When Katie Pool, a 33 year year old solo mum of two, went in to get pre-approval for her first home loan, she didn’t know it would come with a catch: she didn’t have to pay interest for the entire first year.
Katie is the first of four people to win Westpac’s Pay No Interest home loan competition, which could potentially save winners around $32,000 on a $700,000 home loan (assuming an interest rate of 4.7 per cent per annum).
"I've never won anything, especially anything like this. It was so exciting," Katie says of her win.
"When you first start paying a mortgage, the interest is most of what you're paying, so to have that covered for the first year is pretty amazing. This is such a great stepping stone to getting a house and it's really given me that incentive to get on and do it now."
Born and bred in Invercargill, Katie, a nurse, is keen to buy a home in the area where she grew up and where she's currently renting, Waikiwi, or in nearby Grasmere.
Her wish list mirrors that of many first home buyers: a comfortable home where she can still add some value, with three bedrooms and a section big enough for two growing boys to run around on.
"As a student, I'd been renting because at that time it wasn't an option to buy a home," she explains. "But in February I got this great job and, with a good steady income, I didn't want to keep renting and paying off someone else's mortgage. I wanted to invest in my own future."
To find out more about your chance to win your first home loan interest paid for a year, visit Westpac.co.nz/paynointerest.