Hicaliber Team

Thinking of Rebuilding? How Much Does it Cost to Demolish a House?

If you’re in a great location with a not-so-great house, rebuilding on your existing piece of land is an ever-popular choice. In fact, about a third of all new house builds are now in this category, according to the Housing Institute of Australia, with land scarcity driving up demand. But before a rebuild, you’ll need to look closely at the knock-down process. This includes researching the cost to demolish a house and finding a suitable contractor. Here, we outline what will impact the demolition dollars in your budget.

So How Much Does It Cost To Demolish A House?

Considering all of the factors we go through below, including size, accessibility, type of home and hazardous materials, the price can vary greatly, but in our experience you would be looking anywhere between $12,000 to $40,000 to demolish your home. If you’re home is in an easy to access location, relatively small and not built with hazardous materials like asbestos, you’re estimated house demolition cost would be closer to $12,000 to $20,000.

What Do You Need to Consider When Demolishing a House?

We will dive into deeper detail below, but here’s what you need to consider when demolishing your home:

  1. Size of House
  2. Access to Demolition Site
  3. Building Materials
  4. Hazardous Materials (Asbestos or Mould)
  5. Additional Structures
  6. Tree or Shrubbery Clearing
  7. Distance to Recycling/Disposal Centre

Size of House Being Demolished

Yes, the size of your house will impact the overall demolition cost, with some contractors charging by the square metre. We’ve found that the demolishing cost can be upwards of $40 per square metre, but again this depends on a number of other influencing factors you need to consider when demolishing a home, which we will go through in more detail.

Access to House Being Demolished

Your site gradient and access for demolition equipment may also have a bearing. Essentially, if the home you wish to demolish is in a difficult to reach location, this will make it more difficult to transport demolition equipment, transportation vehicles and disposable material from the site, therefore increasing costs.

Building Materials

Does what the house is made of affect the price of demolition? How much does it cost to demolish a brick house? These are questions we often here, and yes the material used to build the house can have a large affect on how much your house demolition costs.

A timber house is generally cheaper to demolish than brick or concrete, which are heavier materials requiring special machinery. In many cases, timber can be salvaged and recycled, which will bring down the overall cost of your demolition.

Hazardous Materials (Asbestos or Mould)

How do you demolish a house with asbestos or mould? How much does it cost to demolish a house with asbestos or mould?

If your house was built between 1920 and 1990, there’s a good chance that asbestos was used in construction. This will boost your budget, as asbestos is about three times more expensive to remove than standard building materials – due to the specialist skills, extra labour and treatment required. The same goes with mould, as the hazardous material needs to be disposed of safely by experienced removalists. Schedule an asbestos and mould inspection of your home before demolition to find out what type of demolition you require.

Other Factors That Need to be Considered When Demolishing a Home

Additional factors that will impact the cost of removing your existing home include:

  • Extra structures that need to be removed, like a shed or pool.
  • Trees or shrubs that need clearing to allow for your new build.
  • Distance to recycling or disposal centres, which adds to transportation costs.

Understanding the Demolition Process

Before you sign on the demolition dotted line, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the demolition process. Your supplier may offer to handle everything for you; or there may be parts you need to take care of yourself.

Demolition Permits

Do I need a permit to Demolish House?

You’ll need the proper paperwork in place before you begin demolishing your house. This involves working with a private certifier, lodging forms and paying a fee. This process may take several weeks, so it’s important to factor it into your building timeline. Most importantly, you’ll need to check whether there are any heritage restrictions on demolition or tree removal.

Services Disconnection

Here, you’ll need to work in close cooperation with your demolition contractor. Usually you’ll need to disconnect your electricity, gas, telecommunications and water/sewer prior to starting the demolition of your house, however check whether your supplier needs water for any asbestos removal first. If you’re building straight after demolition, your electricity supplier may relocate your service to a temporary builders pole.

Baiting

It may be a local council requirement for your home to be baited for rodents in the weeks leading up to your house demolition. This is to stop any pests spreading to your neighbours’ homes.

Choosing a Demolition Contractor

Your builder may sort this out for you, but if not, it’s important to choose a demolition company that has all the necessary licences, up-to-date equipment, proven processes, and to understand where and how they will dispose or recycle your building debris.

How Long Does it Take to Demolish a House?

The physical act of knocking down your existing house usually happens relatively quickly – in some cases it only takes a day. But you’ll need to allow around two months to walk through the full process, which needs to be factored into your building project plan.

Most importantly, with your demolition done your site is now ready for the most exciting step: construction of your dream home.

Get in Touch!

If a knockdown-rebuild ticks all your building boxes, talk to a specialist. G.J. Gardner Homes not only has a huge range of home designs that can be customised for your block, but we’ll take care of each and every step (including demolition), so you can relax and enjoy your build.

What to Consider When Building on a Narrow Block

Narrow Block House Designs

Despite having what may be a smaller lot, utilising the proper design approach can ensure that you are taking advantage of the full space. Smart design techniques, creative use of interior design elements, and some architectural knowledge can create incredible results from narrow spaces. Forget foregoing spacious living areas or sacrificing a top location or breathtaking view. It’s time to think outside the box and start exploring the key design elements behind the most architecturally inspiring narrow block homes. 

Robina 125

As experienced home design experts, we’re here to provide you with advice when building on a narrow block, along with six handy design tips to make the most of your space.

Are Narrow Blocks Becoming More Common In Australia?

Narrow block sizes are becoming increasingly common within Australian cities, and it looks like this trend is going to continue growing long term. People generally prefer to go bigger where they can, but due to the availability of land, block sizes are becoming smaller and smaller to meet the demand for housing. This means the trend is not being driven by the consumer but instead by developers and the local council. 

This, however, doesn’t need to get in the way of building a large feeling resort-style home, which is why G.J. Gardner home designers have smartly designed smaller homes specifically for narrow lots that feel larger due to carefully considered architectural elements.

Key Narrow Block Home Design Features To Include

At G.J. Gardner Homes, we design our narrow house plans around six key principles to allow everyone a nice home that meets their budget. These features allow us to make the most of the site and be efficient through the use of space, light, and air.

1. Open Plan Living

This concept is potentially the most important in narrow block house designs! Ditch the dividers and let the kitchen, living room and dining room live as one. By unifying these areas, the space is optimised and natural light is able to bounce around at its own free will. Sliding doors can be used to open the space further to the alfresco area, providing space to entertain and enjoy with the entire family. Check out G.J Gardner’s Hamilton 226 design if you’re looking for a narrow block house design that utilises open space.

2. High Ceilings

What’s lacking in width will be made up for in height. Embracing the vertical space with high ceilings will allow even the smallest rooms to feel big and bodacious. 2.7 metres is the golden number, but don’t be afraid to aim even higher. For a 2 story narrow block design, consider a void above the kitchen, dining or living area.

3. Let There Be (Natural Light)

Light is your friend here, and the aim of the game is to let as much in as possible. This can be achieved by cleverly placed windows, skylights, highlight windows and glass doors. The builders at GJ Gardner are experts when it comes to narrow lot house designs, and all floor plans are created to optimise space and generate a sense of openness. Rooms, window placement and the overall layout are skilfully planned to accomplish this.

