The First Home Buyer’s Guide to the First Home Grant

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The First Home Grant is a grant available to select first home buyers who are purchasing certain kinds of property. 

If you fit the bill, you could get up to $10,000 towards a deposit – each. So if you’re buying as a couple, you could get up to $20,000! Here’s what you need to know:

Who can get the First Home Grant?

To qualify for the First Home Grant, you must:

  • Be over 18.
  • Have contributed the minimum 3% to your KiwiSaver for at least 3 years. These don’t have to be consecutive.
  • Earn less than $85,000 for a single buyer, or below $135,000 jointly for two buyers.
  • Be purchasing a home below the price caps. This varies by region – new Auckland homes can be up to $650,000, while other parts of New Zealand can only be up to $500,000. If you’re buying an established home, the price cap is slightly lower.
  • Not have received the First Home Grant or the HomeStart grant before.
  • Be buying your first home.

For more detail, head over to the Kāinga Ora site to check your eligibility.

If you’re a previous home owner and you’re disappointed by that last requirement, there are still options for you if your ‘realisable assets’ are under a certain threshold. Kāinga Ora has more detail.

How much can you get through the First Home Grant?

The amount you can get from the First Home Grant depends on three things:

  1. Whether you’re buying with someone else. Each person is eligible for their own grant, as long as they qualify for the First Home Grant individually.
  2. Whether you’re buying a new or established home. If you’re building or buying a new home, you’ll get double the amount you’d get for an established home.
  3. How long you’ve been contributing to your KiwiSaver. Each year you’ve been contributing to your KiwiSaver adds $1,000 to your total for an established home, or $2,000 for a new build. This counts for up to 5 years and a minimum of 3 years.

Examples

Mick is buying an established home by himself. He’s been contributing to his KiwiSaver for 3 years. He qualifies for $3,000 through the First Home Grant.

Jen and Sarah are buying an off-the-plan property together. Both of them have been contributing to their KiwiSaver’s for 5 years. Each of them qualifies for $10,000 each, bringing them a total of $20,000.

How do you get the First Home Grant?

You can apply for the First Home Grant either before or after you start your search for a property. It’s usually a good idea to get pre-approval so you know exactly how much you’re working with as a deposit. You can apply after you’ve had an offer accepted on your new home, but you must get it within 4 weeks before the day of settlement.

The actual application itself requires proof of income, photo identification, a sale and purchase agreement and evidence of a deposit (after you’ve found a house).

One last trick

The First Home Grant is great, but did you know you can combine it with the First Home Loan too? In some cases, you can get the deposit from the Grant and use it for the loan without having to contribute any of your own cash! Effectively a 0% deposit, how good is that?

For more tips and tricks on getting into your first home and kicking off your wealth-building journey, get in touch with the expert team at Money Empire today.

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