First Home Owners
2020 Complete Guide
The First Home Owners Grant QLD [Complete Guide for 2020].
Let’s get right down to the heart of the matter.
You want to get into your first home, and you are hoping to get money from the Queensland government to help you buy sooner. Or buy better.
This guides gives you the the simple breakdown of what you need to do to be eligible for the $15,000 Grant.
I have also added key information on how to get the new $25,000 HomeBuilder Grant as well.
Importantly, if you are hoping to use the First Home Owners Grant as a part of your deposit to buy sooner, I share really specific information on how to do that too.
So let’s get into it.
First Home Owners Grant Qld – Chapters
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What is the First Home Owners Grant in Queensland?
The First Home Buyers Grant is a $15,000 one off cash payment from the Queensland Government, towards the cost of a new home.
It is for people who are building their first home or buying a brand new home that has never been lived in before, in the state of Queensland.
It can be used for houses, units, apartments or townhouses.
Additionally we have the HomeBuilders Grant which is another $25,000, and you can be eligible for both.
1. Is the First Home Owners Grant still available in QLD ?
Yes. It certainly is.
The $15,000 Grant is still available for First Home Buyers who want to make Queensland their home.
If you sign a building contract or buy a brand new (never been lived in before) home from 1 July 2018 onwards then you may receive the $15,000 Grant as long as you meet the other criteria I cover in this guide.
The Grant is a national scheme that is funded by each state or territory. Originally the Grant started on 1 July 2000 at $7,000 to offset the effect of the GST on home ownership, increased to a peak of $21,000 then reduced to the current level of $15,000.
On 4 June 2020 the Federal Government announced the HomeBuilder Grant which is a $25,000 Grant for anyone who is building a new home, buying a brand new home or doing a big renovation.
Yes you can be eligible for both grants which means you get $40,000 towards the cost of building your home.
2. When does the First Home Owners Grant in QLD end?
At the moment, the QLD State Government has not announced any end date. Each year the Government sets the state budgets and they decide if they should continue or withdraw it.
The next QLD Budget was to be tabled in Parliament on 28 April 2020 for the 2020 /2021 financial year, however at the time of writing and with COVID-19, this has been delayed.
The $25,000 Home Builders Grant is due to finish on 31 December 2020.
Can I get the First Home Owners Grant and the HomeBuilder Grant?
This 1 minute Quiz will tell you.
In fact, there are actually four different Government benefits you could receive as a First Home Buyer in Queensland.
If you got all four you would get up to approximately $60,000 towards the cost of your new home.
1. Are you eligible for the First Home Buyers Grant and the HomeBuilder Grant in Queensland?
This Quiz makes it super easy to see which of the four Queensland government benefits you can get as a First Home Buyer.
It takes the hard work out of determining what you can access, so you don’t miss out on any of them.
You will not find a Quiz like this anywhere else.
It saves you from reading through many different Government websites trying to work our what you are eligible for.
As a bonus when you complete the Quiz, you’ll also get a handy little spreadsheet that summaries all the key information on one page!
All QLD First Time Buyer Benefits at a glance.
Also see Chapter 7 of this guide which goes through the other benefits in more detail.
QLD First Home Buyer Government Incentives
Can I use the First Home Owners Grant QLD as part of my deposit?
The good new is, yes you can use the $15,000 Grant as part of your deposit.
If you also qualify for the HomeBuilder Grant, then as of end September 2020, you can use the $25,000 as a part of your deposit.
In reality though, there is a little more to it when it comes to using a Grant as your deposit which I cover next.
1. How much deposit do I need saved?
The general rule of thumb is you need a minimum deposit of 7% saved, based on what you are spending in total.
If you are building, this is 7% of the total cost of the land plus the value of the building contract.
Or if you are buying a brand new home, this is 7% of the purchase price.
The 7% minimum deposit amount is a requirement of the banks and lenders when you apply for a home loan as they want to see you have saved some money yourself.
The 7% deposit is made up of two parts:
- Deposit to secure the property of 5% ($15,000 First Home Owners Grant can contribute to this); plus
- Buying costs of 2%.
Buying costs include:
- Government stamp duty (if relevant), transfer fee and mortgage registration fees; and
- Costs that you pay as the buyer, including the solicitor/conveyancing fees and building and pest inspections.
Actually, there is a bit more to it with the science of deposits, but this is a great basis to start with.
