Lodging your First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) application

Did you know that less than 20% of first home owners grant applications are lodged correctly the first time around?

We’ve created this guide to help first home buyers to put in a complete application which will be approved quickly.

If you do not complete the form correctly, delay sending in the form or do not provide the correct supporting documents then the settlement of your new home will be delayed!


What is the First Home Owners Grant?

The first home owners grant is a one-off grant payable to first home owners that meet particular eligibility criteria. It is designed to help first home buyers to enter the property market and is funded by the Federal Government however is managed by the State Governments.

The first home benefits vary between states as some state governments offer additional grants or have stamp duty exemptions or concessions for first home buyers. Please be careful as the eligibility criteria for these state benefits may differ to those for the first home owners grant.


How much is the First Home Owners Grant?

The first home owners grant amount will vary depending on which state you are in, if you are buying a new or established home, if you are buying vacant land and building and the purchase price of the property that you are buying.

For this reason we strongly recommend that you visit your state government’s website or call their first home buyer hotline to confirm the benefits you will receive.

You can contact your state government below:


First Home Owners Grant eligibility criteria

The first home owners grant is available to people buying or building their first home and who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Each applicant is a natural person i.e. is not a company or trust.
  • At least one applicant is a Permanent Resident (PR) or Australian citizen (NZ Citizens have automatic PR under Special Category Visa 444).
  • Each applicant must be at least 18 years of age.
  • All applicants and/or their spouse/de facto have not owned a residential property, jointly, separately or with some other person, in any State or Territory of Australia before 1 July 2000.
  • All applicants and/or their spouse/de facto have not owned on or after 1 July 2000 a residential property and occupied that property jointly, separately or with some other person in any State or Territory of Australia for a continuous period of at least six months.
  • Each applicant has entered into a contract for the purchase of a home or signed a contract to build a home on or after 1 July 2000. In the case of an owner-builder, laying of the foundations commenced on or after 1 July 2000.
  • The total value of the property does not exceed the cap amount (Cap amount varies between states).
  • This is the first time an applicant and/or their spouse/de facto will receive a grant under the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000 in any State or Territory (unless subsequently repaid).
  • At least one applicant will occupy the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months, commencing within 12 months of settlement or construction of the home.

Please note that this criteria is current as at the time that it has been published. You should contact your state government to confirm the criteria for your state as it may differ. In particular the cap on the value of your property does vary between states and in some states there is no cap.

Note that other first home benefits such as additional grants or stamp duty exemptions are offered by the state government and so may have different eligibility criteria.


How to apply for the grant

When you are buying or building a property then it is most common for people to apply for the grant via their lender. Lenders act as an approved agent on behalf of the state government and will process the payment of your grant with your loan funds.

If you are using us as your mortgage broker then we will assist you with your grant application free of charge. Simply call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online and we will email you the required application form and list of required documents.


First Home Owners Grant application forms

You can download a first home owners grant application form for the different states:

Please note that we try our best to keep the forms up to date however we highly recommend that you only use the provided for reference and refer to your Office of State Revenue’s website for all up to date applications.


Filling in the application form

Please call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online for a current copy of the application form for your state.

When you fill in the application form please do the following:

  • Use a black pen.
  • Write clearly with block letters.
  • Please include any former names or maiden names,
  • Use your legal name as per your birth certificate or passport,
  • The date you sign the form must be after the date on your contract of sale or building contract.
  • If you are unsure of any questions then please call us to discuss, do not guess answers!
  • If you make a mistake please cross it out neatly, write your correction next to that section and both you and your partner must initial the change.
  • If you make a mistake on a QLD or VIC first home owners grant application then please reprint the page that you made the mistake on.
  • Do not use white out!

The form must be witnessed by someone over the age of 18 (must not be a family member). If you and your partner are applying together then you cannot witness each other’s signature. The witness must clearly write down their full name including any middle names and residential address (PO Boxes are not acceptable).

If you are using us as your mortgage broker then please mail this form back to us along with your supporting documents.


Documents required

Contract of sale

All states and territories are required to submit a copy of the contract with every application form.

In Vic (contract of sale signed by all parties), NSW (vendor signed contract of sale) and ACT (vendor signed contract of sale) this must be a certified copy. For the other states the contract does not need to be certified.

If you are using us as your mortgage broker then we will contact your conveyancer, solicitor or settlement agent to obtain a copy of your contract of sale.

Identification

If your application is being processed by an approved agent such as your bank, then the required documents may differ to those listed on the form. Below are the ID requirements for applications lodged via a lender.

All ID documents must be certified!

If you are an Australian citizen:

  • Australian birth certificate issued by Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages, OR
  • Australian citizenship certificate, OR
  • Australian Passport (not accepted by NSW if you were born in Australia).

