Christchurch: CBD – (03) 379 7690 | Ferrymead – (03) 940 2435 | Hornby – (03) 349 5111

First Home Purchase

How does the home purchase process work? What conditions do I need in my contract? How do I apply for my KiwiSaver withdrawal? When do I pay the deposit? What do I need to do??

Buying a property is often the biggest investment a person will make in their lifetime and can be a daunting process, especially if you’re a first home buyer. Knowing what steps need to be taken for the purchase, how to ensure you meet your contractual deadlines, and being informed of potential issues with the property, are all important.

Using an experienced, knowledgeable lawyer is the best way to make the process easier and less stressful. A lawyer can guide you through the purchase process from start to finish and answer any queries

Your lawyer can assist with financial applications such as bank lending forms, KiwiSaver withdrawals and obtaining the Home Start Grant, whilst keeping track of contractual deadlines.

We have a team of friendly and experienced lawyers who take the time to make the process easier and explain the legalities in an understandable way.  Our team works seamlessly alongside other professionals involved in the transaction such as accountants, real estate agents, mortgage and insurance brokers to assist you in your first home purchase.

For practical advice and a friendly, efficient service, please feel free to contact one of our highly experienced Property lawyers below.


Our services for First Home Buyers include:

  • Advice on the terms of a contract, explaining the purchase process and timescales involved
  • Assisting with obtaining KiwiSaver first home withdrawals, Home Start Grants and mortgage financing for purchase
  • Assistance with the payment of deposits from funding sources
  • Reviewing LIM and title information for clients and advising on matters of concern
  • Reviewing and advising on earthquake claims information
  • Creating Deeds of Assignment of rights
  • Advising on and assisting with issues in property purchases
  • Attending to all necessary conveyancing processes

Get further advice from

Charlotte Grimshaw


Phone: +64 3 940 2435
Assistant: Stephanie Davison
Office: Ferrymead

I joined the Saunders & Co Ferrymead office in 2014 and was made an Associate in 2019.

Conveyancing for residential property sales and purchases is a significant aspect of my practice.  As a lawyer, I aim for a friendly, down-to-earth approach with good communication skills and work hard to explain each step in a clear, jargon-free way. This results in a less stressful, more seamless experience for my clients.

I also work on property refinancing matters and assist private clients with wills, estates and enduring powers of attorney. I build strong relationships with my clients which I believe is essential to developing a good understanding of their needs.  A main focus is to keep my clients well informed throughout any transaction.

I am originally from the UK but have lived in New Zealand since my teens.

I specialise in the following areas:

What My Clients Say

“Charlotte made our transition in selling and buying a property a stress free event. I was expecting quite a battle as I find ‘lawyer speak’ just not consumer friendly unless you have had some undertaking with the profession. Charlotte made the whole process clear, concise, and explained everything how we could understand it. I believe she went beyond what is required of her and consequently you have generated return business to your company because of her. I certainly will be telling everyone I know of our positive warm experience.”
Lynn Mortlock


“Thank you very much for all the work you did to make this smooth sailing for us. I have been so impressed with how efficient the process has been, even with minor hiccups along the way. I’ll be sure to recommend you and will keep you in mind for future legal matters.”
Emilie Dobinson

Deborah Magee


Direct Dial: +64 3 (03) 265 0319
Mobile: +64 027 893 2308
Office: CBD

My principal area of practice is property and commercial law. I routinely advise on residential sale and purchases, refinancing, wills, trusts and asset management.

I also advise on a wide range of commercial law matters including drafting and negotiating commercial contracts, transfer of businesses, leasing, shareholder agreements and security arrangements.

My client base includes first home buyers, experienced property investors and businesses. I tailor my work to my clients’ needs to offer commercial and practical solutions as well as providing clear and strategic advice.

I specialise in the following areas:

Meg Gregson

Senior Associate

Direct dial: +64-3-963 1458
Mobile: 027 412 7824
Assistant: Narelle Keenan
Office: CBD

I am a Senior Associate and member of the Property and Commercial team, acting on a broad range of matters.

My specialist areas include construction and all aspects of residential subdivision and property related transactions. I also provide advice on the sale and purchase of businesses, leasing, finance and general company matters.

I work closely with Saunders & Co partner, Paul Coghlan, on the portfolio of one of New Zealand’s largest residential and commercial building and development groups, which provides the bulk of my work including due diligence and land purchase transactions, subdivision work, construction law, contract advice and the sale of house and land packages.

I enjoy being regarded as part of the ‘in-house’ legal team for the group, an approach I extend to my other clients, which include smaller building companies, building product distributors and owners of popular hospitality venues. I like to take the time to get to know their businesses, how they tick and what they are trying to achieve as this enables me to deliver tailored solutions, with clients fully engaged throughout the process.

Delivering effective, pragmatic solutions is my key focus.  I am results-driven and take a genuine interest in working through my clients’ issues or problems.

I specialise in the following areas:

What My Clients Say

“In 2016 I decided to build a house in partnership with a friend and it was recommended to us that we use Meg Gregson to sort out the legal details.

It probably wasn’t the easiest case to deal with due to both having a 50/50 share in the property, and both of us had never done anything like this before. But Meg was extremely helpful, answered lots of stupid questions and gave great service.

In the meantime I put my partner onto Meg when she was looking to buy a property. Due to the nature of the property we needed some due diligence completed within a couple of days, and Meg also came through for us.

