Handy information for the lead up to, and process of, buying your first home.

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Finalise your finances

Before you talk to the real estate agent about offers or auctions, come and talk to us. It's important that you know exactly where you stand financially, so you know when to go for it or when to walk away.

Even if you have a pre-approval, we need to confirm that it's appropriate for you. You don't need to sign anything or commit to a loan, but it’s good to go into negotiations knowing exactly what you can afford. 

Ways to buy a house


Auctions are held at a specific time and place and potential buyers bid what they’re willing to pay for the home until the top bid is reached. To bid at auction you need to purchase the home unconditionally, so you’ll need to get your ducks in a row before the auction. Be prepared to pay the deposit yourself right after bidding – this is generally 10% of the purchase price, unless you’ve agreed otherwise with the vendor before the auction.

Price by negotiation

Your offer is a legal contract called the Sale and Purchase Agreement. It should be based on a standard industry template. If there are any changes, the real estate agent must point them out.

You add your details, the price you’re willing to pay, and any conditions. Conditions are things you want resolved before the sale. For example, you might make the sale conditional on having your loan approved, or on the vendor fixing issues with the house.

Conditions are there to help you, but they can also become sticking points in the sale. Make sure you find the right balance and seek legal advice. 


Similar to price by negotiation, anyone interested in a property has the opportunity to put in a written offer (the 'tender') by a certain date and time (the 'deadline'). All tenders are then presented to the seller at the same time on the deadline, and it’s then up to the seller to decide if they want to accept any of the tenders.


Similar to tender, the seller sets a deadline and potential buyers can put forward an offer and negotiate before that deadline.

Private sale

In a private sale you negotiate directly with the seller to buy your new home - no real estate agents are involved. It pays to be cautious and consult your lawyer on every move you make, to ensure all parties are meeting their legal obligations.

House and land package

When you buy a house and land package, you enter into a contract to build a house for a fixed price. This is also known as a turn-key contract. You will typically have to pay a 10% deposit at the point of signing the contract and pay the balance at completion of the build process. This will depend on your agreement with the building company.

Withdrawing your KiwiSaver savings

If you've decided to use your KiwiSaver savings as part of your first home deposit and you've made sure you're eligible, you will need to let your lawyer or conveyancing partner know.

They'll guide you through the process and application, and once we've received your withdrawal application, it will take about 10 days to turn this around - be sure to leave enough time before settlement day!

More on the KiwiSaver first home withdrawal

Settlement day

Everything's all been leading up to this; when you officially own your new home. We have a few points to consider for your settlement day.

  • Your settlement date is one of the things you will have agreed when negotiating your offer.
  • Often it won't all be completed until later in the day, so it's better not to line up a moving truck for settlement day.
  • Before the final settlement goes through, ask for a pre-settlement inspection. It lets you check that everything is exactly how you agreed it would be. Check that all the chattels are still there, and that nothing unexpected has happened to the house.
  • On settlement day, once everything is finalised, you become the legal owner of the home, and the agent will give you the keys. It's a big moment, and well worth a celebration.
  • If you can, settle one or two days before moving day. It gives you an opportunity to see your new home with no furniture or clutter, which can help you think about how you'd like to arrange things.


Protecting yourself, your loved ones and your home

Protecting your home

Home insurance can look after the little things like lost keys or broken windows, or more serious things like damage from an earthquake or flooding. It gives you the peace of mind that your home can be rebuilt or repaired should something happen to it.

Protecting your contents

Contents insurance can cover your contents for loss occurring throughout New Zealand. While insurance can't cover an item’s sentimental value, contents insurance can help you recover the financial cost of your items if you’ve got the right level of cover.

Protecting yourself and your loved ones

You are your most important asset, so protect yourself like one. If you were to get injured, fall ill or pass away, your ability to work or generate an income is at risk. Protect yourself and your loved one's ability to maintain the mortgage and day-to-day living expenses during these difficult times.

Your will

A will is an important document when purchasing a house. It's important to get one, or update your current one, so it's clear what should happen to your house after you're gone.

ASB does not provide this type of advice - make sure you talk to your lawyer to arrange your will.

Next steps

1. Starting

Tips and tools to help you plan, budget and save for your first home.

2. Power Saving

Ways you could boost your savings to help you get that first home.

3. Finding

How to hunt for the right home and who to talk to while you're looking.

4. Buying

Handy information for the lead up to, and process of, buying your first home.

Contact us about your home loan

We can come to you

Our mobile lending managers cover much of the country.

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Call us

We're here weekdays 8am - 8pm or Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm to answer your home loan questions.

0800 100 600

Visit a branch

Visit us at one of our many branches across New Zealand.

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Apply online

Ready to take the next step? Apply online.

ASB's lending criteria and terms apply

The availability of insurance cover is subject to your application being approved. All applications are subject to individual consideration. Special conditions, exclusions or premium loadings may apply. An excess may apply for health and general insurance policies. For full details refer to the policy document which is available on request from ASB Bank Limited.

ASB life, health and disability insurances are underwritten by AIA New Zealand Limited ("AIA").

General Insurance is underwritten by IAG New Zealand Limited ("IAG").

All licensed insurance providers are required to have a financial strength rating from an approved rating agency. See further details about AIA's financial strength rating and IAG's financial strength rating.

Interests in the ASB KiwiSaver Scheme (Scheme) are issued by ASB Group Investments Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of ASB Bank Limited (ASB). ASB provides Scheme administration and distribution services. No person guarantees interests in the Scheme. Interests in the Scheme are not deposits or other liabilities of ASB. They are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of income and principal invested. For more information see the ASB KiwiSaver Scheme Product Disclosure Statement available from this website and the register of offers of financial products at www.disclose-register.companiesoffice.govt.nz (search for ASB KiwiSaver Scheme).