 1 April 2021, the income caps will increase and the house price caps will increase in targeted areas, including Nelson.

The income cap (maximum yearly income before tax) for a single person will increase from $85,000 to $95,000. For two people, it will increase from a combined maximum yearly income before tax of $130,000 to $150,000.

In Nelson and Tasman regions the house price cap will increase from $500,000 to $525,000 for an existing property and from $550,000 to $600,000 for a new property.

Check if you are eligible for a first home loan here: https://kaingaora.govt.nz/home-ownership/first-home-loan/check-you-are-eligible-for-first-home-loan/

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Extension of Bright Line Test to 10 years

The bright-line test means if you sell a residential property within a set period after acquiring it, you will be required to pay income tax on any profit made through the property increasing in value. The current bright-line period is 5 years. The Government has announced it intends to extend the bright-line period to 10 years for residential property except newly built houses (new builds) which will remain at 5 years. This does not include your family home or inherited property.

This change will be effective from Saturday, 27 March 2021 except for new builds acquired before this date.

We recommend getting in touch with the IRD directly with specific questions.

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Housing Acceleration Fund

The Housing Acceleration Fund aims to increase the supply of houses and improve affordability for home buyers and renters.

The key components of the Fund are:

The Government will also help Kāinga Ora to borrow an additional $2 billion to “assist in bringing a range of development forward through strategic land purchases”.

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Interest deductions on residential property

The Government is going to change the rules that allow property owners to claim interest on loans used for residential properties as an expense against their income from those properties. The legislation will apply from 1 October 2021.

Property investors will no longer be able to offset their interest expenses against their rental income when calculating their tax. Interest deductions on residential investment property acquired on or after 27 March 2021 will not be allowed from 1 October 2021. Interest on loans for properties acquired before 27 March 2021 can still be claimed as an expense. However, the amount someone can claim will be reduced over the next four income years until it is completely phased out by April 1, 2025. 

Property developers (who pay tax on the sale of property) will not be affected by this change. They will still be able to claim interest as an expense.

Again, we would recommend talking to the IRD with specific questions.

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Apprenticeship Boost Programme Extension

We have to mention the extension to the apprenticeship boost programme also to August 2022 meaning hopefully lots of new people entering the trades which in turn will assist in more properties being built.

For a full run down and more information you can go directly to the Labour website here: https://www.labour.org.nz/news-housing-2021-plan-faq

We hope this helps make a bit of sense of the announcements and what it might mean to you. Do get in touch if you want to have a chat to us about anything raised here or relating to real estate in general. We're always happy to help.

Moving to a new house is not easy at the best of times, throw kids into the mix and it is automatically just that much harder.  My son & his family just moved into their new home recently and it got me thinking about the topic and ways in which it might be made easier.  So, after talking to a few people I put together a few “Tips for Moving with Children”

The rest can be chaos, but a familiar bed and those special items go a long way to help settle in.


Do you have any tips for helping the move go smoothly with children?

It's Queen's Birthday weekend and what better way to mark the occasion than with a few ideas inspired by regal interior design.

Working in Nelson real estate, I've seen some beautiful homes over the years, but there's something about a touch of royal design that adds another dimension to an interior space.

Here are X easy ways to add royal flare to your home:-

1. Gold glamour. Use gold leaf paint to transform an ordinary mirror frame into an elegant masterpiece. You can pick it up from your local art supply store - and if you own your own home, you could even consider painting your mouldings as well.

2. A touch of red. Whether it's a rug, drapes or recovering an existing sofa, a splash of regal red contrasted against neutral tones will instantly lift any room.

3. Luxurious lighting. A gorgeous chandelier or antique-inspired lighting is another simple and effective way to inject royal flavour to a living room.

Harry If you're an animal lover like me (that's my gorgeous dog Harry pictured above), having your beloved pet or pets best interests at heart is always a priority. Moving day can be a stressful time for family pets, so it pays to have a plan worked out well before moving day arrives. 

Here are 9 tips to help minimise the stress and have your pets settled in no time!

