Buying your first home

Buying your first home is a big commitment, but we'll help to take some of the pressure off by keeping things simple. We'll provide guidance on each step of the process and chat through your options, so you feel informed along the way.



Your deposit

Every bit you've saved means the less you'll need to borrow. You may be in a position to have enough deposit saved that you don't need any extra help. In most cases, your deposit needs to be 20% of value of the property you're looking to buy. 

You could be eligible to access government home ownership products designed to help people into their first home with deposits of less than 20%. Your deposit can come from your own savings, gifted from family or from your KiwiSaver.

  • KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal

    KiwiSaver first home withdrawal

    If you’ve been a member of KiwiSaver for at least three years, you may be able to withdraw your KiwiSaver funds to put towards your first home. There’s a few criteria that need to be met – see if you might be eligible:


    KiwiSaver withdrawal criteria
    • You've been saving with KiwiSaver for at least three years

    • You're intending to live in the property (KiwiSaver cannot be used to buy an investment)

    • You leave a minimum balance of $1,000 in your KiwiSaver account

    • If you currently own land, a home, or have a share in a property, you won’t be eligible

    • The property is located in New Zealand



  • KiwiSaver First Home Grant

    KiwiSaver First Home Grant

    If you’ve contributed for three years to your KiwiSaver you may qualify for a KiwiSaver First Home Grant. The KiwiSaver First Home Grant provides eligible first-home buyers with a grant to put towards the purchase of an existing/older home. The grant can be up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 where there are two or more eligible buyers.


    KiwiSaver First Home Grant criteria
    • You must be 18 years or over

    • Have not received the First Home Grant or KiwiSaver deposit subsidy before

    • You must have contributed regularly to KiwiSaver for a minimum of three years, at least the minimal allowable percentage of your total income.

    • Earned $95,000 or less (before tax) in the last 12 months as a sole buyer, or if two or more buyers – a combined income of $150,000 or less (before tax) in the last 12 months.

    • Have a deposit that is 5% or more of the purchase price. This can include the KiwiSaver first home withdrawal, First Home Grant and any other funds such as savings, or a deposit gifted by a relative.



  • KiwiBuild


    KiwiBuild is a government supported programme aimed to help more kiwis into their own homes. KiwiBuild is supporting developers to build quality, affordable housing for first home buyers and second chancers through a ballot process. To buy a KiwiBuild home you need to check to see if you’re eligible, pre-qualify and then enter a ballot.


    KiwiBuild criteria
    • You need to be a first home buyer, or in a similar financial position to a first home buyer (second chancers)

    • Have a deposit of 5% or more of the purchase price

    • Be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident

    • Have an income of no more than $120,000 for a single purchaser, or no more than $180,000 for multiple purchasers

    • Intend to own and live in the home as your main place of residence for at least three years


    What you'll need to pre-qualify
    • Proof of residency

    • Proof of income

    • Statutory declaration signed by an authorised person (e.g. a Justice of the Peace or lawyer) stating that the Kiwibuild rules will be followed

    • Financial pre-approval from a bank or other lender

  • Other ways to build your deposit

    Your own savings

    Saving for a deposit can be hard, but every bit you’ve saved means the less you’ll need to borrow. In most cases, your deposit needs to be 20% of the value of the property you’re looking to buy. If you have a deposit of less than 20%, there are still other options we can consider.

    If you’re unsure if your deposit is enough, it’s best to talk to one of the team – you may find you can buy that home sooner than you think.

    A gift from family

    You may be able to get family to help out with your first home deposit. You might have the income to service the loan, but don’t have enough deposit without a family members help.

    Your deposit may be gifted, or you might come to an agreement to pay it back later. We recommend that you both seek legal advice so you’re both clear on the expectations.

    If you’ve agreed to pay back the deposit later, make sure you let us know as this could affect your loan depending on when you’ve agreed to pay it back.


    A guarantee from family

    Another option instead of having the deposit gifted is for family to act as your guarantor.

    This means we use the equity from your family’s property as security for your loan. If they’re choosing to act as your guarantor, they’ll be responsible for some or your entire loan if you’re not able to pay it. We recommend getting legal advice on this option as there can be serious implications if you don’t meet your loan obligations.



TSB Home Loan Calculator


Getting pre-approved

Now you’ve got your deposit sorted, it’s time to get a pre-approval so you know exactly what price range you can start looking at.  

A pre-approval gives you confirmation that you’re approved up to a certain sum of money, based on certain conditions. We’ll determine what you can borrow based on all the information you can provide us like – your income, employment history, and any debts or assets you may have.

What to bring with you

When you’re ready to talk with one of our team, you’ll need to provide us with the following to assess your loan application:


  • Evidence of your income if your wages aren't deposited directly into a TSB account (three months’ bank statements and your two most recent pay slips).

  • Or, updated financial statements for the last two years if you're self-employed.

