5 tips to make buying your first home in New Zealand a breeze
We’ve all had a whinge about the state of New Zealand’s market at some point. But the fact is lamenting property prices wont get you on that ladder, but getting a little creative and having a solid strategy will.
Gone are the days when you could snap up a three bedroom in a central suburb with two or three years salary – but that doesn’t mean you can’t buy. It just means you have to compromise and plan a little more.
Here are five useful tips to help you do just that.
Buy a new build
It’s time to shelf your dreams of a stately character villa off Ponsonby Road.
It’s time to shelve your dreams of a stately character villa off Ponsonby Road and instead go for something a little more modern. If you’re struggling to buy your first home, a new build should be on the top of your list for a number of reasons.
Most importantly: they’re exempt from new Reserve Bank loan-to-value ratio limits. Meaning that you could pick one up with a deposit as small as 10 or even 5 per cent. Additionally, such a home may cost less to maintain as it will be brand new and in perfect condition.
Look to the the city’s fringes
If you’re looking to buy a detached home on a budget you might just have to get a little creative when it comes to the location. The fact is, the median values for houses in most central suburbs in Auckland exceed $1million and several other cities around the country are going the same way.
If you’re in Auckland, look in spots like Franklin and Papakura: both of which have median values of under $700,000. Here you’re likely to find a live able detached home at around the half million mark, rather than $1.5 million!
Hire a mortgage broker
Brokers have access to countless loan products, relationships with banks and an in depth knowledge of the needs of first home buyers.
The details of your home loan might not be the most thrilling part of buying a property, but they certainly could be the most important. Brokers have access to countless loan products, relationships with banks and an in-depth knowledge of the needs of first home buyers.
Go with a broker and you can be sure your loan will suit your needs to a tee, and that your mortgage repayments wont leave you bankrupt.
To give you an idea of how much your mortgage matters, lets look at a $500,000 loan, over a 30 year term. A 0.5 per cent interest rate increase would mean paying over $55,000 more interest over the life of the loan!
Make use of KiwiSaver
KiwiSaver is a brilliant scheme designed to help people just like you get into a first home. For every year you contribute to the scheme, you’ll receive a $2,000 HomeStart Grant, up to a maximum of $10,000, if you’re buying a new build.
What’s better is that if you buy with someone else you can both receive the grant: the total of which will be $20,000. Combine that with some savings and the rest of your KiwiSaver and you’re well on the way to buying your first home.
Halving the load will make your property aspirations far easier to achieve.
Have you got an old mate that you really trust? Perhaps a partner with whom you want to take that next step? Buying property together is certainly an option you should consider, as halving the load will make your property aspirations far easier to achieve.
Before you jump in the deep end, think about how to structure the ownership and draw up an agreement together. Consulting a legal professional isn’t a bad idea, to make sure you each know your responsibilities and what you’re liable for.
There are a million little strategies that can make buying your first home just a little easier. For more advice, get in touch with your local real estate agent.