If you’re a first home buyer you probably know that you’re eligible for government assistance, commonly known as first home owner grants.
But how exactly does this work? And how much do you get?
Differences across Australia
The process is similar across Australia, but there are differences between jurisdictions. In all states and mainland territories, you have two options when applying for a grant:
You can lodge your application through an ‘approved agent’, which is the bank or financial institution providing your mortgage OR you can download the application form, complete and lodge it yourself with the authorities once you have completed the sales transaction.
You also need to provide the government with supporting paperwork to prove you’re eligible, including the contract of sale, contract to build, and proof of your identity.
If you apply via a lending institution, grant payments will usually be available for settlement or the first construction progress payment. If you apply directly to the government agency, most will pay the grant into your bank account when your purchase is complete.
So how do you get your hands on the money?
In NSW, there is a $15,000 grant for new homes purchased for $650,000 or less, and a Regional Relocation Grant of $7,000 if you move from a metropolitan area to a home in a regional area.
There are also exemptions from transfer duty on new homes valued up to $550,000 and vacant land up to $350,000, as well as concessions for new homes valued between $550,000 and $650,000 and vacant land valued between $350,000 and $450,000.
You can find the grant form here NSW OSR Application.
In NSW, the grant is paid as a credit against the transfer duty payable. If the grant is greater than the duty, the difference will be forwarded to you as a cheque.
Queensland takes our prize for the grant with the best name.
The Great Start Grant is $15,000 for first timers buying or building a new home up to the value of $750,000.
You can find the form here Qld OSR Application
In the top end, the Northern Territory First Home Owner Grant offers a thumping $25,000 for first timers buying any home in regional area or a new home in an urban area.
There is also $12,000 for first timers purchasing an established home in an urban area up to the value of $600,000.
You can find the grant applications forms and information about HomeBuild Access package and BuildBonus package here Treasury NT HomeOwner Incentives.
In the west, first home buyers receive a $10,000 grant for the purchase or building of a new home and $3,000 grant for purchasing an established home.
These grants are capped at purchases of up to $750,000, or if their house is located north of the *26th parallel, $1,000,000.
You can find the form here Finance WA Application
In WA, first home buyers are also exempt from stamp duty for a home purchase under $500,000 or a land purchase under $300,000.
First timers may also be eligible for The Home Buyers Assistance Account – a grant of up to $2,000 for expenses of buying an established or partially built home valued up to $400,000 through a licensed real estate agent.
In South Australia, the First Home Owner Grant of $5,000 is scheduled to end 30 June 2014 and be replaced by a $15,000 grant for new homes only, up to the value of $575,000.
There are two forms you will need to complete for Revenue SA: First Home Owner Grant Application & Lodgement Guide and the Confirmation of Settlement and Lodgement for Registration Form.
To see more visit: revenuesa.sa.gov.au
The Stamp Duty Concession for first time buyers of up to $21,330 is also scheduled to end 30 June 2014.
There is a grant of up to $10,000 for first time buyers purchasing a new home up to the value of $750,000.
First home buyers can also claim a 30% reduction in stamp duty for purchases up to $600,000, a reduction set to increase by 10% in July 2014 and 10% again in July 2015.
You can find the form here Vic SRO Application. Payments will be made to your nominated bank account within 14 days.
In the nation’s capital, there is $12,500 for first time buyers of new, off the plan or substantially renovated properties.
You can find the details here ACT Revenue Office.
In the Apple Isle, the Tasmanian First Home Owner Grant is scheduled to end for established homes on 1 July 2014. This grant of $7,000 for first time buyers is uncapped.
First time buyers of new homes can receive the First Home Builder Boost of $23 000 until 31 December 2014.
You can find out more here at SRO Tasmania.
First home buyers everywhere, one final tip – check what’s available in your state or territory before you buy, as grants and concessions have a tendency to change, sometimes without a lot of notice!
One final tip – grants and concessions have a tendency to change so double check what’s available in your state or territory before you buy.