The NSW First Home Owner Grant in a few easy questions

x_157_90119_0_14069782_300Australia’s various First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) schemes are a fantastic way for new, prospective home owners to get their foot on a rung of the property ladder. It would be a shame to miss out on this fantastic benefit simply because you were unfamiliar with its basics.

Consider this your one-stop repository of information surrounding the programme’s iteration in New South Wales.

Who can take advantage of the scheme?

As the name implies, only those who are buying their first ever home. As well as this, at least one eligible applicant must be either an Australian citizen or a permanent resident, they must be a person rather than a company or a trust, and they must be over 18 years of age. You also can’t have received a FHOG in any other state.

There are several different grants – which one can I use?

The regular FHOG only applies to transactions before October 1 2012, effectively excluding current new buyers. Rather, you want to look at the FHOG (New Homes) scheme. Under this scheme, new buyers receive a $15,000 grant and, after the close of 2015, $10,000.

Can I use that on any property?

Again, as the name suggests, you not only need to be a first time buyer, you need to be purchasing a new home. Under the stipulations, this means a home that hasn’t been occupied before, that hasn’t had any substantial renovations carried out and has never been sold to anyone before. It also can’t be built to replace a demolished dwelling.

How expensive can my new house be?

Any house bought after July 1 2014 has a cap of $750,000. According to the most recent statistics from RP Data, Sydney’s median dwelling price during October was $680,000, so this should be enough to work with.

How do I apply for the grant?

You can do so online, on the New South Wales Office of State Revenue’s official website. You can also do so through your lender. All applications have to be submitted within a year of either settlement or completed construction of the home.

Are there any other NSW government programmes I can benefit from?

You could also take advantage of the First Home-New Home scheme, which exempts buyers from transfer duty for new homes. Properties have to be under $550,000 to qualify however. If they’re valued between $550,000 and $650,000, they will only get a concession.

You could also qualify for the New Home Grant Scheme, which provides $5,000 to buyers buying a new home, an off-the-plan property and vacant land. Similar restrictions apply as on the others.

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