Buying Your First Home: How to Find The Perfect Property

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Buying your first home in New Zealand is a big deal! You may have been saving for years and are now ready to take the plunge and start your dream of home ownership. No more paying rent to landlords and paying someone else’s mortgage. Some good advice can help you avoid the problems many first home buyers come across.


If you are seriously looking at buying your first home you will have likely been saving for a while to accumulate a deposit. Banks vary on what amount they will accept as a deposit. Usually to get a mortgage you will need to have been in regular employment for at least 6 months, maybe even 2 years. Banks and mortgage lenders change their criteria so you will need to do some research. A mortgage broker could save you some time with this part of the process.

Online mortgage calculators can give you an estimate of what value of property you may be able to afford based on values you enter such as income, current rent, minimum debt payments, utilities etc. You can use these estimates to search for suitable properties in the areas you are interested in. Seeking advice and getting a pre-approved mortgage (with a maximum value) will put you in a strong buying position. First home buyers have an advantage over buyers who still have their own home to sell.

Top budget tip: generally you should plan to spend no more than 30% of your gross income in mortgage payments each month.

What will your first home look like? Ask yourself these questions: 

  • What size house would you like?
  • How large a home do you need? (square metres or number of bedrooms)
  • Do you have or plan to have children?
  • Is a garden on your wish list?
  • Off street parking or garage?
  • Fenced for pets and children?
  • Room for a vegetable garden and animals?

Your first home should be near to where you work to minimise transport costs and travel time. Look at the areas on a map and draw a circle with your work as the centre and search within that circle. Where would you like to live? Where can you afford to live?

Top tip for choosing a home: If you are a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) enthusiast, then buying a home in need of work can maximise your profit when you come to sell.


With a dollar value to work with as a pre-approved loan amount from your mortgage lender you can now search for your dream home. Use Trade Me and real estate websites to search for homes. There are real estate brochures available from real estate agents with some listings and open homes too. Check real estate windows and ask for more details as there may be more properties not on show.

Top tip for finding a home: If you let an agency know what you are looking they will be able to let you know of any new properties that come on to the market.

There is never a perfect time to enter the property market. Finding the perfect home and being able to afford it is the perfect first property for you, and the perfect time to jump on the property ladder. If you are looking for houses for sale in South Auckland contact Rubal Singh of Harcourts. By visiting you will be able to view available South Auckland properties. Harcourts are well known real estate agents in South Auckland with a number of properties to choose from: Your perfect first time buy might be amongst them.