Elliot is living the dream - at 20
Elliot Talbott has received the keys to his first home earlier than he ever dreamed possible.
Talbott, 20, received 10 per cent of the purchase price of his house under the new Housing New Zealand FirstHome initiative.
His home is one of just four purchased under the initiative so far.
The concept aims to help families buy their own home, particularly people whose income is equal to, or less than the national household average.
That equates to one person earning $53,000, or two or more people earning $80,000.
Up to 400 homes will be sold as part of the initiative over the next three years, according to Housing New Zealand.
It involves the purchase of vacant state houses no longer needed by Housing NZ.
Talbott said without the programme, becoming a home owner at the age of 20 would never have been possible.
Until now he had been living with his mum and saving hard for a house.
He became aware of the FirstHome initiative when watching the news, he said.
A state house on Timaru's Douglas St was on the market and Mr Talbott was advised that with the grant he could probably make the purchase.
He was effectively gifted $13,000 through the initiative towards his $130,000 purchase.
"It was amazing," he said.
"The real estate agent said the keys have been released now, so my boss said ‘go get them'."
He moved in soon after settlement date, November 15.
FirstHome was launched in October.
There were 41 properties initially put on the market, which attracted 18 offers from first home buyers within weeks.
Nationally, there are 37 more properties listed with real estate agents and a further 14 are under offer, including at least one in Timaru, according to Housing NZ.