Where are you in your home buying journey?

Click on the stages below to plan your pathway to home ownership.
  • Phase 01 DREAMING


    You’re probably keen to buy a home for several reasons. You might be sick of paying someone else’s mortgage, you might want to put down roots so you don’t have to move for a while, or you might be looking for a safe and secure home for yourself or your whanau. Whatever your reason, here are some tips that will help you get started on your journey:

    1. The Sorted website is a great resource to get yourself prepared for home ownership. The site has information on budgeting, saving, investing and KiwiSaver, among other helpful resources.
    2. The Settled website has plenty of information around buying a home and has a special area dedicated to first home buyers. It’s a great resource when you’re just starting your home buying journey.
    3. The Real Estate NZ, Trade Me and One Roof websites are good places to start if you’re in the dream phase. You can view properties in the neighbourhoods you would like to live in. You can also get a good idea of what you can and cannot afford.
    4. Friends and family can also be really helpful sources of information in your home buying journey, particularly in this early stage. Remember though that not everyone is an expert and you can be given incorrect information or be put off buying a home all together by others. Double check any information provided to you and speak to experts like a mortgage broker, real estate agent or the bank for professional advice.
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    You’ve dreamed of buying a home for some time. You’ve thought about it, talked it over with friends and family, and may have received some professional advice about it. Your conclusion is that buying could be possible. Now you’re in investigation mode. You want to know what you can buy, where you can buy it and for what price.

    Here are some links and information that will help you in this phase.

    1. Your Bank or Mortgage Broker – At this stage you will need to organise a meeting with your bank to check your savings and your ability to get a mortgage. The bank will let you know fairly quickly what you can afford and what they might be willing to lend you. If you would prefer not to work with your bank, you can seek the services of a professional mortgage broker who can negotiate with lenders on your behalf.
    2. Financial help - Did you know that Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities provides schemes and grants to help you own a home? The Kāinga Ora website has a home ownership tool which can help you find out the ways that you could be helped into your first home. It is a great resource if you’re thinking about buying. It provides information around how the New Zealand Government can support you on your home ownership journey. It’s worth checking out in this phase to see if you might be eligible for help to buy your home. Please see below for some more information on the loans and grants that you could be eligible for.
      1. The First Home Grant where first-time home buyers or previous home owners who have been making regular KiwiSaver contributions for at least three years, could be eligible for a First Home Grant of up to $10,000. You apply for the grant through Kāinga Ora. You can even get pre-approval (or approval) directly on the Kāinga Ora website
      2. The First Home Loan - a special loan underwritten by Kāinga Ora which requires just a 5% deposit for a home.
      3. First Home Partner is a shared ownership scheme that has helped hundreds of aspiring first-home buyers purchase a home since October 2021. Due to recent unprecedented demand, this scheme is now fully subscribed and therefore we will not be accepting any new applications while we work through our commitments to those already in the scheme. We will shortly be contacting current applicants to confirm the status of their application. 

    3. KiwisaverIf you’re a KiwiSaver, you may be able to access the KiwiSaver first home withdrawal. This is a government scheme whereby you can withdraw all of your KiwiSaver savings (except $1,000) to put towards buying your first home.
    4. Budgeting and Financial Advisors - If getting mortgage approval is a challenge, it might pay to speak to a budget or financial advisor. There are budgeting providers on the North Shore. The Money Talks website gives a list of recommended budget providers in the area so start there first to get professional advice.
    5. KiwiBuild is a programme that increases the supply of more affordable housing options and gives more New Zealanders the opportunity to buy their own home. If you’re eligible, KiwiBuild offers a great choice of homes that could be ideal for you. You can learn more about how KiwiBuild works, check if you are eligible and view available KiwiBuild homes on the website.
    6. The Real Estate NZ, Trade Me and One Roof websites are great places to thoroughly investigate properties in the areas you would like to live. If the bank has given you an indication of what they might be willing to lend you, you will be able to start building a list of homes that you might want to view.
    7. Don’t forget to speak with other people who could be helpful. Your local real estate agent, your bank and/or a mortgage broker can all provide good information at this stage in your journey.
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    You’re getting closer to knowing where you want to live and what type of property you can buy. You may have even spoken to a real estate agent and attended some open homes, and you have an indication of how much the bank is willing to lend you. You can now get fully prepared to buy. This mostly includes making pre-applications and applications for loans and for government grants and schemes that may be available to you.

    If you’re unsure of how or if the government can help you to buy a home, please check the Investigating phase above to find out more.

