If you are a NSW first home buyer, you probably already know that you might be eligible for some government assistance in the form of the first homeowner grant or concessions, but trying to find out exactly what you qualify for and how to apply can be a little confusing.
Below is a brief description of the grants and concessions that may be available to you through the Office of State Revenue if you are buying a property in NSW.
First homeowner Grant – New Homes Scheme
Established to help first homeowners build or purchase a new home, this programme offers a $15,000 grant for new home purchases up to $750,000.
What is Considered a New Home?
This grant is only available with the purchase of a new home, which includes:
– A brand new property that has remained unoccupied since being built. The builder, a tenant, or other type of occupant cannot have occupied the home.
– A property not previously sold. In order to be eligible for the grant, this must be the first time the home has been sold.
– A home that has been extensively renovated or a home built to replace one that has been demolished.
Not only does the home itself have to meet certain criteria, but so do the homebuyers. In order to qualify for this type of grant:
– The contract must be dated on or after 1 October 2012. – However, if the contract date is before 1 July 2014, the grant is only available for new home purchases up to $650,000, as it was increased to $750,000 on 1 July.
– The property must meet the criteria listed in the previous section.
– The homebuyer must be at least 18 years of age and be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
– The homebuyer or spouse must never have held an interest in any Australian residential property before 1 July 2000. – However, this may be waived if the buyer or spouse has an interest in a residential property but has not resided in it for at least six months.
– The homebuyer must not have received the First homeowner Grant from any other territory or state unless it has been repaid.
– The homebuyer must live in the property for at least six months.
Your conveyancer should be able to help you determine whether you and the home you are planning to purchase meet the eligibility requirements.
How to Apply
Applying for the grant is easy; you can either apply through your bank or financial institution or by submitting the appropriate form through the Office of State Revenue.
First Home – New Home Scheme
This programme began 1 January 2012 and gives eligible homeowners exemptions from transfer duty on new residential properties with a value of up to $550,000 and discounts for new homes from $550,000 to $650,000.
Additionally, eligible purchasers who buy a vacant piece of land to construct a home on will not have to pay any duty on empty land valued up to $350,000, and will receive discounts for land valued from $350,000 to $450,000.
In order to qualify for either duty exemption or concessions:
– The homebuyer must be an Australian citizen or legal resident.
– The arrangement must be for the entire property.
– The homebuyer must be 18 years or older.
– The homebuyer or partner must not have already owned property in any territory or state in Australia.
– At least one homebuyer must live in the residence within 12 months and live in the property for at least 6 months.
How to Apply
You can either apply through your bank or financial institution or by submitting the appropriate form through the Office of State Revenue.
If you are buying a property in NSW and are moving from a metropolitan area to a regional area, you may also be eligible for a relocation grant up to $7,000. Your conveyancer should be able to advise you on this.
If you plan on purchasing a new home, it should be noted that the Government plan to reduce the First homeowner Grant to $10,000 on 1 January 2016.
he Government is continually under pressure to introduce more grants and concessions that will make it easier for people to become homeowners. However, at this time there has been no information released about any new incentives being released in the near future.