Buying your first home is an Australian rite of passage. Thing is, it seems to be tougher than ever to get there. Getting your deposit together means taking advantage of any avenue that you can. One of those could the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG).
What is the First Home Owner Grant?
As the name suggests, FHOG was created to help Australian buyers get into their first home. The FHOG scheme was introduced in July 2000. The aim was to help offset the impact of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on homeownership. It’s a nationwide scheme but it’s managed by the individual states and territories, so what’s available and the terms and conditions will be different depending on where you live. You can apply directly to the body in your state or territory and through your mortgage provider.
Who could get it?
While the conditions vary across states there are some broader requirements which you’ll have to meet in order to apply:
- This needs to be your ‘first home’, which means that you and the person you’re buying with, haven’t owned residential property before.
- It’s generally only available for a new build, some states will allow you to extend this requirement to a ‘substantial’ renovation.
- You’ll usually need to be an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident.
- The maximum purchase price is between $575,000 and $750,000 depending on where you are.
- You can’t buy the property through a company or a trust, and it can’t be a holiday home or an investment property.
- Generally, you’ll need to move into your house within 12 months after settlement, and live in your home for at least six months.
Oh, and while the penalties do vary from state to state, taking the FHOG when you’re not eligible carries the threat of prosecution and heavy penalties. If you don’t qualify outright, fudging the details really isn’t worth it.
Before you apply
The FHOG is generally worth between $10,000 and $15,000, so it can be a big help. If you’re thinking of making the FHOG part of your savings plan, make sure you have up-to-date information about the requirements for FHOG in your state or territory.
Before you build your budget, remember that the FHOG grants and concessions on stamp duty can and do change without much notice. Make sure you check in with what’s available in your state and take the time to understand all the eligibility requirements before you buy or apply.
Don’t forget to check out other options
Depending on where you are, you may also be able to get other concessions, like assistance with stamp duty or waivers around insurance requirements. In NSW, buyers could receive stamp duty relief for homes bought for less than $800,000 and also avoid paying insurance duty on lender’s mortgage insurance.
When you’re saving for your deposit, it’s important to have a complete picture of your finances. That’s where Moneytree comes in. We make it simple to check in on all of your finances daily and see where you can make adjustments. Get started with Moneytree now.
Author: Moneytree Team
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