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BSB 806 015

Everything you need to know about the First Home Owners Grant

If you’re planning on buying your first home, now is a good time to get into the market. With the average Australian house price falling nearly 5% in 2018, buying your first home may never be this affordable again. However, just because prices have dropped, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take advantage of the money available to first home buyers from the government. Western Australia’s First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) can help supplement buying or building a new home with up to $10,000 in funding. Here’s what you need to know about the program.

What can the FHOG be used for?

The First Home Owner Grant can be used to buy or build a new home in WA. Unfortunately, established homes are no longer eligible for funding under the scheme.

Who can apply for the FHOG?

The First Home Owner Grant is intended to help first home buyers get into the housing market. There are some criteria that you’ll need to meet to be eligible to receive the grant:

  • You need to be 18 years or older and a natural person (in other words, a company or trust isn’t eligible to apply)
  • At least one of the applicants must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Nobody on the application can have previously received the grant
  • Nobody on the application can have owned a residential property anywhere in Australia before July 1, 2000
  • Nobody on the application can have owned property on or after July 1, 2000 and occupied that property as a place of residence before July 1, 2004
  • Nobody on the application can have owned property on or after July 1, 2000 and occupied that property as a place of residence for a continuous 6-month period on or after July 1, 2004
  • If you’re applying for the grant, you’ll need to occupy your new home for a continuous period of at least 12 months from the date of completion (if you’re building a new home), and
  • The value of the home cannot exceed a certain threshold, depending on its location.

It sounds like a lot, but the complexity is mainly due to changes in the rules over the years. Ultimately, it boils down to this: if you’ve owned and lived in a property before, you won’t be eligible to receive the grant. If you haven’t owned property before and you’re buying or building a new property, read on to find out how to apply!

How to apply for the FHOG

To apply for the First Home Owner Grant, you’ll need to complete the ‘FHOG Application and/or Pre-approval for the First Home Owner Rate of Duty' form. Applications can be submitted through an FHOG approved agent or directly to the Office of State Revenue. You can apply once a purchase contract has been signed by all parties; and remember, you need to apply within 12 months of the date that happens to receive the grant.

When you’re ready to submit your application, make sure you have the following documentation ready:

  • Photo ID
  • Proof of Citizenship (for at least one owner if there are multiple applicants)
  • Evidence of residence in Australia, and;
  • A copy of the signed purchase contract.

Consider also talking to your building company as well – they also often offer incentives for first home buyers.

Conclusion

If you’re a would-be first home buyer, take advantage of every opportunity to make buying your first home a reality. The important thing is to do your research, apply for any available funding to help with your purchase, and prepare for the responsibilities that come with home ownership. Happy hunting!

For full information on the First Home Owner Grant please visit the Department of Finance website.

For more information on the relevant products that P&N Bank offer, see home loans.

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