Can you buy an investment property and still be eligible for the FHOG?

If you buy an investment property, are you still eligible for the First Home Owner Grant? Well, this depends on where you live.

Can you get an investment property and still get the FHOGThe First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) makes it easier for first-time homeowners to buy or build a home. Introduced in 2000, it was designed to counter the detrimental effect of the goods and services tax (GST) on buying or building a home.

The grant is offered as a lump-sum payment to first home buyers who buy or build a residential property and then live in it. The amount you receive from the FHOG and whether or not you are eligible for the grant varies between states and territories, but you can never receive a grant if you’ve already received one elsewhere in Australia.

The FHOG is only available for the purchase of owner-occupied properties, not investment properties. So if you decide to buy an investment property first and then later decide to buy your first home, will you still be eligible for the grant on the latter purchase?

To find the answer, you’ll need to look at the grant regulations specific to where you live.

In NSW, the First Home Owner Grant is managed by the Office of State Revenue (OSR) and offers a grant amount of $10,000 for eligible transactions made on or after 1 January 2016. There are several eligibility requirements that must be met such as being a permanent Australian resident or citizen and living 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.”

So you may be eligible for the FHOG if you’ve only had a relevant interest in any residential property in Australia on or after 1 July 2000, if you never resided in that property for at least six continuous months and if you’ve never claimed the grant.

Victoria’s State Revenue Office is responsible for offering the $10,000 grant to applicants buying or building their first new home. 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

So if you purchased your investment property on or after 1 July 2000 and you didn’t live in it for a period of six consecutive months, you may be eligible for the FHOG. Check the other eligibility criteria for more information.

The Queensland Government’s Great Start Grant offers $15,000 of financial support to residents buying or building a new home. However, in order to qualify for the grant, you or your spouse cannot have previously owned property anywhere in Australia.

So if you’ve previously purchased an investment property, you may not qualify for the Great Start Grant in Queensland.

In Western Australia, the state government’s Office of State Revenue oversees the $10,000 grant for new homes. To be eligible for the grant:

  • You and/or your spouse cannot have owned residential property anywhere in Australia before 1 July 2000
  • You and/or your spouse cannot have previously owned residential property anywhere in Australia on or after 1 July 2000 and lived in that property as a place of residence before 1 July 2004
  • You and/or your spouse cannot have previously owned residential property anywhere in Australia on or after 1 July 2000 and lived in that property as a place of residence for at least six consecutive months that began on or after 1 July 2004

So depending on when you purchased your investment property, you may still be eligible for a FHOG.

If you want to qualify for the First Home Owner Grant from RevenueSA, you must be able to meet all of the following criteria:

  • Must never have owned an Australian residential property before 1 July 2000
  • Must never have occupied a residential property, in which they acquired a relevant interest after 1 July 2000, for at least six consecutive months

If you satisfy these criteria and meet all other eligibility requirements, you may apply for the grant.

The Territory Revenue Office offers a $26,000 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 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

If satisfy the rest of the eligibility criteria, you may be eligible for the FHOG.

Tasmania’s State Revenue Office administers the $10,000 First Home Owner Grant for the purchase and construction of new homes by first home owners. 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

If you meet all the other criteria, you can apply for the grant.

The ACT Revenue Office administers the territory’s $10,000 First Home Owner Grant. 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

Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to qualify for the First Home Owner Grant if you have previously purchased an investment property.

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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16 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    LynneAugust 18, 2017

    I legally separated from my husband OCT 2016, I have never had property in my name but he has, am I eligible for the first home owners grant?

    • Staff
      JonathanAugust 18, 2017Staff

      Hello Lynne,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      If you are divorced or separated, you are not required to consider the ownership of your previous spouse/domestic partner. You will be eligible for FHOG provided that you meet all eligibility criteria. It may be necessary for you to provide a copy of your divorce certificate or statutory declaration to confirm the separation.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  2. Default Gravatar
    MikaelaAugust 7, 2017

    Just wondering if I’d be eligible for FHOG if I purchased a brand new home in NSW that is already built but hasn’t been lived in? Thanks

    • Staff
      JonathanAugust 8, 2017Staff

      Hello Mikaela,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      A new home is defined as a home that has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence and includes a home that has been substantially renovated and a home built to replace demolished premises. Your eligibility will be based on the date of the contract to purchase or build a home. o qualify for the First Home Owner Grant, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

      – Each applicant is a natural person and not a company or trust.
      – At least one applicant is a permanent resident or Australian citizen.
      – Each applicant must be at least 18 years of age.
      – All applicants and/or their spouse/de facto have not owned a residential property, jointly, separately or with some other person, in any State or
      Territory of Australia before July 2000.
      – All applicants and/or their spouse/de facto have not previously owned a residential property jointly, separately or with some other person in any
      State or Territory of Australia, and occupied that property for a continuous period of at least six months.
      – Each applicant has entered into a contract for the purchase of a home or signed a contract to build a home on or after 1 July 2000. In the case of
      an owner-builder, laying of the foundations commenced on or after 1 July 2000.
      – The total value of the property does not exceed the cap amount for eligible transactions which commenced on or after 1 January 2010. The cap amount
      is reviewed annually and the cap applicable to your application is determined by the commencement date of the eligible transaction. This is the
      date of the contract to purchase or build a home or, for an owner builder, the date the laying of foundations commenced.
      – This is the first time an applicant and/or their spouse/de facto will receive a grant under the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000 in any State or
      Territory (unless subsequently repaid).
      – At least one applicant will occupy the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of 6 months, commencing within 12 months
      of settlement or construction of the home. Where an applicant was a member of the permanent forces of the Australian Defence Force and all
      applicants were enrolled on the NSW electoral roll, as at the commencement date of the eligible transaction, dated on or after 21 October 2009,
      then all applicants are exempt from the residence requirement.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  3. Default Gravatar
    KarleneAugust 3, 2017

