First Home Buyers, you're in the right place.

Stressing about buying your first home? You're not alone. We've helped thousands of kiwi into their first homes and we can help you too. 
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We're here to guide you through the process

We'll arm you with all the info you need, help you steer clear of the traps and sort you out with the best possible deal from the bank. We've even put together a handy First Home Buyers Guide  with answers to questions you probably haven't come up with yet.

We've built our entire business around making sure the house buying process runs as smoothly as possible for you, from saving for a deposit to getting the best mortgage rates - leaving you to get on with the fun stuff, like planning your first BBQ. 

Heard about Launchpad, the home loan for first home buyers with high income and low deposit? See if you qualify here

Why Squirrel you ask? Well - in a nutshell (ha) we've been around the block a few times. We know house buying inside out and arrange a whopping $3 billion of home loans every year, helping tons of kiwis in the process.

First home buyers sitting on a couch

So what does a Squirrel mortgage broker do?

We do a lot more than negotiate a good deal with the bank. Here's a snapshot of what we'll do for you:

  • Help you figure out how much you can afford to borrow
  • Work out where to buy your first home
  • Access property reports on potential homes
  • Help arrange inspections and valuations
  • Look over your LIM, Sale and Purchase agreement and building inspection reports (those things are loaded with jargon which we can translate for you)
  • Get you a great deal from the bank and the best structure for your mortgage
  • We're just an email or phone call away if you get stuck with something. No question is a stupid question in our books.

If you like details, here are a few more reasons to use a mortgage broker (50 to be precise).

Don't know where to begin? Book a chat with us.

Sometimes it's easier to just chat through everything with someone who knows the answers. Luckily, we can help. Choose a time in our diary and one of our team will give you a call. Easy!

Pick a time

Some tips before you get started

We've been around the block a few times, here's our advice to get you prepped:

Get your ducks in a row so you can jump on the right deal

If you’ve got all the legal and financial stuff sorted early you’ll get in first on the great properties. Almost makes you feel sorry for everyone else. Almost. Tip: we can help you with this.

Don’t settle for any old mortgage

A mortgage is a huge sum of money, which means squeezing what feels like loose change out of your bank can save you thousands of bucks in the long run. Seriously. Get your mortgage right and it's the easiest money you'll make.

The banks will do anything to make you choose them

Don’t fall for their free-tv-cash-back-free-groceries-for-a-year trickery – choose the right mortgage, and you’ll be able to buy your own TV. Our advisers don't receive any incentive to put one provider’s product in front of another, including our own, so their only motivation they have is to make you better off.

We have access to all the banks

Our online application is designed to help us get to know you faster, so we can focus our time on the stuff that's most important to you.

Ready to get the ball rolling?

Get started by filling in our online form, or if you'd prefer to chat first, schedule a call with one of our advisers.

Hear from JB (the chief of Squirrel) about what NOT to do. (ft Jack, the dog).

Knowledge is power

Stay up to date with what's happening in the property market, and get the latest tips and tricks to help with your journey to your first home.

Keys on a key target


When it comes to buying a house, there are so many things to think about. We've answered a few questions you may have on your mind.

What does the process with Squirrel look like?

Filling in our online application gives us enough information to have a good chat about what you're wanting to achieve, and focus on the stuff that's important to you. In a nutshell, we'll meet with you to discuss next steps, answer any questions and once you're ready, we'll submit an application for pre-approval to the bank on your behalf.

Once you're pre-approved, you'll be in a strong position to hit up all the open homes your heart desires! We'll be just a phone call or email away to answer any questions you have, or to put any properties you're interested in under the microscope and give our thoughts on it. We can also help with all the due diligence like arranging building inspections and valuations, and looking over the LIM report.

Eventually when you find the one, we'll walk you through the process of purchasing. Then we arrange your finance, negotiate a sweet deal with the bank and structure your mortgage in a way that works for you.

A mortgage is a long-term debt and we're with you for the long-haul. We'll remind you when your mortgage comes up for renewal and continue to make sure you're getting the best rates on offer.

Can I use KiwiSaver to buy my first home?

If you're a first home buyer you can withdraw KiwiSaver contributions made by you and your employer to use as a deposit towards your new home if you meet these conditions:

  • have been a KiwiSaver scheme member for at least three years;
  • be planning to live in the house for at least six months, and
  • be buying your first home.

Have a read of this article for everything you need to know about using your KiwiSaver.

How long does it take to get finance?

It normally takes less than three days to arrange finance but it pays to get organised ahead of time. Every now and then, the banks can be a bit slow, especially if the mortgage is over 80% of the property’s value. So, if you are borrowing over 80%, allow for 5-7 working days to get an approval. Bottom line is, the earlier you talk to us and get things rolling the easier it’ll be for all.

When does the deposit get paid?

You normally agree to pay the deposit once the sale goes unconditional. Occasionally real estate agents ask for the deposit upfront but this isn’t all that common.

Although it is best to pay the deposit on the day you go unconditional, this is often not possible because of the amount of paperwork required to get temporary facilities in place. If this is the case, you can go unconditional and just let the agent know that the deposit will be paid within 48 hours.

Always check with your solicitor – you have three working days from being served notice (by the vendor’s solicitor) to pay the deposit. This means you have at least three working days from going unconditional to pay it. That’s enough time to search through a few couches – or set up alternative arrangements.

Remember: The KiwiSaver rules changed recently to allow the early release of funds to be used as a deposit. This needs to be managed through your solicitor and is worth getting underway as early as possible.

Where can I get all the info I need in one place?
How much deposit do I need for a home loan?

The ideal amount is 20% of the value of the property, but the reality is it can be possible to buy with as little as 10%. In some cases, if you're in a strong financial position, we can work with as little as 5% deposit using Launchpad, our very own first home loan designed to help high income earners into home ownership faster.

What if I've got high income but haven't saved enough deposit?

Squirrel have developed a unique lending product called Launchpad that allows some buyers with high income to purchase their first home with as little as 5% deposit. To see if you meet the criteria, head to the Launchpad page.

If you're struggling to save, check out our high interest on-call account to grow those savings faster!