First home buyers grant eligibility

FHOG, or the First Home Owner Grant, is a state government initiative developed to assist people in purchasing their first residential property.

Do I qualify for the FHOG?

Looking to buy your first home?

Want to know what benefits are available to help you get on the property ladder even quicker?

Then you're in the right place.  Here’s what you need to know.

What is the First Home Owner Grant?

First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) is a government initiative designed to help first time buyers purchase their first residential property.

The amount of the grant, and the eligibility criteria, is different for each state and territory. We’ve collated all the information you need, below.

But before we get into all that, you should also know that in addition to the FHOG, there are also a number of First Home Buyers Assistance schemes and the Home Buyer Concession Scheme (HBCS). Best to check these out next as they can help further reduce costs for First Home Buyers.

How to apply for the First Home Owner grant?

To apply for the FHOG, you can go through your lender, or through your local state government office (links contained in each of the sections below).  You will need to provide a few bits of information and supporting documents such as proof of identity and proof of purchase.

However, if you’re finding the process confusing or just want to ensure it goes off without a hitch, you can also apply through an approved agent, such as a solicitor or conveyancer. This approach is generally recommended if you’re also applying for a loan.

How much is the First Home Owner Grant?

The value of the grant varies from state to state. In most states, the key eligibility requirements are largely the same: each applicant must be 18 years of age, at least one applicant (where there is more than one) must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and the applicant/s must not have previously owned property in Australia or previously have received the FHOG – in any state. Even if you received the grant with a partner and you’ve since broken up, you can’t get it again.

Many of the state websites have eligibility quizzes which you can complete to see if you qualify.

We’ve broken the grant amount and requirements down for you in more detail here:

First Home Owner Grant NSW

Amount: $10,000

Who and what is eligible

  • A $10,000 First Home Owner Grant for builders of new homes valued under $750,000, and for purchases of new homes less than $600,000 in value
  • No stamp duty for all homes valued under $650,000, or vacant land under $400,000
  • Stamp duty reductions on homes up to $800,000, or up to $1 million for new homes and $500,000 for vacant land
  • No insurance duty on lender’s mortgage insurance
  • You must live in the home you buy for at least six months in the first year of owning it in order to qualify as a first home buyer and receive the FHOG and other first home buyer assistance in NSW (unless you work in the Australian Defence Force).

First Home Owner Grant ACT

The ACT currently does not offer any first home owner grants to first home buyers, but it does offer a means-tested full stamp duty concession to all first home buyers on all properties.

First Home Owner Grant South Australia

Amount : $15,000

Who and what is eligible

  • In SA, first home buyers are eligible for a $15,000 grant for new residential dwellings valued at up to $575,000.
  • You must live in the property for at least six months in the first year of owning it to be eligible for the grant.

First Home Owner Grant Victoria

Amount: Up to $20,000

Who and what is eligible

  • Victorian first home buyers are eligible for a First Home Owner Grant of up to $20,000 for first home buyers building or buying a new home in regional Victoria, or up to $10,000 for these types of homes in cities.
  • In either case, the maximum purchase price of eligible new homes is $750,000, and the home must be less than five years old.
  • In addition, first home buyers may be eligible for various exemptions or concessions on their stamp duty. For example, at the time of writing:
  • Both new homes and established homes are eligible for a first home buyer duty exemption if the home is valued at $600,000 or less, or a concession for a principal place of residence (PPR) with a dutiable value between $600,001 and $750,000.
  • New and established homes valued up to $550,000 are eligible for a PPR concession if you intend to live there as your primary home.
  • From 25 November 2020 to 1 July 2021, residential homes in Victoria valued at up to $1 million are also eligible for a 50% duty concession, even if you don’t live there as your primary home.
  • First home buyers with a family (at least one dependent child under 18) may be eligible for a duty concession or exemption on a property valued at up to $200,000.
  • First home buyers purchasing an off-the-plan property or refurbished lot may be eligible for an off-the-plan duty concession.
  • Young farmers buying their first farmland property may be eligible for a young farmer’s duty exemption or concession on properties worth less than $750,000.