After a year my friend decided to sell his portion of the new house to my partner, which meant coming back to Meg to sort out all of the paper work. During this process we have been extremely frustrated with the banks and the level of service they have given us, but once again Meg has been a pleasure to deal with. Nothing is ever a problem and she always returns calls and emails. Even our personal banker commented on how easy Meg was to deal with and how quickly she got things done.

Meg is a great asset to Saunders and Co. It has been great dealing with her and we look forward to dealing with her in the future when we sell and purchase more property.
Shaun and Kahl

Nicky McCormick

Senior Registered Legal Executive

Direct dial: +64 3 963 1452
Mobile: 021 564 259
Office: CBD

I am an experienced Senior Registered Legal Executive who joined Saunders & Co in 2015.  I am also a fellow member of the New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives.

I work alongside Toby Giles on a wide range of property and commercial matters, from conveyancing, first home purchases, refinancing, asset protection, wills, trusts and (enduring) powers of attorney to restructuring and retirement village occupation rights agreements.

I am down to earth and always have the best interests of my clients at heart. I concentrate on being a good listener and communicator, and spend time establishing a strong understanding of people’s positions. This helps me to tailor advice on potential risks or advantages early in the process, helping to achieve the best results. When necessary I advise clients on the protection of their position and assets into the future.

First-home buyers are an important part of my portfolio. I enjoy helping them realise their potential through property purchase and can steer them in directions to get the best results.

Almost all of my work is with private clients, apart from some commercial lease matters. Although I work predominantly with Toby, other solicitors at Saunders & Co also call on my expertise from time to time.

I specialise in the following area:

Nicole Watson

Senior Registered Legal Executive

Direct Dial: +64 3 963 1468
Mobile: 027 545 5556
Office: CBD

I am a registered legal executive who started at Saunders & Co in 2016. I work mainly with Partners, Ben Frampton and Sarah Bee, on residential property conveyancing, and to a lesser extent “wills and estate” administration.

Building strong relationships with clients is important to me and I enjoy meeting them face-to-face and providing clear explanations and communication throughout every step of the property transaction.

The opportunity to guide first-home buyers through the purchase of their new home, and call them with the good news once their property is settled, are aspects of the role I particularly enjoy.  I have handled numerous Kiwisaver withdrawals, so can provide valuable tips and assistance regarding this process.

I am known for my friendly, helpful approach; for being open, honest and transparent at all times; and for keeping clients well informed.

I specialise in the following areas:

What My Clients Say

Nicole Watson worked with me and she was outstanding. I was overseas at the time and there were a few complications.  However she went above and beyond and I will be suggesting to others that they use her.

Bryan Stronach


After 40 years of service we are most impressed with the professionalism of your company. Nicole Watson contacted us on several occasions and kept us up to date with the events happening around our sale and purchase. When meeting to finally sign all legal papers everything was ready to go without a hitch. To have settlement confirmed early on the day of sale was so helpful as we were only one link in a series of chainovers affecting us.
Many thanks also to Sarah Bee, partner, as our principal in organising this.

Brian and Helen Edmunds


Excellent communication throughout and very prompt service. I was reassured that Saunders treat the client’s interest as top priority.

Ian Hosty, Chapman Engineering, Christchurch


Nicole helped us every step of the way with our purchase. She was friendly, knowledgable, full of good advice and a thoroughly enjoyable person to work with. I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone thinking of buying or selling.”

Ann Easter, Christchurch


A massive thank you for all your hard work in securing our land.  We really appreciated your support and level of communication during the purchase. I hope to keep in contact as I am sure we will need your services once again when it comes to the build!

Mary Barclay and Sergio, Christchurch


Nicole Watson was very professional, easy to contact and made the whole process of selling our home hassle-free. We have used David Lang and Saunders and Co for many years and would highly recommend your company.

Mr and Mrs Judge, Christchurch


Samantha Forbes

Senior Registered Legal Executive

Direct Dial: +64 3 963 1456
Mobile: 027 659 7487
Assistant: Leeanne Gupwell
Office: CBD

I am an experienced legal executive who works closely with partner, David Lang, on property transactions.

Much of my work is in residential property conveyancing and refinancing. I get a lot of satisfaction from working with first-home buyers and sharing their excitement as they settle into their new home. I guide them through the Kiwisaver and Homestart grant process and work hard to ensure their overall experience is as stress-free as possible.

I enjoy working with a range of other clients in residential property conveyancing and refinancing related matters, and take a genuine interest in them all.  I  keep clients well informed throughout the entire process and provide a highly personalised service.

Although I specialise in the residential sector,  I also carry out commercial client conveyancing and refinancing work from time to time, including Ngai Tahu.

I specialise in the following area:

Tania McDonald

Senior Registered Legal Executive

Direct Dial: +64 3 265 0311

Office: Hornby

I am an experienced Registered Legal Executive who joined Saunders in 2017. I am based at our Hornby Branch and come with many years of experience in the industry.

My practice is focused on residential and commercial conveyancing, refinancing, wills, powers of attorney, family trusts, sale and purchase of businesses and commercial leases.

My attention to detail and client focus allows me to build strong relationships with my clients helping provide me with a better understanding of the matters at hand and client expectations. This approach ensures that I offer well-informed advice which converts to a smooth positive experience for my client to achieve the best results.

I specialise in the following areas:


CBD: 131 Victoria Street, Christchurch, NZ

Ferrymead: Unit 2, 987 Ferry Road, Christchurch, NZ

Hornby: 5 Goulding Avenue, Christchurch, NZ

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