The First Home Grant is “free” money from the Government to help you buy your first home, and also to help second chance buyers who are trying to get back into their own home.
To have the best chance of maximising the First Home Grant, make sure that you are signed up to KiwiSaver and contributing the minimum amount. You need to belong to KiwiSaver for at least 3 years, contributing at least 3% of your income. If you are not working you can make voluntary contributions to make sure that you are still able to access the grant!
There are some income criteria, and home value limits. These can be viewed on the Kāinga Ora website, but remember that we are here to help you to figure it all out.
Let’s look at it a bit closer and get a handle on what it is and how you can access it when you’re buying your first home.
Something that is really great about the scheme is that if you’re buying a house with your partner or someone else, both of you can apply! Potentially you could be getting up to $5,000 each for an existing house, or twice that if you are buying a new build.
From the Kainga ora website:
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 Kāinga 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 eligibility 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.
Check if you’re eligible here
Check the property criteria here (there’s info about property caps in different areas, what to do if you’re buying land to build on, relocating an existing house, buying off the plans)
If you’re thinking about buying a house soon do make sure that you have got a handle on the application process.
First things first, go and get yourself signed up to KiwiSaver and you’re one step towards getting that free money from the Government!
The First Home Grant application needs to be done in plenty of time before settlement, so don’t get caught out at the last minute! Applying for pre-approval is recommended and it is valid for 6 months. If you have made an offer on a property and don’t have pre-approval, you will need to apply for the grant at least 4 weeks before the date of settlement.
As ever, we’re here to help – get in touch if you want to buy your first home and could do with a bit of support.