First Home Owner’s Grant (FHOG)

If you are a first home buyer, you may be eligible to reap a windfall of $14000 to $29,000. This money may help you qualify for a home loan from an Absolute Finance Solutions lender.  Your Absolute Finance Solutions mortgage broker can help you understand your eligibility.

The Federal Government has announced significant increases to the Grant available to first home buyers. The new measures now bring the total available to those buying a newly constructed home to $26,000 increasing to $29,000 in regional Victoria (subject to certain requirements).

First home buyers purchasing an established home will now be entitled to between $14,000 and $17,000 (subject to certain requirements).

Eligible first home owners can receive the grant regardless of their income, the area in which they are planning to buy or build, or the value of their first home.  The grant is not means tested and no tax is payable on it.

The grant is fully funded by payments the Federal Government’s First Home Owner Grant scheme.  This scheme is designed to assist first home buyers to purchase their first home by offering the grant.

How Much is the Grant?

A payment of up to $21,000 is payable to eligible first home owners.

If you are eligible to receive the grant, you may also be entitled to receive an additional payment of $3,000 or $5,000 (subject to meeting certain requirements), which is known as the First Home Bonus (the bonus).  You do not have to complete a separate application form for the bonus as your eligibility will automatically be considered when you apply for the grant.

Are You Eligible to Receive the Grant?

To be eligible to receive the grant, the following criteria must be satisfied:

  1. You and your spouse/partner must not have received a grant in any State or Territory of Australia.
  2. You and your spouse/partner must not have owned residential property, either jointly, separately or with some other person prior to 1 July 2000, in any State or Territory of Australia
  3. You and your spouse/partner must not have occupied for a continuous period of at least 6 months, a residential property in which either of you acquired a relevant interest on or after 1 July 2000 in any State or Territory of Australia.
  4. You must be a natural person (not a company) and at least 18 years of age at the time of settlement or completion of construction
  5. You (or at least one applicant) must be a permanent resident or Australian citizen at the time of settlement or completion of construction of the home
  6. you (or at least one applicant) must occupy the home as your/their principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least 6 months, commencing within 12 months of either settlement or completion of construction.
  7. You (or at least one applicant) must occupy the home as your/their principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least 6 months, commencing within 12 months of either settlement or completion of construction.

What Types of Transactions are Eligible?

On or after 1 July 2000 each applicant must have:

  • entered into a contract of sale or agreement for the purchase of a new, established, or off the plan home in Victoria; or
  • entered into a contract to build a home on their land in Victoria; or
  • in the case of owner builders, commenced construction (laying of foundations) of a home on their land in Victoria.

Which Homes Qualify?

A home that qualifies is a building that may be lawfully used as a place of residence and is, in the Commissioner’s opinion, suitable for use as a place of residence. This includes new or existing homes such as a:

  • house
  • flat/unit
  • townhouse
  • moveable house relocated onto land owned by applicant

You remain eligible even if you’ve previously purchased land, just as long as you haven’t built a home on it.

The First Home Owners Scheme Web site at www.firsthome.gov.au provides eligibility checklists for each state.

Who Administers the Grant and How Do I Apply?

The states and territories are responsible for administering the grant (even though the money comes from the Federal Government). Forms are available from State or Territory Revenue Offices.

How is the Grant Paid and How Long It Takes?

The State or Territory Revenue Office will deposit the grant money into a nominated account by electronic funds transfer. If the grant is to be divided between a number of applicants, it will be paid by cheque. Payment is made about one week from the date of application.

What do I Need in Order to Apply?

To receive the grant, you need a signed and dated contract of sale and a fully executed transfer of land document.  If you are building a house, you need a signed and dated building contract and a certificate of occupancy.  An owner builder must provide a certificate of occupancy.  All applicants must produce photo identification.

Want More Information?

For more information, ring the Australian Tax Office’s infoline on 13 61 40, or visit these web sites:

The First Home Owners Scheme web site at www.firsthome.gov.au – this site contains separate guides to the scheme for each state.

The Australian Tax office at www.taxreform.ato.gov.au

State Revenue Offices: