Anti-Money Laundering and Other Inconvenient Facts

by James Heard

by James Heard. —

If it were possible to troll sales data and then mathematically predict the sale price of your home / intended future home or that of any other home in town the profession of Registered Valuer would cease to exist. Masses of sales data will allow a trend line to be established but right now where the trend line for Pukekohe is that residential property is selling at a discount of 2 % to Capital Value we are still seeing much greater variability. Sales as much as 25% plus of CV show two things: the -2% trend line is not universally applicable; and proof that property improvements that do not require a building consent are not captured in CV the triennial assessments. Inevitably overdue maintenance, outdated décor, antiquated kitchens and bathrooms also distort desk derived CVs and such sales contribute to the -2% trend. On line property valuations can only use the visible national data set. A hit and miss process at best.

Kiwi Build has yet to deliver the promised volume of ‘affordable homes.’ So far there has only been a trickle but to be fair that is no surprise for the underpinning factors limiting building industry output and prices include: a significant shortage of skilled tradesfolk; building materials price creep; Council charges; and the high cost of land.

Parental support for the ‘first homers’ is limited and in any event should only be undertaken after carefully considered legal and financial advice. Unfortunately, bad stuff happens to the best of people. Events such as the global financial crisis, corporate downsizing, the small business owner selling up or just closing the doors, accidents, health failure, relationship break ups are all indiscriminate in their effect. Legal advice will inevitably be cautionary and protective of both the contributing parent and the family recipient.

Buying and selling will continue to be an expense. Prudence demands a cautionary approach with lawyers, building inspectors, drug testing, LIM reports, and independent valuations eating away at precious deposits and cash reserves.

Anti-Money Laundering Regulations are now operative. Anti-crime and anti-terrorism is their underpinning purpose. In simple terms before any real estate transaction can be finalized the settling solicitors need to be certain that:

• People are indeed real people and have a legal right to buy or sell the subject property. • Where a Company or Trust is involved in the sale that the shareholders and Trustees are indeed real people and: • Trust Deeds, Company Establishment Documentation are valid. • AND the flow of money into these entities is legal. • Powers of Attorney are a valid tool not a device to circumvent.

Get your legal documentation ready at the beginning of the journey, your realtor now must be certain that everything is above board, that you really are who you say you are, before the contract is written.