4. Clever Use of Space

As mentioned earlier, there is no need to sacrifice in narrow block homes. Double garages, alfresco areas, a butlers pantry, family retreats and the number of spacious bedrooms your family needs; space is calculated to ensure everything fits and that no space is wasted. The key to perfect narrow block house plans is the functional use of space. Don’t worry, storage space isn’t forfeited either and additional space saving storage can be created with versatile choices in furniture.  G.J. Gardner’s Kensington 270 narrow house block design is a great example of how to utilise an open space plan.

5. A Light Colour Palette

Give your home a light and natural feel with a neutral colour palette that uses white or off-white tones, blonde timbers and other earthy elements like woven fabrics for décor. Light colours will bring your narrow block home to life and will allow natural light to reflect throughout.

6. Impressive Landscaping

You may not have acres and acres of land to work with, but nonetheless, create an outdoor space that’s a beautiful extension on your narrow block home. Install cavity sliding doors to your alfresco area, and make use of vertical gardens to grow your favourite veggies and herbs.

Are There Any Major Council Regulations That You Need To Consider?

The relevant council regulations are important to understand for all home builds, but extra care should be taken when building a larger home on a small lot – especially if you are building in a major city. These regulations can be difficult since councils want to protect natural sunlight and privacy. It is important to pay particular attention to:

  • Setback from each boundary: This is how close you can build to the boundary and will influence the footprint of your new home.
  • Building height and number of storeys: Can you build to two storeys to add more space? Even three?
  • Percentage of the land you can build on: These guides are intended to balance indoor and outdoor space and will guide the maximum footprint of your new home.
  • Impact on neighbours: There may be requirements around privacy, light, amenity and views of neighbouring houses.
  • Parking provisions: Including access, number of parking spaces, and their location.

It can be easy to build a nice house on a small lot that suits your lifestyle perfectly, it’s just important to be realistic. When you work with G.J. Gardner Homes, we can explain your local guidelines and advise on compliant design choices.

Other Aspects You Need To Consider When Designing a Narrow Block Home

The design phase is crucial when you have a narrow lot, as there is less room for error than a traditional block. But modern designs for narrow blocks have come a long way and provide excellent liveability and comfort. Some design inspiration for a narrow block:

  • Start with a design that’s been created for a narrow block: It’s fine to customise, but it doesn’t work as well to use a traditional design as your starting point.
  • Build up: If possible, add a second storey to gain additional living space.
  • Get creative with car parking: This might mean a side entrance to the house so you maximise parking real estate at the front, or alternatively putting parking at the back of the house if you have rear access. If you use one car more than the other, a tandem garage might be the go.
  • Decorate sensitively: The key is not to overdo interior decorations: less really is more! That means being restrained with furniture and cutting the clutter. Interior designers advise choosing a core palette of around three base materials and using these throughout the home to create a seamless, expansive feel. Make use of wall-mounted joinery in bathrooms: combined with wall-mounted toilets and frameless shower screens it creates the illusion of extra space.

Best Small Lot Home Designs 

At G.J. Gardner Homes, we offer a range of narrow block house designs created to take advantage of every available inch. Some of our best available small lot home designs include our Balmain 270 and Robina 125 designs. 

Check out the full range of G.J. Gardner Homes’ house designs and talk to your local consultant about the best match for your narrow block. Get in touch with your local office today!

The Cost of Building a New Home in Melbourne

So you want to build a home in Melbourne, but you’re not sure how much it will cost? We’ve got you covered. Here, we outline the cost of building a new home in Melbourne – with a few must-know tips to get your budget sorted.

Location, location, location

First off, you’ll need to buy a patch of soil. But be prepared: land in Melbourne is the second most expensive in Australia. The good news? A median-priced lot in Melbourne costs over $100,000 less than Sydney – or $359,000 compared to $467,500.

As well as budgeting for land and construction costs, you’ll need to factor in stamp duty.

Land transfer duty

Land transfer duty, also known as stamp duty, is a tax you pay when you buy property in Australia:

  • It’s based on the price you paid for the property or its market value, whichever is greater.
  • The more expensive your house is, the more tax you’ll pay. If you’re buying a property in Melbourne worth $600,000, you’ll need to pay almost $25,000. If your home is worth $800,000, you’ll be up for just over $43,000. An online calculator will help with the sums.

Buying your first home?

If you’re a first home buyer, you can access exemptions or concessions on this land tax:

  • If your property is worth $600,000 or less, you might be eligible for a first home buyer duty exemption. In other words, you won’t have to pay land transfer duty at all.
  • If your property is valued between $600,001 and $750,000, you might be able to access a concession. The cheaper the property, the bigger the reduction.

Buying off the plan?

If you’re buying off the plan, you might only need to pay tax on the land itself, not the building. This can equate to big savings in your pocket, but your eligibility depends on how much your home is worth. If it’s not your first home, your property – minus construction costs – must be $550,000 or less. If it is your first home, you get a little more leeway.

First Home Owner Grant

Separate from the concessions outlined above, you could be eligible for $10,000 back in your pocket via the First Home Owner Grant – but only if you’re buying your first home worth $750,000 or less.

Of course, to access these concessions and grants, you’ll need to meet certain criteria. Generally, your home needs to be your main residence and you’ll need to live there continuously for at least 12 months.

A Final Word

Navigating the ins and outs of building a home can be complicated. As Australia’s most trusted builder, G.J. Gardner Homes has local knowledge and expertise. If you’d like to leave all the details to us so you can focus on the fun job of choosing your home design, get in touch with your local office today.

Want to Buy Your First Home in Your 20s? Here’s How.

Forget jibes about smashed avocado or getting a good job. If you’re keen to get on the property ladder before you’re 30, such advice isn’t very helpful. If buying your first home in your 20s is on your to-do list, the following practical strategies will help you get there – no lectures about brunch in sight.

The price of property

Let’s face it: housing is much more expensive than it was in your parents’ generation, especially in property hot spots like Sydney and Melbourne. The good news? Housing affordability has improved a little in 2018. While we can’t predict the future of property prices, we can offer a few clever tips to help you buy your first home.

What it takes to own property: the home truths

Following three overarching strategies will help you become a property owner:

1) Be dedicated, focused, and a little optimistic

  • Plan for the future with a dash of optimism. Don’t focus on house prices so much that you give up before you get started.
  • It doesn’t matter if you’re on an entry-level salary just out of school, or in your late 20s with no savings history. It’s still possible to make changes and start saving today, but requires a shift in mindset and behaviour.
  • If you’re truly passionate about owning your own home, your focus and determination will see you through. Focus on what you’ll gain in the end, not what you’re sacrificing to get there.

2) Make savvy financial choices

  • Open a high-interest savings account and transfer a consistent amount before you pay for bills and groceries. This way, you won’t be tempted to touch your savings.
  • Pay off any credit card debt as quickly as possible. Not only will this help your credit ranking, it means your income isn’t being wasted on high interest rates.
  • Check your eligibility for the First Home Owners Grant, which is generally geared towards those building a new home.

3) Be prepared to compromise

  • Don’t be scared to share: getting a flatmate will cut down your rental, electricity and water costs.
  • Critically assess everything you buy and where you purchase from. Consider a cheaper supermarket, home brand alternatives, and a bank account with fewer fees or more rewards.
  • Decide what you’re willing to sacrifice. You might not be prepared to give up three coffees a week but would happily forego Netflix. Choose compromises you know you can stick to.

