First Home Loan &
First Home Grant schemes
First Home Loan
Sorting out the deposit for your first property can be hard, with the general rule being to have a 20% deposit before lenders really want to work with you. There is a government programme called the First Home Loan where you only need a 5% deposit. Much more realistic for getting into your first home!
First Home Loans are only available with certain banks and other lenders, and underwritten by Housing New Zealand. This means the lenders can provide loans that they normally wouldn't be able to lend as they would be outside of the stand rules around lending.
If you are interested in a First Home Loan, get in touch with the My Mortgage team and we can help you understand more about the First Home Loans and if it might be something that works for you. There are very strict criteria and the loans are meant for the type of people who most need help getting into their first home.
Main Criteria as at Aug 2022
- Income cap - You can have a maximum yearly income of up to $95,000 (before tax) for 1 person, $150,000 or less for an individual buyer with one or more dependants; or Or a combined maximum yearly income of $150,000 (before tax) for 2 or more people.
- Minimum deposit - You will need a minimum 5% of the purchase price of the house you are wishing to buy.
- First home buyer - Or a previous home owner, in a similar financial position to a typical first home buyer.
- You must live in the home you are buying. A First Home Loan cannot be used to buy an investment or rental property.
- You cannot own any other property.
- You will need to pay a Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI) premium of 1% of the loan account. The lender may also apply a loan application fee. In most cases these fees can be built into the home loan. Talk to your participating lender to see what applies.
- You are a New Zealand citizen or permanent New Zealand resident or a resident visa holder who is ordinarily resident in New Zealand.
- While an age restriction is not part of the standard eligibility criteria for a First Home Loan, in general participating lenders will require applicants to be a minimum of 18 years of age.
Lenders My Mortgage work with who offer the First Home Loan
More about My Mortgage & buying your first home
We have a lot of experience in working with first home buyers to make sure you get the home loan you need and to be able to buy what you want. We have a lot of helpful information, videos and blogs you can find here and you can get in touch with the My Mortgage team to discuss what you are needing and get all your questions answered.
First Home Grant
If you're a first-time home buyer, or a previous home owner and you've been making regular KiwiSaver contributions for 3 - 5 years, you may be eligible for a First Home Grant of up to $10,000. You apply for the grant through Kainga Ora - Homes and Communities.
How it works
You can apply for either:
- a pre-approval before you start looking for a property to buy – this gives you certainty around eligiblity and how much you may qualify for or;
- a grant approval if you've found a property and have a signed sale and purchase agreement
If you buy an existing home
- If you buy an existing home, you can get $1,000 for each of the 3 (or more) years you've paid into the scheme. The most you can get is $5,000 for 5 or more years.
If you buy a new home or land
- If you buy a new home or land to build on, you can get $2,000 for each of the 3 (or more) years you've paid into the scheme. The most you can get is $10,000 for 5 or more years.
To be eligible for a First Home Grant, you must:
- be over 18
- have earned less than the income caps in the last 12 months
- not currently own any property or land, this does not include ownership of Māori land
- have been contributing at least the minimum amount to KiwiSaver (or complying fund or exempt employer scheme) for 3 years or more
- purchase a property that is within the regional house price caps
- agree to live in your new house for at least 6 months.
In the 12 months before you apply, you must have earned:
- $95,000 or less before tax for a individual buyer
- $150,000 or less before tax for a individual buyer with one or more dependents
- $150,000 or less before tax for 2 or more buyers, regardless of the number of dependents.
A person who has dependents has the responsibility for the part-time or full-time care of a child, children, or other dependent adults in a household who are unable to live independently. If the dependents are aged 18 or over, you will need to tell us why they are dependent on you for their ongoing care. Providing financial support alone does not meet the definition of having responsibility for the care of a dependent.