fbpx

FAQs about mortgages and insurance

Our FAQs

Learn More Below!

First Home Buyer

Frequently Asked Questions

You absolutely can!  That’s what it is meant for.  One thing to know is that you will usually need to have saved at least 5% of the purchase price on your own and the First Home Grant doesn’t count towards this goal.

The First Home Grant is a Kainga Ora cash grant designed to help lower-income purchasers buy lower-priced houses.  There is a maximum amount of income that you can earn and a maximum purchase price that you can pay to be eligible for the grant.  Here’s an article that we wrote on the First Home Grant.

You will want to apply for the grant early as it takes time to process.

The banks typically try for 5 working days.  The timer starts when we receive all the required documentation and submit your application.  Sometimes turnaround can be as low as 2 days or sometimes it can be slightly longer.  If your application is urgent (required in less than 10 working days), let us know as soon as possible and we will mark it as urgent.

It’s important to get us all the documents before we can submit the application.  This includes proof of income (payslips or year-end financials) ana bank statements (click here to learn how to correctly export your bank statements).

Almost all Mortgage Lab services are at no direct cost to you as our brokers get paid a commission by the banks and other lenders when a mortgage is finalised or refixed.

The exceptions to this:

  • If a mortgage is paid off or discharged within 27 months, a fee may be incurred.  See our FAQ: What if I sell my home or refinance my mortgage shortly after using a mortgage broker?
  • Finance companies may require a fee to be added to the loan rather than paying us a commission. You’ll always be made aware of these fees long before they are locked in.
  • If, following the service provided by the adviser, you elect not to continue engaging Mortgage Lab to settle the mortgage or finalise the insurance product, the adviser may charge you an hourly rate of $250 for the work provided.  The maximum charge we will typically invoice for is $2,500.

The commissions paid are below.  These commissions are accurate at the time of writing – 15th March 2021

LenderUpfrontTrailRefix
ANZ0.85%N/a$150
BNZ0.55%0.15%N/a
ASB0.85%N/a$150
Westpac0.60%0.20%N /a
Sovereign Home Loans0.60%0.20%N/a
ASAP Finance LimitedFee ChargedN/aN/a
Avanti FinanceUp to 0.80%N/aN/a
CressidaFee ChargedN/aN/a
DBRFee ChargedN/aN/a
First Mortgage TrustFee ChargedN/aN/a
Heartland Bank (Reverse Mortgage)1.50%N/aN/a
Liberty Financial0.60%0.15%N/a
NZCU (Personal Loans)1.00%N/aN/a
RESIMAC0.60%0.15%N/a
SBS Bank0.80%N/a$150
Southern CrossFee ChargedN/aN/a
The Co-operative Bank0.70%N/A$150

The banks all have different policies and risk tolerances. Buyers can get frustrated and waste a lot of time going to banks that won’t suit their needs.

Using a mortgage broker gives you a view of all the banks and their policies. It means you find the right bank faster and with less stress. With a mortgage broker, getting a mortgage isn’t complicated. It’s about proving you have enough deposit and enough income and then heading to the right bank with that information.

Some tips to making your mortgage application easier: get your documentation sorted early and keep your spending as low as possible in the 3 months leading up to your application.

If you’d like to learn the basics, we have a course which teaches you everything you need to know about buying your first home.  You can find out more here.

Using a mortgage broker generally means no direct costs to you but there will be a couple of unavoidable costs there. These may include:

  • A Registered Valuation ($800 – $1,200)
  • Solicitor Costs ($800 – $1,500)
  • LIM report ($150 – $400)
  • Builder’s Report ($100 – $500)
  • Weather Tightness Report for Monoclad houses ($300 – $1,000)
  • Finance fee for non-bank lending (~1%)

Prices can vary. Always request a quote before ordering a report.  For a list of property professionals that you’ll likely work with, see our article here.

As above, sometimes a bank just isn’t looking for you as a client. In this instance, they can either decline you or make the terms of your lending so ridiculous that you either accept (sucker!) or you go away. We know what banks have an appetite for and send you to the right bank without you shopping around banks.

