Pictured: 140 Inwoods Close, Parklands. Sold at auction for $395,000, May 2012.
TC3 land is now generally in reasonable demand, especially
so with the construction sector having a good grasp of appropriate foundation
types. Originally, immediately after the quakes when this land was offered
following the demolition of a quake damaged home they represented graveyards
growing weeds and simply reflected an owner’s desertion of home and community.
Now there are few available and sell readily governed by the perceived cost to
build on, utilising site specific engineered foundations.
We used to say: "your dwelling without a section is obviously worthless; a TC3 section without a dwelling was worthless; but a TC3 section plus a EQ damaged home equates to some value".
In other words, one without the other equated to minimal
value but together offered with a reasonable price expectation reflecting it’s
as is state, was of some value and generally in good demand if the dwelling was
safe and habitable. At that time housing was in a dire shortage, and of course
fuelling the demand.
As per below the vast majority of the as is where is homes
we sell are structurally sound. I make no bones about it: if a home is not safe
it should be either demolished, made safe or remediated. Anything outside of
this in my opinion is unacceptable! I fully support calls for a "Warrant
of Fitness" for rental properties and suggest that would be a good start for
as is where property. Likewise I condone Southern Response's "Habitability
Standard" prior to a cash settlement of property deemed uneconomic to
Frankly, for those with access to funds, this is providing
tantalisingly affordable housing for both family and rental accommodation.
Besides if certain standards are met, is this such a bad thing, especially in
an era when housing is becoming unaffordable and rental property continues in
high demand? Mum and dad assisting the kids into a first home for around $200k
that can be economically and straightforwardly returned to an insurable state
makes total sense, and with banks lending up to 80% of land value (site
specific) it is a bit of a no brainier really.
With a large percentage of these homes simply being on the
lean, or having a crack/fracture in the slab it does not mean that they are necessarily
significantly structurally compromised. Besides, a good cross section of
Christchurch's home owners have lived in homes like this for nearly five years
now or put another way, "12,000 earthquakes later". I'm of the
opinion that if these homes have been inspected by suitably qualified
professionals and deemed safe to inhabit surely there is a time and place for
them in our communities.
These homes can be insured. Lloyds of London have brokers
here in NZ
and actually I don't know of one that has been turned down yet, albeit they
will insure to an agreed value with exclusion clauses in the policies for pre
exiting damage. Appropriately remediated homes with the right certification are
being insured via national insurers too, so there is definitely a way
The old adage of “anything can be fixed at a price” is
correct and while some as is properties are terminal a large number are viable
to remediate. Team Griff are currently in the process of establishing active
working relationships with suitably qualified professionals and just this week
we met with a local company Concrete Connect who have the expertise and equipment
for effective repair strategies. They can provide an A to Z service providing
the home owner with the complete documentation suitable for reinstating
insurance and mortgages.
I'm known to say to potential purchasers "in 10 years
time when driving down the road, I will be pointing out the new builds, the
remediated and the as is. All with have smoke coming out the chimney, so to
speak, and most likely to have some form of insurance”. I'm not sure that local
or central government will establish the "level police" but once
again if a property poses health and safety issues they should be addressed.
While housing has always been vulnerable to shoddy repairs, of course post quake this could become a mine field. However by taking the normal precautions of obtaining credible reports, insisting on the appropriate remediation documentation and carefully applying for insurance yourself, the cracks will begin to emerge if things aren't right.
A remediated uninsured home remains guilty until provedn innocent and I think that is a good standard to apply when working through the
process of purchasing such a home. Also
if a house is not insured with a standard national insurer, always ask why.
The bottom line is that given the reality of how insurance claims are playing out, ‘as is’ property will be with us some time yet. While like the CCDU who desire a high standard of construction in the CBD, we likewise have an idealistic dream for our communities. The big question being, managed right, is there a place for these homes to be integrated back in to our neighbourhoods? Maybe it's time for some fresh out of the square thinking and is this the silver lining to the big dark cloud that has hang over Christchurch for nearly five years now?
Your thoughts are welcome, in the meantime keep warm, stay safe and let’s talk soon.