A Final Word

Building a new home can be surprisingly affordable. You’ll save on building and pest inspections, and won’t have unexpected repair costs after purchasing. At G.J. Gardner Homes, we can help you build a lower-cost home – before the big 3-0

First Home Owners’ Grant New South Wales

Rising house prices and a shortage of affordable homes means that getting onto the property ladder in NSW can be a challenge. To make it easier for local people to get onto the property ladder, the NSW government has introduced a number of different measures designed to ease the financial burden of buying your first home, as well as increasing the supply of lower cost housing.

One of the main methods of helping out first-time buyers is the first home owners’ grant. Designed to give prospective homeowners a boost, government grants for first home buyers can enable individuals to save thousands on the cost of their first property.

Read on to find out more about the first home owners’ grant NSW residents can apply for.

Quick Links

About the First Home Owners’ Grant

How Does The First Home Owners’ Grant Work?

As the name suggests, first time home buyers grants are available for individuals or couples who haven’t bought a home previously. A first time home buyer can apply for a first home grant of $10,000 towards the cost of a new-build property. The property must be one that hasn’t been owned or lived in before. It can be purchased from a developer or built on the individual’s land by an independent contractor. In some circumstances, a new home owner’s grant can be paid to individuals who have purchased an existing property which has been extensively modified or brought back into use. Note that these applications are judged on an individual basis: in general, the grant isn’t available for the purchase of existing properties.

Can you get a First Home Owners’ Grant on existing homes?

Usually, the New South Wales First Home Owners’ Grant isn’t available towards the purchase of an existing home. If a property has been remodelled or significantly refurbished, it may be eligible. Circumstances where this might happen include where a derelict property has been brought back into use or where a building has changed use from non-residential to residential (for example, the conversion of an old warehouse into apartments).

How much is the First Home Owners’ Grant in NSW?

In NSW, the First Home Owners’ Grant is $10,000. This could change in the future, as the NSW government sets its annual budget. In other states, decreases in the government grant for first home buyers have occurred in the past.

When does the First Home Owners’ Grant get paid to successful applicants?

If you are purchasing a new property from a developer, the grant is paid once the transaction is complete. For people who are commissioning their own new-build property, the grant is paid once building work is in progress – usually once the foundations have been laid.

Eligibility

What would make me ineligible for the First Home Owners’ Grant?

The eligibility criteria for the first home owners grant in New South Wales can vary depending on specific circumstances and the details can be found here. Some important general criteria that needs to be satisfied includes:

  • Applicant(s) must be over 18 years old.
  • Applicant(s) must be Australian residents, have leave to remain or be covered under a specific agreement which Australia has with another country (for example, some New Zealand nationals are eligible).
  • The grant must be for a first property. For joint applications, both applicants must not have been previous homeowners.
  • The grant must be to purchase a home, rather than an office, factory or home-to-let.
  • Grants are only paid out for new-build properties that have not been lived in or owned before. Properties may be commissioned on an individual basis, or purchased from a developer.
  • You will need to live in your home for at least twelve months and move in within twelve months of completing the purchase.
  • To receive the grant, the purchase price of the home must be less than $600,000. If you are building your own property, it must be valued at less than $750,000 in order to receive the $10,000 grant.

Applying for The First Home Owners’ Grant

How do I apply for the First Home Owners’ Grant?

In the first instance, potential grant beneficiaries need to fill in the First Home Owners’ Grant application. The First Home Owners’ Grant application form captures everything needed for the government to make a decision regarding eligibility.
If you believe that you are eligible for the home owners’ grant, it’s important to apply as soon as possible. In other states, the grant levels have been reduced in recent years and there is no guarantee that that won’t happen in NSW in future. For this reason, it makes sense to apply as soon as you have decided to build your own home or purchase a new property from a developer. Particularly if you are buying on a budget, the home owners’ grant can make a real difference to your home purchasing power.

Is the First Home Owners’ Grant still available in NSW?

Yes! At the time of writing the new home owners grant is still available.

When does the First Home Owners’ Grant end in NSW?

At the moment there are no plans to end the grant. That said, as fresh government budgets are set in subsequent years, there may be changes to the grant amounts, or it may end at a future date.

FAQS

Does the First Home Owners’ Grant count towards a deposit?

Potentially, yes! There is no reason why the grant can’t be used towards a deposit, but remember that it’s not paid until the sales transaction is complete. Some mortgage providers may want to see cash up front, rather than wait until completion before receiving the deposit money. Different mortgage providers have different policies on this: your provider will be best placed to advise.

Can you use the First Home Owners’ Grant to buy land?

No! Land can’t be purchased using the government grant for first home buyers. If you are a first-time buyer who intends to purchase land on which to build a home, the sale will be exempt from stamp duty provided it is less than $350,000. You will also enjoy a rebate on a percentage of stamp duty on land valued at between $350,000 and $450,000.

Can you get the First Home Owners’ Grant if you’re married?

Yes! Provided you and your spouse both meet the relevant eligibility criteria, you can then apply for the grant.

Can permanent residents get the First Home Owners’ Grant?

Yes! Permanent residents are eligible to apply.

Can you get the First Home Owners’ Grant twice?

No! The grant is only available on a one-off basis for the first property purchase made. A joint application isn’t valid if one of the parties has already benefited from a grant.

Do first home buyers pay stamp duty in NSW?

The amount of stamp duty paid by first home buyers depends on the value of the property purchase. If a property costs less than $650,000 (or is valued at less than $750,000 if the property is built for the home buyer), full duty relief is granted. Purchases above this amount incur an increasing amount of stamp duty, calculated according to the sale price.

Can you get the First Home Owners’ Grant on existing homes?

The eligibility criteria when it comes to the first home buyers’ grant existing property options are quite complex. Generally, existing homes aren’t eligible (although first home buyers still enjoy stamp duty exemption if they buy an existing property). That said, where extensive remodelling or restructuring has taken place, there may be a case for an existing structure to be eligible. Examples of this include where buildings have been converted from non-residential to residential use or where a derelict building has been brought back into commission.

About The 2020 First Home Loan deposit scheme

The 2020 First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, which began on January 1st 2020, encourages new home buyers through financial incentive. The scheme allows you to enter a mortgage with significantly lower fees, and only requires a deposit totalling 5% of the value of the property being purchased. While banks and lenders usually require 20% of the property’s value as part of a deposit to be exempt from extra fees, while under this scheme this number is lowered to just 5%.

The federal government will act as your guarantor and underwrite your loan and so that Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI) fees do not apply. The scheme aims to provide financial assistance to new home buyers, making it far easier to take the next step into home ownership.

Read more about this national scheme here.

About The HomeBuilder Grant program

The HomeBuilder Grant is a nationwide stimulus package that has been formulated as a response to the economic hardship from COVID-19. The grant will apply to both renovations and new homes, and will total $25,000.

For new homes, the property value cannot exceed $750,000. Renovations cannot exceed $150,000 and cannot include pools or tennis courts. Singles must be earning $125,000 or less based on their tax return, and couples must have a combined income of less than $200,000.

Read more about this national scheme here.

The information contained in this article is not legal or financial advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional advice. Consumers should make their own independent inquiries and consider the need to obtain any professional advice relevant to their circumstances. Further information about the First Home Owners Grant is available at http://www.firsthome.gov.au/.

First Home Owners’ Grant Australian Capital Territory

Rising house prices and a shortage of housing nationally means that buying a first property in Australian Capital Territory (ACT) can be almost impossible for first-time buyers. In efforts to redress this situation, the government has come up with a number of different initiatives designed to ease the financial burden on first-time buyers, making it easier for them to begin their property ladder climb.

