First Home Owners Grant: How To Use It To Your Advantage
With all the recent news about the cost of property, it’s no surprise the Australians are looking for any way to get their foot in the door of the real estate market. Thankfully, every state and territory in the country has its own version of the First Home Owners Grant. We explain how to use it to your advantage.
What Is The First Home Owners Grant?
The First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) is a government scheme that’s been running for nearly two decades. Its initial purpose was to offset the impact of GST on home ownership, but with rising house prices it’s a way for many would-be owners to enter the property market.
Under the current FHOG scheme, first-time home buyers may receive a one-off payment to help them achieve their dream of home ownership – so long as they meet the relevant criteria. Importantly, it’s worth noting that each state and territory’s scheme differs from the next, so depending on where you currently live and where you intend to buy, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with your state’s regulations about the scheme.
Who Is Eligible?
Eligibility, much like the amount you can receive, depends on where you plan to buy in Australia. The Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant, for example, is managed by the state government, so you’ll need to find all your information on the relevant Queensland Government website.
If you’re looking to buy an established home in the sunshine state, you unfortunately won’t be eligible to receive the grant. However, you may be eligible if you are having a new home built – where the contract date was on or after 12 September 2012. Likewise, you may be eligible if you are building your own home, plan to live in it within one year of the building’s completion and neither you nor your spouse or partner have received the FHOG previously.
Finally, those looking to purchase a house and land package in a new development may be eligible for the grant. Buying a ‘new home’ means the property hasn’t been previously occupied as a residence, has never been sold as a residence before, and no one has lived in the home before you signed the contract.
There are a number of questions you’ll need to answer in order to be found eligible, so take the Queensland Government’s FHOG eligibility test to see if you qualify.
FHOG: Common Myths – Busted
The grant isn’t worth as much as it used to be: Actually, you can still receive $20,000 towards buying your home depending on the date of your contract.
It’s too hard to apply: Finding out if you’re eligible is actually very easy and there are fewer hoops to jump through than in previous years. The biggest requirements are that you are 18 years or older; an Australian citizen or permanent resident; haven’t previously owned property in Australia; and are buying or building a new home worth less than $750,000 (including the land).
I’m not entitled to anything unless I’m buying a brand-new property: While it’s true you can’t get the FHOG in Queensland if you’re buying an established property, you may still be eligible for the First Home Concession, which can save you up to $15,925.
Can You Get The First Home Owners Grant When Buying In a New Development?
Because new developments, such as Brentwood Forest, sell both blocks of land and house-and-land packages, you may be eligible for the FHOG. Since the majority of these properties have never been lived in, they are considered ‘new homes’ even though you haven’t built them on your own land.
Content originated from Harmony.