Buying your first home is undoubtedly one of the most exciting milestones in anyone’s life – but it also happens to be one of the most expensive! Besides getting together the finances to put down a deposit, there are a plethora of other costs involved in the property sale process, from the conveyancing fees to paying stamp duty. Thankfully, there’s a government incentive designed to ease the financial burden on prospective Victorian homeowners – the First Home Owner Grant VIC.
The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) initiative was introduced by the Australian government on 1 July 2000 to offset the effect of the GST on home ownership. This scheme is available Australia-wide, but not all grants are created equal.
Each state has its own legislation and guidelines under which the FHOG operates. So, if you’re looking to purchase your first home in Victoria, it’s wise to first familiarise yourself with the requirements to ensure you’re eligible. Read on for our in-depth guide to the First Home Owner Grant in VIC.
The First Home Owner Grant VIC is a Victorian State Government initiative designed to make it easier for first-time buyers to purchase a home. It is a one-off, lump payment paid by the Victorian government to eligible individuals, couples and families.
Yes, the First Home Owner Grant has been available in Victoria since it was rolled out nation-wide in 2000. However, like the grants in other states, the FHOG has undergone significant changes over the years due to the changing state budget and economic landscape.
For example, to acknowledge the difficulties breaking into certain property markets, the grants for both Melbourne and regional Victoria were increased in 2017. So, it’s important to ensure you’re up to date with the most current guidelines when you’re applying for the FHOG – to determine how much you’ll save and check whether you’re eligible.
In Victoria, first-time home buyers purchasing properties valued up to $750,000 are eligible for a $10,000 grant. An additional $10,000 (equalling a grand total of $20,000) is available to people looking to buy homes up to $750,000 in regional Victoria, for leases signed between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2020. This applies to brand new or off-the-plan homes and can include a house, apartment, townhouse, unit or even a van in a fixed location.
As of 2017, both new and established homebuyers in Victoria are also eligible for stamp duty exemptions or concessions. If you’re buying a property valued up to $600,000 as an owner-occupier, you no longer have to pay stamp duty, and if your home is valued between $600,001 to $750,000, you’re given a discount on a sliding scale.
You may be wondering ‘am I eligible for the First Home Grant in Victoria?’ There are some eligibility criteria you must satisfy in order to successfully apply for the FHOG, many of which are specific to Victoria. These include:
When it comes to claiming the First Home Owner Grant VIC, you have two choices. If you have completed construction or have already settled on your property, you can choose to submit your application directly through the State Revenue Office (SRO) yourself.
However, the application process can be quite complex and time-consuming, so the safer option is to have an approved agent submit it on your behalf. Generally, if you are also applying for a loan, your bank will normally organise and process the FHOG for you. However, you may also want to consider working with a broker to ensure your application goes
How you file your First Home Owner Grant application and whether you’re buying or building can affect when you receive the payment.
If you have applied through an approved agent, payment can be made through them at the time of your settlement.
If you have a contract to build, your approved agent will process payment at the date of the first progressive payment, or the State Revenue Office will pay into your nominated account within two weeks of your application, which will only be considered after the Certificate of Occupancy is issued.
If you are an owner builder, the approved agent will pay after receiving your Certificate of Occupancy, or the SRO will pay into your nominated account within two weeks of filing your application, which will only
If you have a terms contract, the SRO will pay into your nominated account within two weeks of filing your application, but will only be considered after providing proof of possession.
If you have applied directly through the SRO, payment will be made to your nominated account within two weeks of your application, which can only be considered after settlement.
Regardless of whether you are submitting the application directly or going through an approved agent, you will want to ensure you have all the necessary supporting documents at hand. These may include:
If you’re not buying a home in Victoria, 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’re looking to buy your first property in Victoria, you may want to consider using one of eChoice’s experienced brokers to assist with your application and make the process as streamlined as possible. 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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