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Mortgage requirements part 4: Tapping into the HomeStart grant

Saving up for a deposit on a house is no walk in the park. Luckily, the New Zealand government offers a few different schemes designed to make things a little easier for property newbies, with the HomeStart grant being one of the most valuable.

What does the HomeStart grant provide?

The HomeStart Grant is a KiwiSaver feature that provides eligible first home buyers with a sizable cash injection (paid to your solicitor).

If you’re buying an existing or older home, you can receive $1,000 for each year you’ve contributed to KiwiSaver account. There’s a minimum grant of $3,000 and a maximum grant of $5,000.

If you’re purchasing a new home, a property bought off the plans or a block of land to build a new house on, the HomeStart grant is effectively doubled. This means you get $2,000 for each year of contributions to your KiwiSaver account, with a minimum grant of $6,000 and a maximum grant of $10,000.

Compare your KiwiSaver fund with others to ensure your KiwiSaver fund is right for you.

Am I eligible for the HomeStart grant?

You may be entitled to a HomeStart grant if:

  • You do not currently own property or land.
  • You have never received a HomeStart grant or KiwiSaver deposit subsidy in the past.
  • You have been contributing to your KiwiSaver account for at least three years.
  • Your pre tax household income is less than $85,000 for one person, or less than $130,000 for two or more people.
  • You have a deposit of at least 10 percent of the property purchase price (including the HomeStart grant and KiwiSaver first home withdrawal funds).
  • You are going to live in the house for a minimum of six months.
  • The property costs less than the house price caps ($600,000 for Auckland; $500,000 for most other urban centres; $400,000 for everywhere else).

Check the official site for further eligibility criteria.

Need more help with the cost of buying a home? Save big in the long term by using our nifty calculator to get the best mortgage interest rates in New Zealand.

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