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The Home Start Grant explained

There's been a lot of talk in the media recently about the "crazy" housing market, and with the increase in prices has come an increase in the funds required for a deposit.

But it's not all doom and gloom, in fact, it's just the opposite, and the news gets better for those who may have owned property before, but are now looking to start again.

The Government is coming to the rescue in the form of the Home Start Grant, which we've briefly mentioned before, but would like to address in some more detail.

The Home Start Grant used to be called the Kiwisaver First Home deposit subsidy, and is essentially an amount provided to first home buyers by the Government which doesn't need to be repaid. Similar to Kiwisaver, to apply for the Home Start Grant, you must have been contributing the minimum portion of your income to a Kiwisaver scheme for at least 3 years. 

You can then apply to receive $1,000 for each year you've been contributing to the scheme; $3,000, $4,000 or $5,000 (the maximum). If you're looking to build a brand new house you can be eligible for up to double the amount, which means that a couple contributing to Kiwisaver building a new house for under the price cap could be up for a maximum of $20K.

  1. There are a few catches;You need to be 18 years or over 
  2. Have never owned a property or received the Home Start Grant before 
  3. Earn a before tax income of $80,000 individually or $120,000 as a couple 
  4. Wish to purchase a property under the price cap for your region – this ranges from $550,000 in Auckland to $450,000 in most other cities, and $350,000 in the regions (speak to us about the price cap for your town or area) 
  5. Will have a total of a 10% deposit towards the total purchase price of the property including your Kiwisaver and the Home Start Grant

The Home Start Grant is nice and easy to apply for, and it's now all online as of June 2016. You'll need the following details to complete the application;

  • Proof of income (payslips or financials if self-employed)
  • KiwiSaver contribution statement
  • Identification (passport or driver's licence)
  • Evidence of your deposit, to meet the 10% deposit requirement

As a general rule, your application will take up to 10 working days to process, so it's a great idea to get started as soon as you've spoken to us about purchasing your first home.

More than half of our first home buyers have already benefited from receiving the Home Start Grant, and if you are willing to purchase within the price caps of your region, it's a huge help.

Talk to us if you have any questions around how this works, and we can point you in the right direction. After all, receiving some free money from the Government can never be a bad thing!

Until next time,

Claire, Adam and the My Mortgage Team


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