First Home

Few things are more exciting than purchasing your first home. There's pride and independence that one feels when there's a place to lay their head at night and it's all theirs. Say goodbye to all the rental money that disappears into the abyss and say hello towards payments that truly go toward your future investment-your home. There are a plethora of things you need to know before jumping into homeownership, and we at Own It Mortgages are here to assist you in any way we can. First, let's provide you with all the pertinent information you need to know about being a first-time buyer. 

Can I use my KiwiSaver?

First home buyers who have been in KiwiSaver for at least 3 years may be eligible to withdraw funds from their Kiwisaver (excluding the $1,000 kickstart). Buyers may also be eligible to access a Kiwisaver Homestart Grant, which is provided by Housing New Zealand.  

Another option is the use of a guarantor who offers security for the borrowed portion over 80% of the purchase price. Guarantors should be close family and in a strong financial position, and they should seek independent legal advice before making any binding commitments. 

What If I am self-employed?

You must be able to show at least two years of steady income that meets requirements. This is where your tax situation can work against you if you failed in the past to declare all or most of your income. Your cash flow must reflect an ability to afford the loan, otherwise, you are at risk for being turned down. Generally, lenders will want your loan payments to not exceed 30-35% of your monthly income. 

Can I get a Loan?

Each bank has its own lending criteria, and if you meet all their conditions, there's no reason why you shouldn't get a loan. We will assist you in shopping around for the best deal just like we did for thousands of our satisfied customers.

What can my deposit comprise of?

A deposit can consist of gifts from parents, home start grants, funds from the sale of assets, Kiwisaver, and equity in your parents' home (should they agree).  
Each lender considers differently how to treat cases such as significant inheritances or the selling of assets to cover deposits. 

What are my costs?

In addition to the purchase price of your house, here are a few expenses that you should be prepared for. 




$500 to $700 

Pre-Purchase Building Inspection 

$450 to $1,000 


from $250 

Legal fees 

from $1500 

Share of rates already paid by the vendor 

Varies - can be as much as 25% or the annual rates bill. But is usually around $200 to $400. This is added to the Solicitor cost 

Low equity premium 
(if you borrow more than 80%) 

This depends on the size of your Mortgage and maybe able to be added to your mortgage 

Connecting gas, electricity, phone and Sky TV 

$300 to $1,000 

House moving costs 

We have a complimentary Trailer for you 


At Own It Mortgages, we will work hard to ensure that the lender will provide a cash contribution to help you with these expenses.

So you've made an Offer, What's next?

It entirely depends on what the seller does. If he accepts your offer, then the contract is dated and you have a binding agreement. In the case where he isn't satisfied, he may suggest a counter offer with altered price, conditions or timeframes. Then, you'll have three choices - agreeing with the sellers counter offer, making a new counter offer yourself, or just walking away.

How to Decide On My Repayments?

Buying your first home shouldn't be a financial burden, so know the full details of your repayments before you finalize the deal. Since owning a home has many other expenses such as home insurance, council rates, mortgage repayment insurance, body corporate fees and repair charges, it is important to carefully plan the size of each repayment. 

Use our online calculator to get a fair idea about the weekly or monthly repayments you'll need to make.

What's meant by a Pre-Approval?

A pre-approval, also called conditional offer of finance, is a written approval from a lender stating that you are eligible to borrow a certain sum, subject to some conditions. Once you receive your pre-approval, go through it carefully to make sure that you understand all the conditions mentioned in it. Some common conditions you'll find in the pre-approval are:  

  1. A copy of the sale and purchase agreement being satisfactory to the bank. 
  2. The Registered Valuation must me agreeable to the bank.  

In order to get a strong pre-approval letter, you must provide all the documents (with full transparency) along with your application. The ideal pre-approvals are the ones with a minimum number of conditions. 

Deciding the Conditions: 

When you're purchasing by offer and negotiation, you have the chance to define the conditions before the sale actually happens. But, be careful not to set too many conditions as this may cause the deal to fail. If all of the conditions are satisfied within the specified time, your offer becomes unconditional meaning that you're bound by the law to purchase the house. On the other hand, if the conditions aren't met, you have a right to negotiate or withdraw your offer. For example, if you mentioned a clean LIM report as a condition, and the LIM has some problems, you have full powers to cancel the offer. 

If the property needs some repair work, you may set a condition telling the seller to finish the repairs by a certain date. Failure to meet this condition may not stop the sale but can delay the settlement until they are met. 

Are There Any Secrets For A yes

Every bank will expect you to pay any outstanding defaults before even considering your application. Most banks check your credit history, so people with a bad record have a poor chance receiving an approval for mortgage finance. Here's what banks will be looking for during credit checks: 

  1. Outstanding defaults  
  2. Dishonour fees 
  3. No. of enquiries for credit 
  4. Paid defaults 
  5. Names of the companies to which the applicant owes money 
Apply Now Testimonials

Simple Mortgage Calculator:

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What do our clients think?

  • Christine

    'We were running a business and decided to buy a house for our own living. The bank we were with didn't make any effort to assist us in achieving our goals and we got very frustrated with them. Then we remembered Lorna the lovely lady who assisted us in obtaining finance for our business. 

    Lorna put many options in front of us. We don't live in Rotorua so all of this was done via email and phone calls.  We then asked for a meeting in which Lorna carefully went through the options until we found the one that best met our needs. This could have all done by distance but we were keen to meet up with Lorna because she is pleasant to be around with her great sense of humour and high level of energy. 

    Throughout the process we found Lorna efficient, practical and knowledgeable and her suggestions showed her depth of knowledge within the financial field. I particularly appreciated the constant contact that Lorna maintained, which was the opposite of our bank. 

    The very best thing was that we saved money by getting better interest rates and an all round better deal, one we could not have brokered ourselves. Proving it's worth having an expert to help. 

    We changed banks, which is not easy with a business, but it was a smooth process with Lorna guiding us all the way and we are happily working with our new bank. 

    When our mortgages come up for renewal you can guess who we are going to call first to see if we are getting a good deal. Yes, of course, it is Lorna Harris financier extraordinaire and all round nice person, thanks for everything Lorna. 

    Christine Brasell
    Te Aroha Motel

The Mortgage Process


Work out how much you can afford to borrow.


Gather information & paperwork to obtain a pre-approval

Figure out where to buy

Start looking for a home and make an offer conditional to finance. Think about any other conditions you may like to put on your Sale and Purchase Agreement such as builders report, Registered Valuation and a move in date

Finalise all conditions to purchase

Finalise finance, arrange inspections and valuations as required

Going unconditional

make sure you are happy with the above inspections and reports, if so, then you are ready to unconditionally purchase this property


Talk to us about the best ways to pay off your mortgage and chat about how risk insurance may benefit you

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