The First Home Owner Grant – The definitive guide

Are you having trouble keeping track of the First Home Owner Grant and how it works in WA? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. With so many variations depending on where you live and rules subject to change year on year, it can become quite confusing to new homebuyers. So to help you have a better understanding, we’ve put together an easy guide to the grant to get you started.

What is the First Home Owner Grant?

Introduced on 1 July 2000, the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) scheme is a national scheme funded by the states and territories. It’s administered under their own legislation, which means the grant amount, eligibility criteria and payment details varies depending on where you live.

Under the scheme, a one-off payment is made to first home owners that satisfy all the eligibility criteria to go towards buying or building their first new home. Keep in mind that if you’re purchasing property with someone else, you must both meet the eligibility requirements listed by the WA government.

The FHOG was initially established to encourage and assist first home buyers to buy or build a residential property for use as their principal place of residence. And as of March 2018*, first home owners buying or building a new home in WA may apply for a grant of $10,000.

As of 3 October 2015, the FHOG only applies to the purchase of a new home and doesn’t apply to an established home.

Am I eligible for the grant?

The grant isn’t means tested, meaning that the eligibility criteria isn’t based on financial considerations, such as income. However, to be eligible for the FHOG, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Are 18 years or over
  • Are an individual (not a company or trust)
  • Are a permanent resident or citizen of Australia
  • Have never received the grant or owned residential property
  • Will live in the residence for a minimum of 6 months
  • Apply for the grant within 12 months of settlement

In WA, the grant also has geographically determined caps on the total value of the home purchase. So depending on where your home is located your eligibility may be effected. For a more detailed description of the eligibility criteria, visit the government’s guide.

How do I apply?

To apply for the FHOG, you can either lodge an application through an Approved Agent or with the Office of State Revenue. In either case you’ll need to provide key paperwork to support your application, including your contract of sale or contract of build.

This application can be made once your contract has been signed and dated by all parties to the contract and appropriately witnessed or, where the application is made as an owner builder, when the foundations have been laid.

The timing of your payment will vary slightly depending on where you live, but as a general rule your FHOG will usually be paid at settlement if you’re buying a new property, or when your slab is laid if you’re building a new home.

How Now Living can help

At Now Living, we can help you navigate the process of buying your first home, starting with the finance. Whatever your personal situation or stage of life, we take the time to understand your needs and then utilise our knowledge, experience and industry partnerships to ensure the right home comes with the right finance.

In partnership with The Loan Company, we can ensure you secure the best finance option for your situation. We can help guide you through any first home buyer government grants like the FHOG and any other benefits you’re eligible for when you apply for a home loan.

For a smarter, hassle-free way of getting into your first new home, contact Now Living today. We’ll have your very own Now Living expert help your through the entire process from start to finish.

*This is a general guide to the regulations in WA as of March 2018 and is subject to change
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