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Do I qualify for the first home buyer grant?

What is the First Home Owner Grant?

FHOG, or the First Home Owner Grant, is a state government initiative developed to assist people in purchasing their first residential property. Aside from the First Home Owner Grant, there are also a number of First Home Buyers Assistance schemes and the Home Buyer Concession Scheme (HBCS), which are designed to help people purchase residential land or a home by charging transfer duty or conveyance duty (stamp duty) at a concessional rate. For a breakdown of these, read Stamp duty discounts for first home buyers.

How does the First Home Owner Grant work?

The criteria for each grant and the amounts allocated to first home buyers vary from state to state. We’ve outlined the criteria below.

A solicitor will be able to advise you on your eligibility for the grant. At uno, we provide customers with a homeowner’s grant application form and assist you with completing the paperwork. We’ll advise you on what documents you’ll need, such as proof of identity, proof that you are a citizen or permanent resident, and proof of address. We also send the First Home Owners Grant application form along to your approved lender so they can organise and process it on your behalf.

How much is the First Home Owner Grant?

The value of the grant varies from state to state. In most states, the key eligibility requirements are largely the same: each applicant must be 18 years of age, at least one applicant (where there is more than one) must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and the applicant/s must not have previously owned property in Australia or previously have received the FHOG – in any state. Even if you received the grant with a partner and you’ve since broken up, you can’t get it again.

Many of the state websites have eligibility quizzes which you can complete to see if you qualify.

We’ve broken the grant amount and requirements down for you in more detail here:

 

First Home Owner Grant NSW

Form here

Grant amount Who and what is eligible
$10,000- FHBs buying new homes valued at $600,000 or less

- FHBs who are entering into a contract to build or an owner/ builder of a property valued at $750,000 or less

First Home Owner Grant ACT

Form here

Grant amountWho and what is eligible
$7,000- FHBs buying or building a new home, substantially renovated home or off-the-plan home with a commencement date on or after 1 January 2017

- FHBs building a home as an owner-builder, for which building started on or after 1 January 2017

- The purchase price is $750,000 or less

- At least one applicant must move into the home within one year of completing the eligible transaction

- At least one applicant must live in the home as a principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least one year.

First Home Owner Grant South Australia

Form here

Grant amountWho and what is eligible
$15,000Eligible first home owners on the purchase or construction of a new home.

 

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First Home Owner Grant Victoria

Form here

Grant amountWho and what is eligible
$10,000

$20,000 for new homes built in regional Victoria
- FHBs buying or building their first new home

- Home must be valued at $750,000 or less and be the first sale of the property as residential premises

- Property cannot be intended as investment property or holiday house

- New homes built in regional Victoria must be valued at $750,000 or less.

First Home Owners Grant Tasmania

Form here

Grant amountWho and what is eligible
$20,000 up until 1 July 2019, then $10,000Eligible transactions for buying or building a new home (including off-the-plan purchases)

 

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First Home Owner Grant Queensland

Form here

Grant amountWho and what is eligible
$20,000- FHBs who are buying or building a brand new home

- Home must be valued under $750,000

- FHBs must treat home as principal place of residence for a continuous period of 6 months within 1 year of completing the transaction.

First Home Owner Grant Northern Territory

Form here

Grant amountWho and what is eligible
Up to $26,000 for a new home onlyAt least one of the party should occupy the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of six months commencing within 12 months of the completion date of the eligible transaction.

First Home Owner Grant Western Australia

Form here

Grant amountWho and what is eligible
$10,000- First home owners buying or building a new home

- FHBs must occupy the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months, commencing within 12 months of completion of the eligible transaction.

Can I use the First Home Owner Grant as a deposit?

No and yes. The first homeowners grant isn’t made available to you at the start of your search process, so in that sense you can’t really use it as a deposit. It will be considered part of your overall contribution to your home purchase however, so in that sense, yes it can be used towards your home payment once it’s made available.

It should be noted that the FHOG is not actually paid to you – i.e. you don’t collect the mail one day and find a fat cheque from the government (unfortunately!). Rather, when you get to settlement, the money is made available to your solicitor to direct as required.

Furthermore, if you’re buying a house and land package, the money is, in some cases, ready to go once a concrete slab has been laid for the property, so the funds can be made available to draw in the construction process.

What can you use the First Home Owner Grant for?

The particulars vary from state to state but, in most states, you can use the first home owner’s grant to buy a new house valued up to a certain amount.

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How much money do you need for a house deposit?

In an ideal world, you will have 20% saved for a home deposit. You can generally access a home loan with a 10% deposit – if you choose to pay lender’s mortgage insurance. With some lenders, you may be able to borrow up to 95% of the value of a property if you meet eligibility criteria. The only way first home buyers can avoid paying a deposit is by using a guarantor who puts up their own property as security on your loan. In most situations, guarantors tend to be parents of the borrower.

Can I get the First Home Owner Grant if I’m buying an investment property?

You can use The First Home Owners Grant for an investment property but you will have to live in it initially. The rules vary from state to state but you generally have to move into the property within 12 months of purchase and you need to live there for between six and 12 months. After that period, however, you are free to move out of the property and get renters in.

If I’ve owned or own an investment property and didn’t receive the grant, am I eligible to get the grant for my first live-in home?

If you have previously owned – or currently own – an investment property but have not occupied it for more than six months, you could be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant when purchasing your first home to live in. This varies from from state to state, and also depends on your individual situation, so it’s best to check the state government websites for updates.

Do you have to pay stamp duty for first home buyers?

You do have to pay stamp duty as a first home buyer but there are a number of concessions that exist which reduce the amount of stamp duty first home buyers have to pay. Read Stamp Duty for First Home Buyers to find out more.

As always, if you have any further questions we can help you with, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are always happy to help.

 

It’s important to note that the information we give here is general in nature – no matter how helpful or relatable you find our articles. Even if it seems like we’re writing about you, it’s not personal or financial advice. That’s why you should always ask a professional before making any life-changing decisions.

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