First home buyers

Buying your first home is exciting – but getting the financial stuff right can be daunting. We take the effort out of shopping around and negotiating the best rate for your loan, and can support you through the steps of buying your first home.

For our Nelson and Tasman clients, we have offices in Richmond and Motueka so you can speak to a real person and get local advice. We can also help clients who prefer to meet virtually or are based elsewhere in New Zealand. 
Mortgage illustration with two people in front of house

Why use a mortgage adviser – why not just go to the bank?

We know the best interest rates and criteria for different banks and non-bank lenders, and we negotiate for you.
Your bank might have turned you down – but it’s still possible that another bank might say yes.
We help guide you the whole process of getting your first mortgage. We find the best rate for you, help with the paperwork and advise you how to best structure the mortgage. All at no cost.

Get a preapproval

A preapproval means you know how much the bank is prepared to lend to you based on your savings and income. It also speeds up the process when you’ve found a house to buy. You can also get an idea of your borrowing power using our handy mortgage calculator.

You do need to understand any conditions attached to the preapproval and we can help explain those thoroughly.
Financial adviser giving financial advice to a client

What’s important to the bank?

There are several things mortgage providers will look at when assessing your home loan application, including your credit rating and your financial history.

Each lender has their own criteria that they assess against – some are more favourable than others – which is why it’s helpful to use a mortgage adviser who can guide you to the best fit.
One of the most important factors is your ability to repay the loan. Your income and expenses are both assessed and the bank will consider how much free cash you have at the end of the month to cover a loan payment, after you’ve paid your other expenses. Keeping your spending low in the 3 months prior to application helps.
Sort your other debt early! Hire purchases, car loans, store cards, credit card debt, student loans – all have an impact on how much a bank will lend. Sometimes it’s enough to stop them approving an offer.
Banks are wary of people with poor credit, however, you might still have options with a non-bank lender – we can help if this is the case.
It’s location, it’s construction quality and condition and age – all are factors that the bank will consider.

Getting the deposit together

Much sure you’ve paid off any debt first (there’s no point in saving if you’re paying a high rate of interest on a credit card).

If you’ve been contributing for over 3 years, you may be able to use some of your KiwiSaver money towards your deposit (in some situations, you can even use it if you’ve previously owned a home). You can use employee and employer contributions and tax credits but you can’t use the $1,000 kickstart. Using your KiwiSaver is a great option to get your deposit together – it’s something we do all the time and can help you with, regardless of where your KiwiSaver is.

If you’re planning on buying your first home as an investment property and don’t intend to live in it, then you won’t be able to use your KiwiSaver savings. You might want to look at the mortgages for investment properties page.

The Kāinga Ora First Home Loan might also make getting into your first home easier as you only need a 5% deposit. Certain criteria apply (including maximum household income and minimum deposit amounts). You can read more info here.

There are three main ways family can help:

  • Gift you the money
  • Loan you the money – ideally with a loan agreement in place to protect everyone
  • Act as a guarantor for some or all of your loan. Some banks have a particular type of loan that makes this arrangement easier.

First Home Loans are offered by selected banks and are underwritten by Kāinga Ora. This means you might need as little as 5% deposit. However the criteria are quite restrictive and we’d encourage you to read more here.

What’s the process with talking to Castle Trust about my mortgage?

Completing our online application form gives us the information we need to be able to give you feedback on your mortgage prospects, and the amount you could potentially borrow.

We’ll then have a phone discussion, zoom call or in person meeting in our Richmond or Motueka office to talk you through your options and answer any questions you might have.

Once you're ready, we'll submit your application for pre-approval to the bank. We also have a range of non-bank lenders we can use when the mainstream banks say 'no'. 

With your preapproval in hand, you can then go out and find your new home!
Once you’ve found the house you want to buy, we’ll help you with the purchase process and arranging your finance – making sure you’ve got the best interest rate and mortgage structure to suit your needs.

The mortgage journey starts here

We are here to make this go as smoothly as possible so you end up with the best mortgage to suit your own situation. 
Learn more about the steps to getting your mortgage
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Meet our mortgage experts

Our mortgage team of Stuart Pope, Chevaun Marshall and Melanie Riley bring years of professional experience. Stuart has 20 years experience as a mortgage broker based in Nelson, Chevaun is a qualified accountant and Melanie has over 10 years in financial services. They also have personal and professional experience building up property investment portfolios including residential and commercial properties.
Book now for personalised FREE advice 

“Stu and the team at Castle Trust made my first ever mortgage an absolute breeze. They were always available on the end of the phone to answer any of my rookie questions happily. They even have an in house insurance adviser who will contact you to see whether they can help with anything. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to get a mortgage and who appreciates first class service. A++.” 

SK, Administrator, Brightwater

Frequently asked questions

Choosing the right structure for your mortgage is really important. Fixed or Floating? Revolving Credit or Table Loan? And what even is an Offset Loan? We know it’s confusing which is why we’ve got a whole page dedicated to answering these questions – but more importantly, we’ll help work out what’s right for you.

Nothing! For most clients there is no charge. The bank pays us (because it saves them having to do the paperwork that we take care of). The only time you’ll pay a fee is if we have to use a non-bank finance company – but we’ll tell you well in advance before you’re committed to anything. Our disclosure information is available here.
No – in fact it’s better if you do it before you start looking!

Your better financial future starts here

Your better financial future starts with a conversation with one of our financial experts. We offer 30 minutes free consultations to help give you peace of mind that we can help you where you need it most.
Book now


Richmond office: 278 Queen Street, Next to the Library
Phone: 03 544 1428
Motueka office: 217 High Street, Opposite Elevations
Phone: 03 528 4184
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