When it comes to purchasing a residential property in Western Australia (WA), affordability is a major consideration. This is especially true for first-time buyers. Saving for a deposit and financing subsequent home loan repayments or construction costs can be a challenge. The government recognises this and has put in place a number of different grants, tax rebates and other initiatives to help make the home buying process more accessible. The government is also committed to easing housing supply problems (which may lead to inflated prices for first-time buyers). This is why many schemes to help first-time buyers are related to the purchase or construction of new-build properties, rather than an existing property. The most well-known first time home buyer grant is the Western Australia first home buyer's grant. Detailed below is key information on this grant, including eligibility criteria and property value limits.
The first home grant is a set amount of money which the government pays across to eligible WA residents as part payment towards their first home purchase. To apply for a first home buyers' grant Western Australian residents need to be purchasing a brand new property. This can be a property that they are purchasing from a developer, or one which they have commissioned to be built by a contractor (or are building themselves).
No. In Western Australia, first time home buyer grants are only available for new-build properties which have not been previously owned or lived in. Unlike other states, which occasionally approve a first home grant for a property which has been significantly remodelled, the Western Australia new home owners grant is for new-build residential properties only.
The grant is currently set at $10,000. Note that the grant is only available for properties of a certain value. South of the 26th Parallel, the purchase / construction must be less than $750,000 to qualify for a grant. North of the 26th Parallel, the purchase / construction must be less than $1,000,000 to qualify for a grant.
The first home buyers grant Australia wide is usually paid once the sale of the new property has been completed. If you are building your own property (or have contracted with a builder to do it for you), then the money will be paid once construction has started (this is usually once the foundations have been laid).When should I apply for the First Home Owners Grant?
Yes, the $10,000 government grant for first home buyers is still currently available. In some circumstances it may be possible to apply retrospectively for an additional "boost" of $5,000. The criteria for a retrospective boost are summarised here.
At the moment there isn't a specific end date planned. That said, there's no guarantee that the current level of grant will be maintained in the future. Some states have already dropped their grant rate: year-on-year grant levels are dependent on what's available when the government sets its spending budget. We suggest that if you have identified a property, you apply promptly to avoid missing out.
The eligibility criteria for the first home owners grant in Western Australia can vary depending on specific circumstances and the details can be found here. Some important general criteria that needs to be satisfied includes:
If you are confident that you satisfy the eligibility criteria, the next thing to do is to fill in the first home buyers grant application form. This can be found here. Your application will then be assessed with a view to deciding if you are eligible to receive the grant.
It can do! It's worth remembering that in most cases government grants for first time buyers are paid across once the sales transaction has been completed. Because home loan lenders often wish to see that the deposit is readily available before approving the loan required to complete the purchase, they may be reluctant to lend if part of the deposit isn't physically in your bank account. Other lenders are happy with proof of indicative approval from the government. Speak to your lender regarding their position on using first time home buyer grants as whole or part of a deposit.
No. Although the grant can be used towards a "home and land package", it can't be used towards the purchase of land alone. That said, if the land is being bought for the purposes of building a property, you can obtain stamp duty relief on a sliding scale, depending on the land value: for land that costs $300,000 or less, full stamp duty relief is available.
Married couples are eligible to apply for the grant, provided they satisfy the requirements.
It is a requirement of receiving the grant that lone applicants, or at least one person in a joint application, is a permanent Australian resident.
No. It's not usually possible to be given the grant twice.
In some circumstances, yes. First time home buyers grant Western Australia stamp duty relief is provided on a sliding scale. Properties which cost $430,000 or less qualify for a full stamp duty rebate. For homes which cost more than this, conveyancing tax (also known as stamp duty or transfer duty) is payable on a sliding scale, rising as the purchase price increases. Note the maximum property values to qualify for the first home grant: it's possible to be eligible for the grant at the same time as needing to pay some stamp duty.
Unfortunately not. Whilst it's possible to benefit from a stamp duty rebate on the purchase of an existing property, the Western Australian government clearly states that the purchase of an existing property isn't relevant for a first home buyers grant.
The first home owners grant offers first time buyers the opportunity to enjoy a welcome financial boost when it comes to the purchase of a new-build property. Although not an enormous amount of money, $10,000 can be enough to tip the balance in favour of a home purchase. Particularly if used in conjunction with some of the other benefits which developers offer to first-time buyers (for example access to low-cost home loans, partial deposit payments etc), it can make property ownership a more attractive and more realistic option. If you are considering property ownership for the first time, it is important to weigh up all the options that are available to you (including the purchase of an existing property) and make the decision that's right for you. In some cases, even with the inducement of a first home owners' grant, it may be more financially prudent to purchase an existing property. If you would like to find out more about the first home owners' grant, or would value some assistance in filling in the first home buyers' grant application form, we can help. We offer a one-stop solution to all your first purchase queries. No matter what your budget might be or what sort of property you are looking for, we are here for you. Contact the team at GJ Gardner now to find out more.The information contained in this article is not legal or financial advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional advice. Consumers should make their own independent inquiries and consider the need to obtain any professional advice relevant to their circumstances. Further information about the First Home Owners Grant is available at http://www.firsthome.gov.au/.