First Home Buyers: What Do You Need To Know About Government Fees And Grants?

Purchasing your own home will be, for many people, the most important purchase of their lives. It takes time, effort and a lot of money to start saving for a deposit, but there are government schemes and grants targeted at getting people into their first homes that can give you the head start you may be looking for.


There a number of state-based grants that people may be eligible for. It pays to do your homework, because securing a grant might get you over the 20% deposit line and remove the need to incur Lenders Mortgage Insurance, which could cost you thousands.

First Home Owner Grant

The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) was introduced on 1 July 2000. This national scheme is funded by the states and territories and administered under their own legislation.

Under the FHOG scheme, a once-off payment is payable to first home buyers who meet the selection criteria. To see if you’re eligible, log on to your state of territories relevant link:


Who Is Eligible?

There are criteria that must be met to be eligible, including:

  • You must be an individual and not a business, company or trust
  • You must be 18 years or older
  • You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • You cannot have co-owned or previously owned a home in Australia
  • You cannot have already received a home owners grant in Australia
  • You must move into the home within 12 month and live there for at least 6 continuous months
  • If the home you are buying is a recently renovated house, it must be the first time the home is sold after renovations and it hasn’t been lived in since being renovated.

Pro Tax Tip: Some states require a maximum value of the home, occupancy criteria to be filled and exclusions.

In addition to the FHOG, many Australian states and territories offer concessions, reduced rates, and exemptions on stamp duty that can help reduce your costs.

First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) is an Australian Government initiative to support first home buyers to own or build their new home. The Scheme is administered by the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC).

The FHLDS helps first home buyers or builders to save on Mortgage Insurance if they don’t have a 20 per cent deposit most lenders require. Under the scheme, as little as 5 per cent is needed. The NHFIC will guarantee to a participating lender up to 15 per cent of the value of the property purchased that is financed by an eligible first home buyer’s home loan.

Pro Tax Tip:  On 1 July 2021, another 10,000 FHLDS places will be available for the 2021-22 financial year.

On 3 February, the Australian Government announced that 1,800 FHLDS places from the 2019-20 financial year would be rolled into the current year. To take advantage of this scheme, you’ll need to apply through a participating lender before 30 June 2021.

Pro Tax Tip: In addition to the FHOG and FHLDS schemes, you can also take advantage of the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSS) through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Can I Apply For Multiple Grants?

The short answer is – yes! If you’re eligible, there’s nothing stopping you from taking advantage of the FHOG, the FHLDS, the FHSS and the HomeBuilder Grant while paying no stamp duty. Just remember, each scheme has its own criteria and eligibility, so getting them all to align can take some manoeuvring. Speak to an ITP mortgage broker who can advise the best way forward.

Pro Tax Tip: It’s advisable to chat with a broker prior to submitting your application. Most lenders will be able to apply for these grants upon approval of your home loan.

Do First Home Buyers Need To Pay Stamp Duty?

Stamp duty is an extra fee placed on buying a home, land or investment property and is applied by the State governments and Territories. This can also be known as ‘land transfer duty’.

Different stamp duty charges apply depend on the type of property you’re buying (primary residence or investment property), if you’re a first home buyer, if you’re purchasing an established home, building a new home or buying land and if you’re classified as a foreign purchaser.

You’ll generally have to pay stamp duty within 30 days of settlement. Your lender or conveyance will usually organise the stamp duty to be paid on your behalf. Because it is an upfront cost, it can’t be covered by your home loan.

Most states and Territories offer fist home buyers relief from paying stamp duty in the form of concessions and sometimes waive the fee altogether. Each state and territory offer different concession and criteria and application need to be applied for.

ITP take care of the formalities and paperwork of organising your loan, so you can focus on house hunting with confidence. ITP offer loans on new homes, investments, refinancing options, renovation loans and offer different loans that could end up shortening the life of your loan and saving you thousands. Phone 1800 367 487 and chat with an ITP mortgage lender today.