Existing Home Owners

Frequently Asked Questions

This is called bridging finance. It can get a little expensive but is possible if you have enough equity in your current home. Generally, if the total of your current mortgage + the new purchase = less than 80% of both properties it is achievable. You would need to commit to selling your current property within 6 months.

For more information on bridging finance, read our article here.

The banks typically try for 5 working days.  The timer starts when we receive all the required documentation and submit your application.  Sometimes turnaround can be as low as 2 days or sometimes it can be slightly longer.  If your application is urgent (required in less than 10 working days), let us know as soon as possible and we will mark it as urgent.

It’s important to get us all the documents before we can submit the application.  This includes proof of income (payslips or year-end financials) ana bank statements (click here to learn how to correctly export your bank statements).

Almost all Mortgage Lab services are at no direct cost to you as our brokers get paid a commission by the banks and other lenders when a mortgage is finalised or refixed.

The exceptions to this:

  • If a mortgage is paid off or discharged within 27 months, a fee may be incurred.  See our FAQ: What if I sell my home or refinance my mortgage shortly after using a mortgage broker?
  • Finance companies may require a fee to be added to the loan rather than paying us a commission. You’ll always be made aware of these fees long before they are locked in.
  • If, following the service provided by the adviser, you elect not to continue engaging Mortgage Lab to settle the mortgage or finalise the insurance product, the adviser may charge you an hourly rate of $250 for the work provided.  The maximum charge we will typically invoice for is $2,500.

The commissions paid are below.  These commissions are accurate at the time of writing – 15th March 2021

LenderUpfrontTrailRefix
ANZ0.85%N/a$150
BNZ0.55%0.15%N/a
ASB0.85%N/a$150
Westpac0.60%0.20%N /a
Sovereign Home Loans0.60%0.20%N/a
ASAP Finance LimitedFee ChargedN/aN/a
Avanti FinanceUp to 0.80%N/aN/a
CressidaFee ChargedN/aN/a
DBRFee ChargedN/aN/a
First Mortgage TrustFee ChargedN/aN/a
Heartland Bank (Reverse Mortgage)1.50%N/aN/a
Liberty Financial0.60%0.15%N/a
NZCU (Personal Loans)1.00%N/aN/a
RESIMAC0.60%0.15%N/a
SBS Bank0.80%N/a$150
Southern CrossFee ChargedN/aN/a
The Co-operative Bank0.70%N/A$150

The banks all have different policies and risk tolerances. Buyers can get frustrated and waste a lot of time going to banks that won’t suit their needs.

Using a mortgage broker gives you a view of all the banks and their policies. It means you find the right bank faster and with less stress. With a mortgage broker, getting a mortgage isn’t complicated. It’s about proving you have enough deposit and enough income and then heading to the right bank with that information.

Some tips to making your mortgage application easier: get your documentation sorted early and keep your spending as low as possible in the 3 months leading up to your application.

If you’d like to learn the basics, we have a course which teaches you everything you need to know about buying your first home.  You can find out more here.

The first step to upgrading your home is to know what is financially possible. There is no cost when consulting a Mortgage Lab broker so we recommend talking to an adviser early to see what is possible for your financial situation.

Using a mortgage broker generally means no direct costs to you but there will be a couple of unavoidable costs there. These may include:

  • A Registered Valuation ($800 – $1,200)
  • Solicitor Costs ($800 – $1,500)
  • LIM report ($150 – $400)
  • Builder’s Report ($100 – $500)
  • Weather Tightness Report for Monoclad houses ($300 – $1,000)
  • Finance fee for non-bank lending (~1%)

Prices can vary. Always request a quote before ordering a report.  For a list of property professionals that you’ll likely work with, see our article here.

As above, sometimes a bank just isn’t looking for you as a client. In this instance, they can either decline you or make the terms of your lending so ridiculous that you either accept (sucker!) or you go away. We know what banks have an appetite for and send you to the right bank without you shopping around banks.

Mortgage Refix

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, as part of our discussion we will discuss whether the structure of your mortgage is still correct for you.  If it’s not, we will discuss what a better structure might be for you.  There is no additional cost for this.

Almost all Mortgage Lab services are at no direct cost to you as our brokers get paid a commission by the banks and other lenders when a mortgage is finalised or refixed.