If you are a New Zealand citizen:

  • Current passport (NOTE: New Zealand citizens must be living in Australia upon completion of the eligible transaction)

If a citizen of another country:

  • Current Passport – Photo page, AND
  • Evidence of permanent residency or permanent residence visa such as the page of your passport showing your PR.
  • NOTE: At least one applicant must have Permanent Residency Visa or Citizenship of Australia

Additional supporting documents

All additional documents must be certified!

You may require additional certified documents in the following situations:

  • Married – a certified copy of your marriage certificate,
  • Divorced – a certified copy of your divorce certificate,
  • Widowed – a certified copy of the death certificate of your spouse/partner,
  • Separated – a statutory declaration with the following information:
  • The name of your former spouse/partner,
  • Former spouse/partner’s date of birth,
  • The date you were married or commenced your domestic relationship,
  • The date you separated,
  • Your former spouse/partner’s current address (if known), and
  • A statement to the effect that you do not live together and have no intention of resuming cohabitation.
  • If you have changed your name – a certified copy of the change of name certificate,

How to correctly certify documents

A certified copy is a true copy of an original document that has been sighted and certified by an authorised person such as a justice of the peace, solicitor or police officer. It must be noted as follows:

“I certify that I have sighted the original document and that this is a true copy of it.”
OR
“I certify that this is a true copy of the document shown and reported to me as the original.”
OR
“I certify that this and the following twelve (12) pages are a true copy of the document shown and reported to me as the original.” (For multiple page documents only. The certifier must sign the first page and initial each following page).

This certification must be on each document and have the:

  • Certifier’s full name including any middle names,
  • Title (position held) or qualification e.g. Justice of the peace or Solicitor,
  • Registration number (where applicable) and
  • Be signed and dated by the certifier.
  • Certifier’s clause note must be clear and readable, especially in the case where the certifier is using a stamp.

Do not assume that your solicitor, police officer or local JP will correctly certify your documents! Please check to make sure they have met the above listed requirements.


When will the FHOG be paid?

New South Wales

  • Purchasing a new or off the plan property: You can apply after settlement and will receive your grant within 15 working days of lodging your application.
  • Purchasing a home under a terms contract: You can apply after you have provided evidence that you have taken up occupation of the property and met the requirement/s of the residence. You will receive your grant within 15 working days of lodging your application.
  • Contract to build: You can apply after settlement and will receive your grant within 15 working days of lodging your application.
  • Owner builder: You can apply after settlement and will receive your grant within 15 working days of lodging your application.

Victoria

Applying through the State Revenue Office (SRO)

  • Purchasing a new or off the plan property: You can apply after settlement. Payment will be made within 14 days of lodging your application.
  • Purchasing a home under a terms contract: You must provide evidence of possession before you can apply. You will receive payment within 14 days of lodging the application.
  • Contract to build: You can apply after you provide evidence of the Certificate of Occupancy. Payment will be made within 14 days of lodging your application.
  • Owner builder: An application will only be considered after you are issued with the Certificate of Occupancy. Payment will be made within 14 days of lodging your application.

Applying through your bank

  • Purchasing a new or off the plan property: You can apply prior to settlement and receive your payment at the date of settlement.
  • Purchasing a home under a terms contract: Applications under a terms contract must always be made directly through the SRO.
  • Contract to build: Your grant will be paid at the date of the first progress payment.
  • Owner builder: Your grant will be paid when the bank receives your Certificate of Occupancy.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

  • Purchasing a new or off the plan property: You can apply prior to settlement and will receive your grant on the date of settlement.
  • Purchasing a home under a terms contract: Paid within 14 days of lodging the application with evidence of possession.
  • Contract to build: Payment made within 10 working days of the foundations being laid or your builder invoices you for your first progress payment (not the deposit) or on issue of the Certificate of Occupancy.
  • Owner builder: Payment made within 10 working days of the foundations being laid or your builder invoices you for your first progress payment (not thedeposit) or on issue of the Certificate of Occupancy.

Queensland

  • Purchasing a new or off the plan property: You can apply for the grant after you provide a copy of the registration confirmation statement showing your name of the title of the property.
  • Instalment purchase contract: The contract must have been operating for at least one year, you must have paid at least 10% of the purchase price or $20,000, whichever is greater, you are not in default of the contract and you have occupied the property as your principal place of residence.
  • Vendor finance: You must own the home under the contract.
  • All other home buying contracts: Must be able to provide a registration confirmation statement showing your name on the title of the property.
  • Contract to build: A final inspection is required with the OSR but when applying through your bank, you can apply on the first draw down of funds.
  • Owner builder: Approval subject to receipt of the final inspection report.

Tasmania

  • Purchasing a new or off the plan property: Paid to you on the settlement once you provide evidence to Service Tasmania of your settlement or when the title for the property transfers to your name.
  • Contract to build: Payment will be made following completion of the laying of the foundations if the home is financed, or on completion of a home that is not financed.
  • Owner builder: Payment is usually made on receipt of an occupancy certificate, proof of completion or proof of construction of your property.

