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Can first home buyers build a prefab home?

Building a home is not usually seen as an option for first-time buyers. Fortunately, we have good news! 

In this article, we explore the options available to first home buyers looking to build a new house. If you’re after a home that aligns with your budget and meets your needs, this blog is for you. 

Browse the select range prefabricated homes nz

Options for first home buyers 

If you’re interested in getting on the property ladder, you have two main options – build a new house or buy an existing home. 

Buying an existing house

Purchasing an existing home can provide a sense of character, and is ready to occupy now, but it often comes with maintenance costs and some work to be done. Additionally, the price of existing homes fluctuates based on the housing market so it can be challenging to find a suitable option within your budget. 

Pros and cons of buying an existing home:

  • Established utilities, driveways, and landscaping
  • You can move in sooner
  • Maintenance to be done
  • Possible renovations required
  • High demand drives prices up
  • Reduced options

Building a new home

Building your first home can be overwhelming, especially when you have a strict budget to stick to. While conventional construction projects are prone to costly delays and budget blowouts, a prefab home can drastically reduce your expenses. 

A prefab home is built off-site in a specialised factory, meaning it can be completed much more efficiently. With streamlined building techniques, they can be built quickly and with less material waste, which means more savings can be passed on to you, the customer. 

Pros and cons of building a prefab home:

  • Customisation options
  • Longer wait to occupy
  • Minimal disruption to your building site
  • Sustainable construction
  • Full project management

Financing your first home 

Obtaining a construction loan as a first-time buyer can be challenging, especially for prefab homes. However, recent changes have been made, meaning there are more options available from participating banks.  

For traditional on-site building projects, the bank will release funds at the agreed stages of construction. However, for prefab homes, the bank cannot take security over the building until it is delivered, completed, connected to services, and in most cases, CCC (code compliance certificate) approved.

Fortunately, banks and government agencies are beginning to roll out financing solutions to support Off Site Manufacturing construction like prefabs. This allows quality homes to be built at a faster rate to meet the demand for housing in New Zealand. 

How to get a mortgage to build your first home

Interested in a prefab mortgage? We’ve outlined the key lenders you can reach out to in New Zealand for prefab lending solutions. 

BNZ first home loans

Did you know BNZ offers exclusive prefab home loans? By partnering with selected prefab companies and taking security over the land, BNZ releases progress payments much like a standard construction loan. This ensures the builders are paid at each stage of the project whilst establishing ownership of the work in progress. 

In most cases, you will need to pay a 10% deposit, which may consist of cash savings, existing equity, Kiwisaver savings, gifted funds, and up to $20,000 worth of First Home Grants. This loan is available to first-home buyers, existing owner-occupiers, and investors.

Learn more about the BNZ home loans here ›


The Westpac Prebuilt Loan was the first mainstream financing solution introduced for prefabs in New Zealand. To protect you financially, there are a few extra requirements regarding insurance coverage and requirements for your builder to meet before construction begins. 

With the Westpac Prebuilt Loan, you need as little as 10% for a deposit. Additionally, you can get conditional approval which gives you time to find the right piece of land and prefab design. 

How to build a prefab home

To simplify the process, we’ve broken your next steps down: 

1. Save a deposit

You will need to pay the required deposit, which is likely to be around 10% of the prefab cost. You can use savings, Kiwisaver, cash, and other assets.

2. Ask the experts

Ask our experienced team to discuss your options and answer any questions you might have about the prefab process.

3. Consult your mortgage broker

Reach out to a mortgage broker to let them know your plans. This way, you can set a realistic budget to begin exploring your options. If you don’t have one, we can recommend one that specialises in prefab mortgages.

4. Minimise construction costs 

While building a prefab is more cost-effective than conventional construction, there are ways to be strategic with your spending. To keep prices down, try to choose a standard floor plan and keep customisations to a minimum. Generally, smaller floor plans are more affordable. 

Construction prices vary depending on location so it’s worth booking a free onsite consultation with our team. We’ll come to your proposed site and give you price estimates for delivery and site connections. 

Affordable New Build Houses NZ

If you are considering building a prefab home, you may be wondering what your budget can achieve. As prices rise, house designs under $400k are getting harder to find. Fortunately, the following floor plans tick all the boxes. 


Moeraki 2 bedroom first home

This layout features open-plan living, a spacious bathroom, secluded bedrooms, and a practical U-shaped kitchen. The stacker doors leading from the dining space to the deck create a seamless flow outdoors. 

  • 2 Bedrooms
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Toilet
  • 58.8 sqm + 13.1 sqm deck

Enquire now for our latest pricing ›

Pukaki 2

Pukaki 2 prefab homes nz

The Pukaki 2 is a practical and stylish home, complete with a home office, family bathroom, separate laundry, ample storage, and a luxurious deck area.

  • 2+ Bedrooms
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Toilet
  • 93 sqm + 19sqm deck

Enquire now for our latest pricing ›

Oxford 3

Oxford 3 bedroom first home buyer

The Oxford 3 has all the amenities you need to live comfortably, such as open-plan living, 3 bedrooms, built-in wardrobes, a large bathroom, and a separate toilet. It also comes fully finished with a practical kitchen, modern appliances, floor coverings, and an optional carport or garage. 

  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Toilet
  • 86 sqm + 4.5 sqm deck

Enquire now for our latest pricing ›

Financing for first time buyers

At Genius Homes, our experienced team is here to help you get into your first home sooner. By contacting us early in your home-buying journey, we can provide a realistic budget estimate, assess the suitability of your site, and refer you to a BNZ representative specialising in our prefab home projects. 

The first step is to talk to our experienced prefab home experts about your options. We can answer any questions you may have and refer you to the most suitable financing solutions. We also recommend speaking to your bank and mortgage broker to let them know your plans and estimated timeframes. 

To find out more about our exclusive prefab financing and the lenders we trust, click below. 

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