The First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) is money given by state governments to assist people to purchase their first home. The amounts vary from state to state and in many states it is only available for purchases of newly-built homes that have never been lived in. Queensland and Tasmania offer the most generous grant, at $20,000 for first home buyers. However, with the high cost of stamp duty in NSW, in that state the overall savings also end up quite high, at $10,000.
This website contains links to each state’s First Home Owners Grant page, featuring further information.
In the meantime, here are six of the most common questions we get asked about the First Home Owners Grant.
1 – How do I go about getting the First Home Owners Grant? Does the lender organise it for me or do I have to do it myself?
Most banks will organise and process the First Home Owners Grant application on your behalf.
At uno, we provide our clients with a homeowner’s grant application form and assist them with completing the paperwork and gathering the necessary documents, including proof of identity, proof that you are a citizen or permanent resident, and proof of your current residential address. Once you’ve done this, we send it along to your approved lender and they take it from there.
It’s really important that you speak to your solicitor about your eligibility for the grant.
2 – Can I use the First Home Owners Grant as my deposit?
This is a common question and it’s a little confusing. The answer is no and yes. No you can’t, because the money isn’t made available to you until further along in the house purchase process. However, it will be considered as part of your overall contribution to the purchase once it’s made available, so in that sense, yes it can be used towards your home payment.
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.
3 – Can I apply for the First Home Owners Grant in multiple states?
No. You can only receive the First Home Owners Grant once, and land title records in the various states show whether or not you’ve previously owned property. It is up to your solicitor to verify that you are eligible for the grant.
4 – Can I get the grant if I’m buying an investment property?
No, the First Home Owners Grant is available only for property you will live in. Rules vary from state to state, but generally you 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, you are free to move out of the property and treat it as an investment.
5 – I already got the First Home Owners Grant with my ex-partner but we broke up. Can I get it again?
If you were registered as the owner of the property when you and your ex received the First Home Owners Grant, then you are not eligible to receive the grant again, even if you have split up. Sad but true.
However, if you are in a live-in relationship with somebody who has owned property before but you have never owned an owner-occupied property in your name, then you might be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant.
These rules vary from state to state, so it is important to check the details carefully on the state government’s website before you make any home purchase decisions.
6 – If I’ve owned or own an investment property, 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 still be eligible for the grant when purchasing your first home to live in. This varies from from state to state, and also depends on your unique situation.
The government makes changes to these policies quite regularly, so it’s best to check the state government websites for updates. And if you have any more questions that we can help you with, please feel free to contact us to speak to an expert.
This information is general in nature and you should always seek professional advice when making financial decisions.