The First Home Owner Grant – Everything you need to know

The First Home Owner Grant is a nationwide government scheme for Aussie citizens or permanent residents who are buying or constructing a new home. The process is fairly straightforward, but there are a few points to consider.

Each state and territory has its own rules and eligibility criteria for the grant, so New South Wales residents should make the NSW Department of Revenue their first port of call for the latest information.

How much can you get from the grant?

The New South Wales’ First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) offers qualified first-home buyers a $10,000 cash grant for the purchase or construction of their new home. The grant’s accessible to first-home buyers who purchase a newly-built house, townhouse, apartment, or unit.

The $10,000 grant is also available to first-home buyers who purchase a dwelling off-the-plan, or acquire a property that’s been substantially renovated.

What are the price limits for the grant?

The grant isn’t means-tested, but the NSW Government has implemented a price limit on eligible properties. The cap varies depending on the type of transaction you’re making.

You can qualify for the grant if you’re buying anything up to $600,000, with the cap raising to $750,000 if you’re building a new home.

What are the eligibility requirements?

The eligibility criteria is very inclusive, but there are a few factors for you to keep in mind.

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must be buying as an individual or a couple, not as a company or a trust
  • You must not have previously owned a home before 1 July 2000
  • You must occupy the property as your principal place of residence within 12 months of the construction or purchase, and the occupancy must be for at least six continuous months
  • You mustn’t have received a First Home Owner Grant in other states
  • If you’re applying with someone, at least one of you must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident

Can the grant be used for a deposit?

Yes, the First Home Owner Grant can be used as part of your deposit, but remember that you’ll probably need to contribute far more than this to avoid shelling out for Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI). In most cases this will require a deposit of 20% or more, so the FHOG will certainly help out with that.

How do you apply for the NSW First Home Owner Grant? The First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) Application form outlines everything you need to submit with your application. There are two ways to apply for the grant; either through your lender or financial institution, or through the NSW Revenue Office.

What documents are required?

When applying for the grant, you’ll also have to provide supporting documents to back up your claim. These include;

  • A copy of the contract for sale
  • A title search proving you’re the owner
  • A statement from the vendor stating the property has never been occupied since the completion of the transaction
  • The final build cost statement from the builder
  • Evidence of the total value of the property (for owner-builders)

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