FAQ

We’ve made it easy to find what you need whether you’re a first home buyer, investor, upsizer or downsizer, with the answers to your most frequently asked questions, all compiled in one place for you.

Buying With Univeral Homes

What happens at settlement and how does that work?
Once your new home is completed and we have obtained Code of Compliance from the Council, we will contact your lawyer so that we can finalise arrangements to legally transfer ownership of the property to you. Your lawyer will contact you to complete the paperwork. When your settlement date is confirmed, our team will be in touch to arrange a pre-settlement inspection of your new home. This is an opportunity to walk through your new home before settlement day.Settlement day is when the balance of the purchase price is required, and the property is legally yours. On settlement day, a number of things need to happen in a specific order between your lawyer, our lawyer, and your bank. Firstly, your bank will arrange for your mortgage to be made available and transferred to your lawyer’s trust account. Once everything is ready to settle, your lawyer will transfer the purchase price to our lawyer. When the funds have arrived, your lawyer will also ensure ownership of the property transfers to you and register the change of ownership on the record of title. When everything is completed, your lawyer will contact our team. As soon as this is confirmed, your New Home Consultant will be in touch to hand over the keys to your new home.
Is the price fixed, or is it negotiable?
Pre-designed by our team of experts, from the architecture, colours, fixtures, and fittings, all Universal homes are costed by the time you purchase and are advertised with a sales price, ensuring you know where you stand when you choose to buy. This means that we don’t entertain multiple offers or negotiations by multiple parties on a property. As a volume builder, we build large numbers of homes at once so we can pass on our quality new homes at optimal value to you. Unlike many other new home builders, we do not begin selling homes until construction is underway, and we do not require a set amount of pre-sales before construction begins.
What deposit amount do I need to buy a Universal Home?
With our low deposits and no progress payments, our focus is on keeping things simple and transparent for you. Once you have your home loan pre-approved, simply select your new home with our expert team, and pay a low, refundable initial deposit of $3,000 to place your chosen house on hold. This removes the house from the market whilst you complete your due diligence.
What happens to my deposit if I do not proceed with purchasing a Universal home?
The initial deposit of $3,000 which secures the property in your name will be refunded to you, should you choose to not proceed with the purchase after you have completed your due diligence.
Can I use my KiwiSaver as part of my deposit?
Contact your KiwiSaver provider for more information to find out if you are eligible for a first home buyer’s KiwiSaver withdrawal. KiwiSaver funds can only be used towards your settlement funds, not towards any part of the deposit. If successful, the KiwiSaver withdrawal will be paid to your lawyer on the unconditional date or before settlement day. Check the KiwiSaver website for eligibility and details.
Do I need to submit an offer for a tender process, to be considered alongside other offers?
Universal Homes are not sold by tender but by fixed price. We operate on a first-come basis, and once your initial deposit is paid the home is removed from the market whilst you complete due diligence. Our simple system ensures full transparency for you, each step of the way.
Can someone put in a better offer and cash me out of the contract?
No, they cannot. Once you pay the intial deposit and have signed an agreement with Universal Homes, the home is under contract to you. This means that no one else can put in an offer, unless your offer is unable to go unconditional within the agreed time period. At this point the house would be put back on the market.
Are there any progress payments?
Our focus is on keeping things simple and transparent for each of our clients. Our turnkey homes mean no build progress payments are required until the house is completed and the final settlement payment is due. This means you will know exactly what the cost of your new home will be and won’t need to pay interest during the build.
How long until I need to go unconditional?
Generally, you will have 10-15 working days to satisfy any conditions such as finance and solicitor’s approval, before going unconditional. This time period is negotiable depending on your circumstances, and both parties being in agreement. Going unconditional means your lawyer will declare that all of the conditions in the Contract to Purchase have been satisfied. At this point, the balance of your deposit is due. You are welcome to discuss timing specifics with your New Home Consultant.
What's the purchase process with Universal Homes?
We make home buying hassle-free! Forget about builders’ reports, frustrating auctions, or multi-offer situations. Simply have your home loan pre-approved, choose your new home with our expert team, and pay a low, refundable initial deposit to hold the house. This removes the house from the market whilst you complete your due diligence. There’s plenty of time to complete your due diligence before the purchase goes unconditional and the remainder of the deposit is due. There are no progress payments during the build; just the balance to be paid at settlement before you move on in. It’s that simple.
When do I start making mortgage payments?
You don’t draw down on your mortgage, or begin making payments, until settlement. This is because there are no progress payments to make prior to settlement.