First Home Owners Grant Tasmania

Amount: Up to $20,000

Who and what is eligible

  • In Tassie, the First Home Owner Grant is up to $20,000 for buying or building a new home, including a “kit” home, off-the-plan home, or owner-builder home.
  • To be eligible, you must live in the house you buy as your main home for at least six months of the first year you own it.
  • First home buyers may also be eligible for a 50% stamp duty discount if the property has a dutiable value of $400,000 or less.

First Home Owner Grant Queensland

Amount: Up to $20,000

Who and what is eligible

  • First home buyers in Queensland may be eligible for the Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant.
  • This grant offers $15,000 for eligible first home buyers who are buying or building a new or substantially renovated home up to the value of $750,000 – including off-the-plan homes. To be eligible, you must move into the home you buy within the first 12 months of owning it and live there continuously for at least six months.
  • Queenslanders who buy in a regional part of the state by 31 March, 2021 may also be eligible for a regional home building grant of $5,000 if the new home they build or buy is valued at less than $750,000.

First Home Owner Grant Northern Territory

Amount: $10,000

Who and what is eligible

  • In the top end, the Northern Territory Government offers a First Home Owner Grant of $10,000 for first home buyers buying or building a new home or an established home.
  • First home buyers in the Territory may also be eligible for the BuildBonus grant (for buying or building new homes) and/or the Territory home owner discount, which is a stamp duty discount of up to $18,601.

First Home Owner Grant Western Australia

Amount: Up to $10,000

Who and what is eligible

  • Eligible first home buyers can receive a First Home Owner Grant of up to $10,000 for buying or building a new home. Homes south of the 26th parallel (including all of the Perth metropolitan area) can have a total value of up to $750,000, whereas homes located north of the 26th parallel can be valued at up to $1 million.
  • A stamp duty exemption is also available to eligible first home buyers whose property is valued at up to $430,000, and a concession if it is valued at up to $530,000.
  • Eligible first home buyers can also apply for the Home Buyers Assistance Account, which is a grant of up to $2,000 to cover the incidental expenses of purchasing an established or partially built home through a licensed real estate agent in WA. It is available for properties with a purchase price of up to $400,000.

Can I use the First Home Owner Grant as a deposit?

No and yes. The first homeowners grant isn’t made available to you at the start of your search process, so in that sense you can’t really use it as a deposit. It will be considered part of your overall contribution to your home purchase however, so in that sense, yes it can be used towards your home payment once it’s made available.

It should be noted that the FHOG is not actually paid to you – i.e. you don’t collect the mail one day and find a fat cheque from the government (unfortunately!). Rather, when you get to settlement, the money is made available to your solicitor to direct as required.

Furthermore, if you’re buying a house and land package, the money is, in some cases, ready to go once a concrete slab has been laid for the property, so the funds can be made available to draw in the construction process.

What can you use the First Home Owner Grant for?

The particulars vary from state to state but, in most states, you can use the first home owner’s grant to buy a new house valued up to a certain amount.

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How much money do you need for a house deposit?

In an ideal world, you will have 20% saved for a home deposit. You can generally access a home loan with a 10% deposit – if you choose to pay lender’s mortgage insurance. With some lenders, you may be able to borrow up to 95% of the value of a property if you meet eligibility criteria. The only way first home buyers can avoid paying a deposit is by using a guarantor who puts up their own property as security on your loan. In most situations, guarantors tend to be parents of the borrower.

Can I get the First Home Owner Grant if I’m buying an investment property?

You can use The First Home Owners Grant for an investment property but you will have to live in it initially. The rules vary from state to state but you generally have to move into the property within 12 months of purchase and you need to live there for between six and 12 months. After that period, however, you are free to move out of the property and get renters in.

If I’ve owned or own an investment property and didn’t receive the grant, am I eligible to get the grant for my first live-in home?

If you have previously owned – or currently own – an investment property but have not occupied it for more than six months, you could be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant when purchasing your first home to live in. This varies from from state to state, and also depends on your individual situation, so it’s best to check the state government websites for updates.

Do 1st timers still have to pay stamp duty?

You do have to pay stamp duty as a first home buyer but there are a number of concessions that exist which reduce the amount of stamp duty first home buyers have to pay.

Read Stamp Duty for First Home Buyers to find out more.

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