First Home Buyers

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.

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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/.