First home Owners Grant facts & myths

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Entering the property market for the first time can be confusing, particularly when there are differing reports on things like who is eligible, how much the grant is worth and so on.

Here are the most common myths surrounding the First Home Owners Grant and the real information for first homeowners to know.

Myth #1: The Grant finished at the end of 2017.

Wrong! The FHOG was extended by the Palaszczuk Government until June 30, 2018 as part of their pre-election promise during the 2017 State Election.

Myth #2: The Grant is now less than what it used to be.

Not the case – some buyers are still eligible for up to $20,000. However, the First Home Owners Grant will revert back to $15,000 for the purchase of new or construction of a property after July 1.

Myth #3: I can’t use the Grant as the whole deposit.

While this may not apply to everyone, it is still possible to use the Grant for the majority or all of your house deposit. Here’s how:

– you need to be renting and able to show a rental payment history for the last 6 months to prove you are capable of making repayments.

– the property you are purchasing must be a ‘brand new’ apartment/townhouse/house that has never been lived in (as the Grants only apply to new houses).

– you have good credit history.

– you have sufficient income to support the home loan repayments – this is a given. It’s probably best to consult a financial planner or mortgage broker to discuss your options.

– the Grant cannot exceed 5% of the total property purchase price.

Myth #4: It’s really difficult to be eligible for the Grant.

There are fewer hoops to jump through than you think to be eligible for the Grant.

Generally speaking, many young Queenslander’s are entitled to the $20,000, so long as they:

– are 18 years and over.

– are an Australian citizen or permanent resident (or applying for the Grant with someone who is).

– have not (and their spouse has not) previously owned property in Australia that you have lived in.

– are buying or building a brand new home.

– are purchasing a property that is less than $750,000, including the land.

– are moving into the new home as the principal place of residence within 1 year of the completed transaction and will live there continuously for six months.

Myth #5: I am not entitled to anything as a first home buyer if I’m not purchasing a brand new home or building.

While you are ineligible for the First Home Owners Grant, you may be eligible for the Queensland First Home Buyers Stamp Duty Rebate. While the rebate is not as big as the Grant, The maximum rebate you are entitled to receive is $8,750.

The amount you receive from the rebate differs depending on the price of the property you are buying.

For properties valued up to $500,000, the rebate is $8,750 (the maximum rebate you can get).

For properties valued at between $500,000 to $550,000, you will have to pay some stamp duty but at a reduced rate (eg. you may have to pay $1000 or so, but the rest will be taken from your rebate). However, for properties $555,001 and more you are ineligible for a stamp duty rebate.

The Queensland Government website has some great tools for those beginning the process to buy their first home.

Visit www.qld.gov.au/housing to work out the best option for you.