Slotting money into a bank account is the usual way to save but there are other ways to pull a deposit together. You may be able to withdraw some or all your KiwiSaver savings to put towards buying your first home. Parents may also be willing to act as guarantors or “Gift”. While some may feel uncomfortable, “Gifting “is becoming a lot more common.

If Gifting is not an option, then parents / relatives can cross secure properties to utilise equity in existing properties as deposit; although this is a bit more complex than “gift”. It’s best to talk to your adviser and explain the differences.


Banks prefer that you have no debt when applying for a mortgage, with student loans being a standard exception. Most people would be wise to take steps to get rid of hire purchases or personal loans. And once you’ve got the mortgage, say no to easy credit as this will make life hard.


New home buyers need to be able to act quickly and decisively when the right house comes along. Getting a mortgage pre-approval beforehand helps you do this.

The journey to first-home ownership can be stressful – especially if you are planning to go it alone. Get a team of experts around you such as a mortgage broker, lawyer, property inspector, property valuer and insurance broker. Their knowledge and advice will make the process simpler.

How fast is it to get finance?

It normally takes less than three days to arrange finance, but it pays to get organised ahead of time. The banks can be a bit slow at times, especially if the mortgage is over 80% of the property’s value. So, if you are borrowing over 80%, allow for 5-7 working days to get an approval.

The earlier you talk to us and get things rolling the easier it’ll be for all.


Just because you get a mortgage pre-approval for a certain amount, doesn’t mean you have to use all of it. Interest rates may be low now, but they will increase again in the future. The more you borrow, the more it will hurt when rates go up, so know your limits.


Your first home will probably not be your dream home. Adjust your expectations, think about the features that are important to you, then focus on finding a house that ticks 75 per cent of the boxes.


Every first-home buyer wants to make sure they’re buying a house that represents good value for money. The only way to do this is to view lots of properties in a short space of time. It can be hard work but well worth it. Things you need to consider:

  • How you want to live and how long you’re planning to stay.
  • Do you want to be close to friends and fun places to eat out?
  • When it comes to commuting, how far is too far?
  • If you have kids or are planning them, are the schools and community to your liking? Whatever you decide, there are a few more things to consider: Location, land and community. It is true that it’s better to buy the worst house in a good street – and it’s not just because the value of your house will go up. You may not realise just how much impact your community can have on you – horrible neighbours can make life hell.
  • Do your research. Talk to neighbours, run Google searches on the house, street and area, check at night for street lighting and noise.


An offer that is “conditional” gives you the chance to check things out before committing to purchasing a house. Two common conditions are the purchaser secures suitable finance and a builder’s report. Ten working days should be enough time to sort the finances and get a property inspection done.


Once you’ve got into your first home it’s time to start thinking about how to pay off your mortgage faster. Paying off a little bit extra each week is worth the effort. Set yourself a weekly budget, plan your spending and stick to it. With a budget, financial freedom is yours for the taking.

The thing to remember is that interest compounds. Small increases in your regular repayments will have a massive impact on your interest costs in the long run.

  • Regularly paying a bit extra makes a massive difference
  • Having the right structure and rates pays big dividends in the long-run
  • When you have a mortgage of hundreds of thousands of dollars, a fraction of a percent change in interest or repayment rates can save you a packet.


Once you’ve got the house, the only sensible thing left to do is to insure yourself. How would you pay the mortgage if your income dried up? How would you rebuild the house if a fire destroyed it? Insurance, that’s how. Get some.


When it comes to getting the best deal that’s going to work for you, it’s also not all about the interest rate. It’s about your long – term plan. How we’ll structure your mortgage will depend on the lifestyle you want to lead.

It’s not the rate that you pay, but the rate you pay it off that will make the biggest difference to reducing your mortgage. You can’t control the interest rates available, but you can control the structure of your home loan and the amount you repay off your loan.

Maybe you want to pay that home loan off as fast as possible. You might be starting a family or buying a Ferrari in the next few years and the structure of your mortgage needs to reflect that. Our advisers will recommend a bank and home loan that works to your advantage and not the other way around.


Break fees can occur if you need to make changes to your fixed rate home loan like repaying your loan early or breaking your fixed term to switch to a lower interest rate.

This is because you are breaking a legal contract between you and the bank. The bank incurs a real cost as a result, which is then passed on to you.

The only way to be certain you won’t have to pay break fees is to make sure you don’t break your fixed term early. So, before you fix for any period, ask yourself if you’re planning on selling in that timeframe, and to what extent you will feel regret if interest rates were to drop and you were stuck on a higher rate?

There are ways to set up your mortgage to take advantage of the certainty of fixed terms but also retaining the flexibility of floating rates. Talk to one of our advisers to help get the perfect mortgage structure for your situation.