Buying your first home is one of life’s most exciting milestones and it’s become something of an Australian dream. Whether you’re after a home in the suburbs to start a family, or something a bit more city-based, pooling all your resources and getting your foot on the property ladder is something thousands of people strive for every year.
Great initiatives from state governments have been supporting this activity all over the country. First home buyer grants have helped inexperienced purchasers get their big break – and it could help you, too. Here is what you need to know about this important mechanism.
What is it?
The first home buyer grant is a national-level venture, but each state and territory administers it in different ways. In New South Wales, it’s known at the The First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) Scheme. Basically, the policy has been designed to help young buyers purchase or build their first property through a $15,000 grant – but there are a number of points you need to be aware of.
For one, as the name suggests, it only applies to a new home. The Office of State Revenue defines this as a home that hasn’t been occupied before, or sold as a residence. It can also include a property that’s undergone a large-scale renovation, or that’s been built to replace a demolished building. Unfortunately, if you’re in the market for an established home, you probably won’t be able to access the grant.
As well, after January 1 2016, the grant will drop to $10,000. This makes it all the more important to start your savings plan early – the grant is still a boost, but you’ll need a slightly bigger buffer when applying for a home loan.
Am I eligible?
The New South Wales Office of State Revenue sets out some guidelines for who can apply and be mindful that you’ll need to meet every one of these requirements to be eligible. The first few point are easy enough – you need to be over 18 and intend to live in the home for six months or more. You can also tap into this resource if the sale contract was dated on or after 1 October 2012. After this point, it gets slightly more complex.
You can’t have purchased another piece of residential real estate in Australia before July 1 2000, although if you have had an interest in a property, you mustn’t have lived in it for a period of six months. You also need to hold Australian citizenship or permanent resident status, and can’t have received a similar grant in any other state.
There are a couple of stipulations around price, as well:
- the value of the home can’t surpass the $650,000 First Home Owner Grant Cap for contracts dated between October 1 2012 to June 30 2014;
- for contracts dated after July 1 2014, the home mustn’t be worth more than $750,000.
Our team of home loan professionals are available to answer all your questions and guide you through the process. After all, we don’t want you to wait another moment when your dream home is within reach.