If you’re a first-time buyer considering a property purchase in ACT, this guide is for you! Read on to find out more about the first home owners’ grant, as well as other concessions for first-time buyers.

Quick Links

About the First Home Owners’ Grant

How Does The First Home Owners’ Grant Work?

The first home owners’ grant ACT residents can take advantage of is a one-off payment of $7,000 (as at the time of writing). It can be used against the purchase price of a new-build property or one that’s been significantly renovated or remodelled.

New-build properties include ones constructed by a developer, properties that haven’t yet been built (off-plan purchases) or properties which owners are building themselves (or commissioning a builder to build for them). Note that an existing property needs to be extensively renovated before it will be eligible – small-scale renovations aren’t normally eligible for first time home buyer grants.

Properties must not cost more than $750,000 to purchase in order to be eligible for the grant. To get the ball rolling, applicants need to check that they are eligible in principle to apply (check here for the full list of criteria), then fill in a first home buyers’ grant application form. Once submitted, the government will then make a decision on whether your application is successful or not.

How much is the First Home Owners’ Grant in ACT?

The Australian Capital Territory first home buyers’ grant is $7,000. Other states have higher grant levels ($10,000 in Queensland and NSW, for example). This broadly reflects the fact that properties in ACT are less expensive than in some other states (although obviously there are exceptions).

Eligibility

What would make me ineligible for the First Home Owners Grant?

The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Applicant(s) must not have owned a home previously in Australia.
  • Applicant(s) must be over 18.
  • Applicant(s) must be Australian nationals or have an appropriate visa – residents with temporary visas are not eligible, for example.
  • The property must cost less than $750,000 and be new-build or heavily renovated.
  • You must move into the property within 12 months of purchase and live there for at least a year afterwards.

Applying for the First Home Owners’ Grant

How do I apply for the First Home Owners’ Grant?

In the first instance, you will need to fill in the first home owner’s grant application form and submit it.

FAQS

Is the First Home Owners’ Grant still available in ACT?

The first home buyers’ grant Australia wide provides a welcome addition to home buyers’ finances. At the time of writing it is still available in ACT, as well as in the other states. Unfortunately, the future of the grant can’t be guaranteed: annual budgetary pressures mean that the amount may vary in the future, or the grant may be discontinued on a temporary or permanent basis. Once you have identified the property you intend to purchase, you should apply for the new home owners’ grant. Unlike the purchase of an existing property, new-build properties don’t have the problems of property chains or owners changing their mind about selling at the last minute!

When does the First Home Owners’ Grant end in ACT?

Currently, there are no plans to end the government grant for first home buyers: that said, it can’t be guaranteed that an end date won’t be specified in the future.

Does the First Home Owners’ Grant count towards a deposit?

Yes, it can count towards a deposit. Check with your home loan provider, as some won’t accept the grant as part (or all) of a deposit, due to the timing of its payment. It’s also unlikely that $7,000 will be sufficient for a deposit on a new-build property: you will usually need to have savings as well to make up the shortfall.

Can you use the First Home Owners’ Grant to buy land?

No, government grants for first home buyers can’t be used towards the purchase of land. If you are buying land to build a property on, however, it’s possible to get stamp duty relief (relief on conveyancing tax). At the time of writing, if you buy land to build a home on that costs less than $281,200, you will not have to pay stamp duty, provided the combined income of all applicants is less than $160,000 pa. Stamp duty on more expensive land purchases then increases gradually, depending on price. A full breakdown is available here.

Can you get the First Home Owners’ Grant if you’re married?

Yes! Provided you meet the other eligibility criteria.

Can permanent residents get First Home Owners’ Grant?

Yes! Permanent residents can get the first home grant, provided they meet all the other eligibility criteria.

Can you get the First Home Owners’ Grant twice?

No! This is a one-off payment. You cannot apply for a second grant. If you have previously been a home owner, in some circumstances you may be eligible for the grant, provided you haven’t claimed it before.

Do First Home Buyers pay stamp duty in ACT?

It depends on the value of the property you wish to purchase! ACT does offer concessions on stamp duty (conveyancing tax): applicants who are buying a new-build property for less than $470,000 pay no stamp duty. Between $470,000 and $607,000, stamp duty is paid on a sliding scale. No concessions are offered above $607,000. Note that applicants must have a combined income of less than $160,000 annually to be eligible for stamp duty concessions. The stamp duty relief is available on new-build properties only. At the current time, existing properties, even those which have been significantly remodelled, aren’t eligible.

Can you get First Home Owners’ Grant on existing homes?

The first home buyers’ grant existing property rules are a little vague: a property needs to have been “significantly renovated”. This usually involves a change of use (for example converting a commercial building into a residential one), bringing a derelict building into use or converting a much larger residential building into apartments. It’s helpful to remember that one of the aims of the home owner grant scheme is to stimulate the new-build market: this means that commonplace renovations (for example building an extension) will not be eligible.

When does the First Home Owners’ Grant get paid to successful applicants?

For new-build properties constructed by a developer, the grant is paid once the purchase is complete. Home owners who are choosing to build their own home can obtain the grant once work has begun on construction (this is normally considered to be once the foundations have been laid). The timing of the payment is important if you’re considering using the grant as part of your deposit.

About The 2020 First Home Loan deposit scheme

The 2020 First Home Loan Deposit Scheme allows first home buyers to take out a mortgage with significantly lower fees, with a deposit only 5% of the value of the property being purchased. Banks and lenders usually require 20% of the property’s value as part of a deposit to be exempt from Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI) fees.

The federal government will underwrite the loan and act as your guarantor so that LMI fees do not apply. The scheme essentially makes it easier to be approved for a home loan without having saved as much money, while providing financial assistance to new home buyers.

High-value properties are not eligible under the scheme, with only ‘entry properties’ considered. The price limits vary by state and region, but in the ACT there is a cap of $500,000. Read more about this national scheme here.

About The HomeBuilder Grant program

The HomeBuilder grant is a nationwide stimulus package that has been created to respond to the hardships caused by COVID-19. The grant can be applied to both renovations and new homes, and totals $25,000. This is a truly exciting grant for those wishing to break into the housing market!

To be eligible there are some stipulations to be aware of. For new homes, the property value cannot exceed $750,000. Renovations cannot exceed $150,000 and the pre-renovation house value can’t exceed $1.5m. Renovations also can’t include pools or tennis courts. Singles must be earning $125,000 or less based on yearly income, and couples must have a combined income of less than $200,000.

Read more from the Federal Government here.

The information contained in this article is not legal or financial advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional advice. Consumers should make their own independent inquiries and consider the need to obtain any professional advice relevant to their circumstances. Further information about the First Home Owners Grant is available at http://www.firsthome.gov.au/.

First Home Owners’ Grant South Australia: What You Need to Know

Are you a first-time home buyer struggling to get onto the property ladder? If so, you’re not alone. But thanks to the government grant for first home buyers (aka the first home buyers’ grant), you can realise the great Australian dream sooner.

This article walks you through the two main methods of financial support available to South Australians: the First Home Owners’ Grant and the 2020 First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, how much it’s worth in South Australia, and answers some of your most common questions.

Quick Links


About the First Home Owners’ Grant

What is the First Home Owners’ Grant?

