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The First Home Owners Grant is worth $10,000 - What is it and how easy is it to apply?
You know how the government takes a chunk out of your pay packet every week? Well here’s one of those times the money comes back. And it’s for a very good cause – to help people like you buy their very first home! In a nutshell, the First Home Owners Grant is a one-off $10,000 payment from the WA Government that you never have to pay back.
There are, of course, a few basic requirements that you’ll need to meet in order to be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant.
You’re an Australian Citizen
Are 18 years or over
Have not received a FHOG from another state or territory in Australia
Have never owned another residential property in Australia
You occupy the home as your principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months, within 12 months of receiving the FHOG
Firstly, you must apply for the grant within 12 months of the completion date of your home, and be eligible for the first homeowner grant – So you can’t apply for a home you purchased a few years ago.
You must also be doing one of the following:
Buying a New Home: Your application clock starts ticking from the date you get the keys, usually the settlement date.
Home Building Contract: You can apply from the day your home is ready and the builder hands over the keys.
Owner-builder: The clock starts when the foundation is laid and stops when the house is ready to be lived in.
Do you have to live in the home you purchase?
You Must Live in the Home You Purchase to be Eligible for the FHOG
The first home owner grant is aimed at helping Australians buy a home so they can live in it. If you want to take advantage of the grant, you must move into your new home within 12 months of its completion.
Once you move in, you must live there as your primary residence for at least six months. The only time this is not the case is if you are buying the home for a person with a legal disability; in which case, they would need to meet these requirements instead.
How much can you spend & still be eligible?
That depends on your choice of whether to build or buy
If you are building a new home, you are eligible if the home’s value does not exceed:
For the Perth Metro Area that’s up to $750,000.
For anything North of the 26th parallel (Shark Bay), that’s up to $1,000,000.
If you are buying a new home, your purchase is eligible for the FHOG if:
You are purchasing a home and land or vacant residential land that doesn’t exceed the (the point after which you must pay stamp duty)
You are purchasing a house and land package or vacant residential block of land that doesn’t exceed the dutiable value threshold limits for WA (the point after which you must pay stamp duty)
In WA, that means if you are purchasing an established home, you are eligible for the first homeowner grant if the value of your home is less than $430,000.
How do you apply for the FHOG?
If you want to apply for the FHOG, you have two pathways.
You can apply for the FHOG yourself directly through State Revenue
You can take the easy route and apply for the grant through an approved agent.
As luck would have it, Easystart Homes is an FHOG-approved builder. This means we can help you apply and assist with the paperwork. Having someone with experience to help with your application moves things along quicker … and relieves you from all that form-filling stress! The hardest part will be deciding what to do with your newfound free time.
To get started, all you need to do is complete the form below and we promise to be in touch soon.
Have some questions about the FHOG?
No worries, we have plenty of answers!
Do I have to pay the FHOG back?
No! The FHOG is a genuine grant. It doesn’t incur interest and you never have to pay it back.
What is an "eligible first home buyer" in the context of the FHOG?
Put simply, a first home buyer is defined as an individual who has never owned a residential property before, either in Australia or overseas. An eligible first home buyer is someone who:
Is 18 years and over
Is an Australian citizen (or in some cases permanent resident)
Has never received a grant for first home ownership
Has never owned property in Australia
What is a "home occupier" in the context of the FHOG?
A home occupier is a person who resides in a residential property they have purchased with the intent to live in it as their principal place of residence for at least 12 months. This typically refers to someone who lives in the home they own, as opposed to an investor who purchases property for rental income or capital gain purposes.
Does the FHOG apply to House & Land packages?
Yep. Those looking to purchase a house and land package as their first home can rest easy knowing that the FHOG applies to house and land packages in Perth as well.
What if I'm buying a home with someone who isn't a first-home buyer?
Even if your partner isn’t a first-home buyer, you might still be eligible for a partial grant depending on the specifics of your situation. It’s always worth checking with the Department of Finance to see what you may be entitled to.
Does the FHOG only apply to newly built homes?
No, the grant is designed to help first-home buyers buy OR build a new residential property for use as their principal place of residence – but there are some strict limitations if you want to buy an established home.
In case you missed it, the biggest limitation of buying an established property is that the maximum value of the property must be lower than the “dutiable value threshold” for WA (the point after which you must pay stamp duty) which means the established home you wish to buy must cost less than $430,000.
If you were to build instead, you could spend up to $750,000 within the Perth metropolitan area.
Change in Circumstances
What if my circumstances change after i receive the grant?
Everyone knows life can be unpredictable. If your circumstances change, you should contact the Department of Finance immediately to discuss your options. Depending on the situation, you may need to repay the grant, but you may also be eligible for certain exemptions so that you are not under financial strain. Either way, don’t leave it till it is a problem, talk to a professional and you will sleep easier!
What happens if I suddenly can't live in the home I brought?
In case of changes in your circumstances making it hard to meet these requirements, you have some options:
Voluntarily repay the grant: If you repay the grant and the transfer duty, you can apply for the grant again in the future.
Apply for a reduction of the residency requirement: You can apply to reduce the 6-month residence period or extend the 12-month deadline. Failure to advise the WA Government could lead to you being required to repay the grant and a penalty.
Apply for an exemption from the residence requirement: If there are multiple applicants, the government may exempt one if there are good reasons and at least one of the applicants meets the requirements. The exempted applicant won’t be eligible for future grants.
What can you do with the money
Can I use the FHOG as a deposit?
Yes, some lenders like Keystart allow you to use the FHOG as part of your deposit. It can be very beneficial in making up the amount you need for your home purchase. However, keep in mind that lenders may still require you to have some genuine savings.
Does the FHOG cover renovation costs for my new home?
The FHOG does not cover renovations to your new home. It’s designed to assist with the purchase or construction of your first residential property. The only time renovations and the FHOG are relevant to each other is if you purchase a home that has been renovated enough to be considered a new home for grant purposes.
Do I have to pay stamp duty with FHOG?
First-home buyers don’t pay stamp duty on any home purchased up to the value of $430,000.
Homes between the sale value of $430,001 and $530,000 receive concessions (reduced stamp duty).
Penalties for incorrect applications
Are there penalties for incorrect applications?
Yes, there are! If you receive the FHOG but it turns out you weren’t eligible, you’ll have to pay it back along with a penalty. It’s crucial to ensure all information in your application is correct, if you are unsure, reach out to the Department of Finance for more information.
What happens if my application for the FHOG is declined?
If your application is declined, don’t stress! The reasons for denial will be explained in the decision, so you can make the necessary adjustments and reapply.