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Finding the one

Once you've got your deposit and
pre-approval sorted, you can start house hunting with confidence.

You could get a $3,000 cash contribution when you buy your first home with an ANZ home loan

Property types

Different property and land ownership types come with different considerations, so it's a good idea to establish what's important before you start.

Existing houses are generally less complicated in terms of the purchase process and your loan.

When you buy an apartment or a terraced house you may become a shared owner of any common areas of the property. This usually means you'l need to pay body corporate fees and be a member of the body corporate. Before making an offer, you may wish to understand the financial position of the body corporate and your responsibilties as a member. The vendor can provide this information.

Types of land ownership

There are a number of land ownership types in New Zealand. The more commonly known types are:

  • Freehold - you own the land
  • Cross lease - land ownership is shared between the owners of properties on that land
  • Unit Title - you own a defined part of a building, like an apartment, and share ownership of common areas
  • Leasehold - someone else owns the land and you lease it from them.

It's important to talk to your solicitor and get their advice about these different types and what they would mean for you before making an offer.

See settled.govt.nz for more details about types of land ownership.

Doing your homework

Buying a home is a big commitment, so it pays to do thorough research before you make an offer. It's a good idea to have a list of your ideals to rate a property against. Some things you may like to consider: 

  • Does it get good sunlight (it pays to visit at different times of the day)?
  • What is the neighbourhood like (including neighbouring houses)?
  • Is it close to facilities like shops, schools or transport?
  • Does it have insulation? How is it heated?
  • What is the general condition of the building, roof, and outside areas? Are there any potential issues that may need to be addressed?

For more details about researching a property, visit settled.govt.nz

Tip:

Before you make an offer on a property, it's important to factor in the cost of house insurance. Certain regions may not only have higher premiums, but there may be some restrictions on obtaining insurance. Your ANZ Home Loan Coach can help with this.

Get an ANZ Property Profile Report and know a home's potential worth.

An ANZ Property Profile Report gives you an estimate of a property's potential market value, plus recent comparable property sales in the area –helping you decide how much you're willing to pay for a particular home. The report, produced by Core Logic, is worth $49.95 and is free when you have a pre-approval for an ANZ home loan. 

Engage a solicitor

Once you've found a potential property, here's an overview of how your solicitor can help.

Your solicitor will review the Title information and LIM report and advise you if you need to consider adding any conditions to your offer. Typical conditions include: subject to confirming finance, obtaining a LIM report and being satisfied with the results of a builder's inspection.

A bid at auction is an unconditional offer, so be sure to talk to your solicitor first. They will advise you of all the due diligence you need to complete before the auction day.

If you're using your KlwiSaver savings, you'll give your first home withdrawal forms to your solicitor, who will finalise them and send them to your KiwiSaver scheme provider. Once your withdrawal has been approved, your provider will send your withdrawal amount to your solicitor's bank account.

Once your offer is accepted or you've won an auction, your solicitor will be responsible for transferring the property to you (conveyancing) and completing the transactions necessary for settlement (you will be able to pick up the keys following settlement).

Tip:

If you don't already have a will, talk to your solicitor about putting one in place.

Complete required inspections & reports

There are a range of inspections and reports available for a fee to help you research a property you're interested
in.

A registered building inspector will inspect the house and check whether it is structurally sound, the condition of the wiring and if there are any water tightness issues. The cost of a builder's inspection depends on the level of detail you require and generally start at around $350*.

*Please note that costs quoted are estimates only and can vary depending on region and are subject to change.

A LIM report is a report issued by the local city or district council. It provides a summary of all the information the council has on file in regards to roads, flooding or any contamination of the land, rates, and resource planning consents. 

Depending on the type of sale, the real estate agent may provide you with a copy of the LIM report and the Record of Title (particularly if you're buying at auction). Your solicitor can review your LIM report and advise you of anything you may need to consider. The cost of a LIM report can vary from around $200-$395* and tends to be more expensive in larger cities.

*Please note that costs quoted are estimates only and can vary depending on region and are subject to change.