Introduced in 2000, these nation-wide government grants for first home buyers were designed to offset the GST, and help first home buyers enter the property market sooner. This one-time first home grant is available for South Australian buyers to either build or purchase a home.

How does the First Home Owners’ Grant work?

Under the scheme, first-time home buyers (individuals or couples) can apply for a single payment of $15,000.

This grant money can contribute to the cost of either purchasing or building a new home in South Australia. To help you enter your first home sooner, this money can be put towards a deposit for either purchasing or building a new home.

According to current South Australian rules, the house you purchase or build must be worth $575,000 or less. And, as the new home owners’ grant isn’t means tested, your eligibility does not depend on your income.

How much is the First Home Owners’ Grant in SA?

In 2020, the first home owners’ grant SA entitles you to $15,000 to put towards a new residential dwelling (valued at a total of $575,000).

To access the new home owners’ grant, you must live in the property for a minimum of six months within the first year of purchase.

When does the First Home Owners’ Grant get paid to successful applicants?

When you receive the grant depends entirely on the type of property you plan to build or purchase. If you are purchasing a new home, the grant is released upon the settlement of your new home. This means it can count towards your deposit.

If you’re building a home, however, the rules are slightly different. When building a home, you need to settle the block of land. Then, you have to pay your builder a 5% deposit for building approval and council approval. And, after the deposit is paid and construction has begun, the $15,000 grant will be paid.


Eligibility

Do I qualify for the First Home Owners’ Grant?

First home buyers are considered eligible to receive the South Australia first home buyers grant if you meet the following criteria:

  • If yourself or your partner is an Australian resident or has permanent residency
  • You haven’t previously owned a residential property in Australia on or after July 1st, 2000.
  • The newly built or purchased home must be your primary residence for at least six consecutive months (within 1 year of completion)
  • You must be a natural person (i.e. not a company or trustee)
  • You must be at least 18 years old when applying for the new home owners’ grant
  • The home must be valued at $575,000 or less (including the building contract and land value), and;
  • The property must be a “new home”. That is, it must be a new, fixed dwelling which is suitable to reside in (i.e. single dwelling, flat, duplex or townhouse)

What would make me ineligible for the First Home Owners’ Grant?

There are certain circumstances in which you may be ineligible to receive the First home buyers grant Australia, including:

  • Previous home ownership
  • The type of property you purchase – to be eligible, you must purchase or build a new home
  • Not living in the home for at least six consecutive months within the first year of purchase
  • If you are under 18, and;
  • If you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident

Applying for the First Home Owners’ Grant

How do I apply for the First Home Owners’ Grant?

There are two ways to apply for the first home owners’ grant SA. You can either apply through:

  • An approved bank or lender, or;
  • The South Australia Office of State Revenue

Applying through bank/lender – this is the best way to receive grant funds as soon as possible. To apply, simply take your completed first home owners’ grant application form, along with supporting documentation (include the signed home building or buying contract) to an approved bank or lending institution. Generally, applications are processed in 10 working days or less.

Applying through Office of State Revenue – lodge in person or post your completed first home owners’ grant application and supporting documents (including a signed home building or buying contract) to the South Australian Office of State Revenue. When received, most applications are processed within 10 working days.

When should I apply for the First Home Owners’ Grant?

There are strict timeframes in which you must apply for the new home owners’ grant. These timeframes depend on whether you are:

  • Buying a home – You have to apply within 12 months of purchasing your new home and registering the title.
  • Contract to build – You must apply within one year of the home being completed (i.e. the issuing of the final inspection certificate). Or;
  • Owner-builder – You have to apply within 12 months of the home’s completion (i.e. within one year of the final inspection certificate being issued).

If you can’t meet these deadlines, however, extensions may be granted. If you’re applying for the grant outside of the application period, you need to include a note explaining your circumstances along with your first home owners grant application.


FAQs

Is the First Home Buyers’ Grant still available in SA?

Yes, it is. If you’re planning to build or purchase your first home, the South Australia first home buyers’ grant is just the jumpstart you’ve been looking for. You can still access the $15,000 new home owners’ grant if you have signed either:

  • A contract to purchase a new home, or;
  • A contract to build a new home (from July 1st, 2018).

However, if you signed either of the above contracts of sale between July 1st, 2016 and June 30th, 2018, you are eligible for the South Australia first home buyers’ grant. This first home grant is valued at $20,000.

When does the First Home Owners’ Grant end in SA?

At the moment, there is no end date for the $15,000 first home buyers’ grant. Although, the previous stamp duty concessions are no longer available, and you can no longer use the grant to buy vacant land.

Does the First Home Owners’ Grant count towards a deposit?

Yes, it absolutely does. The fantastic thing about the first home grant is it enables you to build or purchase your first home sooner. Get onto the property ladder faster by using the grant to boost your deposit.

The only caveat is that not all banks consider the first home buyer grant to be genuine savings. Having said that, many banks do accept the grant as part of your deposit. So, you could be moving into your new home sooner than you thought.

Can you use the First Home Buyers’ Grant to buy land?

No, the grant cannot be used to purchase land.

Can you get the First Home Owners’ Grant if you’re married?

Yes, provided you and your spouse meet certain conditions. Before applying for any first-time home buyer grants, you need to be absolutely clear on the status of your relationship. According to the South Australian Office of State Revenue, you are considered “partners” if you have been together for two years or more.

If you meet this requirement, you and your spouse are eligible for the $15,000 first home buyers’ grant.

Can permanent residents get the First Home Owners’ Grant?

Yes, they absolutely can. If you are a permanent resident (or hold a New Zealand visa), you are eligible to receive the first home grant. You are also eligible if you are applying with someone who holds permanent residency or a New Zealand visa.

Can you get the First Home Owners’ Grant twice?

No, this is not possible. The first home buyers’ grant Australia is a one-time payment of $15,000. As such, individuals and couples can only receive it once.

Do first home buyers pay stamp duty in SA?

Yes. Stamp duty – a tax on the transfer or sale of land – is one of the biggest hurdles for first home buyers. The amount varies, depending on the area you’re buying in and the type of property you’re buying (i.e. home, off-the-plan apartment, etc.)

Increasing along with house prices, the average stamp duty for a $575,000 house is $25,455.


About The 2020 First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

The 2020 First Home Loan Deposit Scheme is due to commence on the 1st of January 2020. The scheme allows first home buyers with just a 5% deposit to take out a mortgage with significantly lower fees.

Banks and lenders usually require purchasers to have 20% of the property’s value saved already to be exempt from fees relating to Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI). If you don’t have this much saved up they will take out insurance policies on your loan in case you cannot pay it back, which results in extra fees for you. 

The way the scheme works is the government will underwrite the loan so that LMI does not apply. The scheme means that the federal government acts as your guarantor, making it easier to be approved for a home loan with lower fees without having saved as much money.

In South Australia the cap for capital cities and regional centres is $400,000, with the rest of the state being limited to $200,000. Read more about this national scheme here.


The information contained in this article is not legal or financial advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional advice. Consumers should make their own independent inquiries and consider the need to obtain any professional advice relevant to their circumstances. Further information is available at http://www.firsthome.gov.au/ and https://www.nhfic.gov.au/what-we-do/fhlds.

First Home Owners’ Grant Western Australia

When it comes to purchasing a residential property in Western Australia (WA), affordability is a major consideration. This is especially true for first-time buyers. Saving for a deposit and financing subsequent home loan repayments or construction costs can be a challenge.

