First Home Owners Grant – What You Need to Know

April 7, 2022

First Home Owners Grant – What You Need to Know

First Home Owners Grant – What You Need to Know

Diving into the real estate market for the first time can be daunting. When it comes to the First Home Owners Grant and associated rebates, you can rest assured that your mortgage broker and settlement agent have got your back. With constant changes to the FHOG criteria, it’s only natural you’ll experience some confusion and be unsure about your entitlements. We hope that the following advice we provide will help you, and make sure you’re not missing out on the financial assistance and rebates needed to live your dream of home-ownership.

Save yourself thousands of dollars with the First Home Owners Grant and associated rebates

This concise blog post will help you cut through the jargon and get clear information on what’s available and whether or not you are eligible. We are here to empower you, in making sure you understand your position and eligibility for free financial assistance.

First Home Owners Grant

  • The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) is a once-off grant of up to $10,000 offered by the WA State Government to assist first home buyers in purchasing new residential properties.
  • The FHOG no longer applies to first home buyers who purchase established properties, however you may be eligible for FHOR – see further information below.
  • The FHOG can be used when you purchase vacant land, so long as you have entered into a building contract prior to settlement.
  • The FHOG is also not available to fund minor renovations to an existing home, but a first home buyer may be eligible to apply for a FHOG if they purchase a home which has undergone significant renovations.

Am I eligible for the First Home Owners Grant?

If you tick all the boxes below:

  • Are a person (not a company or trust) and over 18 years of age
  • Are an Australian Citizen or a permanent resident
    • At least one applicant per grant must be an Australian Citizen
  • Have not received First Home Buyer Grants or concessions in any state of Australia
    • This also applies to your spouse or de facto partner
  • Have not owned property anywhere in Australia prior to 01/07/2000, nor owned property anywhere in Australia after 01/07/2000 and occupied that home before 30/06/2004, nor occupied that home for more than six continuous months commencing after 30/06/2004
    • This also applies to your spouse or de facto partner
  • You will occupy the home as your principal place of residence for an extended period of at least six months, commencing within twelve months of completion of the property transaction
  • Enter into a contract to buy or build (or in case of an owner builder, commence construction) on or after 01/07/2000
  • Are applying for an eligible transaction commencing on or after 01/01/2010, where the total value of the home does not exceed the financial cap amount. The Western Australian cap amount is:
    • $750,000 if the property is located south of the 26th parallel of south latitude, or
    • $1,000,000 if located north of the 26th parallel of south latitude

First Home Owner Rate of Duty

The First Home Owner Rate (FHOR) of Duty is available to first home buyers who qualify, including those who are buying both new and established properties. The FHOR offers eligible first home buyers exemptions and concessions on Stamp Duty, as per the criteria below:

  1. A transaction is Stamp Duty exempt when a first home buyer purchases an established home of up to $430,000 in value. Stamp Duty concessions are applied to property transactions between $430,00 and $530,000 in value.
  2. For the purchase of new homes, house and land packages, off the plan and owner builders where the land portion of the transaction is valued under $300,000 the first home buyer receives a full Stamp Duty exemption. Where the land portion of the transaction is valued between $300,000 and $400,000 a concessional rate on Stamp Duty applies.

Am I eligible for FHOR concessions on costs for transfer of property and/or land?

Yes, if you:

  • Qualify for a First Home Owner Grant, or
  • Would have qualified for a First Home Owner Grant otherwise except for purchasing an established property, or
  • Are a first home buyer and resident of the Indian Ocean Territory (Christmas Island and Cocos Island).

If you are ineligible for the First Home Owner Rate of Duty because your property transaction does not meet the above criteria, you may qualify for the residential rate of transfer duty.

Home Buyers Assistance Account

The Home Buyers Assistance Account scheme offers eligible Western Australian first home buyers reimbursements of up to $2,000. The rebate can be used to cover items associated with the purchase of your home such as:

  • Mortgage registration fees
  • Conveyancing fees
  • Valuation fees
  • Inspection fees
  • Establishment fees
  • Mortgage insurance premiums, and
  • Lending institution fees

Am I eligible for the Home Buyers Assistance Account?

If you tick the following boxes:

  • Total price of the dwelling must not exceed $400,000. This is the maximum price limit for dwellings purchased in Western Australia.
  • Applicant(s) must not own or have previously owned a dwelling in Western Australia.
    • However, if you or another joint applicant owns or has owned a property in Western Australia, then a partial grant may be available via the Home Buyers Assistance Account depending on the percentage of their interest in the property.
  • Have purchased your property through a licensed Western Australian real estate agency.
  • Have financed your purchase through a lending institution, which is also required to lodge the application on your behalf.
  • Have purchased an established or partially built home at the time of acceptance of the contract to purchase, not a plan to build a dwelling.
  • Will be using the property as your principal place of residence and intend to live in your home for at least the first 12 months (the home cannot be rented out during this time).
    • However, if there is an existing fixed term tenancy agreement in place at the time of purchasing your property, the tenancy agreement must finish within six months from the settlement date on your property.
    • You must then intend to live in the premises for at least 12 months after the expiry of the tenancy agreement.
  • Lodge your application no more than 90 days after the date on which the offer to purchase the property was accepted. After this time a late lodgement of your application may be allowed if exceptional circumstances provide reasonable justification for the delay of lodgement.

Who can help me lodge my First Home Owners application?

Your mortgage broker or lending institution will handle the application process for:

  • First Home Buyers Grant
    • Plus the subsequent First Home Owner Rate of Duty
  • Home Buyers Assistance Account

How will Mosaic Settlements assist me?

As your conveyancer, we will process the First Home Owner Rate of Duty at settlement so that the correct Duty Certificate and exemption / concession is applied. This is done once we receive confirmation of your eligibility.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us. Our expert team are ready and willing to assist.