If you are in planning mode still, and wanting to know what your savings goal is, then aim for 7%.
If you are seriously looking to make some decisions, then please book a free 15 minute call with me and I can tell you exactly what you need to save.
In reality, how much deposit you need saved depends on the total amount you want to spend on building your home, the lender you have your home loan with and your personal/ financial situation.
How much deposit you need saved at a glance.
These are estimates. It is best to Book a Free Assessment so l can calculate exactly how much you need saved for your situation.
How much deposit do I need to for my first home?
2. Using the $15,000 Grant as a deposit when building a home.
To get a better understanding of how to use the Grant as a part of your deposit, first you’ll need to learn some of the basics about home loans.
It is actually the banks / lenders who set the rules for how much deposit you need saved, and unless you have amassed a fortune, chances are you will be needing a home loan.
When building a home, technically we call it ‘construction loan’.
Construction loans are designed specifically for building.
They let you buy the land first and then down the track, whether it’s weeks, months or years later, you can apply for the loan to cover the cost of building the home.
There are many reasons why you need to secure a block of land first before finalising the building contract.
For starters, you’ll need to make an offer on the land so no one else does.
Also the design of the home needs to suit the block of land so the designs may need to be modified.
There are a lot of decisions regarding the layout, styles, materials and colours etc to be made which can take you weeks or even months depending on how quickly you make your decisions and the turnaround time of the builder in getting back to you with a final costing.
When taking out each loan (land first then the build later) you will need to contribute approximately a minimum of a 7% deposit each time to get the loan approved by the lender.
But here is the crucial bit.
The $15,000 First Home Owners Grant can only be used as a part of the deposit for the cost of the build / to pay the building contract.
This means you will need to save money for the deposit for the block of land.
Given you need to buy a block of land first, you will still need to have some money saved yourself before you head out and sign any contracts to buy land.
There is one exception for when you can use the Grant as your deposit on the land.
This is when you buy a house and land package where the builder and vendor selling the land are affiliated so you apply for one home loan for the land and build in one go.
As I have already mentioned, at this point please book a Free Assessment with me, which is just a 15 minute call and I can give you the exact amount your need saved.
Case Study: Using the Grant as a deposit.
Say you are planning to buy a block of land for $300,000 and then the cost to build the home is $350,000.
In total you are spending $650,000.
Step 1: Getting a loan for the block of land
If the block of land is $300,000 then you need a minimum 5% deposit saved plus buying costs of an additional 2% to 3%:
- Minimum deposit required: $15,000 (5% of $300,000)
- Plus buying costs: $8,350
- Total deposit required = $23,350 (7.8%)
Because the Grants are not paid on blocks of land, you can’t use the $15,000 Grant or the $25,000 Grant as a part of this deposit.
You will need to come up with a minimum deposit of $23,350 for the land yourself.
Did you know you could get the Stamp Duty Concession on blocks of land instead?
This gives you up to $7,175 as a rebate, if you meet the criteria.
Make sure you do the Quiz in Chapter 2 as it will tell you instantly if you are eligible for the Stamp Duty Concession.
Step 2: Getting a loan for the building contract
The next step is signing a building contract to cover the cost of building the home.
This is where the $15,000 First Home Owners Grant and potentially the $25,000 HomeBuilder can be used as a part of your deposit (that is $40,000 in Grants in total)*.
In this example, we are spending $350,000 on the build:
- Minimum deposit to secure building contract: $23,500 (6.7% of the build cost of $350,000)
- In this example, the Grants can cover the the full deposit required
- Grant remaining after deposit has been paid: $16,500 ($40,000 – $23,500)
With the remaining funds of $16,500, it is up to you how you spend this.
In most cases, I recommend you actually put the full $40,000 Grant in as your deposit as it means you have a slightly smaller loan (it and may reduce your Lenders Mortgage Insurance paid).
‘*The QLD Government has just announced that you can use the $25,000 HomeBuilder Grant as a part of your deposit (as of end September 2020).
3. Using the Grant as a Deposit when buying a brand new home.
Using the Grant as a deposit when buying a brand new or substantially renovated home is simpler.
If for example, you purchase the home for $600,000, then you would need a minimum 6% deposit (plus buying costs):
- Minimum deposit required on $600,000 purchase: $36,000 (6%)
- Plus buying costs: $18,200
- Total deposit required: $54,200
You can use the Grant to help fund the $54,200 deposit required.
