Who can get the FHOG?
For a start, you can only get it if you’re buying your ‘first home’. Generally, this means you (and anyone you’re buying with) must not have owned a residential property before. There are a few other requirements too.
- you need to be at least 18 years of age
- you or the person you’re buying with needs to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
- it can’t be a holiday home or an investment property
- you or the person you’re buying with must not have received the FHOG in the past
- you need to move into your house within 12 months after settlement or completion of the house
- you need to live in it for at least six months.
Requirements are subject to change and differ depending on the state or territory. The best thing to do is to check the First Home Buyer Grant website for more info on eligibility for the FHOG, as well as first home buyer stamp duty concessions.
What sort of properties are eligible?
In some states or territories, you can only get the FHOG if you’re buying a new home, or one that’s been substantially renovated.
Usually, there’s also a limit on the property’s value – but the exact limit depends on the location. For example, as at August 2017, the NSW government has applied a purchase price limit of $750,000 for eligible first home buyers who are purchasing a newly-built home.
In other areas of Australia, the cap may be lower or higher.
How much is FHOG?
Once again, 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.
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. If you’re applying for a home loan with ANZ, we’ll guide you through the process and help you fill out the paperwork.
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.
When is the FHOG paid?
The FHOG payment is generally granted at settlement. 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.
One more thing…
Like all government-run schemes, FHOG is subject to change. At the risk of sounding like a broken record: you need to double-check the details if you’re planning to apply.
Visit www.firsthome.gov.au to find out more about the FHOG in your state or territory.
To sum up
- The FHOG is a one-off grant designed to help people buying their first home.
- Eligibility for the FHOG is different depending on each state or territory’s requirements.
- Before applying, make sure you have up-to-date information on the requirements.
- You can apply directly to the government, or through your home loan lender.