WO Property: NZ Herald editor’s millionaire’s pad

I got the idea for this segment from a NZ Herald piece yesterday. I figured if it is OK for them then it is OK for me.

NZ Herald editor Shayne Alexander Currie is sitting on a goldmine in one of the leafy suburbs of the isthmus of Auckland.

He owns a property at Valley Rd in Mt Eden. It?s a Grammar Zone, iconic Mt Eden Villa. The Whitepages suggests an S Currie has a phone subscription at that home too. How quaint. ? Read more »

Some investment advice from Bob Jones

Bob Jones gives some essential investment advice for those looking to invest in commercial?property in provincial towns.

Provincial towns world-wide are in steady decline. New Zealand is no exception. There are good reasons for that and they won?t change. A foremost one is tertiary education, now being enjoyed by more than 50% of our kids and rising. Take a student heading to Victoria University from say Hawera and living in the capital for 4 years, completing a degree. Even if pursuing a conventional career such as accounting, law or medicine, never in a million years will he or she then return to Hawera for reasons I hardly need to spell out.

The consequence of this is evident in our provincial towns today where you will now see the same faces portrayed 500 years ago by Bruegel in Flanders. Friendly coves to be sure but don?t expect scintillating discussion. So too in other western countries.

There?s another fail-safe test. If you can spot pretty girls over 20 or young blokes in suits in their late 20s to early 30s in a town then its current prospects remain hopeful. Otherwise, both categories have fled to the big cities. As a keen student of such matters, only Dunedin gets a tick, that is if one categorises it as a provincial city. Try finding a pretty girl over 20 or a young bloke in a suit in say Wanganui or Timaru and you will look in vain.

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Photo of the Day

For nearly 25 years, Evan Wile has been trying to build on his waterfront land (sandy lot at right), while Jeffrey Horvitz, his neighbor on the property next door (left), has been trying to stop him. ARAM BOGHOSIAN FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

For nearly 25 years, Evan Wile has been trying to build on his waterfront land (sandy lot at right), while Jeffrey Horvitz, his neighbour on the property next door (left), has been trying to stop him. ARAM BOGHOSIAN FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Trouble with Your Neighbours?

It Can Always Get Worse

These Wealthy Neighbours have been at War for Nearly 25 years

In a Beachfront Enclave North of Boston, the Battle has been Waged with Harsh Words, Pricey Lawyers, and Smelly Porta Potties

Twenty five years ago, a few dozen people gathered at an oceanfront estate in Beverly Farms with breathtaking views of the Atlantic and Great Misery Island in the distance.

The three-story, 18,000-square-foot mansion, a jewel of the Massachusetts Gold Coast, oozed history through its handsome brick facade. It had been built in 1910 for Mary Leiter, the widow of a Marshall Field co-founder ? and in a hurry. She wanted the estate she?d dubbed Edgewater ready for President Taft?s annual visit to Beverly, where the corpulent commander in chief had his summer White House. In 1950, the property was bought by the family behind another storied business, the Ames Shovel Company.

By the early 1990s, though, this sprawling slice of heaven had fallen on some tough terrestrial times. The couple who had bought Edgewater from the Ames family lost their financial footing and then lost the property to foreclosure. The gathering in the summer of 1991 was actually an auction that would determine the mansion?s next owner.

In the crowd was a 41-year-old by the name of Jeffrey Horvitz, an art dealer and scion of a wealthy Ohio family. Embroiled in a bitter divorce from a former ?Gold-digger? dancer for Dean Martin?s show, Horvitz was relocating from Florida and looking for a fresh start. He and his estranged wife had two young daughters, one of whom was disabled. They had agreed to move to separate homes in the Boston area, largely because of the quality of its schools and medical facilities.

Also in attendance was another 41-year-old, a self-described townie from Weston named Evan Wile. He had learned the construction trade from his father and was enjoying success as a developer of luxury homes who was willing to swing for the fences. He was living in a Charlestown condo with his fianc?e, and together they were scouting for their dream home.

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So, why does the property industry hate the compact city?


The property industry hates Auckland’s compact city dream. The loathing is substantial.

There are a few players who like the compact city idea – but those people have more to gain from restricted supply that boosts the value and demand for their investments.

And there are the gravy train troughers who sit on committees and feel important and cherished. They like the idea too. But they are mostly consultants.

The rest of the property industry thinks the compact city sucks. It’s like dog poo on their shoes.

Partly the loathing is universally influenced by the seething hatred that the property industry has for planners and the processing hoards of hairy-foot hobbits in the Council organisation. These meddlers and haters of the world cause mayhem and angst 24/7 for the property industry with slow processing, crap decisions and constant niggle.

But the compact city is the incongruous icing on the cake. ? Read more »

If Rachel Hunter loves the tree so much how about she buy the property

Rachel Hunter has entered into the attack on private property rights currently being waged in West Auckland

“Our Rach” has joined the debate over the fate of a West Auckland kauri.

Contractors this week arrived at the Titirangi property of John Lenihan and Jane Greensmith to cut down the tree.

In March, activist Michael Tavares spent three days suspended in the tree amid public outcry for its protection.

