As first home buyers (FHB), getting into the property market can be difficult for a range of reasons. With property prices rising, the economy still recovering from major crises like COVID-19, your homeownership dreams may feel out of reach.
However, the Western Australian (WA) and federal governments have introduced a range of schemes for first home buyers that could help you enter the property market faster and get the keys to your dream home. In this article, we’ll take you through some of these schemes. We will discuss who is eligible for them and how you can find out more so you can make the most of this government support:
- First Home Owner Grant (New Homes)
- Home Buyers Assistance Account
- First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (now the New Home Guarantee)
- First Home Super Saver Scheme
- Family Home Guarantee
- What are your next steps?
First Home Owner Grant (New Homes)
The WA government is currently offering up to $10 000 to first home buyers purchasing or building a new home. Homes south of the 26th parallel (including the entire Perth metropolitan area) must have homes valued at less than $750 000. On the other hand, homes north of the 26th parallel must have homes valued at less than $1 000 000.
First home buyers eligible for this grant may have to pay a First Home Owner Rate (FHOR) upon purchasing property. If your property is valued at less than $430 000, you won’t be required to pay this rate. However, homes valued between $430 000 and $530 000 will incur a rate.
Home Buying Assistance Account
First home buyers in WA can also apply for the Home Buyers Assistance Account. This provides a $2 000 grant to cover the costs of purchasing a new or established home using a licensed real estate agent. In order to be eligible, buyers must be purchasing a property with a purchase price of less than $400 000.
For more information about the Home Buying Assistance Account, visit the WA government website page.
First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (or New Home Guarantee)
The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, or New Home Guarantee as of May 2021, is a scheme that will be offered to 10 000 first home buyers over the next financial year. It allows first home buyers to buy or build a home with as little as a 5% deposit. As such, they can buy or build their dream home sooner.
Previously, buyers unable to pay a 20% deposit on their home loan would have to pay Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI). LMI is a hefty one-off cost that only protects the bank, not the borrower, if they were to default on their loan. Now, when eligible first home buyers make a 5% deposit, the government will supply the remaining 15% to ensure buyers can access their dream home without extra charges like LMI.
You can apply for this scheme as a single or couple. You will have your income assessed accordingly to determine if you’re eligible. On top of that, you must also prove that you:
- Are at least 18 years old
- An Australian citizen
- Haven’t owned property in Australia before
- Can meet the 5% deposit requirement
- Meet the income requirements
- Move into the property within six months of settlement and continue to live in the property for as long as you’re covered by the scheme/guarantee
Currently, there are 27 lenders participating in this scheme. For more information about how this scheme works and where you can apply, visit the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation page or message one of our brokers for personalised advice to suit your financial needs.
First Home Super Saver Scheme
This scheme allows Australians to make extra contributions to their super funds. This could help you save for a deposit faster. Therefore, getting your dream home sooner than you might by saving normally.
Through this scheme, buyers can make concessional (before tax) and non-concessional (after-tax) contributions to their super funds. You can then apply to release these voluntary contributions and other related earnings to pay for your home loan deposit. Buyers can release up to $15 000 per year from their super funds for this purpose.
To be eligible for this scheme, you must:
- Live in the property or plan to live in it as soon as you’re able
- Move into the property within the first 12 months of securing it
- Live in the property for at least six months upon moving in
You can discover more about this scheme and apply for it through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.
Family Home Guarantee
If you’re a single parent looking to buy a home, you may be eligible for this scheme. With the Family Home Guarantee, you could be one of 10 000 single parents who buy a home with as little as a 2% deposit.
Over the next four years, the Australian Government is offering this scheme to 10 000 single parents. This scheme is open to all single parents with dependents at home, including first home buyers. To be eligible you must be:
- At least 18 years old
- An Australian citizen
- Have an annual taxable income of no more than $125 000
For more information about the family home guarantee offer, check out this fact sheet from the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation.
What are your next steps?
Although all these schemes could provide you with exciting new avenues to get into the property market sooner, they can be tricky to understand and time-consuming to apply for. By speaking with an experienced mortgage broker who specialises in services for first home buyers, you can be confident that your home buying journey will be smooth sailing.
As an ethical mortgage broker, we put our customers, the community, and the planet before profits. Our free services allow you to compare home loans from over 30 banks and save you time by preparing your application and chasing up banks for you. And if you manage to secure a home loan with us, we’ll help a family doing it tough in Australia or the Asia Pacific get a home, too.
So, send us a quick message, give us a phone call or schedule a consultation or even apply online for personalised advice regarding your financial situation. And while you’re here, check out the ethical mortgage services we provide to customers in Perth.
Disclaimer: The information provided is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice. Please speak to us for recommendations on your individual circumstances and requirements.