- Total deposit required: $54,200
- Less Grant: $15,000
- Deposit you need to save yourself: $39,200
In this example you would need to save $39,200 yourself to go towards your deposit.
I can calculate these figures exactly for you if you book a Free Assessment, which is just a short 15 minute call.
4. Caveats around using the Grant as a part of your deposit.
The key point I want to make here is that if you want to borrow money from the bank to buy your home, you need to show the bank that you are capable of saving money too.
Getting the Grants and using them as a deposit is a fantastic leg up, but by no means does it give the bank (who is about to take a risk on you), any evidence to suggest you have discipline with your money.
Banks love people who can reliably make their home loan repayments each month.
After all, if they are lending you money, they want to make sure they get their money back!
To help the banks/lenders determine who may be a little risky to lend money to, banks have done some research.
They found that people who show the behaviour of regularly saving and paying off debt, are more likely to be able to afford their home loan repayments today and 30 years into the future.
In fact those who make extra debt repayments (not just the minimum required on their credit card each month) are even more reliable at making home loan repayments.
Banks also know, that as a first home buyer, you may not have huge savings, but you probably have been regularly paying rent or a car loan, so they will consider this to be evidence of being able to make regular repayments.
The ultimate person a bank is looking for is one who is saving a few hundred dollars a week – their account balance is going up – and they are making more than the minimum repayment on their debts (like credit card/s).
This regular savings / debt repayment is known as ‘genuine savings’ in the banking industry and it is exactly that – money that has been regularly put aside.
Banks will look at your bank statements to see if you are actually doing this.
Given that the Grant is a one off payment, it is not considered genuine savings on your behalf.
This means (in addition to the Grant) you need to save money and / or show you are making regular repayments.
Some examples of the types of ‘behaviour’ banks like to see:
- Making rental payments for your place of living (at least 6 months worth);
- Making extra repayments to get rid of your debt – for example, on your credit card, if your minimum repayment is $500 a month but you decide to pay off $2,000 a month, then this extra $1,500 shows a behaviour of genuine savings. It is considered by the bank to be the same having saved $1,500 a month instead.
It’s important to know that making the minimum repayment on your debts, like credit cards or personal loans each month is not considered enough – you need to be making accelerated repayments to get rid of the debt.
Case study: genuine savings
Lily is renting a unit with a friend so her parents decide to gift her $20,000 so she can buy her first home.
Lily buys a brand new unit that has never been lived in.
Lily now has:
- Gift of $20,000 from family;
- First Home Buyer Grant of $15,000;
- Total of $35,000 to go towards her first home
Lily also has:
- A car loan – where she is paying off $117 a week in repayments (minimum repayment required is $70 a week);
- Been paying rent on her home of $450 a week for nearly a year.
Although Lily has not put money into a savings account herself, she has been making extra car repayments and paying rent.
This may satisfy the banks requirements of ‘genuine savings’ so Lilly may be able to get a home loan.
5. Do I need Home Loan Pre Approval before I buy a block of land?
As I have mentioned a few times before, when building a home you need to apply for your home loan in two goes (first for the land and then months later you apply for a loan to pay for the construction of your home).
This is how we approach home loan pre approvals at Blackk Finance when you are building a home:
- I do an ‘Informal Pre Approval’ before you make an offer on land, to make sure you are in a good position to be able to afford a home loan.
- You make an offer on the block of land so we apply for the loan on the block of land;
- At the same time we apply for a ‘Fully Assessed Home Loan Pre Approval’ to ensure we can get the loan for the ‘construction of your home’ as well.
- Once you sign a building contract, we can apply for the loan to pay for the build.
This approach gives you some re assurance (albeit not 100% certainty) that you can afford to build the home! We want to avoid the situation where you buy the land but the bank won’t lend you money for the build.
If you are buying a brand new home, then you probably do not need to get a Fully Assessed Home Loan Pre Approval. Instead a good Mortgage Broker will do an ‘Informal Home Loan Pre Approval’ which is where you get the benefits without the downsides.
Please feel free to give me a call if you want to know what you should do about a home loan pre approval.
When is the First Home Owners Grant QLD paid?
The $15,000 First Home Buyers’ Grant QLD is paid at different times depending on type of property you are building or buying.
When building (if using a Mortgage Broker), it is paid at either Deposit or Slab stage.
The payment usually goes directly to the Bank/lender you have your Loan with (so you don’t get the cash in your account).
