Key Facts

  • Real estate agents now refer to “leaky homes” as “plaster houses with watertightness issues”.
  • Despite their issues, these houses still sell readily due to their typically reasonable prices and prime locations.
  • Prospective homeowners have been found to purchase such properties with plans of rectifying the issues and enjoying the benefits they could not have otherwise afforded.
  • Foremost real estate agent Matt O’Brien says this type of property can be a really good buy, especially for individuals ready and able to fix the issues.
  • However, potential buyers should consider that some banks don’t lend money for such properties.
  • O’Brien identifies three types of buyers for these properties: those who fix immediate issues and enjoy the house as is, those who completely fix up the house before moving in, and those in the building industry who fix and resell at a profit.
  • The three-bedroom Ellerslie house with watertightness issues is being auctioned on January 31, 2024.

Article Summary

Real estate agents have adopted the phrase “plaster house with watertightness issues”, replacing the stigmatizing term “leaky home”. Despite their detrimental issues, these houses are still sought after because they often come at a more affordable price and are positioned in attractive locations. Interior designer and former Block NZ judge Shelley Ferguson exemplifies this trend, purchasing a ‘leaky home’, remediating some immediate faults, and enjoying the benefits of its location with a plan to reclad in the long term.

Matt O’Brien of Barfoot and Thompson Ponsonby, is currently handling the sale of a plaster-clad house in Ellerslie. While acknowledging the stigma of these homes, O’Brien notes that they can still be great buys, given their modern layouts and impressive locations. Besides, the issues with these homes allow some potential owners the opportunity to acquire them at more affordable rates.

Despite several banks refusing to lend on such properties, three types of buyers often show interest; those who live in the house while fixing immediate issues; those who ‘reclad’ before moving in, and the builders who make fixes and resell for a profit. In the case of the latter, recladding often involves upgrades such as double glazing and in-wall insulation, adding significant value to the property.

The three-bedroom house in Ellerslie serves as a prime example, attracting several inquiries already, despite the stigma attached to its classification. Being auctioned on January 31, 2024, O’Brien remains confident about its sale, exemplifying the thriving market for these plaster houses with watertightness issues.

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