Stacey Banfield

Christchurch Based Makeup Artist & Blogger

Let The Build Begin – The Journey To Buying Our First Home!

If you had asked me 5 years ago what I wanted in my first home, I would have said first off that my Mum loves having me as a flatmate too much,I won’t be moving out until I’m 30 and secondly that it would probably be a property I would renovate. As the cost of new homes back then, wasn’t really that welcoming for first home buyers, when it came to buying new, you kinda just thought of your first one being a doer upper.

Fast forward to now and oh how the times have changed, Regan & I took the plunge and our home is about to start being built, so to say we are excited is a total understatement. But with a property market that is supposed to be currently super hard to crack into, how did we do it?

First off you want to get yourself a Mortgage Broker, one who is salary based preferably as they really will be working to find you the best deal. Not the deal that’s going to get them personally the best pay check – so do keep that in mind! After looking around and talking to friends we decided to go with April from Q Mortgages.

If I had one word to describe her it would be Super Women, anytime of the day or night we needed her she was reachable, she always kept us in the loop throughout each step and she just made things so much easier to understand. To be honest this was all new to us, and once you start the process there is so much more involved than you realise. So it really is best to have someone on your team, who knows the In’s and Out’s and can give you the best guidance.

Once you have a Mortgage Broker sorted, they gather all your information  I’m talking payslips, invoices, bank records basically everything and anything which they then take to the banks. For us we also both have Kiwi Saver, which i think is such a great government initiative. I mean I know i totally wouldn’t have saved the amount I have in my KS account otherwise! To be honest I don’t think many other 24 year olds would either, unless they are a budget whizz!

Another bonus with Kiwi Saver is that because we are building a new home, we were also eligible for 10k each towards our deposit. The only catch with getting the extra money is that there is a cap of $550k, luckily for us we just scraped in. So if you have Kiwi Saver but don’t know about all the benefits, make sure you do your research or find yourself a Mortgage Broker who will really get everything they can for you.

Now we probably did things a little more backwards than most people, as we had actually been looking at properties before we were even approved. First of all it was narrowing down the area we wanted to be in, Regan works out of town in Burnham and of course I needed to be somewhere still in town for my clients.

So we started looking in the Wigram and Halswell areas of Christchurch, and for the prices I found that we were better off to just build something brand new. After browsing around I noticed that Golden Homes seemed to have the best value for money – I mean we weren’t asking for much haha….

On our list was … land for the dog to run a muck on, 3-4 bedrooms as one was to be my studio, open plan living, a double garage, master room with a walkn in robe and ensuite.. basically a house that wasn’t a shoe box placed on a tiny bit of grass for under $600k.


You would think it might be easy with all the new subdivisions around, but seriously it’s not that simple. Eventually I emailed through to Golden Homes as I really liked the pricing/plans of their house and land packages. Luckily for us a contract had actually fallen through, which meant there was now a package with pretty much everything we wanted available within a subdivision in Halswell – talk about meant to be!

From there we went and met with Matt Dewar another super star in our process so far, I had been dealing with him since the beginning over email and he was always so incredibly helpful. He took us through the show homes and then also took us to our section so we could try and visualise whether we wanted to make any changes to the existing plans.

Again staring at an empty section isn’t always the easiest when it comes to picturing how you want things to be, but luckily one of the show homes is similar in ways to what our place will be so it was a great help for the imagination. From there we made the changes we wanted, and the contract was then drawn up.

Cue the lawyer – We needed someone to legally look over the contract we were about to sign, just to make sure there was nothing going on that we didn’t understand. We have never needed a lawyer before so luckily Matt from Golden could suggest some options to us, of which we went with Aj from Corcoran French.

So AJ jumped onboard to help us with all the even bigger words, that to look at I’ll still never understand lol! She also helped with all the legals around accessing our Kiwi Saver. Now one thing I forgot to mention is our property is a turn key, this means that we don’t pay any money until settlement date which is awesome!! Not only can we save more money to add towards our deposit if we like, but our kiwi saver’s can also continue to grow before we take them out to be used for the house.

From here it was just a waiting game on hearing back from the bank, and then we got the words that we were APPROVED!! What a relief it was to hear those words, I mean what was I going to do with my 10 Pinterest boards full of interior house inspo otherwise!!

Along the entire journey I have to say Matt,April and AJ have made our lives so much easier! Not only do they actually often work alongside each other, so they know the way each other’s companies, contracts etc work – but their recommendations are always so helpful. Not once have we ever felt pressured or as if we were too far ahead of our means, it’s a huge leap to take in life buying your first home and I am so glad we have been able to enjoy it every step of the way so far.


So our situation currently stands at waiting on the consents to come through with the council, once that’s all done the build will officially begin!  I will be continuing to blog about the process as it continues, not only is it fun for us to track but I also want to try and help others who find the thought of buying their first home daunting. With the right people on your team, anything is possible!

Here’s To New Adventures x



-Contact Details –

If you would like to be in touch with anyone I have mentioned above, please find below their details. Let them know I sent you and you will be in more than safe hands. 

April Marx ( Q Mortgages)-

Matt Dewar  (Golden Homes) –

AJ Ekmescic (Corcoran French) –

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.