First-home hopefuls can turn their dreams into reality if they make the most of the help available, even in a buoyant market like Kapiti.
Last year more than 13,000 people used the KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant to buy a house, with deposits using the scheme topping $500 million. The Government also increased the income and house price limits in the scheme to help tip the market in favour of first-home buyers and improve home ownership rates.
This is encouraging for buyers who may feel like they’re being shut out of the market by climbing prices. The news gets even better when you consider that a family, on an average income and their only savings in Kiwisaver, could own a home within five years with the support of HomeStart and Welcome Home Loans.
The big banks and lenders normally require a 20% deposit or ration out a limited supply of high LVR loans, but buyers using a Welcome Home Loan only need 10%.
The numbers speak for themselves – buyers purchasing a new build home may be able to get $2000 a year for each year they’ve been in KiwiSaver, for a maximum of 5 years, or $10,000. Existing homes qualify for $1,000 for each year you’ve contributed. If you’re single you could access between $3,000 to $10,000, or if you’re a couple between $10,000 to $20,000.
There are some criteria that buyers need to be aware of:
- Single buyers have an income cap of $85,000 in the last 12 months, for two or more buyers it’s $130,000,
- A minimum 10% deposit is required, and
- The house you’re buying must be under Kapiti’s regional house cap of $500,000 for existing houses, or $550,000 for new builds.
Once you meet the criteria there is no restriction on the money available to you, up to the regional cap.
We work closely with a few major banks that offer the Welcome Home Loans, and know and understand how they assess applications before they go to Housing New Zealand for approval. Don’t be afraid to take the first step – if you have KiwiSaver, a house to call home may not be as far away as you thought.
Contact us anytime for free advice.