If you’re a first home buyer you probably know that you’re eligible for government assistance, commonly known as first home owner grants.
But how exactly does this work? And how much do you get?
The process is similar across Australia, but there are differences between jurisdictions. In all states and mainland territories, you have two options when applying for a grant:
- You can lodge your application through an ‘approved agent’, which is the bank or financial institution providing your mortgage
- You can download the application form, complete and lodge it yourself with the authorities once you have completed the sales transaction.
You also need to provide the government with supporting paperwork to prove you’re eligible, including the contract of sale, contract to build, and proof of your identity.
If you apply via a lending institution, grant payments will usually be available for settlement or the first construction progress payment. If you apply directly to the government agency, most will pay the grant into your bank account when your purchase is complete.
So how do you get your hands on the money?
New South Wales
In NSW, there is a $15,000 grant for new homes purchased for $650,000 or less, and a Regional Relocation Grant of $7,000 if you move from a metropolitan area to a home in a regional area.
There are also exemptions from transfer duty on new homes valued up to $550,000 and vacant land up to $350,000, as well as concessions for new homes valued between $550,000 and $650,000 and vacant land valued between $350,000 and $450,000.
You can find the grant form here NSW OSR Application.
In NSW, the grant is paid as a credit against the transfer duty payable. If the grant is greater than the duty, the difference will be forwarded to you as a cheque.
Queensland takes our prize for the grant with the best name.
The Great Start Grant is $15,000 for first timers buying or building a new home up to the value of $750,000.
You can find the form here Qld OSR Application
"One final tip – grants and concessions have a tendency to change so double check what’s available in your state or territory before you buy."
Grants can change over time so check with your local authority for the latest information.
Date: 13th February 2014
Author: Paul Thornhill