Six Tips You Should Know Before Buying Your First Home

18 June 2020

  1. Obtain written pre-approval of your loan from the bank

    You can then confidently make an offer on the property you want, knowing how high your offer can be. Check if there are conditions attached to the lending and, if so, whether you can easily satisfy those conditions – often the bank will require a satisfactory valuation or builder’s report.

  2. Obtain pre-approval for your KiwiSaver withdrawal
  3. Contact your KiwiSaver Provider and ask for an Eligibility Letter and an application form to withdraw your KiwiSaver funds. The Eligibility Letter will state that you are eligible to withdraw the funds (subject to meeting the criteria) and give you an approximate amount which you are able to withdraw. Complete the application form as thoroughly as possible. There will be a section for your solicitor/ legal executive to complete in your presence. Let your solicitor/legal executive know whether you need these funds to pay the deposit on your new home.

  4. Check out your eligibility and obtain pre-approval for a First Home Grant
  5. You can do this online. You will need to upload proof of income, a KiwiSaver contribution statement, photo ID and a copy of your recent pay slip. Pre-approval substantially shortens the length of time required to obtain your First Home Grant. Please note these funds cannot be used for payment of the deposit on the property, but will be paid on settlement. For more information check out

  6. Be aware of additional costs
  7. Some potential costs which you will need to factor into your budget include a builder’s report, LIM report, meth testing and any other specialist reports required by you or the bank. Your solicitor’s costs will need to be paid prior to settlement. Moving forward you will need to allow for insurance and rates payments.

  8. Check the chattels listed before you sign the agreement
  9. Are all the chattels which you expected to be included in the purchase listed in the chattels Schedules? Are the chattels in reasonable working order, where relevant, and in an acceptable condition? If not, talk to your solicitor or legal executive about changes to the agreement.

    Talk to your solicitor or legal executive

    BEFORE you sign anything. They are trained to read an agreement and spot anything unusual, keeping your best interests in mind. Where any negotiation is necessary they can assist in helping you rectify any issues. Buying your first home can be extremely daunting and confusing, but your legal adviser is there to assist you through the process, helping to make it the most exciting investment you will ever make.

Carla Rule is part of our Private Client team at Norris Ward McKinnon.

Private Client Team