As new immigrants from Europe in 2006, Claudia Kaltenstadler and her family were excited by the prospect of building their own energy-efficient home in New Zealand. They had the necessary deposit. What they didn’t have was a 2-year proven credit history in New Zealand which is required to secure a mortgage from any of the major banks.

Having put her own plans on the back-burner, Claudia later found out about a service aimed at helping people like her get onto the property ladder. It made her realise she could have owned her own home a lot sooner.

Today Claudia is a committed supporter of the Rent-to-Buy system. It’s an innovative plan designed to support working families with sufficient income to service the debt of home-ownership, but who don’t yet the meet the criteria to qualify for their own bank mortgage.

Rent-to-Buy means an investor buys a property and leases it to a ‘tenant buyer’ for a period from 3-5 years. During this time the ‘tenant buyer’ retains the exclusive option to buy the property at any stage during the lease period.

While the property owner retains ownership, the ‘tenant buyer’ has the benefit of trying out the property and enjoying the benefits of long-term occupancy before committing to buying the home.

Rent-to-Buy offers potential homeowners a number of benefits:

  • You secure the property at current market value;
  • Your lease is secure for up to five years – the landlord cannot ask you to leave on a whim;
  • A securitised financial transaction means you pay weekly payment just as you would if you could have secured finance from a bank;
  • Part of the weekly payment is credited back the tenant buyer;
  • You are paying down the purchase price;
  • The initial upfront fee (a small percentage of the property value) is credited back to you;
  • You can add value (landscape the garden; change colours; renovate);
  • Treat the home as your own because it will be within five years;
  • Your rent is secure for five years even if standard rents increase;
  • All gains as a result of adding value or market appreciation is yours;
  • If you choose not to exercise your purchase option after five years, you can sell the property, pay the owner out and pocket the profit.

This is a win-win solution to secure homeownership of a healthy, energy-efficient family home that you may otherwise wait a long time for, or never achieve.

If you want to find out where and how you can start the process of becoming a New Zealand homeowner, visit

Claudia and her team will get you moving in the right direction.