There could be a number of reasons why you’re looking to buy your first home in the NT.
Maybe you’re looking to get out of the rental market? Move out of home with your significant other? Or just purely enjoy the benefits of homeownership? Either way, the good news is that the NT government is offering first home buyers a helping hand through the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG).
Find out how it works, how much you can get, and the eligibility requirements.
How much is the First Home Owner Grant in the NT?
If you’re looking to buy or build a new house, apartment, duplex, or townhouse in the NT, you could be eligible for a one-time FHOG grant worth $10,000.
A new home must have never been previously lived in or sold as a place of residence.
A substantially renovated home may be considered a new home if:
- The new home has not been previously occupied or sold since the renovation.
- The renovation/s affect the building as a whole e.g. removal or replacement of foundations, external walls, staircases, etc. Merely renovating the bathroom is not considered a ‘substantial renovation.’
Unlike many other state FHOGs, income and house value does not affect your eligibility for the grant, which means any first home buyer can apply! Seems like an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on.
If you’re looking to use the grant towards your deposit, this is certainly possible. But keep in mind it probably won’t be enough on its own to make up a full deposit. Especially if you’re looking to avoid paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) - in that case, you would need a 20% deposit.
Eligibility criteria for the NT First Home Owner Grant
There are a few rules you’ll have to meet in order to be eligible for the grant. These conditions are:
- At least one applicant must be 18 years of age or older
- At least one applicant must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
- Applicants must be a natural person - not a company or trust
- Applicants must be applying for the FHOG for the first time (this includes anywhere in Australia)
- Applicants must not have owned residential property in Australia before 1 July 2000
- Each applicant must hold a relevant interest in the home
Under the conditions, you will also need to live in the home as your principal place of residence for at least six months (commencing within 12 months of an eligible transaction).
How do you apply for the NT First Home Owner Grant?
Applying for the NT FHOG can be done via two ways:
- Through an approved agent - This will most likely be the lender/bank that is providing your finance. They will lodge the application on your behalf.
- Through the Territory Revenue Office (TRO) - Head to the TRO website, fill in the application form with supporting documents, and submit via mail or email.
When will the grant be paid?
The date the $10,000 FHOG is paid depends on the type of contact you entered and who you’ve applied with. Below are the following scenarios:
|Situation||Applying through an approved agent||Applying through the TRO|
|Buying a new home||Grant will be received at settlement||When your name is registered on the property title|
|Buying a home under a terms contract||Not applicable||When you’re in possession of your home and installments of at least $10,000 have been made. This excludes the deposit|
|Building a new home||When the foundations have been laid and a progress payment of at least $10,000 has been made. This excludes the deposit||When the foundations have been laid and a progress payment of at least $10,000 has been made. This excludes the deposit|
|Owner-builder||When construction of the home has been completed||When construction of the home has been completed|
Are there stamp duty exemptions in the NT?
As of 30 June 2021, there are no stamp duty exemptions or concessions for first home buyers in the NT. And because there are no stamp duty concessions, make sure you factor this fee into your budget as it can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars.
The amount payable is based on the property's value, whether you are buying as an owner occupier or investment, and whether you are a foreign purchaser.
The more expensive the home, the higher the stamp duty. For instance, a newly built $500,000 property in the NT would set you back by almost $24,000 in stamp duty. Whereas a $600,000 property would be almost $30,000.
Work out how much stamp duty you may have to pay with InfoChoice's stamp duty calculator.
Other schemes available for first home buyers in the NT
Home Guarantee Scheme
The Home Guarantee Scheme (HGS) is a federal government initiative designed to assist eligible first home buyers in their pursuit of homeownership.
The HGS comprises of three separate schemes designed to help Australians climb onto the property ladder. These include:
- First Home Guarantee (FHBG) - This component targets first-time home buyers, making their dream of owning a home more accessible with a deposit requirement as low as 5% without the need to pay LMI. Under the FHBG, 35,000 places are available each financial year nationwide.
- Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee - For those seeking to settle in regional areas, this scheme presents a similar opportunity. Eligible buyers can purchase a home in a regional location with a deposit as little as 5% without having to pay LMI. The Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee is only available to Aussies who have been living in the region they wish to buy for at least one year.
- Family Home Guarantee (FHG) - The FHG is specifically designed to aid single parents with at least one dependent child. It offers them the chance to purchase a home with a deposit requirement as low as 2% with no need to pay LMI. Participants must earn a maximum income of $125,000.
First Home Super Saver Scheme
The First Home Super Saver Scheme presents another avenue for aspiring homeowners to save for their deposit. Through voluntary concessional contributions (taxed at a discounted rate of 15%) and non-concessional contributions (which have already been taxed at their marginal rate) individuals can contribute extra funds to their super fund. Later, these contributions can be withdrawn to fund a property deposit.
Under this scheme, first home buyers can contribute a maximum of $15,000 in any given financial year, with a cumulative cap of $50,000 per individual. This provides a practical and tax-efficient way for individuals to save for their future home.
Help to Buy scheme
The Help to Buy scheme allows eligible participants to co-buy a home with the government.
Eligible buyers purchasing a home would receive an equity contribution of up to 40% of the cost of a new home, or 30% for existing homes.
Buyers only need a minimum 2% deposit and do not have to pay LMI.
Up to 40,000 places will be on offer across four years (10,000 per year) from 2024.
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