The Queensland Government has recently altered the First Home Owners’ Grant (FHOG) in order to stimulate Queensland’s COVID-19 economic recovery and ease first home buyers access to the market. If you meet all the eligibility requirements listed below, you may receive $15,000 to buy or build your new home. This grant’s availability extends to houses, units, townhouses, off the plan lots, or even home builds you wish to conduct yourself.
In order to be eligible for the grant, the applicant must be:
- At least 18 years of age;
- An Australian citizen or permanent resident (or they must apply with a spouse that is a PR or Citizen);
- Must have never previously owned property in Australia that was used as a residence. If you have previously owned an interest in a residential property that has been solely used for investment purposes, you may still be eligible for the grant on subsequent property. However, you must be able to provide the required documentation that proves the First Home Owners’ Grant FHOG applicant never used the property as a residence throughout the entire period of ownership;
- Purchasing or building a brand-new home. The residence must have never been previously sold nor occupied. A substantially renovated home that has had all, or most of its structural or non-structural components removed or replaced can also satisfy this “new-home” requirement;
- The value of the home must be less than $750,000;
- The home must be used as the principal place of residence within 1 year of the completed transaction and the owner must live in the residence continuously for 6 months; and
- The applicant must not receive financial support from a related person who is not eligible for the grant. Only money borrowed from a bank or lending institution is not considered financial help.
A FHOG applicant may also be eligible for the regional home building boost grant. This includes an additional $5,000 after completing the purchase or construction of the brand-new house, unit or townhouse valued at less than $750,000.
If you think you will be able to satisfy all these requirements and have a plan in mind for your first home, we recommend you to consider the following:
- Always budget for additional costs and be prepared to increase the size of the deposit you will need.
- Consult with your solicitor and discuss the proposed contract before signing. Obtaining proper advice by a solicitor is crucial to protect your rights under the contract.
- It is also essential that you talk to your bank about the mortgage requirements before signing a contract to ensure you are making a realistic and achievable purchase.
If you think you may be eligible for the FHOG and have a property plan in mind, do not hesitate to contact us so that we can advise you on the best approach for turning your dreams into reality.