With house prices lower than they were at the most recent peak a year ago, now is a sensible time for those considering buying their first home to take the step into home ownership.
To assist first home buyers, the Victorian Government offers a range of grants and incentives.
Established over a decade ago, the First Home Owners Grant provides eligible buyers with $7,000. While the grant is not means-tested, the home you want to buy must not cost more than $750,000; an upper limit that covers almost all purchases a first home buyer is considering.
The home must, of course, be your first and you must live in it. Other eligibility criteria are available from the State Revenue Office.
The state government has also introduced a discount for first home buyers on Victoria’s very high stamp duty rates.
For the next 12 months that discount is 20 per cent and it applies to homes valued up to $600,000. On a purchase of $600,000, that equates to a saving of $6,214.
Those interested in a new home will find they can access the First Home or Regional Bonus along with stamp duty savings when buying off the plan.
In the same way that it’s prudent to get pre-approval for a home loan, it’s sensible to ensure you fully understand the eligibility criteria before you start house hunting. The REIV website has an overview of the financial assistance for first home buyers, with links to the relevant sections of the Victorian Government’s State Revenue Office.