In the past, most banks required a minimum 10% deposit to secure a home loan – but in the wake of recent changes brought in by the government, there is now an option to get a home loan with a deposit of just 5%. There are two options available:
- Your existing bank may be able to offer you a home loan with a 5% deposit as First Home Buyers, or…
- You may consider going for the First Home Loan scheme run by the Government (previously called the Welcome Home Loan), provided you are eligible under the First Home Loan scheme. There are several participating lenders under the First Home Loan Scheme. Whilst the government sets the First Home Loan eligibility criteria, each lender has their own lending criteria that must be met.
If you don’t have a 5% deposit saved up towards your first home loan, you can use two features provided by KiwiSaver. If you are a member of KiwiSaver and have been contributing regularly for at least three years, you may be eligible for a KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal and/or a First Home Grant.
- First-home withdrawal: Changes to the KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal were also introduced on 1 April 2015 that means eligible members can withdraw their KiwiSaver contributions (including tax credits). However at least $1,000 must remain in their KiwiSaver account.
- First Home Grant:The First Home Grant was introduced on 1 October 2019, replacing the KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant and before that, the KiwiSaver first-home deposit subsidy. Like those two products, the First Home Grant provides eligible first-home buyers with a grant of up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 for couples to put towards the purchase of an existing home.
In case you are buying a brand-new home, the First Home Grant can provide eligible first-home buyers with up to $10,000 for individuals and up to $20,000 for couples.
Sound good? This extra money could make a big difference towards building up your deposit and making that dream of homeownership a reality. However, it’s important to note that there are certain criteria to reach in order to be eligible. To learn more about these, click here or contact us.
It may seem like a lot of information to take on board, but a KiwiSaver First-home withdrawal and First Home Grant can be a terrific way to get yourself past the 5% deposit and make your first home journey as smooth and easy as possible.
As mortgage advisers, we can help you to navigate the eligibility criteria and manage your application to increase your chances of getting your first home loan approved. To get started, contact us any time.
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