Is a Welcome Home Loan package right for you?

Buying first home

We recently talked to Mortgage Box, Rotorua Mortgage Brokers and Loan Advisers, about how difficult it is for first-home buyers, to save for a home deposit, and how many feel that with prices moving so quickly they may be feeling like they'll "never get there". But as Mortgage Box explains, there is a low-deposit solution with the Government-backed Welcome Home Loan package, which means getting into your first home is that much easier!

Here's what Mortgage Box had to say:

Welcome Home Loan packages are only available from a handful of banks and non-bank lenders which are underwritten by Housing New Zealand with the Government setting the base eligibility criteria. This means selected lenders can provide loans that would not otherwise meet their own normal lending criteria, and/or Reserve Bank loan to value ratio (LVR) requirements.

As well as minimum deposit criteria, there are other criteria, including an income cap and regional house price cap. Note there may also be other specific lending criteria of the participating lender which may include good credit and stable employment history among other requirements.

Minimum Deposit

To be eligible for a Welcome Home Loan package, you must have 10% deposit. This could include your KiwiSaver member contributions, HomeStart Grant, and/or fully gifted deposit (if the lender will allow this).

Income Cap

To be eligible for a Welcome Home Loan package, your maximum yearly income can only be up to $85,000 (before tax) for 1 person. For two people your combined yearly incomes must be under $130,000.00 (before tax).

Regional House Price Caps (existing homes)

This varies by region, but for existing homes in Auckland the home must be under $600,000. For Hamilton City, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Kapiti Coast District, Porirua City, Upper Hutt City, Hutt City, Wellington City, Tasman District, Nelson City, Waimakariri District, Christchurch City, Selwyn District, Queenstown Lakes District, the home must be under $500,000.00. For the rest of New Zealand the home must be under $400,000.00.

Regional House Price Caps (new homes)

Housing price caps also apply for new homes, so contact Mortgage Box if you require further information about utilising the Welcome Home Loan package for a new home.

Other Criteria

  • You must live in the home you are buying. This means you can't use the Welcome Home Loan package to buy an investment or rental property because this defeats the purpose of helping people get into their own homes.

  • You cannot own any other property and not own assets over a certain amount.

  • A Lender’s Mortgage Insurance premium of 1% of the loan amount will apply. The lender may also charge apply a loan application fee. In most cases any fees will be built into your loan.

  • There may also be other lender-specific criteria to be met.

Is the Welcome Home Loan package a good thing? Mortgage Box thinks it is. And as the availability of properties for sale tightens and the dream of home ownership moves further out of reach for some, getting into your own home using the Welcome Home Loans package is certainly worth looking at sooner rather than later.

If you'd like to chat or get more information about your options around first-home buying and the Welcome Home Loans package, don't hesitate to call 07 3933 133 or email

This information is current as at 1 March 2017.

#welcomehomeloan #buyingfirsthome #kiwisaver

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