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Will My Partner And I Qualify For A First Home Deposit Subsidy?

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Contributor:
Mary Holm
Mary Holm

Question:

I've been in KiwiSaver since the beginning. My fiancee just joined last year after obtaining her residency.
 
At the moment we don't live together but will do after marriage in December.
 
Our individual incomes are both below $100,000, but combined they are over $100,000.
 
Seeing my wife will not be eligible for the subsidy or withdrawal towards the first home, will I be able to get around this by purchasing our first home under my name and my wife pays me rent, which will contribute to the mortgage repayment?
 
Be interested to hear your views about this.

Answer:

Mary Holm: To my surprise, you probably can do this. Take note, any other couples who thought they earned too much to get the first home subsidy - at least one of you may be able to collect $3000 to $5000.

As long as you buy the house on your own, with the title registered in your name, you should be able to get both the subsidy and withdrawal.

This assumes you have been in KiwiSaver at least three years and you meet the subsidy requirements on level of contributions and the price of the house.
 
Says Housing New Zealand, which runs the subsidy: "The deposit subsidy is an individual application based on household income. Household income means the people purchasing the house with you - that is, those named on the sale and purchase agreement. If the title is registered in the name of the applicant only, then the income of anyone else who lives in the house is irrelevant."

This applies even to spouses.

Nor does there seem to be anything to stop you and your wife from transferring ownership into both of your names later on - making it a joint family home.

Housing NZ says there are no rules governing this.
 

Mary Holm is the author of bestselling books on KiwiSaver and personal finance. She is also a highly praised seminar presenter. Her written advice is of a general nature, and she is not responsible for any loss that any reader may suffer from following that advice.      

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