Buying a home - step by step

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide that could help you navigate the home buying process. It’s only an overview of how the process generally happens, so please seek professional advice about your specific situation.


Getting your deposit together


  • Control your expenses (food/entertainment)
  • Consolidate debt (credit card/store cards).
  • Look for easy savings (public transport/plan your meals).



Work out what you can afford


House hunting

  • Where do you want to live? Choose your areas, but be realistic about your budget.
  • What sort of place do you want? A freestanding house

Start Looking


  • Trade Me Real Estate Section
  • Open 2View
  • Realestate.co.nz
  • Sella property


  • Local newspaper
  • Property Press

You’ll quickly get an idea of what’s available in each of location, the price of homes and how that sits with your budget. Narrow down your search.

Tips to help your search

  • Stick to your criteria.
  • Ask the real estate agent questions about the property.
  • Look at the property more than once in different conditions.
  • Take notes.
  • Take a compass – if you want north facing, make sure you get it.




Getting serious about buying

Work out what you can afford and apply for a home loan.

  • Use our calculator to work out if you could afford the home or section you like.
  • Apply for a home loan with ASB. Contact us. We can help you through the process. Check our home buyers’ application guide for what we’ll need to see when you are applying for a home loan. 
  • Find a lawyer to act for you on any purchase.
  • Make sure you understand the issues you need to be aware of when buying a home. Things such as the Certificate of Title, property easements, building inspections, district schemes, planning permissions, zoning and permitted uses. Ask your lawyer to explain anything you come across that you don’t understand.


Making an offer

  • Make sure you understand the different ways to buy a house. Check out guide to Ways to buy a home for more.
  • Other than purchasing at auction, your offer should be in writing. You should sign only after you’ve discussed the offer with your lawyer. In many cases, (other than in an auction situation) you can make your offer conditional on the certain checks, like a building inspection.
  • Once your offer is accepted, pay your deposit. (It’s usually held by the real estate agent in trust until the sale goes unconditional).
  • Conditional offers typically expire on a certain date, so make sure you’re satisfied about all aspects the property before that date.
  • Sign (or bid, if it’s an auction) unconditionally only when you are 100% sure the property is what you want at the price you are happy to pay. Discuss this with your lawyer.


Before settlement

Before settlement you should:

  • Complete a property inspection to check the house is as described in the sale and purchase agreement.
  • Arrange insurance cover and services (telephone, electricity, gas etc.) for settlement day.
  • Prepare to move.  Take a look at our Moving guide, there are some ideas to help make moving easier.
  • We send your mortgage documentation to your solicitor for you to sign. 

One you've signed, your solicitor liases with us and registers interest on the title of the property


On settlement

  • Your lawyer transfers the balance of funds for your purchase to the vendors' lawyer.
  • The seller clears out to give you vacant possession (which means the property is empty and all their things are removed).


It's all yours

  • You get the keys to your new place.
  • You take possession - congratulations!

Apply for an ASB home loan

Apply online

Ready to take the next step? Apply online and we’ll respond within four business hours.

Apply online

We can come to you

Our mobile lending managers cover much of the country.

Find a lending manager

Visit a branch

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

Find a branch

Any questions?

We’ll help with your ASB home loan query.

Ask us now

Call us

Speak with one of our lending specialists 7 days a week.

0800 100 600

Other helpful guides

ASB’s lending criteria, terms, conditions and fees apply.

Home loans Buying a home