What the FHOG? We answer your First Home Owner Grant questions

You’d like to buy your first home but might be wondering: are there grants for buying a home? Yep, there’s one called the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG), and it’s a great way to help you get into your first home sooner. There is also the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme – but we’re going to focus mostly on the FHOG, as the FHOG has had a few changes since it was first introduced almost 20 years ago. It’s also different from state to state. We figure you’ve probably got questions, so we’ve got the answers.

What is FHOG?

The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) scheme was introduced on 1 July 2000 to offset the effect of the GST on home ownership.

How does a first home owner grant work?

It’s a national scheme funded by the states and territories and administered under their own legislation.

What are the first home owner benefits?

Under the scheme, a one-off grant is payable to first home owners that satisfy all the eligibility criteria. So basically, the government gives you some money to go towards your first home. It essentially increases your deposit, which may help your eligibility for a loan. The grant is usually paid directly to your lender to reduce the deposit required, and is paid at settlement if you’re buying or at first drawdown if you’re building.

Do I qualify for a first home owner grant?

It’s the obvious question: who qualifies for FHOG? The quick answer is, it depends. There are a lot of factors that determine if you’re eligible for first home owner benefits and it depends on where you live.

But in general, if you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible to apply for the FHOG.

  • You must be a first home owner as a person, not as a company or trust.
  • At least one applicant must be a permanent resident or Australian citizen.
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must not have owned property before.
  • You must not have claimed the grant previously.
  • You must occupy the home as your principal place of residence within 12 months of the construction or purchase of your home and live there for at least six continuous months.

Looking good so far? Don’t forget there are state specific conditions as well, which will depend on the state you’re buying in.

How do I get a first home owner grant?

Each state offers a slightly different first home owner scheme, with different first home owner benefits and eligibility criteria. To check what you’re eligible for, visit the government’s FHOG information website, First Home. Or for a quick snapshot, check out the table of first home owner grant qualifications below.

State

Grant $

Purpose

Eligibility

FHOG ACT

$7,000

 

Purchase of

new or substantially renovated home on or after January 1 2017

 

Properties of $750,000 or less are eligible

 

FHOG NSW

$10,000 (for contracts dated on or after 1 January 2016)

$15,000 (for contracts dated between 1 October 2012 and 31 December 2105)

 

Purchase or construction of new homes

 

The value of a purchased property must not exceed $600,000 and the value of a constructed home must not exceed $750,000

 

FHOG VIC

$10,000

 

Purchase or building a new home (non-regional Victoria) on or after 1 July 2013

 

Properties valued at up to $750,000

 

 

$20,000

 

Purchase or building a new home in regional Victoria, with the contract dated from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020

 

Properties valued up to $750,000

 

FHOG QLD

$15,000 (for contracts dated October 2012 to 30 June 2016, or 1 July 2018 or later)

$20,000 (for contracts dated from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2018)

 

 

Purchase or building a new home

 

Properties valued at less than $750,000

 

FHOG WA

$10,000, with an additional boost payment of $5,000 for contracts dated between 1 January and 30 June 2017

 

Purchase or building a new home

 

Eligible properties located south of the 26th parallel of south latitude are limited to $750,000, while properties north of the 26th parallel of south latitude are limited to $1 million

 

FHOG SA

$15,000 

 

Purchase or construction of new homes on or after 30 June 2014

 

Properties valued up to $575,000

FHOG TAS

$20,000

 

Buying a new home, buying a home off the plan or building a new home, from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019

 

-

FHOG NT

$26,000 

 

Purchase or construction of a new home

 

-


I’ve heard that there are two grants. What’s the difference?

Depending on what state you live in, you may be eligible for more than one grant. For example, in NSW there is the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme (or FHBA), and in the NT, there is the First Home Owner Discount – both of these schemes reduce or waive the amount of stamp duty you need to pay when you buy. Check the government website, First Home, for the information relevant to your state.

Yay, I think I’m eligible for FHOG. How do I apply for the first home owner grant?

This depends on where you live. Visit the government’s First Home website and follow the links to your state.

Ready to buy but still have some FHOG questions? Enquire Now.