For new properties it is paid at settlement (if you use a Mortgage Broker) and is usually paid into your bank account.
The QLD Government has just announced that the HomeBuilder Grant is also being paid at a time where you can use it for your deposit.
1. When is the QLD First Home Owners Grant paid?
The Grant is paid at different times, depending on the type of property (building V buying off the plan), the lender you use and how you apply for it.
2. Payment of Grant when building a home.
When building a home, the industry breaks the build into milestones or stages where payments need to be made to the builder.
The Grant is either paid at ‘Deposit’ stage or ‘Slab/Base’ stage, depending on which bank you get your home loan with.
Most of the time, the Queensland Office of State Revenue will transfer the Grant amount directly to your lender who will then pay it directly to the builder – in other words the money does not go into your account.
Grant payment at ‘Deposit stage’
If we choose a bank/ lender for your home loan, who pays the Grant at Deposit stage, then the Grant can be used as a part of your deposit to the builder (which is 5% of the cost of the building contract).
The way it works is…
- Your builder would send you an invoice for the amount due at Deposit stage;
- We send the bank the invoice;
- Bank transfers the Grant funds directly to the builder;
- Bank will draw down any remaining amount due from your construction loan or you may have your own savings to cover this.
For example, if your building contract is for $350,000, then the 5% deposit due to the builder is $17,500.
If you were receiving the $15,000 First Home Owners Grant, then the Bank transfers the full Grant to the builder. Then the bank will draw down $3,500 of your funds from your construction loan to pay the full invoice (or you may have $3,500 of your own funds to cover the payment).
Grant paid at ‘Slab stage’
If your lender pays the Grant at Slab stage, then the funds are transferred when your builder pours the slab for your new home.
The process remains the same as Deposit stage.
For example, if your building contract is for $350,000, then the 15% Slab stage invoice is for $37,500.
- If you were receiving the $15,000 First Home Owners Grant, then the Bank transfers the full Grant to the builder.
- Then the bank draws down $22,500 of your funds from your construction loan to pay the full invoice (or you may have some of your own savings to contribute here).
3. Payment of Grant when buying a brand new home which has never been lived in (including off the plan).
If you’re buying “off the plan” or buying a “brand new home” never been lived in before, you will receive your Grant at the settlement of your home (assuming we are applying on your behalf).
This is when you pick up the keys and get access to your new home.
Again, the money is transferred to your lender who will pay the vendor so you won’t get the money directly into your account.
4. Do I apply for the Grant myself?
No, I recommend that whoever is helping you with your home loan applies for your Grant – so either the bank or your Mortgage Broker.
This is by far the quickest and most convenient way to have your grant paid.
Once you have reached the milestone (i.e. Slab) it usually takes three to four business days for the payment to be processed and for the money to be available.
You can also apply directly through the QLD Office of State Revenue.
Who is eligible for the First Home Owners Grant in Queensland?
There are a number of criteria or rules that you and your partner need to meet to get the $15,000 First Home Owners Grant in QLD.
The main ones are that you can never have owned property in Australia, the home needs to be valued at under $750,000 and you are a permanent resident.
The Queensland Government requires you to meet all the following criteria in order to qualify for the full $15,000 Grant.
For eligibility criteria on the HomeBuilder Grant, see Chapter 7 and you can also do the Quiz in Chapter 2.
What are the main criteria to meet to be eligible for the QLD First Home Owners Grant?
The main rules to qualify for the First Home Owners Grant QLD are listed here.
Details are shown in each section below.
Key Eligibility Checks
⇒ The key “Prior Property Ownership’ requirement is you or your partner must not have previously owned or part-owned any property in your personal name.
Further details are:
If you are buying your first home with your partner or spouse, they cannot have owned property before either.
The definition of partner is you are married, or living together on a ‘genuine domestic basis’ for 2 years or more.
You can read more on that here with the QLD Office of State Revenue.
So if you are a first home buyer, but your partner is not, whether you get the Grant or not depends on how long you have been together. If you have been together for:
- More than 2 years – you are not eligible
- Less than 2 years – you may be eligible as a single person – you may need to consider title ownership, so best to call me.
If you are not eligible for the First Home Owners Grant, you may be eligible for the Stamp Duty Concession.
Previously owned an investment property
If you have owned an interest in residential property since 1 July 2000 that has been solely used for investment purposes, you may be eligible for the grant on a subsequent property.
