Home ownership is no longer a right of passage for everyone. Instead it is something that can be obtained through sheer hard work and bloody determination. An even then there are many many hurdles to jump over.
Having a big fat deposit helps too. The more we can prove that we are reliable and can afford to pay back the mortgage the higher the chances are of being granted pre approval.
First home buyers face extreme scrutiny and have to fill out enough paperwork to wallpaper the house with once you actually get to buy it. Every little detail of your life is searched, checked, accounted for and turned over. You almost feel violated as the lending institutions learn about your spending habits and lifestyle.
I imagine them sitting there with a ruler going over every single detail of the bank statements casting judgments about who you are and how you spend your money. Feelings of guilt for buying takeaways too often or having a pie on the run when filling up the car with petrol are insignificant to them, but not to me. All they care about is whether you can pay back the loan and make them a healthy profit in the process.
Home ownership is fast becoming un affordable and out of reach for some. With tighter lending restrictions and conditions, saving for a deposit is almost impossible while managing to live day to day. According to the NZ Herald, “Home ownership is nudging a new low with the least number of Kiwis living in their own home in 66 years.”
I have always been content with renting. In fact, during the years of raising my children on my own and studying, I had little choice but to rent. I often joke about not bothering to move the furniture around every couple of years to freshen up the place, instead moving house was a much better way to freshen it up.
Without Russell’s kiwisaver we would not be in a position to buy a home and although it is not a huge amount (14%) we are still very lucky with what has been accumulated. Russell has been wanting to buy a home for a few years now. It has always been his dream. I, on the other hand have taken some convincing and eventually decided to start the process with him back in October 2016.
We decided to see a mortgage broker to find out what we needed to do. The first one we chose was not very helpful and we began a journey that would end several months later with no pre approval and no support. We spent hundreds of hours filling out paperwork only to end up with nothing. Apparently his excuse was that he was not qualified to work with first home buyers and did not understand their requirements.
Some time later and after some research, we found another broker and began the paperwork war all over again. Each time a new lending institution was found we waged another paperwork war as they asked for more information each week and would take a week to respond. This process went on for months until our broker was told what was happening and searched for another lender for us.
Three lending institutions and 18 months later we now have pre approval but the hard work has only just begun. We are now playing the waiting game. Keep an eye out for next weeks post as I share the journey with you as we venture into home ownership using the Welcome Home Loan scheme.