As a first-time home buyer, it is important you understand ways in which your first home or new home purchase is supported by the Australian Government. Perhaps the most popular Government Initiative claimed by first home buyers is the First Home Owners’ Grant (FHOG). This $15,000 Grant assists first-time buyers as part of their deposit to help them get into the property market sooner.
There are several criteria that a homebuyer must meet to be eligible for the QLD First Home Owners’ Grant. Applicants for the Grant must be over the age of 18 years old and be either an Australian citizen or a permanent resident. If you are applying as a couple and you are the applicant that is an Australian citizen, you may be eligible for the Grant depending on your ability to meet other eligibility criteria.
You must be buying or building a brand new home that is valued less than $750,000, and must not hold any interest in another home in Australia. This must be your only time accessing the First Home Owners’ Grant. Those who accessed the Grant previously in any State or Territory in Australia are not eligible. If you are to receive the First Home Owners’ Grant, you must live in your brand new home as your principal place of residence within 1 year of its completion, and live there continuously for at least 6 months.
Not all properties are eligible to be purchased with the support of the First Home Owners’ Grant. In Queensland, first home buyers wanting to claim the Grant must be looking to buy or build a brand new home that is valued less than $750,000. The definition of a ‘brand new home’ in this case, is a dwelling that has not previously been lived in or occupied as a place of residency.
Fortunately for first-time buyers, the QLD First Home Owners’ Grant doesn’t just apply to the standard house. Eligible properties may also include a unit, apartment, dual key, duplex, townhouse or granny flat. As long as the property fits within the price threshold and is brand new, the home should be eligible.
Applying for the FHOG
There are two ways you can apply for the First Home Owners’ Grant: through an approved bank or lending institution or through Office of State Revenue (ORS). The most common way to apply for the First Home Owners’ Grant is through your broker who will lodge it through the bank or lending institution. If you require the funds for settlement or want to receive the Grant as soon as possible, it is recommended to apply through an approved agent. The First Home Owners’ Grant can be paid at different types depending on how and when you apply. The payment timeframe can typically be made at either settlement when buying your first home or on the first drawdown of funds for the builder if you are building your new home.
Using FHOG with other Government Grants
As a new buyer, it is important to assess your eligibility for all first home buyer grants. Many Government Initiatives are designed to be used together so buyers can get the most out of their first property. Government Initiatives that can be used in conjunction with the QLD First Home Owners’ Grant are the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS), the New Home Guarantee (NHG) and the Family Home Guarantee (FHG).
First Home Loan Deposit Scheme – This is a Federal Government Initiative that may support you to buy your first established home sooner, with a deposit of as little as 5%.
New Home Guarantee – This is a Federal Government Initiative that may support you to build or buy a new home, with as little as a 5% deposit.
Family Home Guarantee – This is a Federal Government Initiative that supports eligible single parents with at least one dependent child in purchasing a family home, with a deposit of as little as 2%.
While some of these Government Initiatives may be used at the same time on a single property, be sure to get your situation assessed to check your eligibility. It’s time to stop renting and start exploring your options as a future homebuyer! Click here to assess your current eligibility for a home!