Tips for buying your First Home!
Updated: Oct 22, 2019
Buying your first home can be overwhelming – so much to organise and so little time!
The team at Dorrington Poole have put together a ‘cheat sheet’ for first home buyers with a few tips and tricks to make sure you’re ahead of the crowd.
1. Funding the purchase:
If you are looking to buy your first home but don’t yet have any savings, it is still worth considering whether you can access your Kiwisaver and a Home Start Grant from Housing New Zealand.
a. You may be eligible to access your KiwiSaver if:
i. You have been regularly contributing to an approved KiwiSaver scheme for three years or more
ii. You do not currently own a house or an interest in a house.
iii. You haven’t withdrawn KiwiSaver to purchase a home before.
b. You may be eligible for a Home Start Grant from Housing NZ if:
i. You are a New Zealand resident; and
ii. You have met the requirements for accessing your KiwiSaver; and
iii. You earned $85,000 or less (before tax) in the last 12 months, or if buying with someone else, your combined income for the last 12 months was less than $130,000; and
iv. The purchase price of the house is under the “house cap” for the area you are buying (check on the Housing NZ website) and
v. You intend to live in the property as your main home for at least 6 months after settlement; and
vi. You have a deposit of at least 10% of the purchase price (including your Kiwisaver and HomeStart Grant amounts); and
vii. You have never received a HomeStart Grant from Housing New Zealand before.
If you’ve been contributing to your KiwiSaver for 5+ years, you could get a grant of up to $5,000 for an existing property, or $10,000 for a new build.
For more information see Housing NZ’s website.
2. Getting a mortgage:
Speak to your bank about Home Loan rates and loan structures and the amount you will be able to borrow. For a competitive edge, ask your bank manager about getting preapproved finance before you start looking for a property.
3. Getting a head start on your Kiwisaver application:
To access your KiwiSaver for your first home purchase, you will need to complete an application form from your bank / scheme provider. You can generally download these forms on your bank’s website.
The application form asks you to provide supporting documents such as a verified copy of your ID, proof of your address, and a statutory declaration (witnessed by a lawyer or JP).
If you don’t yet have an Agreement for Sale and Purchase, you can still get pre-approval from your KiwiSaver provider.
4. Getting your documents ready for Home Start Grant:
You can apply online for a HomeStart Grant from Housing NZ, but you will need a number of documents to hand. You can save time by making sure you have:
a. Up to date ID;
b. Information about your income including your “summary of earnings” from Inland Revenue. Instructions to access this can also be found on the Housing NZ website.
c. Your contribution history: proof of your regular contributions to KiwiSaver. You can access this through your Inland Revenue login in the ‘MyKiwiSaver’ section. Instructions to access this can also be found on the Housing NZ website.
d. Proof that you have at least 10% of the purchase price: this can include your KiwiSaver withdrawal amount and your HomeStart Grant entitlement, any savings in your bank accounts, Gifts of money from family and friends.
Come and speak to us!
We can advise you on conditions you can include in Purchase Agreements to protect you, help you access your KiwiSaver and HomeStart Grant, explain your loan documents and handle the settlement process for you, explaining it step by step.
We look forward to helping you into your first home
If you have previously owned a property but no longer do so, we may still be able to help you access your KiwiSaver and HomeStart Grant. Come and see us for advice!