Kiwsaver Education: KiwiSaver HomeStart grant

PART 1

Are you just a bit short of coming with a deposit to buy a first house? Well you may qualify for a HomeStart grant.

After 3 years of contributing to KiwiSaver, you may be entitled to a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant.

To be eligible for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant you must meet the following criteria:

  • contributed at least the minimum required contributions to Kiwisaver (4% between 2007 and March 2009, 2% between April 2009 and March 2013, and 3% between April 2013 and now)
  • be 18 years or over
  • be purchasing or building your first home (or if you previously owned a house before you must no longer own one and be in the same financial position as a first home buyer.)
  • have a household income (before tax) of less than $85,000 per year (for one person), or less than $130,000 per year (for two or more people)
  • have a deposit that is 10% or more of the purchase price, including the addition of the grant
  • be planning to live in the house for at least 6 months from the settlement/completion of the property.

If you are purchasing an existing/older home, the HomeStart grant is $1,000 for each year of contribution to the scheme:

  • 3 years of contributing = $3,000 (the minimum you can get)
  • 4 years of contributing = $4,000
  • 5 years of contributing = $5,000 (the maximum you can get).

If you are purchasing a new home, a property bought off the plans or land to build a new home on, the HomeStart grant is $2,000 for each year of contribution to the scheme. If you are purchasing land to build a new home on, there is a maximum amount the combined land and new home can cost.

  • 3 years of contributing = $6,000
    (the minimum you can get)
  • 4 years of contributing = $8,000
  • 5 years of contributing = $10,000
    (the maximum you can get)

Also There are also limits as to the maximum price you can pay for the house. The house price will depend on where the property is located and whether it is an existing house or a newly built house.

For Auckland and Queenstown Lakes District, the maximum price for an existing house is $600,000 and for a new build it is $650,000.

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, the maximum price for an existing house is $500,000 and for a new build it is $550,000.

For the Rest of New Zealand, the maximum price for an existing house is $400,000 and for a new build it is $450,000.

One last thing to note is: As Housing New Zealand requires at least four weeks/20 working days from receiving an application through to paying out the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant, make sure you apply for the grant well in advance of the house settlement date.

PART 2

On top of the one-off Kiwisaver grant, first home buyers who have been member of KiwiSaver for 3 years may be able to withdraw some of your KiwiSaver savings to put towards purchasing your first home.

How much can you take out?

You can withdraw all

  • your contributions
  • your employer’s contributions (voluntary and compulsory)
  • returns on investment, and
  • any member tax credits.

However, you must leave a minimum balance of $1,000 in your account after the withdrawal.

Unfortunately, for those transferred from an Australian Complying Superannuation scheme, those Funds transferred from your Australian Complying Superannuation scheme cannot be withdrawn for the purchase of a home.

 

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