The government recognises this and has put in place a number of different grants, tax rebates and other initiatives to help make the home buying process more accessible. The government is also committed to easing housing supply problems (which may lead to inflated prices for first-time buyers). This is why many schemes to help first-time buyers are related to the purchase or construction of new-build properties, rather than an existing property.

There are four schemes in total available to Western Australians, with the potential to be eligible for up to $70k of government assistance to build your first home.

Quick Links

About the First Home Owners’ Grant

The First Home Owners’ Grant offers first time buyers the opportunity to enjoy a welcome financial boost when it comes to the purchase of a new-build property. Although not an enormous amount of money, $10,000 can be enough to tip the balance in favour of a home purchase. Particularly if used in conjunction with some of the other benefits which developers offer to first-time buyers (for example access to low-cost home loans, partial deposit payments etc), it can make property ownership a more attractive and more realistic option.

If you are considering property ownership for the first time, it is important to weigh up all the options that are available to you (including the purchase of an existing property) and make the decision that’s right for you. In some cases, even with the inducement of a first home owners’ grant, it may be more financially prudent to purchase an existing property.

How Does The First Home Owners Grant Work?

The first home grant is a set amount of money which the government pays across to eligible WA residents as part payment towards their first home purchase. To apply for a first home buyers’ grant Western Australian residents need to be purchasing a brand new property. This can be a property that they are purchasing from a developer, or one which they have commissioned to be built by a contractor (or are building themselves).

Can you get first home owners grant on existing homes?

Yes, although there are some stipulations. The list of eligible transactions under the first home owners’ grant in WA include purchases of new homes, comprehensive home building contracts and owner-builder agreements. You may be eligible for the grant if you are purchasing a new home that has not been lived in, are building a new home or are an owner-builder.

How Much is the First Home Owners Grant in WA?

The grant is currently set at $10,000. Note that the grant is only available for properties of a certain value.

South of the 26th Parallel, the purchase / construction must be less than $750,000 to qualify for a grant. North of the 26th Parallel, the purchase / construction must be less than $1,000,000 to qualify for a grant.

Eligibility

What would make me ineligible for the First Home Owners Grant?

To be successful in your application for government grants for first time buyers, you will need to satisfy the following criteria::

  • Be an Australian resident (or have permanent leave to remain). For joint applications, one party needs to be a permanent Australian resident, but there is some flexibility for the other party involved.
  • Be over 18, but under-18s can apply for an exemption.
  • Not have owned a property in Australia before.
  • Be purchasing a new-build property or building a property to live in.
  • Move into the property within 12 months of receiving the grant and live in it for at least 6 months afterwards.

Applying

How do I apply for the First Home Owners Grant?

If you are confident that you satisfy the eligibility criteria, the next thing to do is to fill in the first home buyers grant application form. This can be found here. Your application will then be assessed with a view to deciding if you are eligible to receive the grant.

FAQS

Is the First Home Owners Grant still available in WA?

Yes, the $10,000 government grant for first home buyers is still currently available. In some circumstances it may be possible to apply retrospectively for an additional “boost” of $5,000. The criteria for a retrospective boost are summarised here.

When does the First Home Owners Grant end in WA?

At the moment there isn’t a specific end date planned. That said, there’s no guarantee that the current level of grant will be maintained in the future. Some states have already dropped their grant rate: year-on-year grant levels are dependent on what’s available when the government sets its spending budget. We suggest that if you have identified a property, you apply promptly to avoid missing out.

Does the First Home Owners Grant count towards a deposit?

It can do! It’s worth remembering that in most cases government grants for first time buyers are paid across once the sales transaction has been completed. Because home loan lenders often wish to see that the deposit is readily available before approving the loan required to complete the purchase, they may be reluctant to lend if part of the deposit isn’t physically in your bank account. Other lenders are happy with proof of indicative approval from the government. Speak to your lender regarding their position on using first time home buyer grants as whole or part of a deposit.

Can you use the First Home Owners Grant to buy land?

No. Although the grant can be used towards a “home and land package”, it can’t be used towards the purchase of land alone. That said, if the land is being bought for the purposes of building a property, you can obtain stamp duty relief on a sliding scale, depending on the land value: for land that costs $300,000 or less, full stamp duty relief is available.

Can you get the First Home Owners Grant if you’re married?

Married couples are eligible to apply for the grant, provided they satisfy the requirements.

Can permanent residents get First Home Owners Grant?

It is a requirement of receiving the grant that lone applicants, or at least one person in a joint application, is a permanent Australian resident.

Can you get the First Home Owners Grant twice?

No. It’s not usually possible to be given the grant twice.

Do first home buyers pay stamp duty in WA?

In some circumstances, yes. First time home buyers grant Western Australia stamp duty relief is provided on a sliding scale. Properties which cost $430,000 or less qualify for a full stamp duty rebate. For homes which cost more than this, conveyancing tax (also known as stamp duty or transfer duty) is payable on a sliding scale, rising as the purchase price increases. Note the maximum property values to qualify for the first home grant: it’s possible to be eligible for the grant at the same time as needing to pay some stamp duty.

When Does the First Home Owners Grant get paid to successful applicants?

The first home buyers grant Australia wide is usually paid once the sale of the new property has been completed. If you are building your own property (or have contracted with a builder to do it for you), then the money will be paid once construction has started (this is usually once the foundations have been laid).

About The HomeBuilder Grant program

The HomeBuilder Grant is a nationwide stimulus package that has been formulated as a response to the economic hardship from COVID-19. The grant will apply to both renovations and new homes, and will total $25,000.

For new homes, the property value cannot exceed $750,000. Renovations cannot exceed $150,000 and cannot include pools or tennis courts. Singles must be earning $125,000 or less based on their tax return, and couples must have a combined income of less than $200,00.

Find more information here.

About the 2020 Building Bonus grant

In an effort to stimulate the WA residential housing market and construction industry, the WA government has released its plan to further compensate those planning to buy or build their first home. This can be applied to contracts to build a new home or contracts to purchase newly built home as part of a single-tier strata scheme.

The Building Bonus Package entitles eligible parties to a payment of $20,000, provided that all requirements are met.

The beauty of this grant is that it does not disqualify you from any other home builder grants that are available in WA. There is now the potential for eligible parties to receive up to $69,440 in State and Commonwealth grants, including the First Homebuyers Grant, HomeBuilder grant, the first home buyer transfer duty concession and now the new Building Bonus grant.

The criteria for building a new home include:

  • The home will be constructed as a detached residence, without sharing walls with any other structure. It must also be constructed for the purpose of long-term residence and cannot be for commercial or mixed use.
  • The land must be vacant. If you are planning on demolishing an existing structure, The grant will be paid once demolition is completed.
  • The contract must be in the name of the land’s registered owner.
  • Construction must begin between June 4 2020 and 31 December 2020. Applications are open until 30 June 2021 and can be placed once foundations have been laid.

The criteria for purchasing a new single-tier strata scheme home includes:

  • The construction of the home must conform to section 3(1) of the Strata Title Act 1985.
  • The development cannot be a multi-tiered construction.
  • The contract cannot be for a completed dwelling, held by either developer or third-party.
  • Renovations and remodels are not covered under the grant.
  • You must enter into the contract between the dates of June 4 2020 and December 31 2020. Construction must commence within six months of the date in which you enter the contract. Apply once ownership has been transferred to you at the completion of construction.

