What if you have saved up enough to buy a house without even realising it?
Kiwisaver is already proving to be an incredible tool for young people who are otherwise struggling to break into the property market and buy their first home. Those who don’t earn the big bucks may often find the idea of saving to buy a house seems like an unattainable pie-in-the-sky kind of thought; but that’s not the case! Home ownership could be a much more realistic goal than you think.
How long have you been contributing towards Kiwisaver? Lots of Kiwis, both young and old, are withdrawing their Kiwisaver savings to buy their first home. In Southland alone, hundreds of those Kiwis have also qualified for the Housing New Zealand HomeStart Grant (HomeStart Grant).
The HomeStart Grant, is a grant from the Government of between $3,000.00 and $5,000.00 to buy an existing home or of between $6,000.00 and $10,000.00 to purchase a new home, a property off the plans or land to build a new home on. If you are a couple buying a property, you may both qualify for a subsidy!
Working out if you qualify to withdraw your Kiwisaver, or for the HomeStart Grant, is easy! If you have been a Kiwisaver member for at least three years, and have never owned property before and intend to live in the house, you can withdraw all contributions including member tax credits, minus the $1,000.00 kick-start from the Government.
If you have owned a home before, you may still be eligible to withdraw your Kiwisaver, but you must make an application to Housing New Zealand to be approved as a previous home owner. There are certain criteria you must meet. We can discuss these with you and help you with the application.
To qualify for the HomeStart Grant, you must:
Ø Have contributed at least the minimum percentage of your income to a KiwiSaver scheme regularly for at least three years;
Ø Have earned $85,000.00 (before tax) or less in the last 12 months if you are buying a property on your own or $130,000.00 (before tax) or less for two or more buyers;
Ø Have a deposit that is 10% or more of the purchase price (this can include both your Kiwisaver and the HomeStart Grant);
Ø Live in the property for a minimum of 6 months following settlement, or from the date the Code of Compliance Certificate is issued; and
Ø Be purchasing or building a property under a certain price cap. The price cap in Alexandra and Southland is $400,000 or $450,000 for a new home. If you intend to build the total cost of both the land and construction must be under the price cap.
Here at Emma Stanley Law we’re regarded as the Housing New Zealand and Kiwisaver experts, and we specialise in helping first home buyers. We know exactly what each application requires and can help you work out what you’re eligible for. Not only can we help you with your applications, but we can also help to ensure that when you do make an offer on your dream home, there will be no unwanted surprises.
Give us a call as soon as you’re considering buying a house. We know you’ll be happy you did. 03 218 EMMA. We can meet with you by appointment in Alexandra.