You will need to show that you have not lived in the investment property by providing evidence that covers the entire period of ownership:
- Tenancy or lease agreements
- Electricity or phone accounts
- Tax return details declaring the rental property.
Other previous ownership
If you’ve previously owned property in a Corporate Trust, Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF), or in a Company, this may not be considered to constitute previous property ownership. It is best to call the Queensland Office of State Revenue yourself on 1300 300 734 to determine your eligibility in these circumstances.
⇒ You must be at least 18 years old on the date of purchase.
⇒ The Citizenship rules to qualify for the Grant are:
- You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident; or
- If buying your first home with a partner, then you OR your partner must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
- You must not have previously received a First Home Buyer grant in any Australian state or territory.
- If you’re buying with your partner or spouse, they must not have received the Queensland Grant or an equivalent Grant in any other Australian state or territory either.
New Zealand citizens with a special category visa must have a current New Zealand passport to be a permanent resident. You can check if your Visa is permanent or temporary here.
⇒ To qualify for the QLD First Home Buyers’ Grant, you must either:
- Build your own home (either as an owner-builder or through a builder you hire); or
- Buy a new home “off the plan”; or
- Buy a new home that has already been built but hasn’t been lived in previously; or
- Buy a “substantially renovated” home (see below).
Can you get the Grant if you are buying a substantially renovated home?
Yes you may be eligible.
Substantial renovations are when all, or most, of the structural or non-structural components of a building are removed or replaced.
Most of the rooms in the building must have been affected, and the renovations must have affected the building as a whole for it to be considered a substantial renovation.
Examples of structural building work are:
- Replacing or altering foundations;
- Replacing or altering floors or supporting walls (interior and exterior);
- Lifting or modifying roofs;
- Altering brickwork to replace existing windows and doors.
The Office of State Revenue does not consider a home to be substantially renovated if only cosmetic work like painting has been done, or a new kitchen has been put in..
Criteria to get the Grant when you are buying a home that has been substantially renovated:
- The home must be:
- Substantially renovated before you buy it (you will not be able to get the Grant if you buy a home, renovate it yourself and then try and claim the grant);
- It must not have been lived in since the renovation.
- The seller of the property must:
- Be registered for GST (or required to be GST registered) and the seller must be selling the property in the course of their business;
- Give you a tax invoice that shows the GST component of the renovation (as evidence that the sale is a taxable supply transaction);
- Provide you with a letter stating that the house has not been occupied or sold since it was fully renovated.
- You must also provide the Queensland Office of State Revenue with a final inspection certificate – a form 11 if your new home is a unit, or a form 21 if your new home is a house.
If you are buying a property that has not be renovated and you want to get the Grant:
- If you’re buying a home that hasn’t been renovated before you buy it, the only way to get the QLD first home buyers grant is if you were to demolish / knockdown the current property and build a completely new house;
- This will only work if you’ve got a substantial deposit – i.e. at least 20% and possibly up to a 40% deposit saved of the amount that you’re wanting to spend overall. The higher deposit is usually needed because of the issues of getting approval from your financier to remove the home already on the property. It’s quite rare and I’ve only heard of it happening a few times.
If you want to place a restored Queenslander on your block of land:
- You may be eligible for the Grant if you buy a relocatable home, like an old Queenslander and move it to a block of land;
⇒ Total purchase price of your property must be less than $750,000.
If you are buying a property “off the plan” or buying a “newly built property”, determining your purchase price is simple:
- It’s the total price that was on your contract.
- To be eligible for the Grant, the purchase price of your property must be less than $750,000.
If you are building your first home:
- To be eligible for the Grant, the total cost of your home must be less than $750,000.
- The total cost of your home can be calculated as:
- Cost of your land +
- Building contract +
- Additional construction costs (features or items such as fences, landscaping, or solar panels).
For example, if you buy a block of land for $350,000, sign a building contract for $400,000 and pay for fencing, landscaping, and a driveway for $15,000, then your total purchase price will be $765,000. This disqualifies you from receiving the Grant.
If instead you applied for a loan for just the price of the land and the building contract (totalling $750,000) then you may still be eligible for the Grant. Check with me first if you do this as there are some caveats around this.
⇒ These are the rules for when you must live in the home:
- You must live in your new home for at least six consecutive months; and
- This six months must commence within 12 months of the completed transaction.
If you are building, the date of the completed transaction is the date when you receive the final inspection certificate (right at the end of the build).
