Confirm you are eligible for FirstHome.
To be eligible to buy a FirstHome, you, and any person/s you are buying the home with, must:
- Be aged 18 years or older
- Be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
- Be a first time home buyer and not currently own property or land (previous home owners may be eligible in some circumstances - see below).
- Be planning to live in the house for at least three years and not purchase it for investment purposes
- Not have received a FirstHome grant before
- Have earned an income of $85,000 or less (before tax) for one buyer in the last 12 months, or earned a combined income of $130,000 or less (before tax) for two or more buyers (in the last 12 months).
- Be pre-approved by a certified lender and hold a valid finance pre-approval letter or certificate that shows the maximum amount that can be borrowed.
Previous home owners may be eligible if their income, assets and liabilities represent a financial position that would be expected of a person who has never owned a property. Previous home owners can still apply for a FirstHome if their realisable assets are equal to, or less than, $80,000. Realisable assets are belongings that you can sell to help you buy a house. Housing New Zealand considers the following to be realisable assets.
- Money in bank accounts (including fixed and term deposits)
- Shares, stocks and bonds
- Investments in banks or financial institutions
- Building society shares
- Boat or caravan (if the value is over $5,000)
- Other vehicles (such as classic motorbikes or cars – not being used as your usual method of transport)
- Other individual assets valued over $5,000
- Deposit funds paid to real estate agent.
Housing ownership for tenants - From 1 December 2015 Housing New Zealand tenants who wish to buy the house they are living in, which has been confirmed as being one for sale, can apply for a FirstHome grant. The FirstHome grant is not available in areas where there is high demand for state houses. These areas include Auckland, Wellington City, Christchurch, Hamilton and Tauranga.