First home with KiwiSaver

02 September 2019

Troy Coutts got serious about saving for a house two years ago. By increasing his KiwiSaver contributions and saving hard, he was in a great position to buy his first home in a short amount of time.

Congratulations on buying your first home! Did it take you long to find your house?

I’d heard house-hunting could be hard, especially if you’re looking in the city. We had to look outside the city because we knew that was unrealistic. We fully expected to spend every weekend at open homes and make 20 offers before we got somewhere! So yeah, we got super lucky with the first offer we made!

Was it always your plan to use KiwiSaver as a deposit to help you buy your first house?

About 2 years ago, we were thinking that we should be purchasing a house, so I put my KiwiSaver contributions to the highest it could be because I knew that was coming up. And then lived like a student for a little while to make my savings look nice and healthy!

Did using your KiwiSaver as a deposit make the process easier?

Yes, it topped our deposit up that bit more and gave us more options, especially to start looking and to buy in the area we wanted.

How simple was it for you to withdraw your KiwiSaver funds when you were ready to purchase?

It was a lot easier for me than my partner! It was pretty much instantaneous for me and it took about two weeks for hers. Mine was very easy and I was really pleased with that. The main thing was the First Home letter that you get prior to withdrawing your KiwiSaver money. That piece of paperwork was available online straight away for me, but my partner had to request it from her bank and that took some time.

Now that you’re in your first home, it can feel a bit like you’re starting from zero again. How easy have you found it to start saving into KiwiSaver again?

I’ve been saving strongly for about 2-3 years so I’m kind of in the habit. It was easy enough to get straight back into it.

What advice do you have for first home buyers planning to use their KiwiSaver as a deposit?

If you can, jump onto the highest contribution amount you can for a few years, or as soon as you start thinking about first home purchase. It’s a great way to get you to a comfortable amount for a deposit to really top up your offer.