How KiwiSaver can help with your first home deposit

23 February 2018

Owning a home in New Zealand is as big a part of our DNA as going out for brunch and supporting the All Blacks. 

Kiwis grow up with dreams of having their very own quarter acre piece of Aotearoa. And while the housing market has grown and changed over the years, Kiwis’ spirit and determination to buy a home still remains.

Where do we start?

KiwiSaver is your first stop on the ’need to know’ journey. A retirement savings scheme, KiwiSaver allows you to withdraw most of your savings to buy your first home. It could help you get into your first home sooner than you think.

There are some rules though. We’ll spend the rest of the article explaining what they are and answering the common questions that come up if you’re getting ready to buy.
 

Learn the ropes

What’s my first step?

The first thing you should do is find out what your current KiwiSaver account balance is.  This is easy – just ask your KiwiSaver provider for an estimate letter to confirm your eligibility and the approximate amount you have squirrelled away. If you’re a member of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme we can do this for you.

You might need to provide a KiwiSaver eligibility letter when you apply for your home loan pre-approval, so its best to be prepared and ready to go.

How long does it take to get my KiwiSaver savings?

A first home withdrawal at AMP usually takes around 8 to 15 days to process.  The money is paid to your solicitor – it won’t go to you.

Timing is everything here, so make sure you allow plenty of time and work backwards from settlement date to ensure all your ducks are in a row.  

Is there a cost to withdraw my KiwiSaver savings?

You won’t incur any fees when you make a first home withdrawal from the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme. If you’re not with AMP, you should check whether withdrawal fees apply.

Also, with the first home withdrawal process there is an element of the conveyancing work that your lawyer can help you with. Conveyancing is the process that involves legally transferring home ownership from the person selling the house to you the buyer. You should confirm with your lawyer whether their costs for assisting you with a KiwiSaver first home withdrawal are included in their overall conveyancing costs.

Want to join the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme?

Join now

What happens if I buy at auction?

If the home you have your eye on is being sold at auction, you are likely to need an immediate deposit of 10% up on a winning bid. This means you’ll probably have to pay the deposit yourself and then use your KiwiSaver first home withdrawal towards settlement.

What if I want to buy land?

If you want to buy a section, you can use your KiwiSaver savings towards the purchase of that land. You'll need to apply to withdraw your KiwiSaver savings before you buy (just like any other property).

Keep in mind that you can only use your KiwiSaver savings to purchase the land and can’t put it towards the cost of building your house.

I missed out on a home, what’s next?

If the sale doesn’t quite go through, don’t worry, you don’t lose your KiwiSaver savings. Your solicitor will return your funds back into your KiwiSaver account.

The AMP KiwiSaver Scheme is currently helping over 230,000 New Zealanders save for their future. It’s easy to join or switch to the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme too - in fact it only takes a couple of minutes. All you need is your IRD number and your New Zealand driver licence or New Zealand passport. Before you do this you should consider whether switching to the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme is right for you and talk to your Adviser if you are unsure.

Our five-minute financial fitness check is a quick and easy way to see if your finances are in shape. It will also give you some handy hints around saving for that first home deposit.  

Important information

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AMP Wealth Management New Zealand Limited is the issuer of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme. For a copy of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme Product Disclosure Statement or Fund Update Booklet please visit amp.co.nz.

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