How to Use the First Home Owners Grant
The First Home Owners Grant can be a massive kick start - but how do you use it?
Overview of the First Home Owners Grant
To help first home buyers fulfil the dream of one day owning their own homes, Australia introduced the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) to ease the costs associated with buying real estate.
Each state has its own criteria, rules, guidelines and amounts, with some states focusing their funding on certain types of property.
Some states also have a stamp duty concession on top of the FHOG, saving first home buyers more money.
Why Use the Grant?
The costs associated with purchasing your first home can add up to a significant amount.
The grant is free funding - not a short-term loan that you have to pay back to the government.
Some states offer grants of up to $15,000, which will be a considerable help when saving for your home deposit.
Funding is usually paid to you once your property has reached settlement, so it's a good idea to consider how you will use it before you lodge your application.
Recently, a number of state governments have shifted their focus for the grant to the purchase or construction of brand new homes. This may influence your purchasing decision, so do your research early.
Are You Eligible?
The grant differs from state to state, but basic eligibility criteria remain the same across the country and apply to both you and your spouse or partner entering the property agreement:
- You must be a first time buyer in Australia. This applies to both you and your partner or spouse entering the agreement.
- You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
- You must not have not claimed this grant previously.
- You must be over age 18 at the time of the property's settlement.
- The home that you use the funds to purchase must be a fixed dwelling that is lawfully considered to be used as a place of residence. This includes:
o a new or established house
o unit or apartment
o terraced home
o Any other type of self-contained dwelling.
- At least one applicant must use the purchase as a place of residence continuously for at least six months. This must begin within 12 months of the property's settlement or construction.
There is usually a capped amount for properties you can apply for. Naturally this can fluctuate substantially across the country, depending on each state's housing market.
Applications can be made through most financial lenders, however they must be a First Home Owners Grant Approved Agent.
Alternatively, applications can be made through your state's Office of State Revenue.
You must support your application with proof of identity and the contract of sale for the property.
For more information on the FHOG in the state you're looking to buy in, head to the federal government portal.