Lenihan and Greensmith planned to remove the tree, which is not protected, to build two houses.

They had resource consent from the Auckland Council to do so, but the tree was given a reprieve so neighbours could buy the land.

That had not happened, so they had resumed their original plan, they said on Thursday.

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First it was immoral to expect people to pay loans, now landlords should cuddle their tenants

There is a strange thing happening in the outlets of the Media Party, but in particular a certain newspaper.

This morning I highlighted a bludger who didn’t pay her car loan, and the newspaper thinks that it is immoral for a loan company to expect payment.

In today’s newspaper there is a story about a landlord who has the temerity to have 37 properties…and some womble do-gooder thinks he can afford to be more helpful towards his ratbag tenants.

Don’t be too kind to your tenants, warns Auckland landlord Ron Goodwin, 74, who has 37 properties in the city and the Waikato generating $14,500 a week in rent.

Tenants have taken advantage of the investor – who estimates the value of his property portfolio is about $18 million – on rent negotiations, rubbish clearing responsibilities and even childcare, he complains.

“The kinder a landlord is to a tenant, the worse the tenant treats the landlord. Some tenants go to great lengths to become friends with their landlord, then come up with all manner of hard-luck stories and expect their landlord friend to help them out financially by letting them off paying their rent,” Mr Goodwin claims.

But the Rev Mark Beale, who runs a church housing trust which has accommodated up to 20 families, said the landlord had more than enough earthly riches, so could be far more charitable than that.

Kindness is what tenants need, he stressed.

He’s a multimillionaire who can afford to help people. He can afford for them to take advantage of him. People are not treating houses as homes any more but as money-making ventures,” Mr Beale said.

The vicar had some more direct advice for Mr Goodwin: “You won’t find happiness in money. Jesus said ‘shake the dust off your feet’. If you have a situation that goes wrong, you shake the dust off your feet and trust the next tenant.”

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Panuku? Really?

Auckland Council brass don’t need to do much to underline why they are dead set useless. Just name their newly formed and merged agency that will deal with property developers and attempt to do deals for surplus Council land.

A Maori word has been added to the name of a development agency for the Super City at the eleventh hour.

Development Auckland, a council-controlled organisation starting business today, has been renamed Panuku Development Auckland.

Panuku means to “move on” or “move forward” and conveys the concept of dynamism and building towards excellence, said a press release.

“It has been likened to the motion of a waka that requires skill to navigate and teamwork to propel,” the release said.

Howick councillor Dick Quax said he had no idea what panuku meant and neither would the vast majority of Aucklanders.

“There has been no input from councillors and council – the sole shareholder of the new development company.

“Other council-controlled organisations (CCOs) describe in plain language what the core function is – Watercare, Auckland Transport, Waterfront Auckland, Auckland Council Property Limited (ACPL).

“The majority of Auckland people will have no clue what this CCO’s functions are from its name,” said Mr Quax.

Panuku Development Auckland is a merger of Waterfront Auckland and ACPL.

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Len’s minions to force land sales for dopey train set

Finally Auckland Transport has done what it should have done – formerly notified a property owner of compulsory acquisition of their land for the CRL.

I wrote a few months ago about the pickle AT were in. At the time another land owner was seeking through the courts that AT follow the due process and notify them formerly of the compulsory acquisition.

Nearly all the land owners so far have been duped. The notices they no doubt received that led to negotiations probably gave them the impression that they had to sell. But there was no reason to do so at all.

But the Public Works Act requires a more formalised process.

Auckland Transport is taking legal action to force owners of Eden Terrace properties to sell up for the $2.5 billion City Rail Link.

Public notices were published in the Herald this month showing compulsory acquisition action is planned by the council-controlled authority at 34 and 36-38 Nikau St. ?? Read more »

Some more reader questions about Capital Gains Tax

I doubt Labour can answer these, after 4 years they still have no idea what he shape of the CGT will look like.

Hi Cam & All

I have a few questions regarding CGT that I don’t think I’ve seen raised, and which certainly don’t seem to have been put to Cunliffe:

What adjustment will be made to the selling value of a property due to inflation? In other words, this tax fails to take into account inflationary pressures, and is, in effect, a tax on inflationary gains (which, as we all know, is NOT a capital gain in the real sense of the term).

Another thing that is not taken into account is the real cost of purchase. Most people buy a house using a mortgage. The real cost of the house (purchase price + interest) is much higher than the actual value of the house when purchased. Will this be taken into account when determining any capital gain? ? ? Read more »

Why Renting makes sense if you want to get ahead.

Rental Property

Rental Property

I admit that I come from a generation that says you must own your own home. Apart from a short period of renting when we were first married Cam and I have always owned our own homes. Later we decided to plan for the future by buying investment properties. At the height of our investing we owned two home and income properties in two very good suburbs in Auckland. We lived in the main house of one of the properties.

Then as most of you know, ‘ Shit happened ‘ and we lost everything. We had no assets, no income and no home. If it wasn’t for the financial support from my family we would have been forced to live in a caravan park ( and no I am not exaggerating )

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