Investing in property is a fantastic step towards building and holding wealth.

But, what does it mean for your First Home Owners Grant eligibility if you decide to buy a home for yourself later down the track?

The answer to this question depends on where in Australia you live. In this article, we’ll cover NSW and ACT regulations. But first, let’s take a look at what the First Home Owners Grant is.

What is the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG)?

The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) was introduced in 2000 to make purchasing a home easier for first-time buyers. It was designed to counter the impact of the goods and services tax on buying or building a home.

If eligible, recipients receive the grant as a lump-sum payment. Eligibility and grant amount differ from state to state. In NSW and the ACT, a first-time buyer can expect to receive $10,000 (as of November 2018).

The question for investors that have not bought and lived in a property before is whether they’ll be considered a first-time buyer when deciding to purchase a home for themselves in future.

Let’s go over the details for both NSW and the ACT.

FHOG eligibility in NSW

In NSW, you will be eligible 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.”

In other words, you may be eligible for the FHOG if you’ve:

  • had relevant interest in a property in Australia on or after 1 July 2000
  • you have never lived in that property for more than six continuous months, and;
  • you have never claimed the grant

FHOG eligibility in the ACT

In the ACT, the regulations are quite similar. You or your spouse must not have owned or held relevant interest in a residential property in Australia prior to 1 July 2000. Furthermore, you must not have occupied an Australian residential property that you held interest in between 1 July 2000 and 1 January 2004. And finally, you must not have occupied an Australian residential property that you held interest in for more than six consecutive months after 1 January 2004.

If you meet these guidelines, you should be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant.

Evaluate individual circumstances

It’s vital to evaluate your individual circumstances and consult professional financial advice before making large financial decisions.

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