About Our Homes

What is included with the house, including which appliances?
Please contact your New Home Consultant for a specifications list, which outlines all items supplied.
Can I change my appliances?
As we are a volume builder, and do not offer a design and build service, appliances are not able to be changed individually. However after settlement the property is then owned by you and you are able to do whatever you choose to do in terms of alternations.
Does the house have heating?
Heating is provided in each of our homes, to meet New Zealand standards. For specifics, refer to the specification documents from your New Home Consultant.
Do your homes have double glazing?
Yes, all windows and ranch sliders in our homes are double glazed.
Does the house come with curtains?
No, you will need to source your own blinds or curtains. Please chat to your New Home Consultant for ideas.
Is my property freehold? Is there a body corporate fee for my home?
Depending on the particular property you are buying,  the property may be freehold, have a body corporate, and be part of a residents association with fees. You will need to check this regarding the particular property you are interested in, with your New Home Consultant.
Will Universal build on my land with my house plan?
No, we do not undertake one-off building projects as we are a volume builder, and do not offer an individual design and build service. We create quality large-scale communities including developing greenfields, integrated urban developments within other land developers’ master plans, and partnership projects with other developers and housing providers. These all range from 10 through to thousands of homes.
Can I do some of the work myself or supply some of my own fittings, such as light fixtures?
No, this is not possible, as we are not a design and build service and do not have the resource to manage this. As a volume builder with fine-tuned systems after decades of building quality homes, we are not able to accept changes. All specifications have been preselected by our specialist design consultants. We can provide new homes at the best possible price and within timeframe, by working at scale with our longstanding, trusted partners.
Where can I look through a Universal home in person?
You can visit one of our Showhomes to take your own tour of one of our quality new homes, and chat with our expert New Home Consultants. Head to the Showhomes tab in the menu above, for address details and opening times.
Do you guarantee your homes?
Each new Universal home comes with a 10-Year Master Build Guarantee* plus our 12-month defects maintenance promise. This means that should any defects arise in the year following your settlement date, our aftercare service will get it sorted for you. Many of the products we use in our new homes have warranty periods and guarantees from the manufacturer. The details for these are contained in your handover pack which you will receive on settlement day. We advise our clients to register products and ensure that maintenance is carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. The Master Build Guarantee starts from the time construction begins. Should you decide to sell your Universal home in the future, you can organise to transfer the remaining balance of the Master Build Guarantee to the new owner. For more information on your Master Build Guarantee refer to: www.masterbuilder.org.nz    *Please note certain types of apartments may not be covered by a Master Build Guarantee.
How long does it take to build my home?
Generally, Universal Homes take between 12-14 months to build, however there are many factors that influence this, including at what stage you purchase your home. Our extensive track record and long-standing relationships with suppliers and contractors ensures we do our utmost to meet project construction timeframes. The Contract to Purchase has an estimated completion date, and our project managers will be working hard to keep the build timeframe on track. However, the build timing for your new home will also depend on several external factors beyond our control, including weather events, Council consents, material supply, and when we receive the title and the Code of Compliance Certificate from the Council. Chat with your New Home Consultant about when the home you’re interested in is due for completion.
Will my home be built within the timeframe?
Our extensive track record and long-standing relationships with suppliers and contractors ensures we do our utmost to meet project construction timeframes. The Contract to Purchase has an estimated completion date, and our project managers will be working hard to keep the build timeframe on track. However, the build timing for your new home will also depend on several external factors beyond our control, including weather events, Council consents, material supply, and when we receive the title and the Code of Compliance Certificate from the Council.
Can I view the property during construction with a New Home Consultant?
Our team will ensure you are kept up to date on the progress of your new home build and will be in communication with you regularly throughout the construction phases. Due to the health and safety requirements of construction sites, you are unable to be on site to view each progress stage. Our team will send you email updates at regular stages of your home-building journey, so you know what’s happening on site. As your home is nearing completion, viewing by appointment can be arranged by our New Home Consultants. This includes visits by other parties such as insurers, valuers, or curtain measures. If you would like more information about this, please talk to your New Home Consultant.
Can I make any design alterations, or changes to the plans?
We are not able to make any changes to the home design as we only sell the homes once we have Council consented plans. We cannot accept any amendments to the design, plans, colours, or landscaping of our new homes. However, after settlement, the property is owned by you and you are able to do whatever you choose to do at that point.
Can I choose my own colour scheme, or can I mix and match Universal’s colour schemes?
Each home is designated a contemporary stylish colour board by our interior design team. As we are a volume builder, and do not offer a design and build service, these are not able to be changed individually.