    I have an investment property, which I have never lived in. Am I eligible for the FHOG to purchase a property to live in?

    • Staff
      ArnoldAugust 3, 2017Staff

      Hi Karlene,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Yes, you may still be able to apply for the FHOG depending on each state. Each state has their own eligibility criteria and the guide above shows them. Please scroll up to the part where the states are shown and please click each for the criteria.

      Hope this information helped.

      Cheers,
      Arnold

  4. Default Gravatar
    SergeyAugust 3, 2017

    Hi, we are on student visa with my wife (not permanent residents).
    We are currently purchasing apartment (off the plan, joint ownership) to live in.
    In 1-2 years we will apply for permanent residence and want to buy a house.
    Will we be considered first time home owners?

    • Staff
      ArnoldAugust 5, 2017Staff

      Hi Sergey,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Eligibility requirements for FHOG are:

      1. You must be a first home buyer as a person, not as a company or trust.
      2. At least one applicant must be a permanent resident or Australian citizen.
      3. Each applicant must be at least 18 years old.
      4. You or your spouse, partner or co-purchaser must not have previously owned an interest in land in Australia which had a residence on it, before 1 July 2000.
      5. You or your spouse or partner cannot have lived in a residential property which you owned from 1 July 2000.
      6. You or your spouse, partner or co-purchaser may not have claimed the grant previously.
      7. You must occupy your first home as your principal place of residence within 12 months of the construction or purchase of your home and the minimum period of occupancy is six continuous months.

      Please take the time to read our Guide to FHOG here.

      Hope this information helped.

      Cheers,
      Arnold

  5. Default Gravatar
    LukeJuly 20, 2017

    Hi there, if I purchase a property first as an investment property but a couple years later I decide to buy another property as owner-occupied, will I be eligible for the FHOG? It’s in NSW. Thanks.

    • Staff
      JonathanAugust 2, 2017Staff

      Hello Luke,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Yes, you may still be qualified for FHOG. You may refer to this page to know more in depth about the qualifications for NSW residents.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  6. Default Gravatar
    CurioJune 5, 2017

    Is it possible to obtain an investment property loan, rent property for 6 months, change loan type to owner occupied, remove tenant and reside at address and obtain the first home owners grant that way?

    • Staff
      AnndyJune 6, 2017Staff

      Hi Curio,

      Thanks for your question.

      Kindly note that the general rule to be eligible for FHOG is that you must occupy your first home as your principal place of residence within 6 or 12 months of the construction or purchase (depending on your state) of your home and the minimum period of occupancy is six continuous months.

      Moreover, the eligibility criteria for the type of home that will qualify as FHOG vary across the different states. It would be good to reach out to the agency that handles FHOG in your area to discuss your eligibility.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  7. Default Gravatar
    HimanFebruary 8, 2017

    Hi

    We (my wife and I) are looking at purchasing off the plan property to live in.

    My wife has a property in perth which she bought 5 years ago and used first home grant to buy that property.

    For me personally this will be my first property therefore I wish to know if I qualify for first home grant.

    Thanks

    Will

    • Staff
      AnndyFebruary 9, 2017Staff

      Hi Himan,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please note that certain grant regulations are specific to the place you live, but generally, to qualify for the First Home Loan Grant, you or your spouse, partner or co-purchaser may not have claimed the grant previously. You can check this page for more information.

      You may also get in touch with the local agency in your area that handles FHOG to confirm your eligibility.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  8. Default Gravatar
    VivianaFebruary 1, 2017

    Hi I bought a house on NSW in 1999 ,before the FHOG ,also I bought 3 other houses around 2004 but I never claimed or asked for FHOG ,this means can I still claim anything ? After the massive global financial crisis I lost everything ,and Is hard to buy a house with no deposit , I asked around specially to realtors and financial advisers,they always said that I wasn’t entitled to FHOG.
    Can you please help me ,thank you

    • Staff
      MayFebruary 2, 2017Staff

      Hi Viviana,

      Thank you for your question and for contacting finder.com.au we are a financial comparison website and general information service we are not mortgage specialists so can only offer general advice.

      The general rule to be eligible for FHOG is that you are buying or building your first home in Australia, and will occupy the property as your principal place of residence within 12 months of the settlement and live in it continuously for at least six months. The grant and duty concessions vary from state to state, so you’d be best to visit your state’s office of revenue website and find out if you’re eligible. You can also find a guide on FHOG by state here.

      Cheers,
      May

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