Evening everyone, my name is Bradie Claydon and I’m from Gallie Miles, Solicitors in Te Awamutu. I work in the Property Team and help look after first home buyers together with my colleagues Rachael Tyler and Vicki Cook.
Tonight I would like to talk about the top three things you need to do when you are buying your first home and applying for your Kiwisaver & Homestart grants.
Buying your first home can be scary for first home owners, so our job is to make you feel as relaxed as possible and to enjoy this exciting time.
My first piece of advice would be to come and meet us ! With a new law coming into effect on 1st July last year (Anti-Money Laundering Act), we now need to meet you and get a copy of your Drivers License and latest Utility Bill before we can open a file. So it is a great idea to come in and introduce yourself to one of the team so we can get the paperwork sorted and out of the way.
Once this has been done, we can get down to the legal business. If there is one piece of advice I would like you to take home from tonight’s seminar, it would be to not sign any agreement without us looking over it first. This involves just mentioning to your agent, that you would like the agreement emailed to us to inspect before you sign.
Lastly, make sure you have all your pre-approvals in place for your purchase. For instance, have your pre-approval for finance, kiwisaver and first home subsidy all pre-approved as soon as you can.
We will then guide you through the whole process, from looking at the agreement and discussing with you, to suggesting any changes, checking any reports for you and making sure everything runs smoothly through to settlement.
Now I’d like to talk about the Kiwisaver first-home withdrawal:
First of all check you are eligible. You must meet all the following criteria:
- You have been a Kiwisaver member for three years or more;
- You have never made a withdrawal from a Kiwisaver scheme to purchase a home before;
- The property is intended to be your main home;
- The property is in New Zealand;
- You have never owned a house or land before (there are limited exceptions which apply).
Make sure you are named as the Purchaser on the Sale and Purchase agreement and it is signed by you (not an agent). Make sure you allow at least 10 working days on the Agreement for finance to give you sufficient time to make application to your KiwiSaver;
Contact your KiwiSaver scheme and get the Application form. It is best to contact your Solicitor at this time to ensure that this form is completed and signed correctly and the required documents are attached with the Application.
If you’re eligible you can withdraw all of your own contributions, all of your employer’s contributions and all of the Government’s member tax credit contributions, plus investment returns. You are unable to withdraw the $1,000.00 Government kick start payment.
As well as being able to withdraw money from your KiwiSaver scheme account towards the purchase of your first home, you could also be eligible for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant.
First of all check you are eligible as follows:
- You are 18 years or over;
- You do not own a home or land;
- You have not received the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant before;
- You are a member of a KiwiSaver scheme;
- You have contributed at least the minimum allowable percentage of your total income to a KiwiSaver Scheme for at least 3 years (eg. You must have made a minimum of 36 payments).
- You are the sole buyer and have earned $85,000 or less before tax in the last 12 months;
- Or you and another buyer have earned a combined income of $130,000.00 or less before tax in the last 12 months.
- You have a deposit of 10% or more of the purchase price (this includes the money you can withdraw through the KiwiSaver, the HomeStart Grant, savings, or a deposit gifted by a relative).
- The purchase price of the property is within the regional house price caps (eg. Hamilton is $500,000 for existing properties or $550,000 for new properties).
You can apply for the HomeStart grant online and it is clearly set out the information that you will need to complete your application.
The Kiwisaver HomeStart grant provides eligible first-home buyers with a grant of up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 where there are two more eligible buyers to put towards the purchaser of an existing/older home.
In addition, the Kiwisaver HomeStart grant also provides eligible first-home buyers with a grant of up to $10,000 for individuals and up to $20,000 where there are two or more eligible buyers to help with the costs of purchasing a brand new home.
So for summary remember the top three things, come in and visit us with your photo id and proof of address, have all your pre-approvals in place and get the agent to send the agreement through to us before you sign.