Home Ownership

First Home Buyer Grants: Find out What May Be Available to You

home buyerIf you’re looking to buy your first home, there are some helpful financial incentives available from the Australian government that you can take advantage of. Buying your first home has significant cost outlays, so it pays to understand exactly what you may be entitled to. The Victorian state government offers several incentives to first home buyers. Keep reading to find out about the various grants, bonuses and boosts that you may be able to take advantage of when you’re ready to get into your first home.

It always pays for first home buyers to seek advice from an official government website about exactly what is available to them in the way of government incentives. Australia has a huge number of mortgage providers so it always helps to shop around. It’s often easiest to call up a mortgage broker such as Smartline and get them to do the work for you.

Recent Stamp Duty Changes

Before we get into what government grants are available to first-home buyers in Victoria, it may help to understand the recent changes that took place in early 2013 regarding stamp duty costs, and any other changes that have been set out for 2014 and beyond. The great news is that the Victorian government is offering significant discounts for first home buyers looking to enter the property market in 2013. The discount on stamp duty costs is increasing from 20 percent in 2012 to 30 percent in 2013 for any home with a value of up to $600,000. A buyer looking at a $600,000 home can benefit from a savings of up to $3,000 on stamp duty costs. Combine this with the first-home-owner grant of $7,000 and you can save $10,000 on the purchase of your new build.

This good news is set to only get better. In early 2014, the stamp duty discount is due to increase to 40 percent, and in September 2014 it is set to increase to 50 percent. It seems that now might be the right time to look at entering the Victorian property market. What’s even better is that this discount applies not only to used homes but also to new build house and land packages.

First Home Owner Grant

The First Home Owner Grant is designed to assist those trying to get their foot onto the property ladder. The grant consists of a $7,000 lump-sum payment to those who are eligible. Candidates are not means-tested and the grant is available to buyers looking to spend up to a maximum of $750,000. The grant can be used to purchase a used home or a new build home.

There are eligibility criteria that must be met for the First Home Owner Grant. The basic eligibility criteria are as follows.

  • The buyer must not have received a grant in any other state or territory of Australia.
  • The buyer must not have owned any residential property prior to 1 July 2000.
  • The buyer cannot be acting as a company, and must be at least 18 years of age.
  • The buyer must be a permanent resident or Australian citizen.
  • The buyer must occupy the home as their primary residence for a period of at least six months.

There are numerous criteria exemptions for specific circumstances that the Commissioner of State Revenue has the authority to waiver or rule on, and each application for the First Home Owner Grant is taken on an individual basis.

Other Types of Government Incentives

Each state or territory in Australia offers their own specific first home buyer incentives, and each can differ in the amount given, the eligibility criteria and how the grant can be used. Originally introduced 1 July 2000, these grants were designed to offset the effects of GST on buying a home, and help people get onto the property ladder. It is a national scheme that is directed and funded separately by each state or territory. Some states offer various other grants, bonuses and boosts designed to help first home buyers purchase house and land packages. However, not all states offer these extra incentives. Those that do can be subject to change at any time. It always pays for first home buyers to seek advice from an official government website about exactly what is available to them in the way of government incentives. The Best buyers Agency will help you to manage every aspect of the buying process.

About the Author: This article was submitted by Andrew Davis. Andrew has been selling home and land packages in Victoria for the past 4 years and writes regularly for various sites and publications. For more information about Elmswood Estate you can visit the website.

image source: NorCal Home Buyers, http://www.123rf.com/photo_3485804_couple-with-boxes-moving-into-new-home-smiling.html

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