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I am a first home buyer – what am I entitled to?

The NSW Government has adopted the First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme. This Scheme allows certain first home buyers to claim a stamp duty exemption or concession on their purchases, and relates to buying an existing home, new home or vacant land in which a home is to be built.

A first home buyer can apply for a full stamp duty exemption for homes valued less than $650,000.00. For homes valued between $650,000.00 and $800,000.00, the first home buyer can apply for a stamp duty concession (reduced stamp duty). The amount is dependent on the value of the home.

In respect to vacant land, a first home buyer can apply for a full stamp duty exemption for land valued less than $350,000.00. For land that is valued between $350,000.00 and $450,000.00, a first home buyer can apply for a stamp duty concession.

In order to be eligible to apply for an exemption or concession, you must satisfy the following:

  • The date of the Contract is on or after 1 July 2017;
  • You are an individual and above the age of 18 years;
  • You must not have owned property and never have received an exemption or concession previously;
  • You must be an Australian Citizen or permanent resident (if purchasing with another, this only applies to at least one first home buyer); and
  • You must move into the property within 12 months after purchasing the property and live in the property for at least six continuous months (this just needs to apply to at least one first home buyer). If you are a member of the Defence Force and the other persons your purchasing the property with are on the NSW electoral roll, then you are not required to meet the living requirements.

If you are purchasing a property with another person who is not eligible for the scheme, you can still be eligible if you are purchasing at least 50% of the property.

If circumstances change and you are unable to move into the property within the prescribed period and/or live in the property for at least six continuous months, you are no longer eligible under the scheme and will be required to be pay the outstanding stamp duty applicable. Non-disclosure of your change of circumstances can result in further penalties being imposed.

The NSW Government has also adopted the First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) Scheme. This scheme allows for a first home buyer who is buying or building a new home to apply for a $10,000.00 grant.

In order to be eligible for the grant, there must be a contract to purchase a new home, building contract or it applies to an owner building their own home. The purchase price of the new home must be less than $600,000.00 and in respect to purchasing land to build a new home, the total price of the land and home must not exceed $750,000.00.

Similar to that of the stamp duty exemption and concession outlined above, the first home buyer must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

  • You are an individual and above the age of 18 years;
  • You or your spouse must not have owned property and never have received the grant previously;
  • You must be an Australian Citizen or permanent resident (this just needs to apply to at least one first home buyer); and
  • You must move into the property within 12 months after purchasing the property and live in the property for at least six continuous months (this just needs to apply to at least one first home buyer). If you are building a new home, then you have 12 months after construction is complete. If you are a member of the Defence Force and the other persons your purchasing the property with are on the NSW electoral roll, then you are not required to meet the six months living requirement.

If a first home buyer purchases an existing home that has been significantly renovated (majority of the house has been removed or replaced) and has not been lived in since the renovations, then the first home buyer, if they satisfy the above requirements, will also be eligible to make a claim for the grant.

If circumstances change and you are unable to move into the property within the prescribed period and/or live in the property for at least six continuous months, you are no longer eligible and will be required to repay the grant. Non-disclosure of your change of circumstances can result in further penalties being imposed.

Ordinarily, your financial institute will assist with applying for the grant. In the event that you require assistance with the grant and/or applying for a stamp duty exemption or concession as a first home buyer, please contact our property team on 02 4929 3995.

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