First Home Buyers

I’m a first home buyer: where do I start?
Our approachable team is dedicated to helping you through the process! Read our handy first home buyers guide here, with tons of tips and answers to all your key questions.

Investors

I’m an investor: who can I discuss investment options with?
Investing in property can be a daunting prospect, and that’s why our New Home Consultants can offer expert tips and insights into property investment. For more information, head to our Investors Page.
How do I invest in property?
The answer will differ depending on your current circumstances and if you have equity in your current home. If you have equity in your current home it can be more affordable than you think to get into the investment property market.Property investment is one of the most popular ways of investing in New Zealand, and quite often it is one of the biggest investments people will ever make. Universal Homes offer varying styles of properties across multiple locations throughout New Zealand.
How do I choose an investment property?
The first question is what would you like your investment property to do? Is it going to be a rental with tenants, or be used as short-term accommodation? A brand new Universal home is an investor-ready home, making it a great choice for a rental investment whether you’re starting out or adding to your portfolio. Each Universal home is a turnkey property, meaning that upon completion and settlement, it is ready to move into immediately. Universal homes are situated in popular locations, handy to public transport, arterial routes, great parks and beaches, excellent schooling, and vibrant retail and dining options. Homes are designed and built to meet and exceed the New Zealand government’s healthy homes standards and the New Zealand Building Code, with some of our homes in select locations additionally achieving an impressive Homestar 6 Environmental Build certification. We offer varying sizes and styles of properties, from lock-and-leave townhouses, duplexes, or apartments, to larger stand-alone family homes.
Where do Universal Homes have houses?
Universal homes are situated in popular locations across Auckland, handy to public transport, arterial routes, great parks and beaches, excellent schooling, and vibrant retail and dining options.
Are the houses already built?
Universal Homes sell homes under construction also known as off-the-plan, as well as completed homes. Pre-designed by our team of experts, from the architecture, colours, fixtures, and fittings, all Universal homes are costed by the time you purchase and are advertised with a sales price, ensuring you know where you stand when you choose to buy. This means that we don’t entertain multiple offers or negotiations by multiple parties on a property. As a volume builder, we build large numbers of homes at once so we can pass on our quality new homes at optimal value to you. Unlike many other new home builders, we do not begin selling homes until construction is underway, and we do not require a set amount of pre-sales before construction begins.
Are your homes ready for tenants to move in?
A brand new Universal home is an investor-ready home, making it a great choice for a rental investment whether you’re starting out or adding to your portfolio. Each Universal home is a turnkey property, meaning that upon completion and settlement, it is ready to move into immediately. Homes are designed and built to meet and exceed the New Zealand government’s healthy homes standards and the New Zealand Building Code, with some of our homes in select locations additionally achieving an impressive Homestar 6 Environmental Build certification.
How / where do I find tenants?
There are multiple ways you can find tenants, either yourself or through a property manager. Our New Home Consultants can give you some guidance on where to look.
What regulations are there for rental properties in New Zealand?
You can find out more about the rules and regulations for rental properties through NZ Tenancy Services.Find out here about healthy homes standards and requirements for rental homes in New Zealand. Rest assured all Universal Homes are built to meet the standards, so there won’t be any work to do before the tenants move in!
What is a turnkey property?
Each Universal home is a turnkey property, meaning that upon completion and settlement, it is ready to move into immediately.

Resources & Information

Get all the information you need all in one place with our resources, including handy guides, info packs, tips, and more.