The exceptions to this:

  • If a mortgage is paid off or discharged within 27 months, a fee may be incurred.  See our FAQ: What if I sell my home or refinance my mortgage shortly after using a mortgage broker?
  • Finance companies may require a fee to be added to the loan rather than paying us a commission. You’ll always be made aware of these fees long before they are locked in.
  • If, following the service provided by the adviser, you elect not to continue engaging Mortgage Lab to settle the mortgage or finalise the insurance product, the adviser may charge you an hourly rate of $250 for the work provided.  The maximum charge we will typically invoice for is $2,500.

The commissions paid are below.  These commissions are accurate at the time of writing – 15th March 2021

LenderUpfrontTrailRefix
ANZ0.85%N/a$150
BNZ0.55%0.15%N/a
ASB0.85%N/a$150
Westpac0.60%0.20%N /a
Sovereign Home Loans0.60%0.20%N/a
ASAP Finance LimitedFee ChargedN/aN/a
Avanti FinanceUp to 0.80%N/aN/a
CressidaFee ChargedN/aN/a
DBRFee ChargedN/aN/a
First Mortgage TrustFee ChargedN/aN/a
Heartland Bank (Reverse Mortgage)1.50%N/aN/a
Liberty Financial0.60%0.15%N/a
NZCU (Personal Loans)1.00%N/aN/a
RESIMAC0.60%0.15%N/a
SBS Bank0.80%N/a$150
Southern CrossFee ChargedN/aN/a
The Co-operative Bank0.70%N/A$150

It doesn’t cost you anything for us to negotiate and refix your rates for you.  We are paid by the banks for our time.  Why?  Our service replaces the cost a branch or phone centre employee.  There is no additional cost or fees added on for you.

Typically break fees aren’t negotiable with the bank.  However we will find out what they are going to be and calculate whether it is worthwhile breaking your current rate.

It varies from bank to bank.  With most banks the process:

  • a quick discussion
  • you send us an email asking us to request interest rates from the bank
  • we negotiate the rates with the bank
  • we have another discussion about which rate is best for you
  • you can confirm this to us via a short email

The whole process takes around 20 minutes.

We can negotiate with most of the main banks:

  • ANZ
  • ASB
  • BNZ
  • Westpac
  • Sovereign Home Loans
  • SBS
  • Co-Operative
  • Bank of China

We can also talk with the non-bank lenders such as Resimac, Pepper Money, Liberty Financial and others.  If you’re unsure, give us a call and we’ll let you know.

As above, sometimes a bank just isn’t looking for you as a client. In this instance, they can either decline you or make the terms of your lending so ridiculous that you either accept (sucker!) or you go away. We know what banks have an appetite for and send you to the right bank without you shopping around banks.

Construction Properties

Frequently Asked Questions

The banks typically try for 5 working days.  The timer starts when we receive all the required documentation and submit your application.  Sometimes turnaround can be as low as 2 days or sometimes it can be slightly longer.  If your application is urgent (required in less than 10 working days), let us know as soon as possible and we will mark it as urgent.

It’s important to get us all the documents before we can submit the application.  This includes proof of income (payslips or year-end financials) ana bank statements (click here to learn how to correctly export your bank statements).

Almost all Mortgage Lab services are at no direct cost to you as our brokers get paid a commission by the banks and other lenders when a mortgage is finalised or refixed.

The exceptions to this:

  • If a mortgage is paid off or discharged within 27 months, a fee may be incurred.  See our FAQ: What if I sell my home or refinance my mortgage shortly after using a mortgage broker?
  • Finance companies may require a fee to be added to the loan rather than paying us a commission. You’ll always be made aware of these fees long before they are locked in.
  • If, following the service provided by the adviser, you elect not to continue engaging Mortgage Lab to settle the mortgage or finalise the insurance product, the adviser may charge you an hourly rate of $250 for the work provided.  The maximum charge we will typically invoice for is $2,500.

