Navigating the First Home Owners Grant and Home Guarantee Scheme

Buying your first home is an exciting milestone, but it can also be overwhelming, especially when it comes to navigating financial incentives and schemes designed to assist first-time buyers. Two key initiatives in Australia aimed at easing the burden for first home buyers are the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) and the Home Guarantee Scheme (HGS). In this guide, we’ll break down what these schemes entail and how you can take advantage of them to step into your dream home.

First Home Owners Grant (FHOG)

The First Home Owners Grant is a state government initiative designed to provide financial assistance to eligible first-time home buyers. Here’s what you need to know about the FHOG:

Eligibility Criteria:

  • To qualify for the FHOG, applicants must:
    • Be individuals or joint applicants.
    • Be Australian citizens or permanent residents at the time of entering the loan.
    • Be at least 18 years old.
    • Have an income below specified thresholds ($125,000 for individuals or $200,000 for joint applicants).
    • Intend to occupy the purchased property as their primary residence.
    • Not have owned or had an interest in a real property in Australia in the past ten years.

Grant Amount:

  • The grant amount depends on when the contract is signed or when foundations are laid for owner-builders:
    • $30,000 for contracts signed between 20 November 2023 and 30 June 2025.
    • $15,000 for contracts signed before 20 November 2023.

Application Process:

  • Applicants must apply for the FHOG within specific timeframes:
    • Within 1 year of taking possession of the new home for home buyers.
    • Within 1 year of the new home being completed for contract builders or owner-builders.
  • Applications can be submitted through approved agents (e.g., banks or lending institutions) or directly to the Queensland Revenue Office.
  • The grant is paid per new home, not to each applicant.

Home Guarantee Scheme (HGS)

The Home Guarantee Scheme is another avenue for first home buyers to enter the property market with less financial strain. Here’s what you need to know about the HGS:

Eligibility Criteria:

  • To apply for the HGS, home buyers must meet certain criteria:
    • Applying as individuals or joint applicants.
    • Australian citizens or permanent residents.
    • At least 18 years old.
    • Earning up to specified income thresholds.
    • Intending to be owner-occupiers of the purchased property.
    • Not having owned or had an interest in a real property in Australia in the past ten years.

Deposit Required:

  • Home buyers need to have between 5% and 20% of the property value saved as a deposit.
  • The minimum deposit required for the HGS is 5%, but Participating Lenders may require a higher percentage based on individual financial circumstances.

Property Types and Price Caps:

  • The HGS allows home buyers to purchase various residential properties, including existing houses, townhouses, apartments, house and land packages, off-the-plan properties, etc.
  • Property price caps vary depending on the location and property type.

Application Process:

  • Applications for the HGS can only be made through Participating Lenders or their authorised representatives.
  • Home buyers should consult with a Participating Lender and seek independent financial and legal advice before applying.
  • Specific timeframes and criteria apply to different property types, and contracts must be executed within specified dates.

Navigating the process of buying your first home can be complex, but with initiatives like the FHOG and HGS, the journey becomes more manageable. Understanding the eligibility criteria, grant amounts, application processes, and timelines is crucial for leveraging these schemes effectively to ensure you are making the most of these schemes and for help applying, contact BrokerCo to get help from a specialist today!

How can BrokerCo help?

Refinancing your home loan can be a smart financial move that helps you save money and reduce your monthly repayments. By taking advantage of lower interest rates, accessing equity, and switching to a better lender, you can improve your financial situation and achieve your goals.

If you’re considering refinancing, be sure to do your research and shop around to find the best deal for your needs.  Give the team at BrokerCo a call today and refinance your home loan with confidence! We’re a leading Mortgage Broker on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.