Withdrawing Your KiwiSaver Contributions and Getting a HomeStart Grant

If you’re gearing up to becoming a first home buyer, you’ll know that withdrawing your KiwiSaver funds will be a huge help to putting a deposit together. Not only that, Housing New Zealand offers a significant financial contribution toward the purchase of your first home through the KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant to bolster your home-buying funds.

If you’re purchasing your first home, withdrawing your KiwiSaver contributions and getting a HomeStart Grant can kickstart your first home buying process. Learn more about eligibility and the application processes below.

 Finding out if you’re eligible to withdraw your KiwiSaver contributions

You may be eligible to withdraw all or some of your KiwiSaver contributions toward purchasing your first home if you have been a member of KiwiSaver for three years or more. This withdrawal can be a very significant contribution toward the deposit under the contract, and toward the total purchase price for the property.

Your eligibility is determined by various criteria. You must intend to live in the property (it cannot be an investment). If you have owned property before, you will also need to obtain confirmation from Housing New Zealand that you qualify for second-chance eligibility. You can obtain more information about the eligibility process on the Housing New Zealand website.

The KiwiSaver withdrawal process

Before you begin the process of looking for your first home, you should contact your KiwiSaver provider for an estimate of funds you can withdraw. Then you can get forms which are available from your KiwiSaver provider directly (and they are typically available on their website).

The application process can take between 10 and 15 working days (depending on your provider). You should discuss with your lawyer about the timing for this process and when the funds can be used.

You can withdraw either a specified amount of your savings, or all of your available balance other than the government “Kick Start” $1,000.00 in some circumstances. Your KiwiSaver funds can be used as payment of the deposit under the contract (with any leftover applied at settlement), or in most cases the KiwiSaver funds will be used at settlement.

Once your conditional contract is signed, you can complete the KiwiSaver form.

About the HomeStart Grant

For an existing home, a HomeStart Grant can be up to $5,000.00 for individuals and up to $10,000.00 where there are two or more eligible buyers. For a newly built home, this can be up to $10,000.00 individuals and up to $20,000.00 for two or more eligible buyers.

Are you eligible for the KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant?

To be eligible, you must have been regularly contributing to KiwiSaver for three or more years and you must live in the property for at least six months (and it cannot be an investment). There are restrictions in relation to your income and the purchase price of the property.

If you have owned property before, you will also need to obtain confirmation from Housing New Zealand that you qualify for second-chance eligibility. You can obtain more information about the second-chance eligibility process on the Housing New Zealand website.

You must also provide 10 per cent of the total purchase price as a deposit (in other words, money that you can put toward the purchase price excluding bank lending).  This deposit includes your available KiwiSaver balance, the HomeStart Grant, savings, and any money gifted to you by family or friends.

View the full list of eligibility criteria.

HomeStart Grant application process

The entire process can take up to four weeks/20 working days from Housing New Zealand receiving your application through to paying your HomeStart Grant into our trust account. If you have pre-approval, this timeframe is reduced to two weeks/10 working days. Your pre-approval is valid for six months.

Because of the lengthy timeframes required by Housing New Zealand, we strongly recommend that you apply for pre-approval. Applications for pre-approval and the HomeStart Grant are made directly to Housing New Zealand.

Need assistance? HomeLegal lawyers are here to help

The team here at HomeLegal are well-versed when it comes to KiwiSaver withdrawals and HomeStart Grant applications, helping you complete the relevant forms and your statutory declaration. We will send the application off to your KiwiSaver provider on your behalf, who will then pay the funds to our trust account.

Streamlining the KiwiSaver withdrawal and HomeStart Grant application process is part of what we do best here at HomeLegal. For assistance, contact the HomeLegal team or give us a ring at 0508 HOMELEGAL.