Why Work With a Mortgage Adviser - Tap into your KiwiSaver and Access Homestart Grants.
Saving a deposit for a home has never been harder, however there is some assistance available in some scenarios that can help.
If you are an employee you may already be enrolled and contributing to KiwiSaver.
KiwiSaver is a voluntary savings scheme to help Kiwis save for retirement. The initiative is designed to encourage you to create and maintain a consistent pattern of savings.
The savings are a combination of; contributions that are made to your account, investment returns (both plus and minus), minus withdrawals and fees and taxes.
For people who are employed, the contributions made to KiwiSaver will be done through their employer and come out of their wages. However, for those who are self-employed or unemployed, how much is contributed can be negotiated with their KiwiSaver provider.
The government also makes a contribution each year, to help Kiwi’s towards their savings targets.
When can I access the funds?
For most people, the funds in your KiwiSaver will be accessible once you are eligible for superannuation or if you’ve been a member for at least five years, depending on your age.
However If you’re buying your first home, you may be able to access the funds earlier provided you meet a specific criteria.
You may also apply for KiwiSaver if you have owned a home previously as long as your existing realisable assets are not greater than 20% to the value of the new home you intend to purchase and do not currently own property or land.
Your Loan Market mortgage adviser will be able to tell you what they are and assist you through the process of accessing your KiwiSaver funds.
If you are a first home buyer you may also be eligible for the government's HomeStart Grant. The grant has quite strict criteria and unfortunately due to the rapid acceleration of housing values in Queenstown has become very hard to apply for here.
In order to qualify for the HomeStart Grant you need to meet the following criteria:
- Be 18 years or over.
- Currently do not own a home or land.
- Have not received the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant or its predecessor the KiwiSaver deposit subsidy before.
- A member of a KiwiSaver scheme, complying fund or exempt employer scheme (contact your scheme provider to check your scheme is eligible).
- Have contributed at least the minimum allowable percentage of total income to a KiwiSaver scheme, complying fund or exempt employer scheme for at least three years. (From 1 April 2013 the minimum contribution was increased to 3 percent of your income, 3 percent of the minimum wage for non-earners or 3 percent of your yearly benefit for beneficiaries. From 1 July 2007 to 31 March 2009 the minimum contribution was 4 percent, and from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2013 it was reduced to 2 percent.)
- Be sole buyer and have earned $85,000 or less (before tax) in the last 12 months.
- Be two or more buyers who have earned a combined income of $130,000 or less (before tax) in the last 12 months.
- Have a deposit that is 10 percent or more of the purchase price. (The 10 percent deposit includes the money you can withdraw through the KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal feature, the HomeStart grant amount you or the other purchasers may be eligible for and any other funds, such as savings, fixed and term deposits or funds already paid to a real estate agent or solicitor. The deposit can also be gifted by a relative with a gifting declaration.) Note that the deposit cannot be borrowed or secured against other property, equity gifts, credits on settlement or family guarantees in order to qualify.
- Be buying one of the following types of property and land arrangements:
- fee simple
- stratum estate (freehold and leasehold)
- cross-lease (freehold and leasehold)
- Maori land
- Or be purchasing an equal share in a property proportionate to the number of intended property owners.