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Squirrel HomeBuild is the easiest way to finance building a new home, and it takes the hassle out of the process because you don’t service the loan until your home is finished, it’s a disciplined and rigorous process and progress valuations are not required. It’s also available for loans up to 95% of the total cost, making it possible to build with a five percent deposit and nothing else to pay until the house is completed.
Squirrel HomeBuild won’t be the right solution for everyone. In a nutshell, it’s for owner-occupied properties, with reputable builders and needs reliable fixed price contracts with little or no provisional cost sums. The registered valuation must also equate to the total project price. We have a panel of bank lenders who work with us to provide this loan. Your adviser will let you know if it's right for you, and if it isn't, we can still easily pull together a financing solution that works best for you.
Before you get down to business, you’ll want to get clued up on how buying one of these sites actually works.
Buying off-plan is a bit different to when you can physically eye up your new home. It requires a small leap of faith. You’re buying something sight unseen with a few artist impressions and written specifications to fill the void. The benefit is that they are often better value-for-money and you don’t need to fight it out each week at auctions. The challenge is getting your head around what you’re buying.
The other advantage is the deposit amount. We all know that saving for a big enough deposit to get you into the Auckland market is the biggest hurdle, but there are more lenient rules around lending for off-plan homes, and you don’t have to have a 20% deposit like you would if you were buying an existing house.
Have a look at the different types of loans you can get below, as well as the various payment structures.
This type of construction loan is beneficial to the client, but it can make it harder for the builders. That's because a turn key contract is essentially a fixed price contract between you and the builder that specifies a fully completed property or renovation, including landscaping, driveways, painting and flooring in the new property.
Things to note:
A turn key contract only allows for minimal ‘PC Sum’ (non-fixed) costs, meaning that the costs shouldn’t blow out once construction is underway.
This contract is exempt from RBNZ (Reserve Bank of NZ) rules. That means you don’t need a 20% deposit - a 10% deposit (20% for investment properties) is required for turn key contracts, and some banks may even stretch to allow 5% in special circumstances, making this an attractive option for those with good income but less savings.
Another advantage to you the client is that until the property has been completed and settled, you don’t make any loan repayments or pay any interest, allowing you additional time to save before you start to pay off the loan.
This is the most common type of construction loan and builders love this type of contract.
Like the turn key, it specifies completion of a ready to live in building with minimal ‘PC Sum’ costs.
Again, like turn key, these loans are exempt from RBNZ policies and therefore banks only require a 20% deposit if it’s an investment property (10% deposit is fine for first home buyers). The big difference is that there are progress payments involved. These progress payments are funds that go to the builder at various stages of the project (outlined in the table). Think of it as a 'pay as you go' approach. You start paying interest on your loan as soon as the first payment is made - which is typically at settlement of the land - and your loan payment increases as each new payment is made.
Firstly, a 10% deposit will be required to secure the contract. This is then included in the first drawdown. Normally paid by cash or equity.
The second drawdown tends to be 20% of the total balance of the build contract.
To give you an idea of how the entire payments might typically pan out, the rules of thumb shown in this table can be used.
We wouldn’t recommend you sign one of these bad boys unless you’re relatively experienced in construction contracting and how it all works.
These contracts come in many forms but normally consist of a range of sub-contracts that are managed by either the client or a project manager. There might also be a labour only arrangement with the contractor.
These types of contracts are commonly used in the case of a kitset or relocatable home.
Lending for a labour only or partial contract is limited to the land value only unless the buildings are already permanently fixed to the land. LVR would typically be between 65% - 80% depending on the contract. The bank will also include a 10% - 20% contingency as these loans almost always go over budget.
Not only does buying off the plan require a small leap of faith, it also comes with a whole heap of other lending conditions. Here are some typical conditions to expect in a build loan approval:
So get in touch with one of our advisers today.
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Pokeno, [New Zealand]
I am dealing with Venu, he is very professional, got lots of experience and always guide me during loan pre approval and land settlement. Highly recommended squirrel finance. Thank you so much Venu.5 starsM
Auckland, [New Zealand]
Marilize was very patient, guiding us through a new build. Since then she has kindly helped my daughter and partner and set them up with what they need to do to get a mortgage in the future. We would happily recommend her to our friends. Kim and Neil FordK
Auckland, New Zealand
Peimin is very helpful and done a great job! With her help we purchase our first home, we feel so lucky we've chosen Squirrel and we know we will continue working with them for many years to come.M
Auckland, New Zealand
Lindsay was amazing, he done so much work on our behalf. He killed it getting us the best deals. I was completely new to the experience and it was amazing!A
, New Zealand
Everything was professional, personal and I never felt like a number. Aatish formed a relationship with us and was very thorough and always had our best interests in mind.T
Wellington, New Zealand
Emma is amazing. She was there for us 24/7. Was always ready and answered all of our questions in a very quick turn-around. I will highly recommend Emma and Squirrel to anyone that needs a broker!P
Auckland, New Zealand
Ben was brilliant! Easy to work with and talk to. We did all of this during COVID and I wouldn't be able to tell him apart if I were to pass him on the street, but I would recommend him to anyone and everyone!E
Wellington, New Zealand
Squirrel has been amazing! We would not have got our house without Matt's advice. We felt really taken care of and our needs were taken care of. Exceptional customer service!C