Using your Kiwisaver to buy a house
Tue Dec. 1st 2015
Home help: How Kiwisaver can help you get into your first home.
Saving for your first home can be daunting. Banks generally require a 20% deposit, and even the most modest houses sell for $500,000 plus - which all adds up to a huge amount of money. If you're already paying rent, saving that much can seem impossible.
But there is another way to reach your savings goals (without asking your parents). Kiwisaver now allows you to withdraw most of your savings to purchase your first home, and the first home subsidy gives you an extra boost.
Here's how it works:
Your house, your savings
If you've been contributing to Kiwisaver for at least three years, you can withdraw some of your savings - but only to put towards a first home.
You can withdraw your contributions, any employer contributions, any returns on investments, and member tax credits. You can't withdraw Government contributions, and you need to leave at least $1000 in your account.
Depending on how long you've been in the scheme, and how much you and your employer have been contributing, this withdrawal can make a big difference to your deposit. If your partner is in Kiwisaver as well, you could be even better off.
The Kiwisaver Homestart Grant can also make it easier to get into your own place. If you're buying or building a first home, and have an income of under $120,000 combined, you could be eligible.
If you're buying an existing home, the scheme can give you a grant of $1000 a year for every year you've been contributing to Kiwisaver. Individuals can get up to $5000 - which means couples can get up to $10,000.
If you're building a new home, Homestart offers $2000 for each year you've been in Kiwisaver, which adds up to $20,000 for a couple.
That's a significant savings boost, and could be the difference between getting into a house or saving for another few years.
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