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KiwiSaver and Kāinga Ora First Home Grant - am I eligible?



If you are looking to buy your first home, then chances are you may have heard about being able to use some of your KiwiSaver to help fund your deposit. But did you know you also may be eligible for a First Home Grant through Kāinga Ora? Let’s take a look at the difference between these two and what qualifying criteria you need.

KIWISAVER FIRST HOME WITHDRAWAL

If you have been a member of Kiwisaver for at least three years and regularly contributed during this time, you may be eligible to withdraw most of your savings (minus $1,000) to put towards your first home.

You must intend to live in the property and you can not use the funds to buy an investment property. You must also be a member of a complying fund, so it’s important to check that your KiwiSaver provider allows first home withdrawals.

If you are a previous home owner you may still be eligible to draw down on your KiwiSaver, if you are deemed to be in the same financial position as a first home buyer. You can only use your KiwiSaver to buy a home once however.

You will also need to meet the house price cap in your region as well as some other criteria which you can find out more about here.

KĀINGA ORA - FIRST HOME GRANT

First home buyers can apply for a First Home Grant, which could see them getting up to $10,000 towards their first home.

If you are looking to 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 are looking to 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.

To be eligible for a First Home Grant, you must:

  • be over 18

  • have earned less than the income caps in the last 12 months

  • not currently own any property, this does not include ownership of Māori land

  • have been contributing at least the minimum amount to KiwiSaver (or complying fund or exempt employer scheme) for 3 years or more

  • purchase a property that is within the regional house price caps

  • agree to live in your new house for at least 6 months.

In the 12 months before you apply, you must have earned:

  • $95,000 or less before tax for a single buyer

  • $150,000 or less before tax for 2 or more buyers.

You must also purchase within the current house price caps and meet some other additional criteria.

Using both the KiwiSaver First Home Withdrawal and the Kāinga Ora First Home Grant are both great ways to add to your deposit. For further advice and assistance on working out if you are eligible, please get in touch with the Better Choice team.

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