First-time buyer checklist

Buying a first home is an exciting journey!

We are here to direct you to the experts and make building less “daunting” for you. We can recommend the following expert partners:

Building a first home
To begin with, you will need to work out approximately how much you can afford, based on your income and the size of your deposit.

Your income will determine your borrowing ability. A general rule is the bank will use 35% of your income for servicing a home loan. So if your repayments are within 35% of your income then that's a good start.

These tips for first home buyers will help with planning for the total cost of building a home, including the mortgage, insurance, legal fees and other costs. Some more help for first home buyers may be available from the Government and KiwiSaver too.

Trying to fund that first house? There are a few ways you might be able to get help—even without the 20% deposit.

A new home for $0 upfront
Are you a first home buyer with KiwiSaver, struggling to fund a deposit? You could potentially use KiwiSaver contributions and the KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant to fund the entire deposit for a new home – with no additional money from you!

The KiwiSaver Home Start grant provides eligible buyers with grants of up to $10,000 for an existing house and $20,000 for a new home. This doubles the support for building a new home compared to buying an existing home!

The three main schemes that are worth checking out if you’re a first home buyer are:
• Welcome Home Loan - handy if you don’t have the 20% deposit
• KiwiSaver first home withdrawal - you may be able to put some of your KiwiSaver savings towards your first home
• KiwiSaver HomeStart grant - you may be able to get a grant towards your first home.

Your first mortgage, or home loan, will probably be the biggest financial commitment you’ll ever make.
Most look at a number of places before finding the right home to buy. It’s a good idea to be just as careful when choosing a mortgage. Over time, repayments could add up to a lot more than the cost of the home.

There are many types of mortgages, each with its own interest rate, fees and degree of flexibility. All these things affect how much the loan costs and when it will be paid off.

You can shop around for a mortgage yourselves, or use the (usually free) services of a qualified mortgage broker. Please refer to Ravenswood financial consultants’ information.

Remember that when you’re building your first home, your budget may prohibit you from being able to include everything on your wish list. However it will be an important step to allow you to get on the property ladder, so it’s important to make a sensible choice.

If you do not already have a lawyer, please see one of the Ravenswood team who will direct you to some lawyers who are familiar with our development.

Before signing any sale agreement or mortgage paperwork you’ll need to get it looked over by a lawyer. They also handle the ‘conveyancing’ or transfer to you once you buy a house.

Building Companies
Please refer to Ravenswood building partners’ information.

Questions you may want to ask building companies
1. How long will it take to build my new home?
2. Where is the nearest showhome and when can I visit one?
3. Can I make changes to the plans once construction has started?
4. Can I make regular visits to the building site?
5. Do you guarantee your homes?
6. What does the Master Build guarantee mean?
It covers you in the unlikely event of:
a) Loss of deposit
b) Non-completion of building
c) Material, workmanship and structural cover
For more information, visit
7. How can I be sure that my home will be completed?
8. How much deposit do I need to put down?