The commissions paid are below.  These commissions are accurate at the time of writing – 15th March 2021

LenderUpfrontTrailRefix
ANZ0.85%N/a$150
BNZ0.55%0.15%N/a
ASB0.85%N/a$150
Westpac0.60%0.20%N /a
Sovereign Home Loans0.60%0.20%N/a
ASAP Finance LimitedFee ChargedN/aN/a
Avanti FinanceUp to 0.80%N/aN/a
CressidaFee ChargedN/aN/a
DBRFee ChargedN/aN/a
First Mortgage TrustFee ChargedN/aN/a
Heartland Bank (Reverse Mortgage)1.50%N/aN/a
Liberty Financial0.60%0.15%N/a
NZCU (Personal Loans)1.00%N/aN/a
RESIMAC0.60%0.15%N/a
SBS Bank0.80%N/a$150
Southern CrossFee ChargedN/aN/a
The Co-operative Bank0.70%N/A$150

Not signficantly more complicated at all!  It still comes down to the 2 key mortgage questions: can you afford the new home and do you have enough deposit / equity?

The only extra step is that the bank will need to check the build contract to make sure it is acceptable to them.

Using a mortgage broker generally means no direct costs to you but there will be a couple of unavoidable costs there. These may include:

  • A Registered Valuation ($800 – $1,200)
  • Solicitor Costs ($800 – $1,500)
  • LIM report ($150 – $400)
  • Builder’s Report ($100 – $500)
  • Weather Tightness Report for Monoclad houses ($300 – $1,000)
  • Finance fee for non-bank lending (~1%)

Prices can vary. Always request a quote before ordering a report.  For a list of property professionals that you’ll likely work with, see our article here.

A progress-payment contract typically involves settling on (purchasing) a section and then paying invoices at key points during the construction phase.  For example; once the foundations are laid, when the framework is up etc…

Progress-payment contracts are typically cheaper than turn-key contracts as you pay for the interest on the mortgage throughout the build process.

For more information on progress-payment contracts versus turn-key contracts, see our article here.

Turn-key contracts are a sale and purchase contract where purchasers settle on a new house when it is fully completed and ready to move in.  Typically a deposit is paid (usually 10%) to confirm the contract.  The remaining is paid upon settlement.

For more information on progress-payment contracts versus turn-key contracts, see our article here.

Second Home Purchaser

Frequently Asked Questions

The banks typically try for 5 working days.  The timer starts when we receive all the required documentation and submit your application.  Sometimes turnaround can be as low as 2 days or sometimes it can be slightly longer.  If your application is urgent (required in less than 10 working days), let us know as soon as possible and we will mark it as urgent.

It’s important to get us all the documents before we can submit the application.  This includes proof of income (payslips or year-end financials) ana bank statements (click here to learn how to correctly export your bank statements).

Almost all Mortgage Lab services are at no direct cost to you as our brokers get paid a commission by the banks and other lenders when a mortgage is finalised or refixed.

The exceptions to this:

  • If a mortgage is paid off or discharged within 27 months, a fee may be incurred.  See our FAQ: What if I sell my home or refinance my mortgage shortly after using a mortgage broker?
  • Finance companies may require a fee to be added to the loan rather than paying us a commission. You’ll always be made aware of these fees long before they are locked in.
  • If, following the service provided by the adviser, you elect not to continue engaging Mortgage Lab to settle the mortgage or finalise the insurance product, the adviser may charge you an hourly rate of $250 for the work provided.  The maximum charge we will typically invoice for is $2,500.

The commissions paid are below.  These commissions are accurate at the time of writing – 15th March 2021

LenderUpfrontTrailRefix
ANZ0.85%N/a$150
BNZ0.55%0.15%N/a
ASB0.85%N/a$150
Westpac0.60%0.20%N /a
Sovereign Home Loans0.60%0.20%N/a
ASAP Finance LimitedFee ChargedN/aN/a
Avanti FinanceUp to 0.80%N/aN/a
CressidaFee ChargedN/aN/a
DBRFee ChargedN/aN/a
First Mortgage TrustFee ChargedN/aN/a
Heartland Bank (Reverse Mortgage)1.50%N/aN/a
Liberty Financial0.60%0.15%N/a
NZCU (Personal Loans)1.00%N/aN/a
RESIMAC0.60%0.15%N/a
SBS Bank0.80%N/a$150
Southern CrossFee ChargedN/aN/a
The Co-operative Bank0.70%N/A$150

Moving into a larger home is all about timing.  You need to know, approximately, what you are going to get for your existing home, and what you want to spend on your new home.

