Are you looking to buy your first home? Do you know all the options available to you?

Taking that first step onto the property ladder can be tricky, but with the guidance of our experienced and approachable property lawyers, you’ll be in the best position to turn the key on the door to your brand new home.

Did you know that first home buyers may be eligible for a HomeStart grant of up to $10,000 from Housing New Zealand? If you’ve got a KiwiSaver, the HomeStart grant may be available to you as a top up towards a deposit on your first home. This initiative is to support first home buyers onto the property ladder and could be the difference between securing your dream first property and just falling shy.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for a HomeStart grant, you must have been contributing to your KiwiSaver for at least three years and have an annual income of less than $85,000 before tax (or a combined annual income of $130,000 or less if you are purchasing with someone else). You are also obligated to live in the house for a period of 6 months following settlement. If you move out of the property before six months, Housing New Zealand may require you to repay the grant, with interest.

What can I buy?

If you’re looking at existing homes, the HomeStart grant is $1,000 for each year you have contributed to your KiwiSaver scheme (up to $5,000). If the property that you are looking to purchase is a new build, the HomeStart grant is $2,000 for each year of contribution (up to $10,000).

There are also regional house price caps which the purchase price of the property must fall within. For properties in the Wellington region, the purchase price of the property must be $500,000 or less. For new builds, that price is $550,000.

Housing New Zealand requires at least 20 working days to process an application for a HomeStart grant. You’ll need to make sure that you have enough time before settlement to receive the grant, otherwise the grant will not be made available to you. This is where we come in, preparing the application ahead of time.  We’ll work with you throughout the process to help you secure your first home. 

For more information:

If you would like further information on whether you may be eligible for a first home HomeStart grant and where to begin, please contact our Wellington lawyers Andrew Stewart on (04) 495 8921, email or Sam Thomson on (04) 495 8931,

First home buyers guides: 

KiwiSaver Plays an Important Role for First Home Buyers

Home-Start Grant – the keys to your first home

Purchasing your first home – “When should I see a lawyer?”

Builders reports – Sellers or Purchasers?

Purchasing Property with Friends or Family

Gifts from Parents in the Case of Separation