Your guide to buying your first home

More solutions for first homebuyers on their journey to property ownership

For many first homebuyers the process of buying a property is daunting – but with expert help, it can be exciting and enjoyable.

Often the key to a smoother experience is simply knowing where to start.

Here are some things to know about buying your first home.

Do your property research

You’ll want to get an idea of where you’d like to buy, what the recent trends are in that area and what kind of property would suit your needs. Monitor the market closely and look at a range of properties to gain a solid understanding of what is good value and why.

Know your budget

Making a budget is an important part of the buying process. Understanding how much you can borrow and what your repayments would be can help you plan for success. Remember, you’ll also need to consider how much money you need for everyday living expenses and other financial commitments – not just your home loan repayments.

Understand your borrowing power

There’s a lot of numbers to crunch when buying your first home, such as working out your borrowing power. Sometimes known as ‘borrower power’, borrowing power is the term used to describe how much you can borrow based on your financial situation. Different lenders will have their own formulas for calculating borrowing power, but there are useful online calculators which can estimate how much you might be able to borrow.

Consider your KiwiSaver

If you’ve been contributing to KiwiSaver for more than three years, you may be able to use some of the money towards buying your first home. If you’re eligible, you may be able to withdraw some (or all) of your KiwiSaver member contributions, employer contributions, returns on investments received or member tax credits.

Explore small deposit options

Want to realise your home ownership dream but don’t have a huge deposit? There are several government grants you can apply for to help boost your deposit size, such as the First Home Loan available through Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities. Keep in mind that not everyone is eligible – so be sure to talk to your mortgage adviser.