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Tips for buying your first home

Recent changes to KiwiSaver rules mean you could be closer to buying your first home

Recent changes to KiwiSaver rules mean you could be closer to buying your first home

For many of us, home ownership is the ultimate Kiwi dream – but making that dream a reality can be easier said than done!

Luckily, recent changes to KiwiSaver rules mean more Kiwis could be one step closer to buying their first home.

There are two features you need to know about – the Kiwisaver First Home withdrawal and the KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant.

From 1 April, you are allowed to take out the entire balance in your KiwiSaver account, except the $1,000 kick-start amount gifted to you when you first joined KiwiSaver.

This includes the member tax credits that you have been receiving from the Government each year.  For those of you who have been contributing to KiwiSaver, the Government contributes into your account 50 cents for every dollar you contribute, up to a maximum of $521 a year.

Also, previously you could use the withdrawal only for the ‘settlement’ of the purchase of the property. From 1 June, you can use this amount towards the ‘deposit’ for your purchase as well.

Under the HomeStart Grant, you’re also entitled to receive double the amount towards a deposit for your first home, if it’s a newly built home. You could be eligible for up to $10,000 as an individual and up to $20,000 as a couple.

Additionally, it raises the house price caps to higher and more realistic levels, making a first home purchase much more affordable now.  Of course, all this applies to purchase of properties in New Zealand.

Make the most of your KiwiSaver account – use SavvyKiwi for help with picking a considered choice of funds, keeping track of your fund or switching to another fund, when you need to.  Visit www.savvykiwi.co.nz to find out more.

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