first home couple

Financial fitness check

Buy a home

1. Have you saved a deposit?  

Yep, I'm ready to start visiting open homes

Nice work on saving a deposit, that’s the first step out of the way. But you might still need to arrange finance and consider a few other matters before you start searching for a house.


Talk to a financial adviser about what the size of your deposit means for your borrowing power and whether you can afford the repayments on the indicative total borrowing. has tools that will help you see what your mortgage repayments might be.

At these prices? Are you kidding?

There’s no getting around it - things are pretty tricky in the current housing market.

And you're not alone; a lot of people find it hard to save the 20% required for a first home or more for an investment property.

Don't rule out a purchase just yet though - banks do have some flexibility to lend to people with a deposit less than 20%, and a chat with a financial adviser might reveal other options that could turn a no from a lender into a yes.


Break the deposit down into bite sized pieces. Start with $1,000, work your way up to $5,000 then $10,000 and keep going - and watch how quickly you'll get attached to the amount.

Financial education is important to conquering your financial goals and there's loads of helpful websites, forums and guides to help you learn.

We have a calculator that will help you to understand how to get to your savings targets.

2. Have you checked to see if you can use your KiwiSaver funds or if there's any other NZ Government help to buy your first home?

I've done my research

Nice, as a reminder these are some of the ways you can get help with your deposit.

- KiwiSaver first home withdrawal (despite the name, in some cases this can be used if you've owned property before, and there are some types of “first home” that don’t qualify) - talk to your KiwiSaver provider about the withdrawal process
- HomeStart Grant
- Welcome HomeLoan
- Kainga Whenua Loans


If you’ve set your KiwiSaver withdrawal in motion and had a look at the ways the NZ Government could help with your purchase, it might be time to start thinking about getting pre-approval.

Talk to a financial adviser about how to get pre-approval and how they can help you get the best deal.

Have a read through the ways you could use KiwiSaver to help you buy your first home.

I don't think I'm eligible

We can help, we've set out the eligibility rules for a KiwiSaver first home withdrawal and some of the other types of Government help here.

I'm not in KiwiSaver

That’s okay - KiwiSaver isn’t compulsory, but there are a few reasons to join, including:
- your employer is required to make contributions of at least 3% of your salary if you’re a contributing member between 18 and 65, your employer is not already paying into an eligible registered superannuation scheme for you and provided that your employer’s KiwiSaver contribution isn’t already included in your total salary;
- provided you're between the ages of 18 and 65, every year the Government makes a Government contribution of 50c in every dollar that you contribute for the year up to a max of $521.43 (that's $1,042.86 or just over $20 a week that you need to contribute); and
- if you’re eligible, KiwiSaver can also be used for buying your first home.


Talk to a financial adviser about whether KiwiSaver is right for you and how it might help you take your first step on the property ladder.

We have a calculator that will help you figure out how much you could use towards a home purchase in the future if you start saving now.

3. Have you prepared a budget with all the ongoing home costs?

Yes, I've run the repayment numbers and stress tested them

Nicely done – it’s important that your budget will cover you in situations where your income might be lower than it is now or interest rates higher.


Talk to your financial adviser about how to structure your loan.

It sounds like you might be close to buying. You can use websites like and to compare homes and to get an idea about the things that are important for you in your new home.

Not yet

You really need to crunch those numbers. You may have used a mortgage calculator online to see if you can handle the repayments, but what about the other costs of owning a home - rates, water, insurance, repairs and so on.


Work with a financial adviser to make sure you’ve thought of everything and to make sure your finances can stand up to changes in interest rates - or changes in your circumstances (like starting a family). has some budgeting tools that will help you to work through your budgets.

Chat with an Adviser

If you’re ready to get some help for your financial tomorrow, talk to a financial Adviser today. They can help you plan for retirement, choose an investment strategy that’s right for you and help protect you and your family financially.

Try our other financial fitness checks

The generic questions asked in this Financial Fitness Check aim to identify ways that you could improve your finances. The questions don’t take into account your financial knowledge or your actual financial situation.  
The results and suggestions given in the Financial Fitness Check are of a general nature and are not intended to constitute or replace financial or other professional advice.  To the extent that the information constitutes advice, it is class advice only.  You should consider whether the suggestions offered are appropriate for you before acting on them, and we recommend that you speak to a financial Adviser and read any relevant product information carefully.
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