  1. Make sure to give them lots of love and attention before during and after the move. This will help to calm them and reassure them that everything is okay.
  2. If possible, take your dog on walks in the new neighboured before moving day, to get them familiar with the new sights and smells.
  3. Familiarise them with their travel crate. Put bedding, toys and treats inside and make it a fun experience for them so when moving day comes they will feel comfortable and relaxed in the crate.
  4. On moving day, if you can, leave your dog with a friend to minimise any anxiety they may show when they see all the hustle and bustle of packing. Cats are known to run and hide when there is disruption to their routine. Ensure your cat is locked in a room, maybe even in their crate, before the move begins.
  5. Pack their bowl, bed and toys separately and mark clearly so you can find and unpack them easily. Familiarity is important to help reduce anxiety.
  6. Make sure your new home is pet safe – check fences for escape holes, and discard any old bones or rubbish. Check the previous owners haven’t left any rat or snail poison at nose level. Make sure your pets are wearing identification collars.
  7. Slowly introduce them to their new surroundings. Keep cats confined to one room for a few days. Make sure to provide them with food, water, a litter box and somewhere to sleep and hide.
  8. Introduce a walking routine with your dog early on to help them burn off any energy and to increase their familiarity with the area.
  9. Introduce your cat to the outdoors cautiously. Supervise them the first few times and only allow them out for long periods once you are confident that they have formed a solid attachment to the new home.

What tips do you have for settling a pet into a new home? I'd love to hear from you - please leave your comments below!


Once again Christchurch was hit with another large earthquake leaving many homes with damage. Aside from the physical endangerment, earthquakes can leave homeowners uneasy about the state of their home or earthquake preparedness. Homeowners should have a plan in place in the case of an earthquake emergency.

Learn more about your home.

Enquire as to when your home was built and what the standards were at the time of completion. If your home was built after 2004, your home should be up to date with the latest requirements. It would pay to look into maintenance or upgrades for your home to ensure you and your family's safety.

Look into earthquake insurance.

Most home insurance does not cover natural disasters. Earthquakes don't happen all too frequently, but it's so important to be covered for a disaster like this. Find an appropriate natural disaster insurance to cover you in the case of an emergency, especially if you are in a medium to high-risk area. Make sure the policy covers the cost of living expenses in case you have to move out while repairs are being done.

Create an emergency plan with your family. 

Earthquakes can happen when we least expect it. Make a plan with your family on what to do and where to go when an earthquake occurs. Practice an earthquake drill once each month to keep it fresh in the minds of your family.

New Zealand is a phenomenal place but living on multiple fault lines can come at a cost - make sure you are your family are prepared!

How have you prepared for natural disasters? Does your family have an emergency plan? I would love to hear from you - leave your comment below! 

One of the most interesting parts of my Nelson real estate job is noticing home design trends as they come and go. Bathrooms have increasingly become a space in the home that people are spending more time in - and attention to. There's nothing better than a long soak in a nice hot bath at the end of a hard day, so it makes sense that we should make our bathrooms aesthetically pleasing. Bathrooms are usually one of the smaller spaces in a home so we must make use out of the space we have.

Here are four ways to decorate a boring bathroom corner:

1. Floating shelves.

Floating shelves are a great addition to the bathroom without taking up too much space. Not only can you use them for towel storage, they can serve as a display for other decor.

2. Corner cabinets.

Corner cabinets can take up more space than floating shelves but there is less installation work. A nice cabinet can increase the storage space and add some flair to the bathroom.

3. Add a bench.

Placing a bench in the corner can be a nice touch, especially if the bathroom is used by multiple people at one time.

4. Functional wall art. 

If you are really tight on space, use wall stickers to decorate. Hooks are also a great way to create more storage.

shell hooks

In what ways do you utilise your bathroom corner space? I would love to hear from you - leave your comment below!


After a long week working in Nelson real estate, the last thing I want to do is clean my house. It’s no fun living in a messy home, but I also like to spend time with my family and doing activities I enjoy. Whether you are designing a new home, remodeling your current home or redecorating, there are a few things you can do to simplify cleaning in your house.

Here are 8 design ideas to make cleaning your home easier:

If you are building or remodeling your home, I encourage you to spend some time thinking about the size and space of your home. Consider how much space you really need. The bigger the house, the easier it is to keep clutter and the harder it is to clean.

What are your design tips for making your home easier to clean? I would love to hear from you - leave your comment below!

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