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First home owner grant 101

By Renata Sowinski

Having trouble keeping track of how the first home owner grant works in your state or territory? You’re not alone. Here’s your jargon-free guide to the grant.

The first home owner grant (FHOG) varies depending on where you live and the rules also change year to year, so it can be tricky to keep up with what you’re entitled to. If you’re looking at buying your first home, here are the essentials you need to know.

What is the first home owner grant (FHOG)?

Introduced in 2000 to offset the effects of the GST on home buyers, the FHOG provides a one-off payment to people who are buying or building property for the first time. Depending on where you live, these grants generally range between $7,000 and $26,000. If you’re buying with someone else, generally it must also be their first purchase to be eligible, and you must both meet the eligibility requirements listed by your state or territory government.

Am I eligible for the FHOG?

Here’s a look at the eligibility criteria in each state and territory. In most cases these amounts apply to new or substantially renovated properties – check your state or territory revenue office website for full details:

  • ACT: $7,000 for new builds up to $750,000
  • NSW: $10,000 for new builds up to $750,000
  • NT: $26,000 for any new home
  • QLD: $15,000 for new builds up to $750,000
  • SA: Up to $15,000 for new builds up to the value of $575,000
  • TAS: $10,000 for any new home ($20,000 for new builds before 30 June 2018)
  • VIC: $10,000 for new builds up to $750,000 ($20,000 for regional new builds)
  • WA: $15,000 for properties up to $750,000 south of the 26th parallel or properties up to $1,000,000 north of the 26th parallel

This is a general guide to the various regulations across Australia as of 2017 and is subject to change. To find out more about the current details of eligibility criteria in your particular area, check your state revenue office website or visit the government’s guide on firsthome.gov.au.

When will my grant be paid?

Once again, the timing of your payment will vary slightly depending on where you live, so it’s best to check the details with your state revenue office. But as a general rule, your FHOG will usually be paid at settlement if you’re buying a new property, or when your slab is laid if you’re building a new home.

How do I apply?

To apply for your FHOG, you can either:

  • lodge the application yourself through your state/territory authority
  • ask your home loan provider to lodge the application for you.

In either case, you’ll need to provide key paperwork to support your application, including your contract of sale or contract to build.

Are there other concessions I can access?

As a first home buyer, you may be able to access other discounts when purchasing your property. Check the details in your state for:

  • Discounts on stamp duty: Some states waive or heavily discount stamp duty up to certain property price limits.
  • Regional property concessions: You may be eligible for a larger grant if buying or building in a regional area, or a larger discount on stamp duty.

The first home owner grant keeps evolving

State and territory governments make changes to the FHOG in order to manage issues such as housing affordability. These changes can take effect in a short period of time, so it’s important to keep up to date with the regulations in your area as you prepare to buy your first home.

These grants can make a huge difference when purchasing your first home, so always check your location on firsthome.gov.au to see what you may be eligible for.

The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, REA recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. REA recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.

Source: realestate.com.au

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