One of my team members flicked me an email recently – she raised the point about how unknowing you can be as a first home buyer, and that can make the process far more painful than it needs to be. Louise is a first home owner herself, so here’s her take…


I’m currently watching a family member go through the process of purchasing their first home…. and realizing I’ve long forgotten the angst involved.

Yes, stress usually brings out the worst in personalities. It’s a hard road getting into a property in Auckland, no doubt. But honestly, after five years of whining about it, I’m about ready to pop a cap in their ass! Well not quite. But any ounce of empathy I had, ebbed away as they tripped overseas and bought multiple big ticket items while ‘not being able to afford a deposit’!

I am hoping that finally owning will stop the incessant ‘woe is me’ rhetoric. Odds are 100:1 it won’t though!

I sound heartless, I know. Some would say I have no idea how hard it is. We were fortunate that our family nagged us into purchasing 6 years ago. Because now, 2 kids on and with a vastly different income, we would struggle big time to even consider the prospect of home ownership in Auckland.

But what I do know is that making the jump into home ownership is a bloody daunting prospect no matter where the market sits. I know very well the thought of ‘Crap – how does all this home ownership kerfuffle work?’ ‘Can I handle that amount of debt?!’ ‘Where the hell do I start?’ ‘Who do I talk to and when?’ ‘How do I piece together a deposit?’ and ‘Who on earth can I trust?!’

I remember now. As a first home buyer when you’ve never done it before, it’s like driving blind. I remember feeling like ‘how the heck are we going to make this work?!’

And I’m seeing it again now. The fretting. The insomnia. The tears. The tantrums. The indecision. The making things more complicated than they need to be!

Maybe that’s a right of passage for every first home buyer to wade through? But in my mind, there are some simple shortcuts that can make your road to home ownership a lot less bumpy and far less stress inducing!

1. Get your deposit in the ballpark:

Scrimp, save, Kiwi-save, beg and borrow that lump you need to get you in the ballpark. At this stage in the Auckland market it’s almost impossible to do the deposit thing on your own – them’s the breaks – but there are several other ways to piece together your deposit puzzle, which we’ve talked through recently.

2. Be willing to take help:

People are sometimes too proud to take the help on offer from parents or other family members…. The reality is if you want to get in the game, you’ll almost certainly need it. And even if you don’t need it to reach the required level of deposit, that added extra may just take the edge off your mortgage payments for a few years.

Whether someone loans you a lump sum or guarantors you into a home loan, the agreement is often for a fixed period, say 5 years, so you don’t have to feel personally tied forever. Use their generosity but set boundaries on paper, so you know what terms you’re working to.

3. Get a mortgage broker on board early:

Securing a mortgage on your own is just a heck of a lot of hard work you don’t need to fret about. Traipsing from bank to bank trying to figure out the best deal and terms is seriously stress inducing, particularly if you’ve got a property ready and waiting to purchase.

The fact is, you need pre-approval – many homes are sold by auction and you won’t even get in the gate without it.

Leave it to the experts to sort, especially when you don’t have to pay a cent for that expert advice! Mortgage brokers have leverage with all the banks, they know the best deals on offer and can work out the smartest mortgage structure for you. Leave the paperwork to them. You’ve got enough to worry about!

I know the burden of buying in Auckland is an absolute beast… and I feel for ya. But when you finally make it to purchase point, don’t make it any harder on yourself. Ask for advice, use help that’s offered, and get organised.

Getting in touch with Cam could make all the difference in simplifying your first home buying – so why not?  

About Campbell Hastie

Cam is one half of Auckland based mortgage brokers, The Go 2 Guys.

He makes a living by sharing what he knows about mortgages with people, arranging mortgages for people and then insuring people.

He doesn't claim to know everything about mortgages himself which is why he teamed up with David Mercer — hence the ‘2’ in Go 2 Guys.

He writes posts regularly on his blog and has been told he has an ability to share his knowledge in a simple and sometimes memorable way.

Feel free to comment and ask any questions. Contact Campbell Hastie m: 027 697 7789.

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