In NSW there are a number of Government grants available to home buyers. While this is great news for buyers, it can also be quite confusing because the Government is constantly changing, updating and evolving the grants. This is why one of the most frequently asked questions we receive from clients is whether they are eligible for a grant. The following article provides a summary of the most commonly awarded Government grants in NSW, that are available in 2015:
1. First Home Buyers – The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG)
The NSW Government has always been supportive of young people looking to purchase their first home. The current scheme offers first home buyers a $15,000 grant and applies to new homes only. This grant will be reduced to $10,000 on 1 January 2016. Due to the planned reduction next year, we recommend buying your first home in 2015.
What is classified a new home? A new home has never been occupied by anyone (including its builder) or sold as a residence. It includes homes purchased off the plan and vacant blocks of land on which a home will be built. Also, if a home has been substantially renovated or built to replace an existing demolished home, it can be classified as a new home. If you are still unsure, call our Conveyancing team to discuss the home you’d like to purchase.
Am I eligible for the First Home Owner Grant? To be eligible for this grant:
You’re over 18.
You’re buying a new home (see above) valued at less than $650,000.
You have a contract dated on or after 1/10/12.
You and your spouse (including de facto) have never held a relevant interest in any residential property in Australia prior to 1/7/00. If you’ve held a relevant interest in a property on or after 1/7/00 and you have not resided in that property for a continuous period of at least 6 months, you may still be eligible for the grant.
You’ve never received the First Home Owner Grant in any State or Territory in Australia.
You’re planning on living in the new home for a continuous period of at least 6 months.
At least one applicant is an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
All applicants are people, not a company or trust.
In addition to the grant described above, the Government also provides first home buyers with exemptions from transfer duty on new homes valued up to $550,000 and concessions for new homes valued between $550,000 and $650,000.
This also applies to vacant blocks of land. If you’re buying a vacant residential block valued at up to $350,000, you’ll pay no duty. If it’s valued between $350,000 and $450,000, you’ll receive concessions.
The same eligibility criteria, as described above, applies.
[April, 2015] This grant is no longer available. Applications for it had to be received by 31st of March 2015.
4. New Home Grant Scheme
The NSW Government has always been supportive of stimulating the construction industry. This scheme was introduced on 1 July 2013 and grants eligible applicants $5,000 towards the purchase of their new home.
Unlike the grants listed above, any entity can apply for this grant (person, company, trustee or trust) and there are no restrictions on the number of times you can apply for the grant. There are also no residency requirements, meaning you don’t have to occupy the new home. However, if you are purchasing a vacant block of land with the intention of building, building must commence within 26 weeks of the completion of purchase. There is no time limit on completing the home’s construction.
What is classified a new home? A new home has never been occupied by anyone (including its builder) or sold as a residence. It includes homes purchased off the plan and vacant blocks of land on which a home will be built. It does not Unlike the First Home Owner Grant, this scheme does not include a property that has been renovated, knocked down or rebuilt.
Am I eligible for the New Home Grant Scheme? To be eligible for this grant:
You’re over 18.
You’re buying a new home (see above) valued at less than $650,000, or a vacant block of land valued at less than $450,000.
You are not a First Home Owner.
The agreement to purchase or transfer was entered into after 1 July 2012.
You apply for the grant within 3 months of the date on the agreement.
If the agreement is for a vacant block of land, it must be for the whole block, not part of it.