South Australia

  • Purchasing a new or off the plan property: Payment made within 5 days of approval of the application, following proof of lodgement for registration with the Lands Titles Office (must complete a Confirmation of Settlement form).
  • Contract to build: Within five days of approval of the application following proof of the foundation being laid (must provide a evidence of the first progress invoice).
  • Owner builder: Within 5 days of RevenueSA approving the application lodged with appropriate supporting evidence.

Northern Territory

  • Purchasing a property: After you have provided evidence that your name has been registered on the Certificate of Title of the property (approximately three to six weeks after settlement).
  • Purchasing a home under a terms contract: Grant paid when you’re in possession of the property and instalments (excluding the deposit) of at least the amount of the FHOG have been paid.
  • Contract to build: When the foundations have been laid and progress payments (excluding the deposit) of at least the amount of the FHOG has been paid.
  • Owner builder: When construction of the home has been completed.

Western Australia

  • Purchasing a property: After you have provided evidence that your name has been registered on the Certificate of Title of the property (approximately three to six weeks after settlement).
  • Contract to build: Paid once you’ve provided evidence of the date of your first construction progress payment (for example, slab down) and your name registered on the Certificate of Title of the property.
  • Owner builder: After you’ve provided evidence that the home is ready for occupation and your name is registered on the Certificate of Title of the property.

Do you need help?

We help our customers with their first home owners grant application. Please call us on 1300 889 743 and we will assist you to complete the form, provide the correct supporting documentation as well as following up with the lender to make sure your grant is approved and paid promptly.

If you would like our help then please call us on 1300 889 743.

  • Natalie

    I’m an international student and my partner is a NZ citizen. We’re calculating our options to buy a home for ourselves, so just checking whether we’ll be entitled for a First home grant or not?

  • Hi Natalie, your partner is eligible to get a FHOG if he is residing in Australia permanently, however please note that he hasn’t received the grant earlier.

  • Gabriel236

    Hi, how much should the property I’m buying be worth more or less for me to qualify for the New South Wales New Home Grant Scheme?

  • Hi Gabriel236, the property you’re buying must not exceed $650k or if you’re buying vacant land, it must not exceed $450k for you to qualify for the grant. This information is directly from the NSW government website.

  • Holly

    Will I be able to use the FHOG as my home loan deposit?

  • Yes, you can Holly. However, it won’t usually be enough on its own as in total, you’ll typically need 5-10% of the purchase price. Please note that if you’re building a home then the grant will not be available until construction commences.

  • JJones

    How are mortgage brokers paid when their services are free?

  • Hi JJones,
    Mortgage brokers are paid by the banks for introducing new applications and for doing much of the work that would otherwise be done by one of their staff. It is like we are a bank manager that works for many lenders instead of just one. This outsourced approach is very efficient and benefits both you as you have more choice and the bank as they do not have to pay us anything if we don’t lodge applications with them.

  • Dorothy L

    Interesting. I’m great with numbers and I’ve been thinking of becoming a broker. Can you help me with some tips and advice?

  • Hi Dorothy,
    The path to becoming a successful mortgage broker starts out pretty tough but it gets better the more experienced you get and the more you pesevere. We have an extensive guide on how to become a mortgage broker so please check it out and feel free to leave a comment on the page:
    https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/about_us/become-mortgage-broker/

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  • LINH TRUC PHAN

    Good afternoon,

    I am currently under 457 visa and have owned a (paid-off) home solely under my name since 1st July 2016. My partner is holding PR and we moved in my home together on 1st Jul 2016, 4 months later we bought a piece of land and it will be tittled this Nov 2017, our building will commence on Feb 2018. Hope you could help me with some below queries:

    1. Can our 2nd home be considered as PPR as this is my partner 1st home, and can my partner claim for FHOG and duty exemption?
    2. We have a loan with a financial broker, they lent us $60K (I put my house as security) under investment interest rate, since this is my partner 1st home, can we have the loan under owner residential occupied rate? we will move to new home after it’s completed building and want to turn my house to investment?
    3. We have pre-approval for another $600K from the lender to pay for our land and building end of this year. We consider to change financial broker, could you advice steps and what fees likely to occur for change of the financial broker and new re-financing process?

    Thank you in advance
    Alice

  • Hi Alice

    I’ll assume that the home you have purchased is in Australia.

    1. Yes this can be considered your principal place of residence however this may affect the FIRB approval conditions for your first home. I’d recommend that you contact the FIRB to discuss before buying. Potentially this new home can be just in your partner’s name the loan can be in both names (we have some lenders that can accept this). Your partner cannot claim the FHOG or stamp duty exception as the FHOG is not applicable where a defacto partner or spouse has purchased a home in Australia before. Please contact your state’s first home buyer hotline just to be sure as FHOG conditions vary between states.

    2. Yes your new property can have owner occupied rates.

    3. You can cancel a pre-approval without any penalties. I’ll email you and cc one of our 457 visa specialists who can assist you with any questions about this.

    Good luck with your construction Alice!