How to buy a property with 80% deposit

This article is not me bragging about my achievement but is intended as an educational and motivational piece that demonstrates what is possible if you choose it.

When I tell people that I recently purchased my first property they usually make some kind of comment about the burden of having a mortgage. When I explain that I haven't had to take out a mortgage people are amazed.

I'd like to share some of the things that helped me realize this goal and what  learn along the way.

It all starts with saving. It helps that I have a steady job with respectable pay. It also helps I have a wife who also works and so contributes additional finances to the project. This does help, but only in speeding up the process. Other factors that influence progress are interest rates (both savings and borrowing) and market prices.

There are several vital ingredients:

  1. Outline a quantifiable goal
  2. Design a method of measuring and visualising progress
  3. Master self control

Outline a quantifiable goal

Setting a goal is important as it gives you something to aim for and something to measure your distance from. The more quantifiable it is the easier is to visualise your progress. In my case I set a specific dollar value as my goal. This allowed me to plot my savings alongside the goal value to view the closing gap.

Measuring and visualising progress

Any type of desktop computer will provide you with all the power and the software (such as open office and gnucash) is completely free.

Each month enter your savings into a spreadsheet so you can plot your progress towards your goal. Because the goal can seem so far off and overwhelming, it may help to break it down into smaller, more manageable steps.

Self control

Savings are only saved if you don't dip into them for unnecessary spending. If you find that you need to take money out of savings for daily living then don't put so much into your savings account in the first place. In fact, Kiwibank rewards you with additional monthly interest if you do not make any withdrawals from your account (kiwibank on-call account).

Self control includes minimising expenses, doing without some luxuries and being smart with what you buy and how you shop. By eating home made meals, cooking extra and having left overs for lunch, you can save a lot of money. The key is finding a balance that allows for steady progress towards the goal while not getting fed up with eating rice for every meal.

It pays to ration your luxuries, say eat out or see a movie but do it only once a month. Or reward yourself when you reach one of your intermediate goals.


The key, as with a fitness program, is to keep at it, don't give in and eventually you with see the results and be impressed with your own self control.

Additional information for Buying a property with 80% deposit

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