If you’re a first home buyer in Western Australia, here’s what you need to know about the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG).
FHOG provides eligible purchases with a one-off grant of up to $10,000 (This grant amount depends on the purchase price of your home – stamp duty is waived up to the purchase price of $430k). There are no income or assets tests to qualify for the FHOG. However, the current FHOG applies to new residential dwellings only (Either a build or never before lived in) and does not apply to established homes, vacant land, business premises, holiday houses or minor renovations to an existing home.
The 2015-16 State Budget abolished the FHOG of up to $3,000 for the purchase of established homes. This applies to contracts for the purchase of an established home entered into on or after 3 October 2015. However, contracts for the purchase of an established home dated from 25 September 2013 until 2 October 2015 will still be eligible to apply for the FHOG of up to $3,000.
First home owners who entered into a contract to purchase an existing property before this date will be able to receive the FHOG and first home owner rate of duty for a period of 12 months after completion of the eligible contract.
For purchases of established homes who entered into a contract on or after 3 October 2015, the first home owner rate of duty is still offered if the value of the home is less than $530,000.
To be eligible for the FHOG, you must fulfil the following criteria:
- Be a natural person (e.g. not a company or a trust)
- Be at least 18 years or over
- Ensure that at least one applicant is a permanent Australian resident or Australian citizen
- Ensure that each applicant and/or their spouse have not previously owned residential property anywhere in Australia on or after 1 July 2000 and occupied that property as a place of residence before 1 July 2004.
- Ensure that each applicant and/or their spouse have not previously owned residential property anywhere in Australia on or after 1 July 2000 and occupied that property as a place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months that began on or after 1 July 2004.
- Ensure all applicants reside within the home for a continuous period of at least six months
- Submit an application within 12 months of completion of the eligible transaction
- For eligible transactions commencing on or after 1 January 2010, ensure the value of the home does not exceed the cap amount. The cap amount is: $750,000 if the property is located south of the 26th parallel of south latitude, or $1,000,000 if located north of the 26th parallel of south latitude.
How to apply for the FHOG?
If you’d like to apply for the FHOG, you can access an application form from an approved agent or you can access the application form here (as seen on the Western Australian Department of Finance website). If you go through a mortgage broker, they should go through the form with you and submit it on your behalf.
You can apply for the FHOG and/or FHOR of duty once a contract to purchase or build a home has been signed. Keep in mind that you must apply within 12 months of completion of the eligible transaction.
To apply for the FHOG, you must:
- Review lodgement guide. This contains relevant information that you must read and agree to before completing your application.
- Fill out the application form. Complete all relevant sections of the form (the form can be accessed on the Western Australian Department of Finance website).
- Provide supporting evidence. You’ll need to complete the checklist to ensure all required supporting evidence is attached with your application.
- Lodge application. Once you’ve ensured that the information you’ve provided is correct, you can submit your application to your approved agent or the Office of State Revenue (OSR).
When do I have to move in?
All applicants must live in the home for a continuous period of at least six months commencing within 12 months of completion of the eligible transaction. You may be required to verify this later by providing documentation supporting your time of occupancy.
If you have any further questions about the FHOG grant, please feel free to give me a call on 0412411823.