From Open Houses to Offers: The Step-by-Step Process of Buying a Home in Manurewa

Buying a home in Manurewa is a significant milestone, whether you’re a first-time buyer or moving within the community. 

This guide will walk you through the process from open houses to making an offer, ensuring you feel confident every step of the way. 

We’ll cover common questions, share practical advice, and include relatable examples to make the journey smoother and more enjoyable.

 Let’s get started!

Common Questions and Concerns

  • How do I start the home-buying process?
  • What should I look for during open houses?
  • How do I make a competitive offer?
  • What costs should I expect?
  • How do I secure a mortgage?

Assess Your Finances

The first step in buying a home is understanding your financial situation. Here’s how to get started:

Check Your Credit Score

A good credit score can help you secure a better mortgage rate, saving you thousands over the life of your loan. 

Obtain a copy of your credit report and check for any errors. If your score is lower than you’d like, work on improving it by paying down debts and making timely payments.

Save for a Down Payment

While there are loans available with lower down payment requirements, aiming for at least 20% can help you avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI) and reduce your monthly payments. 

Create a savings plan that fits your budget and start setting aside money each month.

Budget for Additional Costs

In addition to the down payment, there are several other costs to consider:

  • Closing Costs: These typically range from 2-5% of the home’s purchase price and include fees for the appraisal, home inspection, and loan processing.
  • Moving Expenses: Factor in the cost of hiring movers, renting a truck, and any storage fees.
  • Renovations and Repairs: Even if a home seems move-in ready, you might want to budget for minor updates or repairs.

Example: When Sarah and John decided to buy a home in Manurewa, they first checked their credit scores and realized they needed to improve them to get a better mortgage rate. They spent six months paying off debt and saving for a larger down payment. This preparation helped them feel more confident when they started house hunting.

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a crucial step that shows sellers you’re serious and financially capable of buying a home.

Gather Documents

You’ll need to provide proof of income, tax returns, and bank statements to get pre-approved. 

Lenders will review these documents to determine how much they can lend you.

Shop Around

Different lenders offer different rates and terms, so it’s important to compare options. Look at interest rates, closing costs, and the overall reputation of the lender. 

Don’t be afraid to negotiate for better terms.

Understand Your Limits

A pre-approval letter will give you a clear idea of how much you can afford to spend on a home. 

This helps you narrow down your search and focus on homes within your budget.

Tip: Emily found that getting pre-approved helped her set realistic expectations. She was able to focus on homes in her price range, which saved her time and reduced stress.

Start House Hunting

Now the fun begins—looking at homes! Use these tips to make the most of your search.

Prioritize Your Needs

Make a list of must-haves versus nice-to-haves. Must-haves are non-negotiable features, like the number of bedrooms or proximity to good schools. 

Nice-to-haves are features that would be great but aren’t deal-breakers, like a large backyard or updated kitchen.

Attend Open Houses

Open houses are an excellent opportunity to see multiple homes in a short period. Take your time to explore each home and ask questions about the property and the neighborhood. 

Pay attention to the condition of the home, the layout, and any potential issues.

Take Notes

It’s easy to forget details, especially if you’re visiting multiple homes. Take notes and photos to help you remember which features stood out and which homes met your criteria. 

This will make it easier to compare options later.

Example: When attending open houses, Lisa brought along a checklist of her must-haves and nice-to-haves. She took notes and photos at each property, which helped her stay organized and make an informed decision.

Making an Offer

You’ve found the perfect home—now it’s time to make an offer.

Consult Your Agent

Your real estate agent will be a valuable resource in determining a competitive offer. They can provide insights into the local market, recent sales, and the home’s condition.

Include Contingencies

Contingencies protect you by allowing you to back out of the deal if certain conditions aren’t met. Common contingencies include:

  • Financing Contingency: Ensures you can secure a mortgage.
  • Home Inspection Contingency: Allows you to renegotiate or withdraw if the inspection reveals significant issues.
  • Appraisal Contingency: Protects you if the home appraises for less than the purchase price.

Be Ready to Negotiate

The seller might counter your offer, so be prepared to negotiate. This could involve adjusting the price, changing the closing date, or addressing repair requests.

Example: Emily fell in love with a charming bungalow in Manurewa. Her agent suggested offering slightly above the asking price to stand out in a competitive market. Emily also included a home inspection contingency to ensure there were no hidden issues.

The Step-by-Step Process of Buying a Home in Manurewa

Finalizing the Purchase

Once your offer is accepted, there’s still work to be done before you get the keys.

Home Inspection

Hire a professional to conduct a thorough inspection of the property. They will check for structural issues, plumbing and electrical problems, and potential safety hazards.

 Use the inspection report to negotiate any necessary repairs or adjustments to the sale price.


Your lender will require an appraisal to confirm the home’s value. If the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price, you may need to renegotiate with the seller or come up with additional funds.

Final Walkthrough

Before closing, do a final walkthrough to ensure the property is in the agreed-upon condition. 

Check that any requested repairs have been made and that the home is ready for move-in.

Example: Sarah and John scheduled their final walkthrough two days before closing. They noticed a few minor issues that hadn’t been addressed, so their agent worked with the seller to resolve them before the sale was finalized.


Buying a home in Manurewa is a journey, but with the right preparation and guidance, it can be a smooth and exciting process. 

Remember to take it step-by-step and don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the typical process for buying a home in Manurewa?

  • Attend open homes to view properties for sale in desired areas like Homai, Manurewa Central, etc.
  • Work with a real estate agent to understand the market, get pre-approved for a mortgage, and make an offer on your chosen property.
  • If the offer is accepted, hire a lawyer to review the sale and purchase agreement.
  • Arrange a property inspection and secure financing from your lender.
  • Complete the purchase, transfer funds, and take possession of your new home.

How can I find open homes to attend in Manurewa?

Real estate agencies like Ray White and LJ Hooker have dedicated Manurewa branches that advertise upcoming open homes on their websites and through property listing sites.

 You can also drive around desired neighborhoods looking for open home signs.

What advice is there for making a competitive offer?

Have your finances pre-approved, act quickly on properties you like, and work closely with your real estate agent to understand recent comparable sales and make a strong initial offer.

In the current cooling market, buyers may have more negotiating power.

How long does it typically take to purchase a home?

From having your offer accepted to final settlement can take 4-8 weeks on average.

However, the total process of viewing homes, getting pre-approved, making offers etc. can span several months depending on your search criteria.

Are there any special considerations for first-time homebuyers?

Yes, be sure to understand the full costs beyond the purchase price like legal fees, moving costs, potential renovations, etc.

First-home buyer programs like KiwiSaver withdrawal and HomeStart grant may provide financial assistance.