If you are buying off the plan this is the date of settlement when the title ownership transfers to you (when you pick up the keys).
If you fail to do this, you will need to pay back part or all of your Grant.
You may also be charged a penalty.
To qualify for the First Home Buyers Grant, you will need to have a signed contract:
- If building:
- Purchase a block of land which must be done before you sign a building contract. To learn more about building, read how to build a home step by step guide; and
- Sign a building contract for your new home.
- If you’re buying a brand new home or off the plan:
- Sign a purchase contract for your new home.
What disqualifies you from getting the QLD First Home Owners Grant?
If you haven’t yet, please take our eligibility Quiz as a first step to see if you can get the $15,000 QLD First Home Buyers Grant and the $25,000 HomeBuilder Grant.
Also be aware of what might disqualify you from getting the Grants.
In some cases you may be required to show proof and pay back the Grant.
Let’s briefly go through this so you are up to speed.
You may meet the eligibility criteria we have already been through, however there are some circumstances that may stop you from getting the grant.
- You are a trust or company (i.e. not an individual);
- The new property (home and land) is valued at $750,000 or more;
- You enter into an arrangement to get the Grant, but don’t use it to buy a new home;
- You held an interest in residential property before 1 July 2000, regardless of how the property was used;
- You buy or build your new home with financial help from a related person (who is not eligible for the Grant) who will also stay in the home often, for long periods of time, or for genuine family reasons (money borrowed from a bank or lending institution is not considered to be financial help);
- You or your partner are not aged over 18;
- You move into the home after one year;
- You live in the home for less than 6 consecutive months.
The Queensland Office of State Revenue regularly audits grant applications to ensure that you have complied with their requirements.
This isn’t surprising – they don’t take the idea of giving you the Grant lightly!
If you have found to have failed to comply with the requirements for receiving the Grant, you’ll most likely need to pay back your Grant along with any additional penalties or fines that the Office imposes upon you.
There are also penalties if you don’t tell the Office of State Revenue within 14 days of finding out that you are disqualified and can not meet the conditions we’ve talked about.
As such, it pays to do the right thing!
What Government Benefits can I get if I am buying an existing (already built) home in QLD?
If you are buying an already built home that has been lived in before, then you may be eligible for three different Government Concessions and Schemes.
Unfortunately you do not get the $15,000 First Home Owners Grant.
You may get the QLD Stamp Duty Concession and the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.
To get the $25,000 HomeBuilder Grant, you would need to buy your established home then do a major renovation where you spend at least $150,000 on the renovation.
Make sure you do the Quiz which will quickly give you an answer on exactly what you’ll get!
The Stamp Duty Rebate is available when buying an established home or on a vacant block of land to build on.
If buying an established home (already lived in)
The maximum QLD First Home Buyers Stamp Duty Concession you are entitled to receive is $8,750.
Key eligibility criteria are:
- At least one applicant can never have owned property in Australia before;
- Must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident;
Read more on full eligibility criteria in the Complete Guide for 2020 on QLD Stamp Duty Concessions.
This table estimates the saving you can make on stamp duty based on the purchase price of an established home:
QLD Stamp Duty Concessions [Buying an Established Home]
The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme helps first home buyers purchase their first home with as little as a 5% deposit (plus buying costs).
The benefit to you, is that you are not paying the Lenders Mortgage Insurance, which could mean an estimated saving of up to $16,000 if buying in Brisbane, or on the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast.
The key criteria to receive the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme is shown in the table.
Key Eligibility Checks
The Homebuilder Grant of $25,000 is a new Government Grant announced on 4 June 2020 to help the economy through COVID-19.
If you want to buy a home that has already been built and lived in before, then you can get the HomeBuilder Grant if you buy your home and do a big renovation.
A key criteria is that you must spend at least $150,000 on the renovation and sign the building contract before 31 December 2020.
As the QLD Government announces more information on this Grant I will update this page.
How to apply for the First Home Owners Grant Queensland
This Chapter is all about how to complete the Application Form for the First Home Buyer Grant and what supporting paperwork you need to provide.
Skip this Chapter if Blackk Finance is helping with your home loan as we complete the Grant application on your behalf and lodge it with the necessary supporting paperwork.
There is no cost to you to use a Mortgage Broker to do your loan or your Grant application, as we are paid by the bank when your loan settles.
We also advise you along the way on all the important stuff like steps to build a home and when payments to the builder are made.
