First-Home Buyer Grants and Schemes

The Australian government introduced the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme as a way to support first home buyers to purchase a home sooner rather than later.
joseph@itssimple.com.au

joseph@itssimple.com.au

July 15, 2022

first home owner header

Owning your first home seems like a faraway dream, but what if you can deposit as low as $8,000 to unlock your first home?

Buying your first home costs more than you think. You must also consider stamp duty, conveyancing fees, and other upfront and ongoing costs. With the rising interest rates, petrol prices and cost of goods, entering the property market seems more impossible… Or is it?

Don’t lose hope because there’s always a rainbow after the rain! Here are five grants and schemes that may help you secure the keys to your dream home two years earlier than you expected.

key points

How much should you deposit for a home loan?

Usually, most lenders require at least 20% of your property’s value to ensure you do not pose a risk to them. If you deposit lower than 20%, you may suffer the consequence of paying the lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI).

LMI provides protection to lenders if you borrow more than 80% of the property’s purchase price. The amount of the LMI depends on your lender, deposit and loan. This insurance gives confidence to lenders to allow you to borrow up to 95%.

What’s the catch?

In context, if you want to purchase a property worth $500,000, you should prepare at least $100,000 if your lender requires a deposit of 20%. While that’s quite a lot of money, there are still ways to deposit as little as 5% or even lower without paying the LMI! The key is to know which grants or schemes you qualify for.

1. FIRST HOME BUYER GUARANTEE

The First Home Buyer Guarantee (previously known as the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme) is under the Federal Government’s Home Guarantee Scheme. This allows eligible first-time buyers to purchase a property with a deposit of as little as 5% without paying the LMI.

Under this guarantee, you can deposit as low as $20,000 instead of $80,000 if you purchase a property worth $400,000. That’s $60,000 less your worry!

Previously, this scheme only allowed 10,000 first-time buyers. From 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023, a maximum of 35,000 guarantees are available each financial year. There are 17,500 places for major bank lenders and 17,500 for non-major bank lenders.

first home guarantee

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the first home guarantee, you should be:
• An individual or a couple (married/de facto)
• An Australian citizen during the loan application
• At least 18 years old
• Earning up to $125,000 as an individual or $200,000 as a couple
• The owner-occupier of the purchased property
• A first-time buyer who hasn’t owned or had an interest in a property in Australia beforehand

While the minimum deposit under this guarantee is 5%, participating lenders may require more depending on your financial situation. Also, the maximum purchase prices (property price caps) are applicable and different based on the location of the property and the financial year.

price caps first home

We may help you secure your keys with as little as a 5% deposit! Get in touch with our expert brokers for free, and we’ll assess your situation and let you know if you qualify for this guarantee.

2. FAMILY HOME GUARANTEE

Being a single parent is hard, considering the cost of raising a child. Then, add in the increasing household expenses and the RBA’s 1.35% interest rate. With these in mind, can you save a deposit of 20%? Well, things just got harder.

What if you can save $72,000 on your deposit and only pay $8,000 instead? Is this even possible? The answer is yes! If you purchase a property valued at $400,000, you can deposit as low as $8,000 if you are eligible for this scheme.

Also, under the Home Guarantee Scheme, the Family Home Guarantee allows eligible home buyers to deposit as little as 2% without paying the LMI. This guarantee is available to single parents with at least one dependent child in purchasing a family home. The single parent can be a first-time buyer or a previous homeowner.

From 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023, there are 5,000 guarantees available each financial year. This guarantee can be used for eligible residential properties, which include an existing house, townhouse or apartment, a house and land package, land and a separate contract to build a home and an off-the-plan apartment or townhouse.

family home guarantee

Eligibility Criteria

You should:
• Be single (No spouse and/or a de facto partner. Note that being separated but not divorced is not considered single.)
• Have at least one dependent child
• Be the natural or adoptive parent of the child

The child should either be:
• A ‘dependent child’ within the meaning of subsections (2), (3), (4), (5), (6) and (7) of section 5 of the Social Security Act 1991 or
• At least 16 but under 22 years of age, receive a disability support pension within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991

You shouldn’t have:
• A freehold interest in real property in Australia
• A lease of land in Australia
• A company title interest in land in Australia

Like the first home guarantee, participating lenders may require more than 2% depending on your situation, and the property price caps apply and differ based on the location and the financial year.

price caps family home

3. FIRST HOME OWNER’S GRANT

Not qualified for the Home Guarantee Scheme? Don’t be disheartened because there are still other ways for you to enter the property market.

