Purchasing your first home can be like navigating a maze. It is hard to know where to start and what options are available to first home buyers. There are a number of options of financial assistance available, particularly to first home buyers. So it is important to know what financial assistance you are eligible for before you put an offer in. Shopless has looked at the main financial assistance options available to New Zealand first home buyers. So that you can know what financial support is available to you in the costly process of purchasing a home.
Financial Assistance and Kiwisaver
One of the major factors for first home buyers is the additional financial assistance they are entitled to. For some they may have saved the required 20% deposit to receive a bank loan on the future home. (Some may be eligible for a 10% deposit). While many will need a little extra assistance to help with the deposit. Either way it is good to know the financial assistance you may be eligible for. And if they require extensive paperwork etc, prior to you putting an offer in on a home.
Any kiwi who has a kiwi saver and is purchasing their first home should be eligible to withdraw their kiwisaver savings. This can be all of the savings in your kiwi saver account, with the exception of $1000 being left in the kiwisaver. To do this you will need to apply to your kiwisaver provider in order to get funds out.
You can find out prior to making an offer if you are eligible to withdraw your funds. And once you have made an offer that has been accepted this is when you will fill out the required paperwork to receive your Kiwisaver money. If you are using this money as part of your deposit it is important to be clear with your provider, as they sometimes take longer than the required 10 working days to get the Kiwisaver amount to you.
Home Start Grant
If you have been a kiwisaver contributor for longer than 3 years you may be eligible for the kiwisaver home start grant. The home start grant offers $1000 per year you have been contributing to kiwisaver – up to 5 years. You can request pre approval for this prior to putting an offer in on a home. There are also property requirements to adhere to for the first home start grant.
The Kainga Whenua loan is a joint partnership between Kāinga Ora and Kiwibank. If you have a right to Māori land (hold a licence to occupy), then you are eligible for a loan of the full cost of building on the land or purchasing a house on the land. Up to $200,000. This is to help and support Māori landowners that share heritage land, to buy and build on their inherited property.
Some Maori have chosen to partner with other organisations to help with the first home build process. Particularly as the loan amount for this initiative is restrictive.
“The Tenant Home Ownership grant is a gift of 10% of the purchase price of selected Kāinga Ora houses up to a maximum of $20,000.” The grant offers this amount for first home buyers particularly in the regions of New Zealand. The main cities such as Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland are all excluded from this grant.
KiwiBuild is a governmental initiative to help New Zealanders buy new homes The idea is to create a more affordable solution to buying a home for first home buyers. However it has been under a lot of scrutiny with the demand for the new builds being high, and the number of Kiwibuild homes being low. As of 2021 KiwiBuild has just met the target of 1000 homes built (2 years behind schedule.) Meaning the wait list for a new build is long.
However it is still a good option to enquire, especially if you find that you are wanting to build a home. If there are kiwi build homes in the area you are looking for. Or if you are looking at different options as a first home buyer.
Some banks also have initiatives that offer financial support to first home buyers. Often banks will offer a monetary supplement to help you cover the cost of legal fees. So that you will choose to acquire a loan with them. It is important to have a look at what banks are offering at the time you apply for a mortgage as some banks offer more than others.
Additionally banks have other financial initiatives that help towards saving for a home. For example Kiwibank has the first home saver offer. Which is a high interest savings account with the intent to purchase your home from the savings.
Shopless has offered some initiatives that you can look into when purchasing your first home. Make sure to take a look at the latest homes on Shopless, here. If you are looking to buy or sell Shopless is a great online marketplace for home sales in New Zealand.