Starting out

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

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Could your family help?

  • Gifting: You can use a cash gift from your parents (or someone else) as part of your deposit. However, you will need to get them to sign a gifting certificate (which your bank can provide) confirming where the money came from and that there is no requirement to repay it.

  • Guarantors: Another option, which is an alternative to a cash gift, is for your parents to act as guarantors on your home loan. This may require them to provide their own home as security for your loan and be able to show they can repay the amount they are guaranteeing. There's even the option to just guarantee a portion of your home loan (e.g. 10%) as opposed to the entire home loan amount. This might be more appealing to your parents as it means they're likely to be released from their guarantor obligations sooner.

  • Buying with friends and family: If buying a property on your own isn't an option you might like to consider buying with friends or family to split the costs. You can combine your savings or use equity in other properties to provide a joint deposit and then split the cost of payments to make it easier to afford.

  • Remember, you should always seek independent legal advice throughout the home buying process but it becomes especially important if your parents (or anyone else) are helping you with your deposit or purchase.

Home loan pre-approval

What is a pre-approval?

A home loan pre-approval is an acknowledgement from the bank that you can borrow an agreed amount, provided the property you purchase meets its home lending criteria and general terms and conditions.

Pre-approvals often come with conditions that you need to satisfy in order to finalise your home loan. Some requirements include providing a registered valuation completed by an approved registered valuer using our panel valuation service and house insurance.

Having an ASB pre-approval upfront can help you get a lot of the hassle out of the way and provide you with reasonable certainty on what you can spend to help you narrow down your search.

You should note that ASB pre-approval letters of offer are valid for up to 90 days from the date of issue, unless specified for a shorter period or a specific property.

Learn more about pre-approvals Apply for a pre-approval

Home Loan application tips

So you're thinking about buying your first home? It's a smart move to get a pre-approval for your loan. Here's some handy tips about some of the things we'll need in order to consider your home loan application. This isn't a definitive list, and as you'd expect, all applications are subject to ASB's lending criteria.

  • Proof of your income

We'll need to be sure you have a regular income, so payments on your loan will not put you under financial pressure. If you are employed, we'll ask to see three of your most recent payslips, or if you work for yourself, a copy of your most up to date financial statements prepared by an accountant.

  • Your debts and outgoings

So that we can work out your outgoings, we'll need to see statements that show your current balance on loans, credit cards, any hire purchase arrangements and store cards etc. You can use our calculator to work out your average monthly expenditure. 

  • Evidence of your deposit

We'll need to see a bank statement showing you have the deposit available. If you're using your KiwiSaver savings, call your provider and ask for a written balance estimate.

  • Bank history (If you don't bank with ASB)

We'll need to see your last six months' bank statements. These should show your name clearly (or your joint names), the logo of the bank and a running balance over the period of time.

  • Identification

We'll need two forms of ID, including photo ID, if you are new to ASB. This includes a driver's licence, passport or something similar. If you already bank with us, then we'll just need one form of ID.

  • Proof of address

A utility bill (no more than 3 months old), a recent bank statement or government agency statement (such as a rates bill) addressed to you at your current address will be fine.

Ways to buy a house

Here are the different ways of buying a property, with tips for your first home purchase.


Auctions are held at a specific time and place where potential buyers bid what they're willing to pay for the home until the top bid is reached. The benefit of an auction is knowing exactly what other potential buyers are willing to pay as they each make a bid for the house, however if multiple bidders are wanting to buy the house it can get competitive as the price goes up. 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 agree 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 resolves 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.

Price by negotiation allows you more flexibility with your offer and less in the moment competition when compared to an auction. However, with this method you have less visibility of what other potential buyers are offering for the home and how competitive your offer is versus theirs.

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.

Also like the price by negotiation method, there isn't the intensity of an auction room present but this comes with less foresight into how your offer stacks up against others.


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. The benefit of this method is that you are talking directly with the party of interest and you could get a better understanding of how much they are wanting for the property.

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 completition of the build process. This will depend on your agreement with the building company.

A helping hand from your KiwiSaver savings

Are you putting money into KiwiSaver?

If you are, you could already have a savings balance to use towards your deposit. If you're not already in KiwiSaver, it can be a great tool to help you save your deposit.

There are many ways you can make sure your KiwiSaver savings are helping you reach your first home goal - receiving employer and government contributions, making the right fund choice and additional voluntary contributions can all boost your savings for your first home.

To use your KiwiSaver savings towards your first home, you'll need to have been a KiwiSaver member for at least three years when you buy your home.

Join the ASB KiwiSaver Scheme

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We're here to help

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Start your home loan application online. We'll be in touch to complete the next steps with you.

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Give yourself 5-10 minutes.

Meet in person

One of our team can meet at a time and place that suits you, or you can make an appointment to meet at an ASB branch.

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Log in to book an appointment.

Give us a call

You can pick up the phone and call one of our home lending team, weekdays 8am-6pm and on Saturday 8:30am-5pm.

0800 100 600

+64 9 306 3000 for overseas

Manage loan online

Existing customers can view and manage loans, apply for a top up and more.

Log in to Home Central

Next steps

The first step on the property ladder is to be armed with the best advice before you start. ASB has all the tools for your dream home buying process.


Tips and tools for the first home buyer to help you plan, budget and save money. Use our mortgage repayments calculator to compare home loans, interest rates, terms and mortgage payments.

Power Saving

Ways you could boost your savings to help you on your journey to first home ownership.


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


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

ASB's terms and lending criteria apply.

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).