The First Home Owner’s Grant is one-time cash assistance provided to first-time buyers who meet eligibility criteria. The grant can range from $7,000 to $30,000 depending on the states and territories. Aside from the grant, you may also qualify for stamp duty exemptions or concessions based on the rules of the state or territory.

Eligibility Criteria

The criteria differ across each state and territory, but usually, you should be:

• An Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia
• At least 18 years old
• A ‘natural’ person
• Live in the house for at least six months

On the other hand, typically, you are ineligible if you or your spouse:

• Has previously received the FHOG in Australia
• Owned a property in Australia, either jointly or separately, before 1 July 2000
• Is a temporary Australian resident
• Is a company/trust

first home owner grant

It’s better to check with your state or territory if you qualify for the grant and/or stamp duty exemption or concession. Better yet, chat with our brokers for free, and they will do the hard work for you!

4. FIRST HOME SUPER SAVER SCHEME

Have trouble dividing your expenses and savings? Do you struggle to save for your first home? Well, there is also a scheme that may help you save and fund your home deposit in no time.

The First Home Super Saver scheme allows you to access your voluntary contributions from your super. Keep in mind that you can only request a release under this scheme once, so it’s important to assess the timing of your purchase and release request.

contributions you cant withdraw

Under this scheme, you can have a maximum of $15,000 contribution and release for one financial year. From 1 July 2022, you can have a maximum of $50,000 releasable amount across all years. You will also receive earnings in addition to your eligible contributions!

Eligibility Criteria

Some of the criteria you should meet to qualify for the FHSS scheme include:

• Never having owned property in Australia
• Being at least 18 years old
• Never had an amount released from superannuation under this scheme
• Occupying or intending to occupy the property soon
• Occupying the property for at least six months within the first 12 months you own it

You may still be eligible if you have previously owned a property in Australia if you qualify for a financial hardship leading to the loss of ownership of all property interests. You may consider talking to our brokers to help you assess your situation and simplify the process for you.

5. FIRST HOME BUYER CHOICE

If you are from NSW, there’s an incoming initiative that you may look out for. The First Home Buyer Choice will allow you to choose between paying an annual property tax or stamp duty for properties valued up to $1.5 million.

stamp duty or property tax

Eligibility Criteria

• To qualify for this initiative, you should:
• Be an individual (not a company or trust)
• Be over 18 years old
• Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (either you or at least one person you’re buying with)
• Never have owned or co-owned residential property in Australia
• Never have received a First Home Buyer Grant or duty concessions
• Move into the property within 12 months of purchase and live in it continuously for at least 6 months

While this initiative is not yet enacted, if you are eligible and choose to sign a contract of purchase on or after 16 January 2023, you will qualify for opting into the property tax and will not be required to pay stamp duty.

If you sign a contract of purchase between the passage of the legislation and 15 January 2023, you can opt into the property tax, but you will be required to pay stamp duty within the required periods. From 16 January 2023, you can apply for and receive a refund of the said stamp duty.

Ready to unlock your first home?

With the property market shifting to the buyer’s market, it may be your chance to purchase your first home at a lower price point. This along with the possible grants and schemes can help you secure your keys sooner!

We have access to over 40 banks and lenders, so you can look forward to more choices, greater deals and faster loans that match your goals!

Let’s turn your dream home into a reality and chat with our lending specialists for free. We’ll help you evaluate your situation and guide you through the grants or schemes you may be eligible for.

For a peace-of-mind financial journey:

Stay tuned for our upcoming blogs, and delve deeper into the big picture of purchasing your first, second or succeeding homes!

joseph@itssimple.com.au

joseph@itssimple.com.au

joseph@itssimple.com.au

joseph@itssimple.com.au

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