Making your first step onto the property ladder isn’t easy, but there are plenty of ways to make your first step faster.
One of the best ways in New Zealand are grants and other forms of financial assistance to help the first home buyer. These different forms of financial assistance can be used together to provide you with even more financial support – making the first step onto the ladder faster.
There are four forms of financial assistance that are currently available:
Each of these tools have their own set of criteria and are administered by different parties, so lets jump in and take a look at them…
KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant
The KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant is the more useful of the two Kiwisaver grants for the majority of people. This grant is based on how long you have been a contributing member to KiwiSaver and is administered by Housing New Zealand.
If you have been contributing for 3 years you could be eligible for $3,000 assistance. This increases to $4,000 for 4 years and $5,000 for 5 years. This figure doubles if you are looking at building a new house, so for 3 years you could be eligible for $6,000 with the maximum being $10,000 for 5 years.
A benefit of this grant is you could be entitled to even more assistance, if you are purchasing a first home with someone else. This assistance follows the same formula as above and is capped at $10,000 for existing homes and $20,000 for new homes if there are two of you.
KiwiSaver First-home Withdrawal
Another form of financial assistance that ties in with the KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant is the KiwiSaver Withdrawal.
This allows you to make a one off withdrawal from your KiwiSaver account, for the use of a deposit for your first home.
The KiwiSaver First-home Withdrawal is administered by your KiwiSaver Scheme provider and is one of the easiest ways to gain financial assistance when buying a first home.
A bonus of this grant is that it has the least amount of criteria to fulfil, compared to the other three. Because of this, it is highly recommended that if you are a KiwiSaver member you should look into your eligibility for this grant.
Welcome Home Loan
The Welcome Home Loan is another way potential first home buyers can acquire the home they desire. The Welcome Home Loan is setup to give people an opportunity to buy a first home who struggle to save a deposit but can make the regular repayments.
The Welcome Home Loan allows you to put a 10% deposit down, instead of the standard 20%. Trying to save a 20% deposit is an issue for a lot of first home buyers, so this scheme is great to help you get a step onto the property ladder.
The lenders that offer Welcome Home Loans are Westpac, TSB Bank, KiwiBank, the Co-operative bank, SBS Bank, Heartland, NZCU Baywide, Nelson Building Society and NZCU Employees. Along with meeting the criteria for a Welcome Home loan you will need to meet the lenders specific criteria.
The FirstHome Grant can provide a lot of financial support, as the amount is 10% of the purchase price of the property, capped at $20,000. The FirstHome grant is administered by Housing New Zealand.
The issue with this particular grant is that it may not apply to a lot of first home buyers. This is due to the fact that only selected housing New Zealand properties can be purchased with this grant.
This grant can be especially helpful for people who live in a state house and want to purchase the house they currently live in. Unfortunately the grant is not available in high demand state housing areas such as Auckland City, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton and Tauranga.
There are additional criteria relating to all these forms of financial assistance, which needs to be met for you to be eligible.
The beauty of these forms of financial assistance is that if you are eligible, you can use more than one. This can then be combined with the savings you currently have for a deposit on you first home.
I hope you can now make the most out of first home buyer grants. If you have any questions or tips, please feel free to share in the comments – I’d love to hear from you and join the conversation!