First Home Owner Grant

Yes, it’s true. Eligible first home buyers may get a monetary grant from the government to help them buy their first home. It’s called the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG), but it works slightly differently depending on the state or territory. Let’s take a closer look at how it works and who’s eligible.

1. What is FHOG?

The First Home Owner Grant is a government scheme that was introduced in 2000 to offset the effect of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on buying or building a home.

It’s a one-off payment for eligible first home buyers who purchase or build a residential property to live in. The First Home Owner Grant isn’t means tested, which means the eligibility criteria isn’t based on financial considerations, such as your income.

2. Who can get the FHOG?

The grant amount, eligibility criteria and payment details of First Home Owner Grants vary between states and territories, so it’s important to check if you’re eligible.

Usually, you may be eligible if you:

  • Are a permanent resident or citizen of Australia
  • Have never received the grant or owned residential property
  • Are the minimum age set by your state or territory
  • Are buying a new or established home as an individual (not a company or trust)
  • Will live in the residence for the minimum time determined by your state or territory (the grant is not available on investment properties)
  • Apply for the grant within 12 months of settlement.

3. How much is the FHOG?

Rules differ depending on the state or territory. For example, in Victoria you may receive a larger amount for a property located in a regional area.

As a first home buyer, you could be eligible for other concessions too – like stamp duty exemptions and discounts. These also vary depending on the state or territory.

For example, as at August 2017, eligible NSW first home buyers may get exemptions or concessions on stamp duty for purchases less than $800,000.

4. How do I apply?

You can apply directly to the government revenue office in your state or territory. But many people choose to lodge their FHOG application through their lender.

The process will be slightly different depending on which state or territory you live in – check the application details carefully. You’ll need to lodge documents that confirm your identity and your eligibility. You’ll also need to include a copy of the contract of sale (or contract to build if you’re constructing a new home).

A word of advice: tell the truth on your application. If you don’t, you could end up getting prosecuted and there are heavy penalties if you’re convicted. It really isn’t worth it.

5. When is the FHOG paid?

The FHOG payment is generally granted at settlement. If you are building a home, the grant will be approved when your first loan repayment is due.

This means it’s not available when you need to provide the seller with a deposit. You’ll need to pay your deposit when you sign a contract of sale, which is usually months before settlement.

You may need to seek additional funds for settlement if your application for FHOG is not approved by your government revenue office

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