A property file provides any correspondence with the council regarding the property. A property file does not replace a LIM report and your solicitor will advise you whether one is required. Property file costs range from $10 – $60* depending on the council.

*Please note that costs quoted are estimates only and can vary depending on region and are subject to change.

Tip:

The cost of inspections and reports can start to add up. So be sure it's a property you are really interested in before requesting these.

Find out how the house will be sold

There are four main ways to buy a house in New Zealand and each has pros and cons. Check out our journey maps below for more information. Remember that making an offer may lead to a legally binding contract if your offer is accepted. Buying a house is an exciting time, but it's important that your solicitor checks your Sale and Purchase Agreement before you sign it.

An auction is where you bid against other people until only one bidder is successful. All interested buyers turn up on auction day and bid. The vendor (seller) will have a reserve price, and once this price is reached, the property is on the market and will be sold to the highest bidder. If it doesn't reach the reserve price, the vendor may choose to negotiate with the highest unsuccessful bidder. If you buy a home at auction, the sale is unconditional – so you need to obtain legal advice, do your due diligence (e.g. LIM reports, inspections) and have finance approved before you bid. You will also need to be ready to pay a deposit on the day (generally 10% of the purchase price).

If you want to make an offer, the real estate agent or your solicitor will help you fill in a Sale and Purchase Agreement, which contains your offer and any conditions. The vendor (seller) can accept your offer, reject it or make a counter-offer. The real estate agent will act as the go-between until both you and the vendor reach an agreement.

• Download our Offer and Negotiation Journey Map (PDF 100kB)

Anyone who is interested in the property submits a written offer (tender) by a certain date. Typically, all the tenders are opened at once and the vendor (seller) decides which (if any) they will accept. They may also choose to negotiate with any of the tenderers, however you might not always get this chance so consider this when making your offer.

Download our Tender Journey Map (PDF 100kB)

KiwiBuild is a government-led programme to assist eligible first home buyers to buy their first home. Available KiwiBuild homes are sold by direct sale or ballot to individuals that meet eligibility criteria.

Visit kiwibuild.govt.nz for more information and to register.

Tip:

To experience the home buying process you can register for a free ANZ Property Unlocked Seminar. You'll get first-hand insights from experts including solicitors, real estate agents and ANZ Home Loan Coaches.

Making an offer

There are two options when making an offer on a property; conditional and unconditional. You should always have your solicitor check any Sale and Purchase Agreements before you make an offer.

A conditional offer is one where you can specify conditions that must be met before you agree for the Sale and Purchase Agreement to be declared unconditional. Conditions could include making your offer subject to obtaining a satisfactory building inspector's report, confirming finance, selling your current property or obtaining a LIM report. Conditions always have a timeframe attached and must be completed by the specified date.

An unconditional offer is one where there are no conditions attached to your offer. You should carry out all due diligence (e.g. LIM reports, inspections, confirming finance) and ensure your solicitor has reviewed the Sale and Purchase Agreement prior to making an unconditional offer, as you will be legally bound to complete the purchase if your offer is accepted.

Apply for full loan approval

Before your offer can be unconditional, you will need to confirm finance by applying for full loan approval for your chosen property. 

Having already validated your identity and financial position for your pre-approval, the property is the final component of your loan application. 

Your ANZ Home Loan Coach will help you through the process and provide you with a Letter of Offer if your application is confirmed. Your Letter of Offer is key to the sale going ahead.

Note that in some cases, we may require a property valuation before we can confirm full approval. 

ANZ lending criteria, terms, conditions, and fees apply. Interest rates and fees are subject to change.  

A copy of the Bank's General Disclosure Statement  under the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989 is available on this website or on request from any ANZ branch, free of charge.

This material is for information purposes only. Its content is intended to be of a general nature, does not take into account your financial situation or goals, and is not a personalised financial adviser service under the Financial Advisers Act 2008. It is recommended you seek advice from a financial adviser which takes into account your individual circumstances before you acquire a financial product. An ANZ Authorised Financial Adviser will, on request and free of charge, provide you with his or her disclosure statement prepared under the Financial Advisers Act 2008. If you wish to consult one of ANZ's financial advisers, please contact us on 0800 269 296.