On 1 April 2015 the kiwisaver HomeStart grant was introduced. This facility is similar to the kiwisaver first home deposit subsidy which is currently available but with some important improvements:
1. Increased price limits!
You can now apply for the HomeStart grant when buying properties up to $500k in Wellington (previously $450k) and the cap goes up to $550k if you are buying a new home. This may seem like a small difference but it could have a big impact in our area where the difference between buying in Newlands and Johnsonville is often around $30 – 50k for a similar property.
In the northern suburbs that extra $50k could mean you can go for a house with that all important 2nd toilet or bathroom, or maybe even treat yourselves to a double garage!
Note: You can apply for the subsidy when buying a property up to $500k in a large number of other areas, including: Kapiti Coast, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Porirua. Different price limits apply in other parts of the Country.
2. Double your grant for new builds!
The grant is now up to $10k each ($20k total) when purchasing a brand new home or apartment, or buying a section on which you plan to build your first home.
Sections are extremely hard to come by in our part of town but if you keep your ear to the ground you might just get lucky, and if you are looking in areas further North (Aotea comes to mind) this could make building a much more attractive proposition.
Note: The deposit subsidy is still limited to $5k each ($10k total when buying an existing home).
It is important to be aware that you can’t use the grant money as part of your deposit when buying a house (it gets paid to your lawyer prior to settlement). Real Estate Salespeople will usually ask for a 10% deposit however you can negotiate this just like any other part of the contract when you make an offer. Make sure you put down an amount you can physically pay once your conditions are confirmed. Not many people realise that you can technically make your deposit “Nil” but owners don’t usually like that very much!
Buying a house over $500k?
Did you know – If it is still your first home (or even just a first home for one person in the relationship) you can still apply to withdraw funds from your kiwisaver account to put towards your purchase!
“Rather than the strength it takes to not lose, it’s the strength to stand back up after a loss that is sometimes more valuable.”
― Kyo Shirodaira, Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning.