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If you are a first-home buyer looking to grab a slice of the competitive housing market of Victoria, you should definitely not miss out on the cash support you can get from applying for Victoria’s First Home Owner Grant (FHOG).

The FHOG is a national support program administered by each state government that aims to provide first-time buyers with a one-off payment that they can use towards the purchase of their home.

In this article we’ll go through how Victoria’s First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) works, as well as:

First Home Owners Grant Victoria

Eligible first home buyers in Victoria can apply for the First Home Owner Grant if they are buying or building a new home.

How much can you get from the VIC grant?

Victoria's FHOG provides eligible first-home buyers with a cash grant of up to $10,000 they can use to buy or build a new home in the state.

The state previously provided an additional $10,000 for purchases in regional markets. This was for contracts dated 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2021.

You can use the amount that you get from the grant to boost your mortgage deposit or for other purposes such as making upgrades in your home or for the settlement of other costs related to the purchase of your property such as stamp duty.

What are the eligibility requirements to qualify for the VIC grant?

To qualify for the scheme, you must ensure that you and your partner have yet to receive any form of First Home Owner Grant in other states. You also have not owned a home or other residential property in the country.

You may still qualify for the grant if you owned a residential property but did not use it as a principal place of residence.

When applying, at least one from you and your partner should:

  • Occupy the home as the principal place of residence for at least 12 months, commencing on the settlement or the completion of the construction

  • Be aged 18 or over

  • Be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident

What property types are eligible for the VIC grant?

The grant is only available for new homes, which can be houses, townhouses, apartments, or units.

To be considered new, the property must not have been previously sold as a place of residence, occupied as a home, or used for the provision of short-term accommodation. In short, the first sale of the property must be for the one who is applying for the grant — in this case, you.

Similar to other state governments, Victoria also imposes a price cap for the transactions eligible for the grant. If you are applying for the Victorian FHOG, you must remember that the contract price of the home should not exceed $750,000. The same price cap applies to the construction of a home.

How can you apply for the VIC grant?

There are two ways how you can apply for the grant: either through your lender or directly to the state revenue office (SRO).

Applying through the lender

For the majority of applicants, their submissions are taken care of by their lenders. This is the ideal case if you need the grant for settlement or first drawdown or progress payment.

When applying through your lender, you just need to follow their instructions and provided the needed documents and information from your end.

Applying directly to Victoria’s SRO

If your lender is not included in the list of approved agents, you will need to apply directly to the revenue office. You must send the original application form that you can download from the Victoria FHOG site.

You will have to send the application form and all the other supporting documents you need to SRO by mail. The supporting documents include:

  • A copy of the contract for sale

  • A title search showing the applicant as owners

  • A statement from the vendor stating the property has never been occupied since the completion of the transaction

  • Final build cost statement from the builder

  • Evidence of the total value of the property

Take note that you need to complete your transaction first before you can lodge your application.

When will you receive the grant?

The date the grant is paid will depend on your transaction type and how your application is lodged.

Transaction type

Applied through lender

Applied directly to SRO

Purchase of a new or off-the-plan home

The grant will be paid at the date of the settlement.

Your application will only be considered after settlement.

Within 10 working days, your application will be reviewed. Once approved, the grant will be paid into your nominated electronic funds transfer (EFT) account.

Contract to build

The grant will be paid at the date of the first progressive payment.

Your application will be reviewed once you a Certificate of Occupancy is issued.

As with the previous transaction, your application will be reviewed within 10 working days. You will receive the grant through your nominated EFT account.

Owner builder

The grant will be paid on the receipt of the Certificate of Occupancy.

Your application will be considered once a Certificate of Occupancy is issued.

Within 10 working days, your submission will be reviewed. You will receive the grant through your nominated EFT account.

Terms contract

Applications for purchases under terms of contract must be made directly to the SRO.

Your application will only be considered when you have provided evidence of possession.

As with other transaction types, your application will be reviewed within 10 days. After which, you will be able to receive the grant through your nominated EFT account.

Can first home buyers get stamp duty discounts in VIC?

Stamp duty is an often forgotten cost but there are stamp duty concessions available for first home buyers in Victoria.

VIC stamp duty concessions for first home buyers

If you bought your first home on or after 1 July 2017, you may be eligible for an exemption or concession from stamp duty. This concession is available to eligible first home buyers in addition to the FHOG.

You will be able to waive stamp duty when your property’s value does not exceed $600,000. Meanwhile, the concession will apply for properties valued between $600,001 and $750,000.

An exemption or concession is also available for the purchase of vacant land.

Off-the-plan concession

You may receive a duty concession as a first-home owner buying an off-the-plan land and building package or a refurbished lot.

The duty is paid only on the improved value of the land, as the concession deducts the costs of the current concession or refurbishment from the contract price of the home.

You can visit the Victorian State Revenue Office website to know more about these support programs available for first-home buyers.

What other VIC schemes and grants can first home buyers use?

First home buyers in Victoria have plenty more options when it comes to incentives and schemes to help them get a leg up onto the property ladder faster. They can even combine some of these schemes with the FHOG and stamp duty concessions, potentially providing thousands in savings.

The New Home Guarantee

Formerly known as the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS), the New Home Guarantee allows first home buyers to purchase a home with as little as a 5% deposit (while avoiding LMI) while the government will guarantee the remaining amount up to 15%.

The scheme is available from 27 specific lenders, is subject to price caps and availability, and is available only for new homes.

The Family Home Guarantee

The Family Home Guarantee allows up to 10,000 single parents over four years (2,500 per year) to qualify for a home loan with as little as a 2% deposit without having to pay LMI. The government will guarantee up to 18%.

The scheme is available to previous owner-occupiers as well as first home buyers; has a maximum annual income cap of $125,000; must be for principal & interest (P&I) repayments, and for loans no longer than 30 years.  

The First Home Super Saver Scheme

The First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) allows first home buyers to utilise their super fund to help them save for a deposit.

Under the scheme, a first home saver can salary sacrifice up to $15,000 of their wages per year towards the FHSSS (taking advantage of a discounted tax rate of 15%) where the funds will earn a deemed rate of return (currently 3.04% p.a.). A maximum of $30,000 can be put towards the scheme (although this is set to increase to $50,000 in July 2022). When ready to buy a house, this money can be withdrawn (along with the earnings) for use as a deposit.

Read more about First Home Owner/Buyer Grants:

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