What is the First Home Owner Grant?
The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG), sometimes referred as the First Home Buyers Grant is a one-off government assistance grant available to first home owners who satisfy all of the eligibility criteria. The scheme was first introduced by the Australian Government in July 2000 to offset the effect of the GST on home ownership.
The grant is a nationally recognised scheme and is funded by each of the states and territories, but is locally administered under their own legislation.
How much money will be received from the grant?
As each state and territory administers the FHOG locally, the criteria and eligible sum will be dependent on which area you are applying for the grant.
For Western Australian residents, there are two main criteria that will establish how much money you are eligible to receive; whether you are purchasing or building a new home; or purchasing an established home.
From the 25 of September 2013, the grant allows for:
- Purchasing or building a new home: $10,000
- Purchasing an established home: $3,000
First home buyers are also exempt from paying stamp duty for a home purchase under $430,000 or a land purchase under $300,000. Home purchases or land costs above these limits may still be eligible for concession rates, see First Home Owner Rate of Duty for more information.
Am I eligible to receive the First Home Owner Grant?
The FHOG applies to residential dwellings only and does not apply to vacant land, business premises, holiday houses or minor renovations to an existing home. Where a first home owner purchases a home that has undergone substantial renovations, they may still be eligible to apply.
Couples are considered as a single entity for the purposes of application, therefore if one spouse has previously owned a property, the other will no longer be eligible to receive the grant. Applicants must also fulfil a list of criteria including:
- Each applicant must be a natural person (i.e. not a company or trust).
- Each applicant must be 18 years of age or over.
- At least one of the applicants must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
- Each applicant must occupy the home being purchased or built as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months, commencing within twelve months of completion of the eligible transaction.
- The total value of the home must not exceed the cap amount. The cap amount is:
- $750,000 if the property is located south of the 26th parallel of South Latitude, or
- $1,000,000 if located north of the 26th parallel of South Latitude
How can I apply for a First Home Owner Grant?
The easiest way to apply for a First Home Owner Grant is through an approved agent which is the financial institution lending you money for the home. The agent will be able to receive and process the application on your behalf and you may even be able to receive your grant funds earlier.
Alternatively, if your lender is not an approved agent, you do not wish to apply through your lender or if you’re really lucky, you are not obtaining finance for your home purchase, you can complete an application form yourself and submit it to the Office of State Revenue.
For more information
Please note that the above information is provided as a guide only and can change over time. For the latest figures and official information regarding the First Home Owner Grant, please visit the Department of Finance WA website.