We have put together our top five tips below to get you started. The prospect of buying your first home can be daunting. The best advice is to find a helpful property lawyer who can explain the process and assist you along the way.
1. Know what you can afford
Regardless of whether you are purchasing privately, at auction or via a real estate agent, always arrange your finance before you start looking for a property, that way when you see a property you like you are ready to make an offer as soon as you can. Talk to your existing bank or if you want to shop around for the best deal, interest rates and cash contributions contact a mortgage broker, or talk to us we will direct you to a right place.
2. Get your lawyer to check the agreement before you sign
Your lawyer will ensure that the specific terms and conditions you require are in the agreement and will act in your best interests. Never sign an agreement without first having it reviewed by your lawyer. Remember that real estate agents act for the vendor not for the purchaser.
3. Check if you are eligible for a KiwiSaver First Home Withdrawal and / or a Housing NZ First Home Grant
a. Kiwisaver Withdrawal
If you have been contributing to Kiwisaver for more than three years, and you have not purchased a first home already, you may qualify to withdraw funds from your KiwiSaver account (this does not include the Government kick-start).
-Previously owned property/land, but no longer do so, and want to apply for a KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal.
If you are a previous homeowner, you will still need to apply through your scheme provider; however, Kāinga Ora (Housing New Zealand) will initially need to determine whether you are a qualifying person. If you are deemed to be in the same financial position as a first home buyer, the letter produced by Kāinga Ora (housing New Zealand) will need to be forwarded to your KiwiSaver scheme provider, to assist with your application to withdraw your KiwiSaver contributions.
b. Kiwisaver First Home Grant
If you are within income and house price cap limits for your area, you may also qualify for a Kiwisaver First Home Grant payment from Housing New Zealand. talk to us for more details.
4. Carry out due diligence
Make sure you understand the area you are looking to purchase in – will the area provide good re-sale opportunities in the future?
Always obtain a building report and a meth test. The level of meth contamination, particularly for lower value properties that may have been rented out is rising.
Always obtain a LIM report to ensure the property has been built in accordance with relevant building permits and consents.
5. Utilise your lawyer
If you are unsure about anything to do with the purchase talk to us. We are in the market and well placed to provide you with legal and practical advice along the way.