More information about the Building Bonus grant

  • You do not have to live in the constructed dwelling to receive the grant, which contrasts with some of the other home builder grants available in Western Australia.
  • This grant is available multiple times, provided all criteria is met and the homes are on separate land titles.
  • You do not need to be living in WA to access this grant, but construction must be in WA.
  • This grant does not include any means testing or property value capping. They will not test your income or limit the value of the properties included.

Read more from the WA Government’s official announcement here

About the 2020 First Home Loan deposit scheme

The 2020 First Home Loan Deposit Scheme began on January 1st 2020. This scheme was formulated to encourage new home buyers through financial incentive. The scheme allows you to purchase a new home with reduced fees, while only requiring a deposit of 5% of the value of the property.

Banks and lenders usually take out Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI) when a new loanee doesn’t have a 20% deposit ready to go, which incurs extra fees.

As part of this scheme, the government underwrites your loan so that LMI fees don’t apply, and you only need a 5% deposit to start your home building journey.

In Western Australia, the value of the property cannot exceed $400,000 in metro areas and $300,000 in the rest of the state. Read more about this national scheme here.

The information contained in this article is not legal or financial advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional advice. Consumers should make their own independent inquiries and consider the need to obtain any professional advice relevant to their circumstances. Further information about the First Home Owners Grant is available at http://www.firsthome.gov.au/.

First Home Owners’ Grant Queensland: The Ultimate Guide

Cash is almost always a consideration when buying your own home for the first time. To help first-time buyers purchase a property, the Queensland government offers a First Home Owners’ Grant in some circumstances: with a current value of $15,000, the grant is available when purchasing a new-build property, or on the cost of building a new home.

In addition, in 2020 the federal government introduced a scheme called the “First Home Loan Deposit Scheme”, designed for those looking to enter the property market with a smaller deposit than usually required.

If you’re about to take the plunge into the property market, read on to discover if you’re eligible for these two schemes.


Quick Links


About the First Home Owners’ Grant

If you are a first-time home buyer purchasing a new-build property (i.e. one that hasn’t been purchased or lived in before) or building your own property, you may be eligible for a one-off grant of $15,000 from the Queensland government.

How much is the First Home Owners’ Grant in QLD?

As of 2020, the current value of the First Home Owners’ Grant for Queensland properties is $15,000.

Although this is a drop compared with previous years (when grants of up to $20,000 were available for first-time buyers investing in new properties), $15,000 still compares favourably with what’s offered in other parts of the country.

Additionally, if you build in regional Queensland, there is a further $5,000 available as part of the state government’s COVID-19 relief measures. Combined with the federal government’s $25,000 HomeBuilder grant program, first home buyers in Queensland may be eligible for up to $45,000 in government assistance.


Eligibility

What would make me ineligible for the First Home Owners’ Grant?

In order to be eligible for a first home grant, you need to fulfil the following criteria:

  • You must be purchasing a new home. This means one that hasn’t been lived in before or sold as a place to live previously. The total value of the home and land must be less than $750,000. In some cases, existing properties may be eligible, provided they have been extensively renovated, refurbished or altered to provide suitable living space.
  • You must be over 18 years old.
  • In most cases, you must be an Australian citizen, have a permanent visa or be part of a joint First Home Owners’ Grant application, along with an Australian citizen. In some circumstances, New Zealand nationals with a special category visa may also be eligible.
  • You (or the other person in the case of a joint application) must not have owned a home previously.
  • You have not received a First Home Owners’ Grant previously.

There are some other exceptions, as well as a list of criteria relating to special circumstances when a grant may not be awarded. Further information about these specifics can be found here.

If you satisfy these criteria, the next step is to fill in the first home buyers grant application form in order to start the process for consideration and approval.


Applying for the First Home Owners’ Grant

How do I apply for the First Home Owners’ Grant?

In the first instance, you will need to fill in the first home owner’s grant application form and submit it.


FAQs

Is the First Home Owners’ Grant still available in QLD?

Yes! Government grants for first time home buyers are still available in Queensland. For 2020, the grant has been set as a one-off payment of $15000. The grant is only on offer to first time home buyers and is only available for the purchase of new-build properties or for people who are building their own property (or contracting with a builder to do it on their behalf).

When does the First Home Owners’ Grant end in QLD?

At the time of writing, there are no plans by the Queensland government to end the first-time home buyer grants. Although grants were higher in previous years, the current $15,000 first home grant is still available for first-time purchasers buying new-build properties or building a property.

For first-time buyers who are looking to buy a pre-existing home (one that’s been occupied before or which isn’t a new-build), the first home buyers grant Qld stamp duty relief applies. This enables first-time buyers to enjoy relief of up to $8,750 on their stamp duty provided the cost of the property is below $500,000. First-time homeowners who are choosing to build their own property can take advantage of both stamp duty relief up to $7,150 on their land purchase (provided the value of the land is less than $250,000 and the first-time buyers home grant).

Does the First Home Owners’ Grant count towards a deposit?

The first home buyers grant money can be used for a deposit. That said, because the grant is not normally handed across until the transaction is complete, you may well need to find the money up-front to cover the deposit in order to satisfy the requirements of your lending agent. Different home loan providers have different criteria: some may accept proof of your eligibility for a grant as sufficient guarantee that you will be able to pay the deposit, others may not.

Can you use the First Home Owners’ Grant to buy land?

No. Although people looking to build their own property on land can get stamp duty relief (up to a maximum of $47,175 on land which costs less than $250,000.

Can you get the First Home Owners’ Grant if you’re married?

Marriage in itself is not a barrier to the First Home Owners’ Grant application being successful. That said, if your spouse does not meet the criteria for the grant, then it may not be awarded.

Can permanent residents get the First Home Owners’ Grant?

Yes! Provided permanent Australian residents satisfy all the other criteria for the First Home Owners’ Grant, then they should be eligible to apply. Note that temporary visas or similar mean that you would be ineligible for a Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant.

Can you get the First Home Owners’ Grant twice?

No. The First Home Owners’ Grant is only available once. This affects both single and joint applications. Even if you no longer live or have an interest in the property purchased using the home owners grant, you are still ineligible to apply for another one. Similarly, if you used a home owners grant to build your own home, you then can’t claim a further grant should you sell the home you built and attempt to purchase another one.

Do first home buyers pay stamp duty in Qld?

First home buyers can enjoy stamp duty relief whether they are eligible for a first home buyers grant or not. Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers applies to both new-build home purchases and existing buildings. Stamp duty relief is also available on land purchases, where the land is being used to build a new-build property.

Total stamp duty relief is only available on first-time purchases if the value of the purchase is below $500,000. Properties which cost more than this will incur further stamp duty, irrespective of whether they are a first purchase or not. When it comes to land, the land must be worth less than $250,000 for full stamp duty relief to apply. Above that amount and the rebate will not cover the full cost of the stamp duty which needs to be paid.

Can you get First Home Owners’ Grant on existing homes?

Generally, the answer to this question is no. The vast majority of First Home Owners’ Grants are given out to people who are buying a new-build property for the first time or who are building their own property for the first time. In some circumstances, a grant can be awarded on an existing home, where extensive refurbishment or remodelling has taken place to make the dwelling fit for habitation. These are judged on a case by case basis.

When does the First Home Owners’ Grant get paid to successful applicants?

