Currently the First Home Owners Grant (FHG) at $20,000 is higher in Queensland than in most other states. However, with the offer having been extended once already, the likelihood exists that this could be reduced from Dec 31st, less than 4 short months away!

Perhaps you are desperately trying to put the deposit together so you can take advantage of the grant.  Well, what if you had an extra 4 months, or more, to put that deposit together?  Would that be a game changer for you?  The two properties featured here are examples of great value FHB properties where the land registration is not until December this year.  Interprop can offer you First Home Buyer entry level properties from $380,000 in many areas of Queensland and many of these lots will register in the first quarter of 2018.  This means that you can secure a property now with just a $1,000 fully refundable initial deposit and not make your final decision until 21 days after land registration when the balance of your 10% deposit will become due.

So, if you have an executed contract, subject to finance, prior to December 31st, and you meet the eligibility criteria (see below), you will be entitled to the grant, regardless of when title is given. This could give you an extra 6 months to save for that all-important deposit without risk. It also means that you have secured the land at today’s prices rather than the land prices in say 6 months’ time which could save you another $30,000 or more depending upon the location.

To be eligible for the FHG in Queensland you must be:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • An Australian citizen or permanent resident or be applying with someone who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • You or your spouse have not previously owned property in Australia
  • Building or buying a NEW home H&L or Ready Built New
  • Buying a home for $750,000 or less

You should also be aware that you must move into your new home within 1 year of receiving the keys and all applicants including spouse or de facto partner must live there for at least 6 months continuously in order to keep the grant.

Your mortgage broker can assist you with the FHG application and they will ensure that you have the necessary forms to make a successful application. With all of the correct forms the standard processing time for a FHG application is 10 working days but you should allow three weeks as a bare minimum.

This will only become an issue for Ready Built properties or Apartments close to completion where the timeframe between executed contract and settlement is weeks rather than months. With H&L packages you will have plenty of time to make your application. They will likely require a Final Inspection Report before they will actually release the funds though. You can apply for the FHG retrospectively, up to one year after final inspection, if it is a H&L package, again your contract execution date must fall before 31st Dec 2017 to be eligible for the current offer of $20,000.

Further information can be found at:
https://firsthomeowners.initiatives.qld.gov.au/ including the FAQs.

One such FAQ reads:  I have owned or currently own an investment property. Am I eligible for the grant on a subsequent property?  A: If you have held or currently hold an interest in residential property since 1 July 2000 and the property was or is used solely for investment purposes, you may be eligible for the grant on a subsequent property. You would need to give evidence showing you have not lived in the investment property.

If you have any other questions, the Office of State Revenue (OSR) contact centre number is: 1300 300 734

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