How to complete the application form for the First Home Owners Grant QLD.
For our clients, we fill the Grant Application form out at the point where your home loan has been approved and you are signing the loan paperwork from the bank.
We’ll also need you to provide us with some additional paperwork. Some of it we already have from your home loan application and we’ll usually need a bit more.
The application form is fifteen pages long and has seven main sections:
This is your usual name, address, contact details, date of birth stuff that you’ve filled in a million times before, so it shouldn’t be too hard. There is space for two applicants here (e.g. you and your partner / spouse).
If for some reason there are more than 2 applicants (for example, you’re buying a home with your two siblings), you will need to attach an additional application form.
If you have a partner or spouse with whom you are buying your first home and claiming the grant, you’ll need to fill in this additional section (if not, you can skip to section 4).
In the fourth section you need to include your property address and indicate whether you’re building a new home, buying “off the plan”, or purchasing a new or substantially renovated home.
Only fill in this section if you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.
This is the part where you sign and provide your bank details so the government has the information they need to pay the grant to your lender.
Your signature must be witnessed by someone who isn’t an applicant. In other words, if you and your partner or spouse are both applicants, they can’t witness your signature. As you’re filling in the application form with us, we can be your signature witness.
If you’re applying with your partner or spouse, this is the bit where they sign. Once again, their signature must be witnessed by someone who isn’t an applicant – like us.
What supporting documents do I need to provide with my application?
The exact requirements will vary somewhat depending on your situation, but you will always need to provide ID documents plus the paperwork for your land and building contracts or purchase contract.
The additional documents we require can be your birth certificate, marriage certificate, passport and proof of citizenship.
As we’re completing your application for you, the only ID you’ll require is one document from “Category 1” (circled in red below) for yourself, and one for your partner or spouse if you’re applying with them.
If you were born in Australia, you must provide ONE of these documents:
- Australian birth certificate or extract
- Current Australian passport
If you were born overseas, you must provide ONE of these documents:
- Australian citizenship certificate
- Current passport and visa
- Certificate of residence from the Department of Immigration
These documents must be copied and witnessed by a Justice of the Peace (JP) or Commissioner of Declarations. This can be done in our office, or, if it’s more convenient, many Court Houses and even Libraries offer a free JP or Commissioner of Declarations service.
If you have a “non-applicant spouse” (a partner with whom you live with who will not be on your application) they will also need to provide ID in the second half of this section (circled in red below).
This section only applies under certain circumstances, such as explaining why your name may be different on various documents due to a name change, marriage, or divorce. We will take the time to help you determine whether you need to fill this section out or not.
In this part of your application, you need to provide a copy of your building contract or purchase contract and any other associated documents that prove you are buying or building a home that meets the eligibility criteria.
Purchasing your new home (including “off the plan”)
If you’re purchasing a new home (including “off the plan” properties), you must provide the signed and dated contract plus a final inspection certificate and a statement from the vendor that confirms the home has not been previously occupied. We should already have these documents on file from your home loan application.
Building your new home
If you’re building your first home, you must provide a “contract to build” which has been dated and signed by your builder and all your applicants. You must also provide one additional item that shows the value of the land. You can choose from the list of acceptable items on the application form. Again we will already have this documentation on file.
Frequently Asked Question on the First Home Buyers Grant
Here are the short answers to some of the most frequent questions we get asked about the First Home Owners Grant QLD.
1. Does my income effect if I get the $15,000 Grant?
No, the there are no income tests to get the $15,000 First Home Buyers Grant. You do need to meet banks lending standards to get a home loan approved.
2. What is the maximum I can spend on building a home to get the First Home Owners Grant?
You can spend up to $749,999 in total which needs to include the cost of the land, plus build plus any extras like driveway, landscaping, solar etc.
3. What happens if I move out of my home in less than the 6 consecutive months required within the first year?
You will probably need to repay the Grant back to Office of State Revenue. I recommend calling them before hand rather than having them find out.
4. Can I get the Grant if the property is to be rented out for a few months, beginning within the first 12 months of completion of the property, before I move in?
No you must live in the home yourselves first for at least 6 consecutive months before renting it out.
5. I intend to move into the home as soon as it is completed, but can I also rent out a room in the house to make money?
Check your specific circumstances with the QLD Office of State Revenue first on 1300 300 734 or you may need to repay the Grant.
6. I am buying with a partner and we are both first home buyers. Do we both get the Grant?
No, you only receive one payment of $15,000.
