Saving up to afford your first home can be hard. That’s why the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) was introduced to make it a little easier for first home buyers to get into the property market. Since its inception in 2000, the rules surrounding FHOG eligibility and the type of property you can buy has changed. Although the amount varies from state-to-state, in Victoria, you could be entitled to up to $20K which is a big hand when it comes to your savings.
The FHOG is a state government initiative that helps first home buyers get into the property market and purchase their first residential home. In Victoria, a $10K grant is available to first home-owners who buy new or build up to the value of $750K. If you decide to build or buy a new property in regional Victoria, the amount increases to $20K.
For starters, you do need to be a first home buyer. You’ll also need to be over 18, an Australian citizen or permanent resident and not have already owned a residential property or claimed a FHOG in another state. However, if you’ve already purchased an investment property and you’ve never lived in it, you may still be eligible if you’re looking to buy your first residential home. You can easily check your FHOG eligibility on the Victorian State Revenue Office First Home Owner website.
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The FHOG is only available to buyers who buy new or decide to build new. Buying new means any residential property over five years old is no longer eligible to receive the grant, but a property that has never been sold as a residential premises could be. This can include display homes that have never been lived in. Although you may not be eligible for the FHOG in these circumstances, you may still be entitled to a first home buyer duty exemption or concession.
Most of the time, the lender providing you finance (find the list of approved agents here) will lodge the FHOG application on your behalf. You should only lodge the application directly with the Victorian State Revenue Office if one of the approved agents isn’t lodging the form for you.
When you receive the FHOG will depend on whether you are buying or building. It will also depend on whether you are applying via an approved agent or directly with the State Revenue Office (SRO). The payment date largely varies when you apply through an agent, but if applying directly via the SRO, it’s 14 days after lodging the application.
The FHOG isn’t the only extra bonus you might be able to get. There are other exemptions too on stamp duty, off-the-plan concessions and principal place of residence (PPR) concessions. You can find all the details and what you’re eligible for on the Victorian State Revenue Office First Home Owner website.