Each week the NZ Herald and Newstalk ZB's Cooking The Books podcast tackles a different money problem. Today, it's why and how you should negotiate your mortgage. Hosted by Frances Cook.

Hope is on the horizon for those who want to buy a house.

The recent Quotable Value House Price Index for July found that prices have stagnated, and investor activity has dropped off.

That's left a window of opportunity for first-home buyers. Homes officially considered affordable, that's those under $650,000, are being snapped up at a great rate of knots.

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There's also the KiwiBuild programme getting under way.

It will need to be tested in the real world before we know if it works or not, but there have been tens of thousands sign up, many in Auckland and Wellington.

So there's a mood of hope in the air for those who were previously worried they'd be forever locked out from buying their own home.

But if everything goes well, and people find a home they can afford, that's just the beginning.

You'll have to keep paying it off through your mortgage, and if you get it wrong, you might just find yourself homeless once again.

So negotiating your mortgage is crucial.

I called up Mortgage Lab CEO Rupert Gough about what's on the table in negotiations, how to make a bank think you're a good bet, and what first home buyers need to know.

For the interview, listen to the podcast.

If you have a question about this podcast, or an idea for the next one, come and talk to me about it. I'm on Facebook here, Instagram here and Twitter here.

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