We recommend getting a pre-approval based on conservative numbers for the sale of your home.  If it turns out you sell for more, that’s great!  The important thing to know is that, if you sell for your lowest acceptable price, you will be able to afford to buy the new home.  Getting a pre-approval as early as possible (ie; before you list your current home) is important.

The banks all have different policies and risk tolerances. Buyers can get frustrated and waste a lot of time going to banks that won’t suit their needs.

Using a mortgage broker gives you a view of all the banks and their policies. It means you find the right bank faster and with less stress. With a mortgage broker, getting a mortgage isn’t complicated. It’s about proving you have enough deposit and enough income and then heading to the right bank with that information.

Some tips to making your mortgage application easier: get your documentation sorted early and keep your spending as low as possible in the 3 months leading up to your application.

If you’d like to learn the basics, we have a course which teaches you everything you need to know about buying your first home.  You can find out more here.

Using a mortgage broker generally means no direct costs to you but there will be a couple of unavoidable costs there. These may include:

  • A Registered Valuation ($800 – $1,200)
  • Solicitor Costs ($800 – $1,500)
  • LIM report ($150 – $400)
  • Builder’s Report ($100 – $500)
  • Weather Tightness Report for Monoclad houses ($300 – $1,000)
  • Finance fee for non-bank lending (~1%)

Prices can vary. Always request a quote before ordering a report.  For a list of property professionals that you’ll likely work with, see our article here.

Bridging occurs when you need to purchase a new home but haven’t sold your existing home.  There will be a short (usually a maximum of 6 months) time when you own both homes.  Bridging loans aren’t usually allowed to exceed 80% over both homes (the banks can’t lend more than 80% of the value of both homes) but can sometimes exceed your income affordability if you have cash reserves.

A closed bridging loan is when a mortgage applicant knows the date that they must buy the new home and the date that their old home will settle. You will have to purchase your new home first but know exactly the date that you need the bridge for.

An open bridging loan is when you must purchase your new home but have no definite offer on your old home.  The bank must, in this case, assume that you aren’t going to be able to sell it so needs to calculate as though you keep it as a rental property.  Open bridging loans are very difficult to fund if you don’t have enough income to pay the entire mortgage.

As above, sometimes a bank just isn’t looking for you as a client. In this instance, they can either decline you or make the terms of your lending so ridiculous that you either accept (sucker!) or you go away. We know what banks have an appetite for and send you to the right bank without you shopping around banks.

Life and Health Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions

Insurance Brokers are paid by the insurance company when your cover starts.  If that cover is cancelled within 24 months, the broker is required to repay some or all of that commission.

We reserve the right to charge for our time if a clawback is incurred.  The fee will be the estimated amount of hours the insurance application took at an hourly rate of $250 per hour.  Unlike other fees, such as Break Fees from the bank, we have capped the amount we can charge clients at $2,500.

If you are wanting to change insurance companies, the best thing to do is immediately talk to your adviser and discuss if any clawback fees will be charged.

Due to the range of life insurance products, we often find that everyone needs some type of insurance whether it is to cover medical bills, protect their bills like rent or a mortgage and even to have enough cover to pay off debts in case they passed away.
There is no cookie cutter approach for insurance, no one size fits all so if you are unsure give us a call!

Our Insurance Advisers are paid by the insurance company when the cover is put in place.  There are no fees for our advice.

A fee may be incurred if you change insurance companies within 24 months of the policy being issued.  Please see how FAQ: Are there fees if I change insurance companies in the future?

Whether you are a client with us or just need help with a claim, don’t hesitate to contact Korinne Ellis by clicking here.
When you need help talking to your life and health insurer, don’t do it alone!

You are eligible to apply for cover if:

  • You are 16 to 70 years of age; and
  • You are a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident or you hold a current New Zealand work permit or a long term New Zealand business visa
  • Here is the list of the insurance providers our advisers can recommend:

    • AIA Sovereign Limited
    • Accuro Limited
    • Asteron Life Limited
    • Fidelity Life
    • NIB

    Please refer to each adviser’s profile page for the list of specific providers that they work with.

    Send us a message:

    Get in touch with Mortgage Lab. Simply send us a message via the form and we’ll be in touch shortly.