First Home Owners Grant (FHOG)

2011 May 7

Buying a home is an exciting process, but it can be very expensive and intimidating. This is especially true if you have never bought a home before. If you are preparing to buy your first home, there is an excellent government-sponsored opportunity you need to be aware of- The First Home Owner Grant.

The First Home Owner Grant Act was created when the Australian Government realized that the population needed some help in building and purchasing homes. They invented this unique scheme to encourage families to purchase a home of their very own. Increased rates of home buying not only boost morale, but also improve the economy. 

The First Home Owner Grant or FHOG was first introduced to the public in July of 2000. This grant was designed to counter the effect of the Goods and Services tax on first home ownership. Though the FHOG is a national scheme, it is funded and administered by individual territories and states. The grant offers $7000 to first time home buyers that satisfy all of the necessary criteria. 

In order to qualify to receive the First Home Owner Grant, the applicant must meet all of the following conditions:

1. The applicant must be a first-time home buyer. If either the applicant or the applicant’s spouse owned and occupied a home after July 1, 2000, the applicant will not qualify. In addition, neither the applicant nor the applicant’s spouse is allowed to have owned an interest in any land in the country of Australia that contained a residence prior to July 2000. If the investment property purchase was made after July 1, 2000, the applicant will still be eligible as long as he or she has never resided at the property. 

2. The applicant must be a person and not an entity such as a company or a trust. The applicant must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident that is at least 18 years old. 

3. The applicant must be under contract to purchase or home or have entered a contract to construct a new home that commenced on or after July 1, 2000. If the applicant is an owner-builder, the foundations must have been laid no earlier than July 1, 2000. 

4. The value of the applicant’s property can’t exceed $750,000. At least one of the occupants must keep the home in question as their primary place of residence for at least 6 continuous months. This period must occur within 12 months of construction of the home or settlement. 

5. The applicant must have never received a grant under the First Home Owner Grant Act in any territory or state in Australia. Similarly, the applicant’s spouse may not have received a grant either. 

6. Joint applicants are restricted to filling out only one application and receiving on $7000 grant under this program. 

7. The home in question must be located in Australia. 

The amount awarded under the First Home Owner Grant Act is the same regardless of the value of the house constructed or purchased. In addition, the amount doesn’t change based on the amount financed. Whether the mortgage value is $50,000 or $500,000, the grant will still be worth $7,000. To apply for the grant, the buyer or builder can visit one of many banks or lending institutions that are included in the list of approved agents. 

In addition to the First Home Owner Grant Act, different states and territories have other ways of helping first home buyers as well. Some areas offer concessions or exemptions from stamp duty payments, while others offer additional grants. 

If the applicants both meet certain criteria, they may even be eligible for additional funds from the government. These extra grants are referred to as a first home bonus and do not require a different application. One is automatically considered for the first home bonus upon completing the application for the First Home Owner’s Grant. 

The First Home Owner Grant is an excellent opportunity for all eligible first time home owners in Australia. It was created to stimulate the country’s housing market and economy by helping home buyers with their first purchase. Home loans often provoke anxiety in first time buyers, but this grant offers buyers the incentive they need to go ahead with the process. If an applicant meets set criteria, he or she will qualify for this grant regardless of the value of the home purchased or built. The grant is for the same amount, $7000, no matter what the price of the home was. This opportunity can only be taken advantage of for your first home purchase, so don’t miss out! Visit your nearest bank or other qualified lender and see if you meet the eligibility requirements.

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