Buying your first home
The Australian Government offers a helping hand to first home buyers via a First Home Owner Grant scheme. The grants help first home buyers with assistance towards a newly constructed home. The scheme offers a one-off grant payment to first home owners that satisfy all the eligibility criteria. While it's a national scheme, it is funded and administered by each individual state and territory.
Each state and territory offers first home buyers a different variation of concessions and grants to help them buy a new or existing home, or vacant land.
In New South Wales first home buyers are eligible to apply for two different schemes, whereas in Queensland are eligible to apply for the Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant initiative.
NSW: Revenue NSW
If you are a first home buyer in New South Wales, you may be eligible for a duty exemption, concession and/or a grant. To qualify as a first home buyer, you must be purchasing the first home you or your spouse or partner have owned, or co-owned, in Australia. However, there are some qualifying criteria. You are required to move into the property within 12 months, and live at the property for at least six continuous months. To be eligible, you must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia and be at least 18 years old.
There are two schemes available for first home buyers to apply for in NSW
Under the FHBAS, you may be entitled to a concessional rate of transfer duty, or even an exemption from paying it altogether as a first home buyer.
The FHBAS applies to buying an existing home, buying a new home and vacant land on which you intend to build a new home.
If you are purchasing a new or existing home that is valued at less than $650,000, you are eligible to apply for a full exemption to avoid paying transfer duty. If your home is valued between $650,000 and $800,000, you are eligible to apply for a concessional rate of transfer duty. If you are purchasing vacant land, you won’t have to pay any transfer duty if your land is valued at less than $350,000. If your land is valued between $350,000 and $450,000, you will receive a concessional rate.
To qualify to apply for the FHBAS, you must meet the following requirements:
After exchanging contracts with the previous owner, you can apply for the FHBAS by downloading and completing the following two documents:
Once you have completed your application forms and supporting documents, you need to lodge them with your solicitor and conveyancer.
You can apply for the First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) scheme (FHOG) through Heritage Bank when you arrange finance to buy your home.
You can send your application through to Revenue NSW if you have already completed the purchase process or construction has commenced for your home. You will need to send your application within 12 months of settlement or from the date that construction was completed. Additional documentation may be required upon request.
To lodge your claim, you will need to complete the First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) Application form to be eligible for transactions during the following time periods:
When lodging your claim, you will be required to provide supporting documentation with your application. These documents include:
You will be required to provide further documentation if you are building a new home, including council approval, building contracts or occupation certificates, and evidence of the land value.
To find out more information on the First Home Buyer Assistance scheme and the First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) Scheme, visit the NSW Government website.
QLD: The Great Start Grant
In Queensland, to help first home owners to get their new first home sooner, you can apply for the Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant.
You are eligible to receive a $15,000 grant towards buying or building a brand new house, unit or townhouse, valued at less than $750,000 if your contract is dated 1 July 2018 or later.
If your contract is dated 1 July 2018 or later, you can get $15,000 towards buying or building your new house, unit or townhouse (valued at less than $750,000).
To be eligible to apply for the grant you must meet the following requirements:
To qualify to apply for a grant, you must submit your application within the following timeframes:
You can submit an application for the Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant through an approved agent such as Heritage Bank. You will need to complete an application form as well as provide the appropriate documentation. Supporting documents can vary depending on the situation of your new home e.g. buying a brand new home, building a home or building your own home. The application form will inform you as to what documents are mandatory for your situation.To find out more information on the Queensland First Home Owners' Grant, visit the Queensland Government website.
Other grants available
For more information on the different initiatives for first home buyers from the Commonwealth and other states, you can find more details and resources available on the below websites.
SA: Revenue SA
VIC: State Revenue Office
ACT: Revenue ACT
TAS: State Revenue Office
Most grants are paid directly into your mortgage loan after settlement occurs, and as such most lenders will still require you to have a deposit when applying for a loan. The percentage of the deposit required will vary between lenders. Talk to us today before you start looking at buying your first home.
Once you're ready to purchase and need to apply, your conveyancing lawyer will be able to assist you with all the paperwork to apply for the relevant grant when purchasing your first home.
If you'd like to learn more about buying your first home, our first home buyer hub can help you.