More first home buyers are entering the market in Victoria thanks to the State Government’s increased assistance in 2017.
First home buyers are now eligible to receive a First Home Owner Grant of up to $20,000, as well as additional stamp duty concessions to help them make their purchase.
But there are some conditions that have to be met before a home buyer can apply for the grant, so it’s important you’ve done your research and know what you’re eligible for.
Designed with the first home buyer in mind, Porter Davis’ Fernbrook house doesn’t compromise on style, nor on functionality. Picture supplied
A perfect storm of rising living costs, slow wage growth and increasing house prices means that getting a foot on the property ladder is harder than ever. But it’s not impossible, and there’s help at hand.
Recognising the difficulty faced by many first-time buyers, the Victorian Government recently increased the amount of its First Home Owners Grant to $10,000 for people buying in Melbourne and $20,000 for people buying in regional Victoria. (To check if your potential home qualifies for the larger grant, the State Revenue Office of Victoria, which administers the FHOG, has a list of eligible council areas.)
Of course, as the name suggests, the grant is only available to first-time homeowners. And you aren’t entitled to the FHOG if you or your spouse/partner have previously:
Be sure to check that you qualify as first homeowners. Picture: Getty
The grant is only available to buyers who buy or build a new home, up to the value of $750,000. A new home can be a house, townhouse or apartment.
For the purposes of the FHOG, the definition of a ‘new’ home also extends to existing property that is being sold as a residential premises for the first time; house and land packages; and vacant land on which you plan to build a new home.
Be sure to check that your property is classified as a new home. Picture: Eugene Hyland
No. You will only be asked to pay back the grant if you are later found to have not met the eligibility criteria.
In these circumstances, you may also face substantial penalties if you are found to have acted dishonestly.
New homes in regional Victoria may be eligible for a grant of up to $20,000. Picture: Getty.
Most banks will organise and process the First Home Owner Grant application on your behalf.
However, it is very important that you are very clear about what you are entitled to before you buy your home. You should seek professional advice tailored to your individual circumstances. More information can also be found here.
The time you have to wait to receive the grant depends on whether you are building a new home or buying one, and whether you are applying through an approved agent or through the SRO.
There are several other concessions available to first home buyers in Victoria.
First home buyers won’t have to pay stamp duty for new or established homes bought for $600,000 or less – which can mean a saving of over $31,000 for a $600,000 house.
There are also smaller stamp duty concessions for homes purchased between $600,000 and $750,000, and for off-the-plan home purchases.