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    Buying a home isn’t as easy as it once was. Now, you need a lot of patience, a lot of perseverance and a big deposit.

    If you’ve been saving for a deposit for years, it’s disheartening to see house prices go up by the day. But it’s not all bad news – we have great schemes in New Zealand to help people fulfil their homeownership dreams.

    Your savings in KiwiSaver can help top up your deposit, and you might also be eligible for a First Home Buyers Grant – making it that little bit easier to get your foot in the door of your first home.

    Here’s everything you need to know about using your KiwiSaver to buy your first house.

    First-home withdrawal

    You may be able to withdraw some or all of your KiwiSaver funds, to help towards your new home. Here’s how it works.

    All about eligibility

    To be eligible, you mustn’t have ever owned a home or land, or made a first-home withdrawal. The home you want to buy needs to be in New Zealand, and you must prove you intend to live there – whether it’s a home or land. You need to have been a KiwiSaver member for at least three years before you can apply.

    How to apply

    To make a withdrawal, you need to contact your KiwiSaver provider (the company that manages your KiwiSaver investments.) They’ll guide you through the process, but be prepared to fill in some forms and allow up to ten days to get your hands on the money. That means you’ll need to apply well in advance of your expected settlement date.

    There are some limitations

    It’s up to you how much you’d like to use, you just need to leave at least $1000 in the account. If there are any funds that you’ve transferred from an Australian superannuation scheme or any government contributions you received while overseas, you can’t use those for your first home.

    First Home Grant

    A First Home Grant gives you up to $5000 towards a deposit on your new home (Existing property), or $10,000 if you’re buying new.

    All about eligibility

    You’ll need to have been a KiwiSaver member for more than three years and be over 18. You must also:

    • ● Not currently own any property (excluding any Māori land).
    • ● Have earned less than $95,000 (before tax) if you’re one person applying, or less than a combined income of $150,000 (before tax) if you’re applying with someone else.
    • ● Buy a property within the regional house price caps.

    How to apply

    You can apply for the grant through Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, either before you start looking for a property or once you’ve signed a sale and purchase agreement.

    There are some limitations

    How much you get depends on whether you buy an existing home or a new one.
    If you want to buy an existing home, you can get $1,000 for every year you’ve paid into the KiwiSaver scheme, up to $5,000. For new homes, you can get $2,000 for every year you’ve paid into the KiwiSaver scheme, with a limit of $10,000. With either option, you have to agree to live in the house for at least six months.

    Get your ducks in a row

    Buying your first home can be stressful, time-consuming and overwhelming. But KiwiSaver can make it that little bit easier to get your deposit together – and your foot in the door. If you’re looking to buy your first home, the best place to start is to talk to a professional – we’ll walk you through the KiwiSaver and home-buying process every step of the way.

    Wanting to buy your first home? We have over twenty-two years of experience in getting Kiwis into their first homes. Talk to us today to start your application process.

     

    **These are general guidelines and are by no means a reflection of bank or lending policies