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KiwiSaver Helping Kiwis Buy Homes

By Nicole Ching

KiwiSaver is a voluntary, work-based savings initiative to help you with your long-term saving for retirement. Your KiwiSaver savings are made up of contributions to your account, plus or minus investment returns, minus any withdrawals, fees and taxes.KiwiSaver can also be used to help you with the purchase of your first home.

The KiwiSaver HomeStart grant was introduced on 1 April 2015, replacing the KiwiSaver first-home deposit subsidy.

After three years of regularly contributing to KiwiSaver you may be entitled to the HomeStart grant. 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:

– 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).

Eligibility requires you to have contributed to a KiwiSaver scheme, complying fund or exempt employer scheme for at least three years and that your first home is within the maximum house price caps. If you are purchasing an existing property, you must also live in the house for at least six months from the settlement date. However, if you are buying land on which you are to build your home on, you need to live in the property for at least 6 months from the date that the code compliance certificate is issued. You cannot use the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant to buy an investment property.

Visit the online calculator to help you estimate the HomeStart grant you could be entitled to.

 http://www.kiwisaver-homestart.co.nz/calculator/ 

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