Want some help to get the keys to your first home? Read on.

If you’ve been contributing to KiwiSaver for more than three years, you might be entitled to some extra money from the government to help you pay for the deposit for a house, if it’s your first home.

Two HomeStart grants are available. One is for buying an existing home and the other for buying or building a new house. Housing New Zealand is in charge of administering them.

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How much money can you get?

  • For purchasing an existing home, the grant is between NZ$3,000 and NZ$5,000. You’ll get NZ$1,000 for each year you’ve been in KiwiSaver.
  • For building or buying a new home, or for buying land to build your new home on, the grant is more generous. It’s NZ$2,000 per year of membership in KiwiSaver, up to a maximum of NZ$10,000 for five years, for each member.

Why join JUNO?

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Who can get it?

To be eligible for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant you must:

  • have been contributing the required minimum amount to KiwiSaver for at least three years
  • be over 18
  • be purchasing or building your first home
  • have a household income (before tax) of less than NZ$85,000 per year (for one person), or less than NZ$130,000 per year (for two or more people)
  • have a deposit that’s 10 per cent or more of the purchase price, including the grant
  • be planning to live in the house for at least six months from the settlement or completion of the property.

Note that even if you’ve owned a home before, you may still be eligible for a HomeStart grant.

You’ll need to persuade Housing New Zealand that you’re in the same financial position as a first-home buyer.

You can only receive the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant once.

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How long does it take to get the money?

Housing New Zealand needs at least four weeks or 20 working days from receiving your application through to paying out the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant.

If you’re applying for the grant to meet the financial conditions of your agreement for sale and purchase, you need to apply at least 10 working days before the date when your sale goes unconditional.

If you didn’t give the required four weeks’ notice, your application might not be accepted. And the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant won’t be paid out after settlement.

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You can get pre-approval

If you’re still looking for your first home, you can apply for pre-approval of your KiwiSaver HomeStart grant.

This is valid for six months and can also help you at the bank, when you’re applying for pre-approval of your home loan.

Still feeling confused? 

For more information, visit Housing New Zealand’s website, or contact them on 0508 935 266. You can apply for the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant online.

How can JUNO help me save more towards my first-home deposit?

JUNO can make it easier to get into your first home faster.

We only charge one, low, monthly fee, based on your KiwiSaver balance, and we don't take a percentage of your overall investment.

You can watch your balance grow faster – a huge help if you plan to use your KiwiSaver money to form part, or all, of your first-home deposit.

Why join JUNO?

Calculate your savings with JUNO

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What to do when you can't afford your first home

What to do with your KiwiSaver after you buy your first home

Join JUNO KiwiSaver Scheme

Published September 2018

We aim to make investment with KiwiSaver easy to understand. To help us make this article reader friendly, we used The Write Plain Language Standard.

This information has been provided by Housing New Zealand and kiwisaver.govt.nz. All content is correct at time of publication date. This article is general in nature only and has not taken into account any particular person’s objectives or circumstances. We recommend you speak with a financial adviser.