7. I am buying with a partner and only one of us is a first home buyer. Can we still get the Grant?
Maybe. It depends on how long you have been together. Best to call me to confirm. You may be eligible for a partial Stamp Duty Concession though.
8. I have never owned property in Australia before but I have owned a home overseas. Can I still get the Grant?
No, you need to be a genuine first home buyer who has never owned property.
9. Can I get the Grant if I have owned an investment property but I have never lived in it?
Maybe, there are some exemptions if you can prove the property has always been rented, for example with rental transaction statements from the managing real estate agent. Speak to the QLD Office of State Revenue.
10. Can I use the $15,000 Grant as a deposit to buy a block of land which I will build on later?
No, the $15,000 Grant goes towards the cost to build your home. You need enough savings to buy the land. So you can’t use it as a deposit to buy a blocks of land and then build on later. The Stamp Duty Concession covers the purchase of the land where you can get up to $7,175.
11. Can I get the $15,000 First Home Buyers Grant and the $25,000 Home Builder?
Yes you can get both, In fact there four different Government Benefits worth up to $60,000 (approximately) if you meet the criteria for all four. The easiest way to see what you are eligible for is to do the Quiz in Chapter 2 of this guide.
$25,000 HomeBuilders Grant – FAQ
Answers to the most common questions about the $25,000 HomeBuilders Grant for first home buyers.
If we are helping you with your home loan, we will apply for the HomeBuilder Grant on your behalf and advise you on exactly what you need to do.
It makes it nice and simple for you.
1. For how long is the $25,000 HomeBuilder Grant available?
You need to sign a contract with a builder between 4 June 2020 and midnight on 31 December 2020.
2. What type of contract do I need to sign?
By midnight on 31 December 2020, you need to sign a contract with a builder to:
- Buy an off-the plan or new home valued at $750,000 or less and construction had not started before 4 June 2020
- build a new home where the build amount and the value of the land (including any existing structures) is $750,000 or less
- substantially renovate an existing home, where
- renovations cost between $150,000 and $750,000
- value of property (home and land before renovation) is less than $1.5 million
- renovations cost between $150,000 and $750,000
3. What are the other eligibility criteria to get the HomeBuilder Grant?
These criteria apply to all persons, whether applying as an individual or as part of a couple.
- You must not have previously received a HomeBuilder grant in any state or territory of Australia.
- You must be at least 18 years of age. (Companies and trusts cannot apply.)
- You must be an Australian citizen at the time you apply.
- Your 2018–19 or 2019-20 annual taxable income must be below:
- $125,000 for an individual
- $200,000 for a couple.
- $125,000 for an individual
- You will be the registered owner on the title.
- The home will be your principal place of residence after completion or settlement.
4. I am a New Zealand Citizen – am I eligible for HomeBuilder?
No – you need to be an Australian citizen.
5. I am an Australian citizen but my partner is not – are we eligible?
No – you both need to be Australian citizens.
6. I am building a home – when does excavation need to start for me to be eligible?
If excavation and site preparation had not commenced when the contract was entered into, it must commence within 3 months of signing the contract. In limited circumstances, a 3-month extension may be granted.
7. I am buying an off the plan unit from a developer – am I eligible?
If construction of the site started before 4 June 2020, you are not eligible, even if you signed a contract after 4 June 2020.
8. When do I need to move into the property by?
You must move into your new home as your principal place of residence after the title is transferred to your name and live there continuously for 6 months.
9. When do I need to apply by?
After you have signed your contract, there is a 2-step process to follow with strict timeframes.
Step 1: Apply by 31 December 2020. Late applications are not accepted.
Step 2: Provide all supporting evidence by 31 October 2022. Documents supplied after this date will not be accepted.
If we help you with your home loan, we handle your HomeBuilder application on your behalf.
I have listed here a small snapshot of the eligibility criteria. For more information on your situation specifically, I recommend you call the QLD Office of State Revenue directly on 1300 300 734 or read more here.
My name is Victor Kalinowski and I’m a mortgage broker at Blackk Finance, with offices based in South Brisbane and Burleigh Heads. We help people buy homes throughout Queensland.
Please go ahead and book a free 15 minute call with me here if there is any way I can help you further.
The information contained within this page is general in nature. It serves as a guide only and does not take into account your personal financial needs. Before you act on this information you should seek independent legal and financial advice. Copyright Blackk Finance 2020.