  • Six months of statements for any credit cards, or hire purchases.

  • Photo Identification (Driver’s License or Passport - these may need to be certified).

You may need to provide us further information, or additional documentation so we’ll let you know what else you need to bring along when you book an appointment.

Once you’ve received a pre-approval from us, you can confidently look for properties in that price range. 


TSB mobile mortgage manager


House hunting

Once you’ve determined how you’ll get a deposit together, and spoken to us to sort a pre-approval, you’re ready for the fun part of house hunting!

Weekends will be filled up with trawling the internet looking at house listings and driving from suburb to suburb visiting open homes. 

You’ll likely be searching for a while before finding the right home to buy. Your first home may not be your dream home, but it’s the first step on the property ladder. 

New Zealand is full of a wide variety of property styles, from historic villas to sixties state houses and everything in between. Perhaps an apartment or townhouse is more your style? These can have different lending criteria, so make sure you let us know if you decide this is the best option for you.

Things to consider when buying your first home
  • Location – do you need to be close to family or friends?
  • Schools – is being in the right school zone important now or in the near future?
  • Transport – if you’re taking the bus every day, is there a main bus route nearby?
  • Bedrooms – how many bedrooms do you need? Will you have family visiting often that a spare room is essential?

While some properties might look in good condition from the outside, there can be hidden issues that a only building inspection will pick up on. The weather tightness of a property an be an issue, so educate yourself on what to look for when you’re viewing a property and always put a builder’s inspection as a condition for any property you’re looking to buy.

Sorting your home loan

So you’ve found a house that ticks the boxes, and you plan to make an offer. It’s an exciting time, but can also be quite daunting when you’ve never done anything like this before!

  • Find a solicitor

    Before you sign a sale and purchase agreement, you’ll want to find a solicitor that can help you understand the legal jargon. They’ll also help pull the offer together, alongside the real estate agent selling the property. Your solicitor will also provide guidance on what conditions you need to include and what information we need from the purchase to provide the financing.

  • Unconditional Offer

    You’ll need to meet all the conditions of the Letter of Offer we provide before the date you have agreed on the Sale and Purchase agreement.

    Once the finance conditions have been met, you’ll receive an Unconditional Letter of Offer from us. You can then pass this onto your solicitor who will then confirm with the seller’s solicitor that you’ve met the finance conditions. Once all conditions of the agreement are met – you’re confirmed to have an Unconditional offer. This means you’re one step closer to officially being a home owner!

  • Structuring your home loan

    Structuring your home loan correctly can help you save thousands in interest and allow you to pay it off sooner. Most home loans are set up to be repaid over a 30 year term as this allows the loan to be spread over many years.

    You’ll need to decide what type of loan you want, and how you want to pay this back. We can help talk through your options for loan type and whether you’d rather be on a fixed or floating home loan rate.

    Paying off your home loan sooner will give you the best result in the long run, so you’ll want to consider if you can afford more than the minimum repayment amount.

  • Your repayments

    You can use our home loan calculator to work out what your repayments would be, and whether you can afford to pay more – or talk to one of the team today, we’re here to help.



TSB Home Loan Calculator





To think about

What can I afford?

Try out our home loan calculator. We’ve made it simple to work out what your repayments would be.

Other costs

Your loan payments aren’t the only cost you need to budget for. Don’t forget to include insurance, rates and ongoing maintenance costs.


As well as house and contents insurance, you may also need to consider getting life insurance and mortgage repayment insurance. We can help – ask us how.



Before signing any sale and purchase agreement, you’ll need it looked over by a lawyer or solicitor. Ask family and friends for their recommendations.

Body Corporate fees

If you’re purchasing an apartment or townhouse that’s part of a complex, you’ll likely need to pay Body Corporate fees. These cover things like maintenance for common areas.




Your home loan options

TSB rate


Great rates

Whether you’re after the certainty
of a fixed term, the flexibility of floating,
or a combination of both, we have a
range of competitive rates to offer.

TSB home loan repayments


Your loan & repayment options

When it comes to loan type and repayment
plans, one size doesn’t fit all. Enjoy the
freedom of a revolving credit, or make
budgeting easier with a fixed home loan.

TSB home loan calculator


Home loan calculator

Align your repayments to suit your lifestyle,
whether it's weekly, fortnightly, monthly
or quarterly. Use our home loan calculator to
see what your repayments could be.





Manage your home loan

With a little planning and some helpful home loan tools, you can shorten the length of your loan term, reduce the amount of interest you pay, and save money in the long run.

See how our home loan features can help you pay off your loan sooner.





TSB Home Loan

Start your application by providing us with your key details. We'll then contact you for any further information we might need and to discuss the next steps. You can make an appointment with your local branch, give us a call on 0800 872 226, let our Mobile Mortgage Managers come to you or message us and we'll get in touch with you via email, phone or video call – whenever and wherever suits.