    For more information on what you can do to make things easier in this phase, please see below:

    1. It’s time to start preparing documents for your bank or mortgage broker. You can do this by working closely with the representatives of these companies. Get all of the required information together before you apply to avoid delays later. You’ll need things such as proof of residency, wage slips, bank statements and application forms.
    2. First Home Loan - If you are interested in the First Home Loan (where you only need to provide a 5% deposit to purchase your home) you’ll need to start the application process. Not all banks offer this loan so visit the Kāinga Ora website for a list of participating banks and to see if you are eligible.
    3. First Home Grant - This is the right time to apply for your First Home Grant or to seek pre approval for this grant. By stating this process now, you’ll find out if you’re eligible or not.
    4. KiwiSaver first home withdrawal – If you are preparing to buy, you will need to start the application process for the KiwiSaver first home withdrawal. This will enable you to access your KiwiSaver funds to help with the deposit to purchase your home (you must leave $1000 in your KiwiSaver though and there are eligibility criteria that apply).
    5. KiwiBuild - If you are interested in buying a KiwiBuild home, you will need to first check your eligibility and submit an application on the KiwiBuild website to get pre-approved as an eligible buyer. You will need your eligibility confirmed in order to a complete a purchase for a KiwiBuild home or enter a KiwiBuild ballot. You can view all the currently available KiwiBuild homes on the KiwiBuild website. Remember, you will need to have received confirmation of your KiwiBuild eligibility before you can complete the purchase on a KiwiBuild home.
    6. You may also want to start thinking about your legal representative at this time – particularly if you are applying for a grant and for the KiwiSaver first home withdrawal as these funds will need to be directed to your lawyer’s Trust account. A good place to look for a lawyer is the Law Society website which provides a list of recommended lawyers in your area.
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  • Phase 04 SEARCHING


    You have your finances, grants and schemes organised and pre-approval or you may even be fully approved. You know how much you can spend, what type of deposit you have and what type of home you can afford. You may have secured a First Home Loan and a First Home Grant and you may be using your KiwiSaver funds as part of the deposit to buy your home. If you’re looking at KiwiBuild, you may have been to some open homes and spoken to the builder or developer that is responsible for building them. This is the phase where your journey starts to get exciting.

    Here is some more information about the home search phase and where you can go for more information:

    1. Northcote website and information centre – This website is a great place for further information on what’s happening within the Northcote Development. Come in and see us at the Northcote Information Centre, too. We have all of the information you’ll need to search for a home that suits you in Northcote. We also have information on the different homes available for both affordable and market buyers including maps and plans and further information on the development as a whole. Our Information Centre is located in the Northcote town centre carpark.
    2. KiwiBuild Website – This is where you can view all currently available KiwiBuild homes. You can also subscribe to the KiwiBuild newsletter for updates as new homes are announced. When you have found a home you are interested in, the next step is to get in contact with the developer or real estate agent, and attend an open day. They’ll provide you with more information about the home and guide you through the start of the purchase process. Remember you will need to have confirmed your KiwiBuild eligibility and arranged financial pre-approval for a mortgage from a bank or other lender in order to complete your purchase of a KiwiBuild home. 
    3. The Real Estate NZ, Trade Me and One Roof websites are also an easy way to search for properties. You can get a good idea of what you can and cannot afford and the types of homes you would like to live in.
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  • Phase 05 READY TO BUY


    You’re coming to the end of the home buying journey. It’s time to finalise your home purchase and move in. Remember, now that you’re a homeowner you have new expenses to think about such as rates, insurance and your mortgage.

    Here are a few ideas on how to make the move to being a homeowner easier.

    1. Making an offer – If you’ve found a home in Northcote that you’re interested in, get in touch with the developer or real estate agent to discuss the details of how to make an offer. Remember to seek legal and financial advice during this process.
    2. KiwiBuild - If you've found a KiwiBuild home you like and want to make an offer, your lawyer and the developer or their real estate agent will guide you through the buying process. If the home is being sold by ballot, you will need to enter into the draw on the KiwiBuild website. If your name is drawn, you will have the opportunity to proceed with your purchase.
    3. Stay in touch with your lawyer and bank - Check in with your lawyer (who will be dealing with the grants and deposits that you have secured) to make sure everything is in order. Talk to your bank to confirm your mortgage has been finalised ready for settlement day.
    4. Settlement Day – This is the day your mortgage will be confirmed and you will officially take ownership of your new home. Your lawyer will handle the details of this with your bank or chosen lender. Your lawyer will also finalise the details if you are utilising a First Home Grant, First Home Loan or KiwiSaver first home withdrawal. You will need to ensure these are all approved and in place well before settlement day.
    5. House insurance - This should be sorted before moving day. It’s a requirement of the bank for your home to be insured so it’s important to have it organised. You can easily insure your home over the phone by calling any reputable house insurance company.
    6. Bills and banking - It’s a good idea to set up automatic payments (AP’s) for your insurance and rates payments (and any other house related expense payments). This spreads your costs evenly across the year and makes servicing bills easier especially if you’re new to home ownership.
    7. Once you’ve moved in - Congratulations! Enjoy your new home in the Northcote Development.



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