First Home Grant: A helping hand to first time home buyers 

by Dev Dhingra

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Mar 10, 2022

The skyrocketing property price in New Zealand is a matter of major concern for individuals aspiring to find their first ever nest. If you are planning for a new home and don’t have enough for deposits, then the first home grant can be a helping hand for you. This grant is a government initiative to enable people with a meagre income to purchase a home as property prices are rising at an alarming rate in New Zealand.

It’s not like any other loan; the beneficiary need not repay the grant. Grants are either directly offered by the government or by foundations, but they become a cash subsidy when given to a single individual.  

Specific criteria or parameters are considered before an individual qualifies for a grant for their first home, and the criteria take income or financial needs into consideration. 

Questions to ask before applying for a home grant

Here’s a list of three vital questions that individuals should ask themselves before applying for their first home grant. 

  1. Are you planning to buy a home for yourself or want to share it with two or more individuals?
  2. Do you have a KiwiSaver account?  
  3. Are you purchasing an already existing house or a newly built one? 

Eligibility Criteria

If you are planning to buy your first ever home with the help of a grant, then do consider the below-mentioned criteria. You can only be qualified for a home grant after fulfilling the following requirements. To eliminate any confusion, consult a mortgage broker or financial adviser. 

  • The applicant must be 18 years old or more. 
  • They should not own a property other than Māori land. 
  • The applicant is buying a property intending to spend at least six months.
  • One should make sure that the purchased property should be within regional price caps. 
  • A beneficiary must be a contributor to KiwiSaver for 3 years or more.
  • The beneficiary’s yearly income should be less than the income gap.  

Essentials of KiwiSaver contribution

Did you just recently open your KiwiSaver account? Then, you should wait at least three years to qualify for a home grant. Those who have been contributing to KiwiSaver for three years or more can abide by certain norms, do check them thoroughly.   

  • To qualify for the grant, you should contribute to KiwiSaver for 3 or more years. In case of a 6-month gap, your application might get rejected. 
  • According to the recent updates made to KiwiSaver, a contributor must make about 3% of the contribution from their total income.  
  • Contributions from a single source of income might hinder you from enjoying benefits from the first home grant.  
  • Are you unemployed? If yes, making voluntary contributions of 3% based on a 40hour week can make you eligible for this benefit. 

Property criteria for KiwiSaver

Another crucial consideration that a first-time homebuyer should follow is property requirements. You can use a home grant to buy a property that’s within the designated house price caps of your region. Property buyers need to spend six months on a property to qualify. The NZ government has enforced separate regulations for private buying and buying with other people.   

Are you applying to buy a home for yourself? Then you have to provide adequate evidence of whether or not you are paying a fair market price that can include a registered valuation. Beneficiaries with prior ownership of a house or even land cannot get a home grant; however, certain conditions are associated with it. For any detailed information, please consult a mortgage adviser.  

Required criteria for deposit

The first home grant is guaranteed to those who have a deposit of 5% of the total price of a house. The amount of money you kept as a deposit can be 

Procedure to apply for a home grant

Did you meet the required criteria? If yes, you can apply for pre-approval as it might enable you to lock your preferred property deal easily. Please login to https://kaingaora.govt.nz/home-ownership/first-home-grant/apply-for-the-first-home-grant/apply-for-full-approval-for-a-first-home-grant/ and start filling out the application form.

The details of the form need to be filled out with utter care; otherwise, a single mistake can cancel your application. Here’s the list of documents that a beneficiary should attach with the form.  

  • Agreement for sale and purchase 
  • Income certificates of one year (IRD) 
  • Evidencing 5% deposit of property price 
  • Statement to prove KiwiSaver contributor  
  • Credentials like birth, license, or passport 

Things to do to confirm a home grant

Buying a first home is anyone’s biggest aspiration, and an individual needs to proceed in a direction that leads them to their dream space. Consider the points below if you take assistance from a home grant and want to make it happen. 

  • Take help from a good mortgage broker or lawyer to review the sale and purchase agreement before signing.  
  • Consult a mortgage adviser so they can get your pre-approval faster.  
  • To get a quick pre-approval, resolve the financial issues (if any).

 Apply for a first home grant to fulfil your dream of buying a safe and secure nest. Well, before applying, check each of the eligibility criteria concerning income, KiwiSaver contribution, property, etc. To ensure a smooth application process, take help from the mortgage advisers at Fundmaster, as they can offer their expert guidance.   

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