The new home owners grant is paid across at different points in the purchasing transaction, depending on whether your new home owners grant is for a new-build constructed by a developer or whether you are building your own property (or having it built for you by a builder as a one-off project).

For a first time new-build purchase from a developer, the grant is paid on completion of the sale.

If you are building your own property, the government grant for first home buyers is paid across once construction has actually begun on site.


About the 2020 First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

The 2020 First Home Loan Deposit Scheme commenced on January 1, 2020.

The scheme encourages first home buyers with just a 5% deposit to take out a mortgage where they can avoid paying lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) fees. Where banks and lenders usually require purchasers to have 20% of the property’s value saved already to be exempt from LMI fees, the government will underwrite the loan as part of the scheme so that LMI no longer applies.

The scheme means that the federal government acts as your guarantor, making it far easier to be approved for a home loan without having saved as much money. The lender, however, will still do their normal checks on your financial situation.

In Queensland the cap for capital cities and regional centres (Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast) is $475,000, with the rest of the state being limited to $400,000. Read more about this national scheme here.


The information contained in this article is not legal or financial advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional advice. Consumers should make their own independent inquiries and consider the need to obtain any professional advice relevant to their circumstances. Further information is available at http://www.firsthome.gov.au/ and https://www.nhfic.gov.au/what-we-do/fhlds.

First Home Owners’ Grant Victoria

The First Home Owners’ Grant and First Home Loan Deposit Scheme are both incredible opportunities for new home owners in Victoria looking for financial support in entering the property market. The following guide will help you assess whether or not you’re eligible, and walk you through the most commonly asked questions about applying and the overall process.

Quick Links

About the First Home Owners’ Grant

Whether you’re buying your first property or building on an existing home, the Victorian First Home Owners’ Grant is a great form of financial support. An amount of $10,000 is available if you’re buying or building your first home—if you’re in regional Victoria, a $20,000 grant is available based on contracts signed from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020.

As the Victorian State Revenue Office explains, a first home can include “a house, townhouse, apartment, unit or similar but it must be valued at $750,000 or less, be the first sale of the property as residential premises and the home must be less than five years old” (2019). The grant is guaranteed to be available in Victoria up until 30th June, 2020.

Eligibility

So if you’re unsure if you qualify for the First Home Owners Grant, we’ve compiled this list to help you work out whether you’re eligible.

According to the Victorian State Revenue Office, if you or your spouse/partner have previously received the new home owners grant you are not able to apply a second time. If either of you have been the owner of a house or residential property within Australia prior to 1st July, 2000 you are also not eligible for the grant. You are also not able to receive the first home owners grant if you have occupied, for a consecutive period of at least six months, a house in Australia that either of you owned partly or fully on or after 1 July 2000.

If none of this applies to you, then you also need to be 18 years or older. You need to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident. You must also occupy a house within Victoria or regional Victoria as your ‘principal place of reside’ for a minimum of 12 months. If you meet all these criteria, congratulations because you may just be eligible for the grant.

Finally, if you’re still unsure, you can also head here to complete the Victorian government’s online assessment to work out if you qualify for the grant: https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/node/6107.

Applying for the First Home Owners’ Grant

Once you’ve worked out if you’re eligible for a new home owners’ grant, you next need to provide evidence to prove that you are a first-time home owner and that you meet the new home owners grant requirements. You’ll then need to complete and lodge your application on the Victorian government’s website.

What’s important to note is that in most cases a government-approved agent will lodge the application on your behalf. Approved agents include most major banks as well as credit unions. The process is far simpler when going through an agent. We recommend only lodging your application directly with the State Revenue Office if you are unable to go through an agent.

It’s important to remember Victoria’s First Home Owners’ Grant only applies for those contracts signed before 30th June, 2020, so if you’re planning to complete an application and meet all the eligibility requirements, be sure to submit your application before then.

FAQS

Does the First Home Owners Grant Count Towards a Deposit?

Yes, you may use the grant towards a deposit. What’s important to remember is that the grant may not be enough to make up the whole deposit but rather, will partially contribute to your deposit. $10,000 or $20,000 depending on where your first home is located may not be enough to pay for the entirety of your deposit.

Can You Use the First Home Owners Grant to Buy Land?

Yes. You may use the first home owners grant to buy land, however, in order to be entitled for the grant in the first place, you must have property of your own that is either an existing home or a piece of land you intend to build on. It’s also important to remember you must have occupied that home for at least 12 months and that the home is located within Victoria or regional Victoria.

Can You Get the First Home Owners Grant If You’re Married?

Yes. You are entitled to the first home owners grant. Both sole property owners and owners in a partnership where you and your spouse/partner own the property together are entitled to the grant. Being married does not influence whether you are entitled to the grant or not.

Can Permanent Residents Get First Home Owners Grant?

Yes, permanent residents are entitled to the first home owners grant as well as Australian citizens.

Can You Get The First Home Owners Grant Twice?

No. If you have applied for the first home owners grant and received it already, you are not entitled to apply for it a second time. You are only eligible to receive the first home owners grant once.

Do First Home Buyers Pay Stamp Duty In Victoria?

Yes. In Victoria, first home buyers do pay stamp duty, however, there are exemptions and concessions. If you’re unsure, have a look on the the Victorian government’s State Revenue Office website for detailed information about what stamp duties apply to you.

Can You Get First Home Owners Grant On Existing Homes?

Yes. You are entitled to receive the first home owners grant if you have owned, for at least 12 months, an existing home. You must also ensure that you meet the other eligibility requirements including that you are either a permanent resident or Australian citizen and that the existing home is based within Victoria or regional Victoria.

When will I receive my grant payment?

If you’re wondering when you will receive your grant payment after applying, the date will depend on whether you are buying or building a home. For those buying their first home and lodging their application through an agent, the grant will be paid on the date of settlement. If you’re lodging directly with the State Revenue office, within ten working days the application will be reviewed and if accepted, the grant will be paid into the account of your choice. For alternate circumstances, we advise having a look at this page for further information on payment dates:

About the 2020 First Home Loan deposit scheme

The 2020 First Home Loan Deposit Scheme is a government-funded scheme allowing first home buyers with just a 5% deposit to take out a mortgage with significantly reduced fees. This is due to commence on January 1st 2020. The federal government will underwrite your loan as part of the scheme so that Lender’s Mortgage Insurance does not apply.

As part of the scheme, the federal government acts as your guarantor. This will prevent the lender from taking out Lender’s Mortgage Insurance policies, saving recipients from the extra fees involved.

The loan price caps are determined by region, with the cap for Victorian capital cities and regional centres being $600,000, with the rest of the state being limited to $375,000. Read more about this national scheme here.

About The HomeBuilder Grant program

The HomeBuilder Grant is a nationwide stimulus package that has been formulated in response to the hardships arising from COVID-19. The grant will apply to both renovations and new homes, totalling $25,000.

For new homes, the property value cannot exceed $750,000. Renovations cannot exceed $150,000 and pre-renovation house value can’t exceed $1.5m. Renovations cannot include pools or tennis courts. Singles must be earning $125,000 or less based on yearly income, and couples must have a combined income of less than $200,000.

More information can be found here.

The information contained in this article is not legal or financial advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional advice. Consumers should make their own independent inquiries and consider the need to obtain any professional advice relevant to their circumstances. Further information about the First Home Owners Grant is available at http://www.firsthome.gov.au/.