Do the maths

First things first – you’ll want to figure out where you stand financially. That includes what you’ll need for a deposit, how much you might be able to borrow, and looking into things like how KiwiSaver could help. 

Can you afford it?

Can you afford to buy property?

The information below will give you a good head-start to answering this important question, and includes a guide to what things cost. Make sure you try out our handy calculators too.

Once you’re ready, talking to one of our Mobile Mortgage Managers is a great way to determine your financial situation, so give us a call and we’ll send one out to visit you.

How much can I borrow?

How much you can borrow depends on a few factors, like:

  • the value of the home you want to buy
  • how much equity or deposit you have to contribute
  • how much you can afford to pay towards your mortgage.

Try our calculators to see how much you could afford

How much will I need for a deposit?

Every lender has different lending guidelines, but you may be able to borrow up to:

  • 90% of the house’s market value (or the price you pay, whichever is less) depending on your situation. That means saving at least a deposit of 10% – but don’t stress, there are ways you could get help with your deposit.
  • There are some situations where you may need a greater deposit, including:
    • 35% deposit for a small or investment apartment, or up to 15% deposit for a larger owner-occupied apartment.
    • 20% deposit of the land’s market value for a section, depending on the area and services such as water and power.
    • 40% deposit for an investment property in Auckland.
    • 10% deposit if you’re planning to have a home built from scratch.

Generally, most lenders say your total loan payments (for all debts) shouldn’t be more than about a third of your income before tax – but they’ll also take your other expenses into account. You still need to have life after buying your home!

Look at your deposit options

What things cost

A few costs related to buying a home

When you’re working out if you’re in the financial position to buy a home, don’t forget to take into consideration all those extra expenses during the process, like legal fees and valuation reports. Let’s take a look at some costs to be prepared for.

Costs from your lawyer

To buy a home
  • $700-$1,800 for legal fees
  • $200-$300 for costs such as land transfer fees.
For conveyancing – transferring ownership of the property into your name
  • between $600 and $2000 

Costs from your real estate agent/s

If you’re buying, there’s no fee.

If you’re selling you can usually expect to pay:

  • a base fee of around $500, although not all agents charge this
  • a commission based on the amount the home sells for – usually up to 4% for a certain sale price, then a lower percent for the rest, or
  • you may be able to negotiate a fixed fee
  • there may also be advertising costs.

Costs from a registered valuer

  • for a full registered valuation report: $500–$800
  • QV E-Valuer report: $40

Cost for building and engineer’s reports

  • for a building surveyor’s report: $400–$1,150
  • for an engineer’s report: $1,500–$4,000

Your lender may require a valuation, building or engineer’s report as part of your conditional approval or loan agreement. You may also want to get these reports for your own benefit, so you have more information about the property.