Your Legal guide to buying a home in New Zealand

Buying a home can be a daunting process. With many moving parts and different parties, it’s not always easy to know where to start. Here are a few things you will need to know about so you can hit the market with confidence.

If you want to know more about the things we've touched on, just follow the links below each subject overview.

Borrowing money to buy a house

Let's get right into the money side as you can’t buy a house without finance. Front-footing the process by being pre-approved for finance means you know how much you can borrow and what you can afford. But what you also need to consider is making sure you know what loopholes are included in that process. Let's face it, what's good for the bank is not always what's good for you.

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Using a KiwiSaver First Home Withdrawal

Using your KiwiSaver to get into your first home is a great way to get into the market. It also means there are a few more hoops to jump through to use it. Having the right legal advice before you dip into your retirement savings will help make sure you understand how the process works and be proactive in getting the best out of it.

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Getting a KiwiSaver First Home Grant

If you’ve contributed for three years to your KiwiSaver you may qualify for a KiwiSaver First Home Grant and it can be anything from $5000 for an individual, or $10,000 for two of you so it's worth knowing if you're eligible.

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Getting a building report

This is more than just a box-ticking exercise for your bank it’s a real protection for buying a lemon. Getting legal advice on any issues that arise and negotiating any things that you or your builder have an issue with is essential to helping you make a good investment in your new home. 

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LIM and title checks

We’ve all got a history, but not all of our history is documented (thank goodness), but a property's history is. A LIM (Land Information Memorandum) shows all the additional info about a house, from build to extensions. A title check looks at the obligations around the property, such as other mortgages owing or building restrictions. A property lawyer will look at these documents and help you spot any discrepancies. 

EQC assignment clauses

Legal advice is essential when buying a property, particularly in regions that have been subjected to an earthquake in the lifetime of that house so you understand your potential rights, benefits and obligations relating to claims that may be assigned to you. 

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More of your questions answered

Your Legal FAQs about the settlement process when buying a house in New Zealand

The ‘settlement process’ starts once we have confirmed your offer is unconditional. Your Legal team answers the most common questions.

Your Legal FAQs about the due diligence process when buying a house in New Zealand

Yes! Your offer has been accepted! This FAQ guide answers common legal questions about satisfying the conditions of the offer that you've made on the home.

Your Legal FAQs about making an offer on a house in New Zealand

We answer some of your questions about the first step in buying a house, which is when you draw up an offer with a real estate agent.

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