What You Need to Know
about Australia
First Home Owner Grant.

Many Australians dream of buying their first home. They go through the process only to realise it is far more complex than expected. From setting aside money for a downpayment to getting approved for a mortgage to finding suitable properties in the market to receiving government grants, first-time home buyers have so much to consider and navigate before they start their ownership journey. The good news is, despite the learning curve and the demands of the process, the fundamentals of property purchasing are not that difficult to master.

One aspect of home buying that needs more elucidation is the first time home buyer grant, otherwise known as the first home owners grant. It is a sum of money provided to qualified first home buyers, which helps fund their starter home. Some would think it is a convenient mechanism given to just about any buyer who purchases a home for the first time. However, there are nuances you must pay attention to and requirements to comply with, depending on your local government or the foundation. Refer to the mini FAQ below for further information:

Who are the recipients of this grant?

Only first time home owners have the privilege to apply for this grant. For your second or third home purchase, you can apply for tax incentives or sector-based government grants instead. Search for grants offered in your province or in the area where your property is located.

Is a grant the same as a loan?

A grant is a cash subsidy freely given by the government or a foundation to eligible first-time buyers. You are not obliged to repay the grant. Neither do you incur debt or interest. This is what separates grants from loans. In Canberra, the ACT Revenue Office oversees the processing and distribution of grants, which serve as a concession scheme to encourage locals to purchase residential properties.

How does it help first-time home buyers?

Duties attached to the property they wish to buy would be subsequently removed or reduced. The first-time property buyer would be able to explore homes without burden until they manage to find the right one based on their needs.

What are the eligibility requirements?

As earlier mentioned, grants are not arbitrarily given to all new homeowners. They must qualify first before they get to enjoy certain advantages. The eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Buyers must at least be 18 years old at the time of their purchase;
  • Purchase must be limited to fresh new homes, vacant lands and recently renovated properties;
  • Your total gross income, including that of your partner (if any), should not go beyond the relevant total gross income threshold amount; partnership pertains to all types of partners recognised under the law including a spouse, a civil partner or de facto partner;
  • Buyers and their partners should be able to pass current and previous home ownership and income tests, which may decrease commensurate to the number of dependents;
  • One of the buyers must meet residence requirements, including 1 year of continuous residence on the subject property.

Know More about the First Home Owners Grant

Every buyer has the right to take advantage of the Home Buyer Concession Scheme and receive a cash subsidy that would give them an easier time buying their first home. For in-depth information on the first home owners grants, consult an independent Canberra buyers advocate. Besides providing sound advice and showing you the ropes, buyers' agents can guide and represent you throughout your property purchasing journey. You can also read the original instrument online or visit the ACT Revenue Office for enquiries.