If you’re buying or building your first home in Queensland, you may be eligible for the $15,000 first home buyers’ grant. Read on to learn what you need to do and how we help you apply for it.
By: BLACKK MORTGAGE BROKERS
How do I get the $15,000 building grant?
You are eligible to apply for the $15,000 building grant if you’ve never owned a property, and you’re either ‘building’ or ‘buying a brand new home’ in the sunshine state.
The $15,000 building grant (also known by it’s official name, Queensland first home buyers grant) is a state sponsored one off payment designed to go towards the cost of your new home.
This post is for those buying or building a brand new home, however if your buying an already established home you may be eligible for a saving on the stamp duty payable.
Table 1: Quick answers to the top 3 questions about the building grant.
Why is the building grant no longer $2o,000?
The $20,000 Queensland first home buyers’ grant is only available until midnight on 30 June 2018 for first-time home owners who sign a contract to purchase a brand new home or sign a contract to with a builder to build a home between 1 July 2016 and midnight 30 June 2018. If you’re buying a brand new home, the property does not need to have settled by midnight on 30 June 2018, you just need to have signed the contract.
After this date, the grant will revert back to the original $15,000 one-off payment. Keep an eye on this page for updates.
What grants and rebates am I eligible for as a first time home builder?
What you can get from the Queensland government depends on the type of property you’re buying or building.
Buying land and building your first home
- If you’re building a new home in Queensland, you are probably eligible for the building grant ($15,000) and the stamp duty rebate on the vacant land you buy.
Buying your first home (brand-new) home
- If you’re buying a home “off the plan” or buying a brand new home that’s never been lived in before, you should be eligible for the $15,000 first home buyers’ grant and the saving on the stamp duty.
I think we can probably agree this is pretty amazing!
Buying an established home
If you’re a first-time home owner buying an established home you’re eligible for the saving on the stamp duty only.
Table 2: What might I be eligible for based on the type of home?
What do you need to do to qualify for the full $15,000?
To qualify for the $15,000 building grant, you (and your partner or spouse) must meet several criteria which we’ll talk about specifically.
The main and most important criteria is you have never owned a property (or a share in a property) in your personal name in Australia previously, and:
If you’re building:
- Purchase a block of land which must be done before you sign a building contract.
- Sign a building contract for your new home with Arcadia Homes QLD
If you’re buying a brand new home:
- Sign a purchase contract for your new home
At the moment there is no date for when the $15,000 grant will end. Keep an eye on this page for updates.
Can you use your $15,000 grant for your home loan deposit?
Yes, you certainly can!
We definitely recommend that you factor your $15,000 grant into your calculations.
Typically, the grant helps people like you buy or build your new home sooner – or it gives you more of a buffer to do so.
Nearly everyone who is buying or building their first home needs to take out a loan, as they don’t have the money saved to buy the land and pay for the building outright.
When you’re building, this is often called either a building or construction loan.
You can use your $15,000 Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant as all or part of your deposit when you apply for a the building portion of your construction loan or mortgage (the stamp duty rebate is paid on the cost of the land).
Of course, if you’re building, there are additional things to consider, such as the timing for when you get access to your grant and when you need to pay your deposit to your builder in order to get started.
Typically in most situations you pay the builder a 5% deposit upfront to get started, which covers the cost of the building appraisal, council approval, working drawings, council fees, application fees, QBCC fees and insurance.
When is your grant paid?
The $15,000 first home buyers’ grant is paid at different times depending both on how and when you applied for it, and on what type of property you’re building or buying.
Building your first home
If you’re like most of our first-time home owner clients who come to us, you’ll receive your grant at the “slab stage” (when your builder pours the slab for your new home – see more about the steps to build your home).
The grant will therefore be part of the second payment that’s made to your builder, as you will have already paid them a deposit (normally 5%) prior to getting started.
The Queensland Office of State Revenue transfers your $15,000 to your lender, and your bank will then pay the builder on your behalf. In other words, the money won’t go directly into your bank account – it’s passed straight onto your builder.
Buying your first home “off the plan”
If you’re buying “off the plan”, you’ll receive your $15,000 grant at the settlement of your home.
Once again, the processing of your first home buyers’ grant is handled by your lender. This is by far the quickest and most convenient way to have your grant paid and once again it becomes a part of your deposit.
In our experience, it’s faster to have the grant handled by ourselves and your lender, which usually takes three to four business days before. In contrast, applying directly through the Office of State Revenue yourself usually takes at least three weeks or more to process your grant payment.
What other rules apply to be eligible for the $15,000 first home buyers grant?
As we mentioned earlier, you must meet several eligibility criteria in order to successfully apply for the full $15,000 grant.
This includes rules about the type of property you’re purchasing, your age and residency status, and whether or not you’ve received this grant (or a similar one) previously.
1 – Previous property ownership
The first home buyers’ grant is to help people like you purchase your first home.
This means you must not have previously owned or part-owned any property in your personal name.
If you’re buying your first home with your partner or spouse, they cannot have owned property before either. (If they have owned property before and they meet the definition of a “partner” according to the Queensland Office of State Revenue, you will not be eligible for the $15,000 grant, but you may still be able to claim the stamp duty rebate. More on that in a moment.)
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. (To determine your eligibility in these circumstances,
2 – Property type
To qualify for the first home buyers’ grant, you must either:
- Build your own home through Arcadia Homes QLD
- Buy a new home “off the plan”
- Buy a new home that has already been built but hasn’t been lived in previously
- Buy a “substantially renovated” home**
** A substantially renovated home is a home that’s been almost completely knocked down and then fully rebuilt. This home must be renovated BEFORE you buy it – you can’t buy a home and then renovate it yourself. To qualify for the grant on a substantially renovated home, you must also provide the Queensland Office of State Revenue with a final inspection certificate – a form 11 if your hew home is a unit, or a form 21 if your new home is a house.
3 – Property purchase price
To be eligible for the $15,000 first home buyers’ grant, the total purchase price of your property must be less than $750,000.
If you’re buying “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.
If you’re building your first home, the total purchase price will be the cost of your land plus the cost of the building contract, plus any additional construction costs (features or items such as fences, landscaping, or solar panels). So, for example, if you buy a block of land for $379,000, sign a building contract for $298,900, and pay for fencing, landscaping, and a driveway for $31,400, then your total purchase price will be $709,300.
4 – Home occupancy
Another key criterion is home occupancy. To receive the $15,000 grant, you must live in your new home for at least six consecutive months, commencing within 12 months of your purchase date.
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.
we recommend contact the Queensland Office of State Revenue directly on 1300 300 734.)
5 – Age and citizenship / residency
nother key requirement for receiving the first home buyers’ grant is that you must be at least 18 years old on the date of purchase.
You must also be an Australian citizen or permanent resident – or, if you’re buying your first home together, then you OR your partner or spouse must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
6 – Grant history
The final eligibility criterion for the Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant is that 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 either.
For those in a ‘new’ relationship with their partner
It’s very important to understand the status of your relationship as seen by the Queensland Office of State Revenue.
In their eyes, under the Act, you are “partners” if you have been together as a couple for two or more years.
This timeframe is significant, because it may impact whether or not you are eligible for the $15,000 grant.
Not sure what to do next? Contact Arcadia Homes QLD at firstname.lastname@example.org
and we can run you through everything you need to know.