Your guide to the First Home Owner Grant in QLD

Your guide to the First Home Owner Grant in QLD

Kathryn Lee - 8 Apr, 2019

Each Australian state and territory has its own FHOG, each with its own grant amounts and requirements. The good news is, Queensland is among the most generous, offering $5,000 more than NSW, SA or Victoria. Here’s what you need to know about the First Home Owner Grant QLD.

2000 was undoubtedly a great year in Australia – not only was it the beginning of a new millennium, but we also hosted the Olympic Games. But what you may not know is that it also marks the year that owning a home became significantly more accessible in Australia. In July 2000, the Australian government introduced the First Home Owner Grant. This nationwide initiative was introduced to offset the GST (Goods and Service Tax) and make purchasing a home more affordable.

What is the First Home Owner Grant QLD?

The First Home Owner Grant is a state initiative by the Queensland government, designed to make it easier for eligible individuals, couples and families to purchase their first home. Despite sometimes being referred to as the ‘building grant’, it covers existing houses, units and townhouses, as well as new builds – so long as they’re new.

How much is the First Home Owner Grant QLD?

Eligible applicants for the First Home Owner Grant QLD receive a $15,000 lump sum payment towards their new home. There is only one payment per property, and this can be invested in whatever you deem appropriate.

Is the First Home Owner Grant still available in QLD?

Yes, the $15,000 Queensland First Home Owner Grant is still available and will continue to be throughout 2019. Unfortunately, the previously available $20,000 grant was discontinued on 30 June 2018.

However, if you signed a contract with a builder to construct a home between 1 July 2016 and midnight 30 June 2018, you may still be eligible for the $20,000 grant.

First Home Owner Grant QLD

When does the First Home Owner Grant QLD end?

At the moment, there is no date for when the $15,000 grant will end. However, be sure to check the most current information when applying for your FHOG, as the grant amount is subject to change in accordance with the annual state budget and changing real estate prices.

Do first home owners pay stamp duty in QLD?

Yes, unfortunately, the First Home Owner Grant doesn’t get home buyers out of paying stamp duty. However, if you are buying a home valued less than $550,000 or vacant land less than $400,000, you are eligible for a concession on a sliding scale. The higher the value of your home or land within these limits, the less of a discount you’ll get.

Eligibility requirements of the First Home Owner Grant QLD

There are a few key requirements you must satisfy in order to successfully apply, so it’s important to familiarise yourself with these before you submit your application.

  • You and anyone co-applying for the grant must be over the age of 18
  • You must be ‘natural person’, meaning not a company or a trust
  • You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident. However, if you are co-applying with a spouse and they are an Australian citizen but you are not, you may still be eligible if you fulfil the other requirements. You can also be a New Zealand citizen with a special category visa
  • Neither you or your spouse may have previously received a First Home Owner Grant in any state or territory of Australia, unless you subsequently paid it back in full with no penalties
  • You must be building or buying a brand new home. The Queensland government defines ‘new’ as a “brand new dwelling (e.g. house, unit, duplex, townhouse, granny flat built on a relative’s land) that has not been previously occupied as a place of residence or sold as a place of residence.” However, homes that have been substantially renovated or previous display homes may also be eligible
  • Neither you or your spouse may currently own property in Australia that you live in, have previously owned property in Australia that you lived in or have owned a home before 1 July 2000, whether you lived in it or not. If you have owned an investment property since 1 July 2000, you may still be eligible for the grant, so long as you can provide evidence that you have not lived in the property, including tenancy or lease agreements, or tax return statement declaring the rental property
  • The value of the home including the land must be less than $750,000
  • You must have moved into the property as your primary place of residence and live there continuously for 6 months, within 1 year of the completed transaction
  • You must not have received financial help to build or buy your home, from a related person (who is not eligible for the grant) who will also regularly stay in the home
  • Unless you are an owner builder, you must have a signed contract to buy or build your first home before applying
  • You can rent out one or more rooms in the home during your 6-month residency period, as long as this arrangement doesn’t affect your use of the home

Can you get First Home Owner Grant on existing homes?

The Home Owner Grant QLD is only available to homes considered new, or for those building a property. If you’re buying an established home, you’re not eligible for the $15,000 First Home Owner Grant, but you can still claim the discount on stamp duty for purchases over $550,000.

How to apply for the First Home Owner Grant QLD

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There are two different ways you can apply for the FHOG in Queensland. Firstly, if your property has already been settled, you can apply directly through the Office of State Revenue, Queensland. However, this can be quite a complex process and if you fail to submit the correct information, it can slow down the application process considerably and even result in a fine.

The second and recommended way to apply for the FHOG is to apply through an approved agent. This can be your bank or lending institution, however you may also want to consider hiring a broker to ensure your application goes as smoothly as possible. Going down this route generally results in your application being approved much faster than if you apply directly yourself. You would provide your completed application form and all supporting documentation to the agent to process the grant. They would then confirm your eligibility and submit your application to the Office of State Revenue, who may then get in touch for more information.

Whichever way you to decide to apply, you’ll want to ensure you supply all necessary documentation. This includes:

  • Australian birth certificate or Australian passport
  • Australian driver’s licence or proof of age card
  • Australian passport, visa or citizenship certificate, current passport and visa
  • Australian proof of age card
  • Medicare card, car registration or a scan of debit/credit
  • Utility bill (gas or electricity), bank statement, home insurance policy
  • Certificates to confirm marital status or name changes (e.g. marriage, divorce, death, separation)
First Home Owner Grant QLD

What happens if I’m buying a new home?

You may also need:

  • A contract, signed and dated by seller and applicants
  • Final inspection certification
  • Registration statement that confirms the applicants as the registered owners
  • Statement from the seller confirming that the property hasn’t previously been occupied or sold as a place of residence
  • Stamped and lodged Form 1 transfer

Your application must be submitted within a year of taking possession of your new home and registering your title.

What happens if I’m building a home?

You may also need:

  • Contract, signed and dated by builder and applicants
  • Registration statement that identifies the applicants as the registered owners
  • Final inspection certificate
  • Valuation notice
  • Stamped and lodged Form 1 transfer, or contract to buy vacant land
  • Rates notice

Application submission must occur within 12-months of the new home completion, and the final inspection report delivery.

If you’re not buying a home in QLD, then you may be eligible for the First Home Buyer Grant in another state. Just remember that all states have different guidelines, so you need to read the legislation before applying for the FHOG.

If you want to speed up your grant application, may want to consider using one of eChoice’s experienced brokers to assist with your application and ensure the process goes off without a hitch. Plus, we also have access to hundreds of mortgage products, so we can help you find a competitive deal that best suits your needs.

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