Can you buy an investment property and still be eligible for the FHOG?
Investors don't qualify for a First Home Owner Grant. But you might be able to claim the grant, live in the home and then turn it into an investment later.
The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) makes it easier for first-time homeowners to buy or build a home. The rules for the grant vary by state and territory, but generally require you to have not owned a property before, nor claimed any FHOG before. You also need to live in the property as your home for between six and twelve months.
If you buy a property to live in and claim the first home owners grant you generally need to live in the property first to satisfy the requirements of the grant.
You can find more information about the rules in each state and territory below.
New South Wales
If you're buying or building a new home in NSW on or after 1 January 2016 you could be eligible for a $10,000 grant.
You must be a permanent Australian resident or citizen and live in the home for at least six continuous months. The rules also state that you will be eligible for the grant if "you or your spouse (including de facto spouse) have never held a relevant interest in any residential property in Australia prior to 1 July 2000."
A $10,000 First Home Owner Grant is available to applicants buying or building a new home valued up to $750,000 in Victoria, or $20,000 in regional Victoria. The grant is not for investment. To be eligible for the grant, you must not have:
- Received a First Home Owner Grant in Australia
- Owned a home in Australia, either jointly or separately, prior to 1 July 2000
- Occupied an Australian home in which either of you acquired a relevant interest on or after 1 July 2000 for at least six continuous months
At least one applicant must occupy the home as their principle place of residence for at least 12 months, starting from within 12 months from settlement. You could convert your property to an investment after you have satisfied this requirement and keep the grant.
The Queensland Government’s First Home Owner Grant offers between $15,000 and $20,000 towards buying or building a brand new home with a value of less than $750,000. However, in order to qualify for the grant, you or your spouse cannot have previously owned property anywhere in Australia.
You must live continuously in the home for six months, and move in within 12 months of purchase.
In Western Australia first home owners can access a grant of up to $10,000. To be eligible for the grant:
- You and/or your spouse cannot have owned residential property anywhere in Australia before 1 July 2000
- You need to live in the property as your home for at least six continuous months.
South Australia's First Home Owner Grant offers up to $15,000 for the purchase of a new residential property (not an investment). You must be able to meet all of the following criteria:
- You must never have owned an Australian residential property before 1 July 2000
- You must live in the property as your home for at least six continuous months.
- You must never have occupied a residential property, in which they acquired a relevant interest after 1 July 2000, for at least six consecutive months
Tasmania's State Revenue Office administers the $20,000 First Home Owner Grant for the purchase and construction of new homes by first home owners. The grant will shrink to $10,000 is buying from 1 July 2020 onwards.
- Be buying or building a new home
- Live in the property as your home for at least six months
To be eligible for the grant, you and your spouse/partner must:
- Not have owned a home in Australia before 1 July 2000; and
- Not have owned and occupied (for more than six months) a home in Australia after 1 July 2000
The Territory Revenue Office offers a $10,000 First Home Owner Grant for the purchase or construction of new homes. You will only be eligible for the grant if:
- You have not owned any residential property in Australia prior to 1 July 2000.
- You have not occupied a residential property in Australia that was owned by you or your spouse on or after 1 July 2000.
- You must live in the property for a continuous period of six months.
The ACT Revenue Office administers the territory’s $7,000 First Home Owner Grant. You must not have previously received a first home owners grant anywhere. You must be:
- Buying or building a new or substantially renovated home
- Living in the home for a continuous period of 12 months
To qualify for the grant, you and your partner/spouse must:
- Not have previously owned or held a relevant interest in an Australian residential property prior to 1 July 2000;
- Not have occupied a residential property in which you acquired a relevant interest anywhere in Australia on or after 1 July 2000 but before 1 January 2004; and
- Not have occupied, for at least six consecutive months, a residential property in which you acquired a relevant interest anywhere in Australia on or after 1 January 2004
For more information about eligibility for the First Home Owner Grant, contact the revenue office in your state or territory, and read our guide on the grant.
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