Taking the plunge into homeownership is a thrilling but stressful ride. In the face of rising house prices and cashed up investors, getting your foot in the market isn’t easy. To get you a home sooner, the Victorian First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) is giving first home buyers $10,000 if they purchase a ‘new’ home valued up to $750,000 in a metropolitan area. For those wanting to make a tree or sea change, there’s an additional $10,000 up for grabs for ‘regional’ first home buyers, taking the total grant for regional FHBs to $20,000. That’s no small chunk of change, so, if you’ve got your sights set on home ownership, here’s 6 FHB FAQ’s.

Who’s Eligible for the FHOG?

To make the most of the FHOG, your first home needs to be ‘new’ and come in at less than the $750,000 cap. It’s not simply a case of buying and cashing in, you actually need to live in the house for 12 consecutive months. You can only access the FHOG once, so to be eligible, this must be the first home or property you’ve ever bought or had an interest in. If you’re purchasing the property with a friend or partner, the same rules apply to both of you.

Does The ‘Home’ Have to be a House?

Easy answer – no – the first property you buy doesn’t need to be a house. To make the most of the FHOG, you can buy a house, townhouse, apartment or unit. The only condition is that the property is valued at less than $750,000 and you haven’t claimed the FHOG grant before.

The Property is ‘New’ to me, Does That Count?

Just because the house is new to you, doesn’t mean you can claim the FHOG. To cash in, you’ll need to buy a property that’s never been lived in before. This could mean a house and land package, an off-the-plan house or apartment or a brand new house. Buying an existing property that someone else has already lived in won’t get you the FHOG, but if it’s under $650,000 you could score a stamp duty concession.

If you do decide to buy an established home or unit and you’re a first-home buyer, you won’t get the FHOG, but you will be able to get a stamp duty concession if the property costs less than $600,000.

Can Two People Claim the FHOG on One Property?

Sadly not; it’s a one grant per property rule. If you’re buying the property with a friend or partner, you both need to meet the criteria. If one of you has previously bought a property, you might still make the cut if it was bought before 1 July 2000 and you never lived in it. If one of you has bought an investment property beforehand but never lived in it or claimed the first home owners grant, then you might be eligible to claim the $10,000 FHOG.

What Counts as Regional?

If you’re planning a tree change and you’re a first home buyer with a budget of up to $750,000, the FHOG increases to $20,000 for buyers in regional Victoria. Regional includes the six alpine resorts of Mt Baw Baw, Mt Buller, Mt Hotham, Mt Stirling, Falls Creek and Lake Mountain as well as over 48 council areas.

What Do I Look For in a First Home?

If you’ve never bought before, knowing whether the inner city 2-bedroom apartment or the 3-bedroom house further out makes a better investment can be tricky. Having a partner in property and leveraging the expertise of someone who’s been there, done that makes the journey from searching to settling a lot smoother. Partnering with a PropertyDuo Associate offers you access to unbiased data to help you make an informed property decision and gives you your Saturdays back.

If you’re an Australian citizen over 18 looking for a first home under $750,000, get in touch to find out how our independent property associates can help you make the most of the First Home Owners Grant.

PropertyDuo is a solutions driven property advisory service that is underpinned by WBP Group’s 25 year history, experience, data and risk analytics.

Getting independent advice is the best way to have a game plan and the information at hand leading into an auction. Speak to one of our trusted PropertyDuo associates for the advice you need to make an informed buying decision.

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