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Tips on buying a first property


October 1, 2018 2min read

Are you eligible for the First Home Owner Grant in Victoria?

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.

Are you considered a first homeowner?
As the name suggests, this grant is only available to first homeowners. This means that neither you nor your partner (if you have one) have previously received a First Home Owner Grant anywhere in Australia. You must also ensure that you have never owned or part-owned a home in Australia before 1 July 2000.

For property owned after 1 July 2000, the rules are slightly different; if you owned a home, but did not live in it for six months or more, you may still be eligible. To be eligible today, your new home must be purchased for you to live in. It must be your principal residence for at least 12 months, and this period must commence within 12 months of settlement or completion of construction.

What sort of house are you buying?
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. It also includes existing property that is being sold for the first time as a residential premises; a house and land package, or vacant land on which you will build a new home.

Where is your home located?
First home buyers in Melbourne will receive a grant of $10,000. Those in regional Victoria are eligible for a grant of up to $20,000. 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.

Anything else?
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.

How should you apply for it?
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 tailored professional advice on your circumstances or can find more information here.

This article was originally published on realestate.com.au as ‘Are you eligible for the first home owner grant in Victoria’.