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First Home Buyers

Buying Your Fist Home

Buying your first home takes careful planning and, for most people, serious budgeting! Our tips for first home buyers will help you plan for the total cost of buying a home, including your mortgage. Some help may be available from the Government and KiwiSaver, too.

Buying your first home takes careful planning and, for most people, serious budgeting! Our tips for first home buyers will help you plan for the total cost of buying a home, including your mortgage. Some help may be available from the Government and KiwiSaver, too.

Choosing what and where to buy

Your first home may not be your dream home, but it could be an affordable first step on the property ladder. Sometimes the worst house in the best street is the way to go – particularly if you are good at DIY or have family or contacts you can call on. Real estate websites like ours are a good place to find out how much properties are worth in different areas.

If you want to buy an apartment or townhouse, check whether your bank will lend on these types of properties and how much deposit you will require.

If you’re buying a property as an investment as well as a place to live, it’s important to think about re-sale or rental potential. Here at Harcourts Paremata we have rental appraisals available on each property we list, so ask us for this information to help with your search.

Consider things like:

  • Is the house close to public transport routes?
  • Are there shops and schools within walking distance?
  • Does the suburb have a strong rental market?


Getting a mortgage

Your first mortgage, or home loan, will probably be the biggest financial commitment you’ll ever make.

You’ll probably look at dozens of places before you find the home you want to buy. It’s a good idea to be just as careful when choosing your mortgage.

There are many types of mortgages, each with its own interest rate, fees and degree of flexibility. All these things affect how much the loan costs you and when it will be paid off.

You can shop around for a mortgage yourself, or use the free services of a mortgage broker.

We can put you in touch with a great Mortgage Broker who will do all the leg-work for you and get the best mortgage for you, and best of all, the service is FREE!

The service is free because Brokers don’t work for the banks, but rather put the banks in competition for your loan and in turn you often get a better rate than advertised by the banks. They are then paid by the bank for bring new lending to the business.

Builders' reports and LIMs

A builder’s report can identify any possible problems with the house you’re looking at buying. An experienced builder will find things that the untrained eye will miss, and may save you thousands.
Here is a list of some in the Palmerston North area to consider, ask for references as well

A Land Information Memorandum (LIM ) identifies any issues with the land the house is built on. It will identify issues like drainage and landslip risks. You can order a LIM through your local council, or your lawyer will do it for you.

Many properties we bring to the market have a LIM and Building inspection provided by the owner, particularly with auctions, so ask us about this first before spending your own money on one. That said you can of course always get your own building report undertaken and do any other due diligence as you see fit.

Where to go for help

Housing New Zealand website: Buying a home with KiwiSaver
Welcome Home Loan website: Low-deposit home loans
Contact your KiwiSaver provider to discuss the KiwiSaver first home savings withdrawal.

Register with us and receive our new property listings each week and have the opportunity to see any Harcourts property listing in our area in private, with us.
Or ask to be put in touch with a mortgage broker.

Government help
With a 10% deposit, you may be able to borrow enough to buy a house under the government’s Welcome Home Loan Scheme.

If you’re a KiwiSaver member and have been contributing to a scheme for at least three years, you may be eligible for a first home deposit subsidy. The subsidy is $1,000 for each year you've contributed to KiwiSaver, up to a maximum of $5,000. If you're borrowing with someone else, you can combine your subsidies, which means you could have up to $10,000 if you’ve both been part of KiwiSaver for five years. You can use the subsidy if you are buying a house or even land to build a home on. There are other eligibility criteria to meet, as well as regional house price caps.

You may also be able to withdraw some of the money in your KiwiSaver account to help buy your first home. This is called a KiwiSaver savings withdrawal.

Find out more about the KiwiSaver deposit subsidy and the KiwiSaver savings withdrawal on the Housing New Zealand website.

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