First Home Owner Grants

As a first home buyer, you could be eligible for help to purchase a newly constructed home with a First Home Owner Grant.

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. 

Understanding the grant in your state

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

  1. First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme
  2. First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) Scheme

1. First Home Buyer Assistance scheme (FHBAS)

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.

Eligibility

To qualify to apply for the FHBAS, you must meet the following requirements:

  • The contract date for the whole property must be on or after 1 July 2017
  • You must be an individual
  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must never have owned or co-owned residential property in Australia, including your spouse or partner
  • You must not have previously received an exemption or concession under this scheme, including your spouse or partner
  • You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

How to apply

After exchanging contracts with the previous owner, you can apply for the FHBAS by downloading and completing the following two documents:

  1. First Home Buyers Assistance scheme application form
  2. Purchaser/Transferee Declaration form

Once you have completed your application forms and supporting documents, you need to lodge them with your solicitor and conveyancer.

2. First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) Scheme

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.

How to apply

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:

  • From 1 July 2017
  • From 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2017
  • From 1 October 2012 to 30 June 2014
  • On or before 30 September 2012

Supporting documents

When lodging your claim, you will be required to provide supporting documentation with your application. These documents include:

  • Proof of identity (e.g. driver’s license, passport)
  • A copy of the contract which is dated and signed by the seller
  • Proof that this is the first time the home has been sold and that it has not been occupied before, which will require a statement from the seller or their legal representative.

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

Queensland First Home Owners' 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).

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for the grant you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • You must never have owned or co-owned residential property in Australia, including your spouse or partner
  • You must be buying or building a new house, unit or townhouse
  • The value of the home including the land will need to be less than $750,000
  • You must move into the property within 12 months, and live at the property for at least six continuous months.

To qualify to apply for a grant, you must submit your application within the following timeframes:

  • If you are buying your home – 1 year of taking possession of the new home and your title being registered
  • If you have a contract to build – 1 year of the new home being completed e.g. the final inspection certificate being issued
  • If you are the owner-builder – 1 year of the new home being completed e.g. the final inspection certificate being issued.

How to apply

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.

The HomeBuilder Grant

The newly announced HomeBuilder Grant is designed to support individuals and couples with a $25,000 boost after building, buying or substantially renovating a home. Applications are open for the HomeBuilder grant until 31 December 2020 and to apply you must meet all the eligibility requirements for your State or Territory. Find out more about the HomeBuilder Grant eligibility criteria in your State or Territory today.

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.

Commonwealth: http://www.firsthome.gov.au/

NT: Northern Territory Government

WA: Department of Finance

SA: Revenue SA

VIC: State Revenue Office

ACT: Revenue ACT

TAS: State Revenue Office

Accessing the Grant

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.

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