Don’t forget about the $2,000 Home Buyers Assistance Account

Don't forget about the $2,000 Home Buyers Assistance Account

If you’re a first home buyer, you’re probably well aware that the $3,000 FHOG for established homes was abolished in 2015, but did you know about the Home Buyers Assistance Account?

What is the Home Buyers Assistance Account?

Usually paid around eight weeks after settlement, this scheme provides up to $2,000 towards incidental expenses when first home owners purchase an established or partly built home through a licensed real estate agent.

These incidental expenses include things like a termite or building inspection, mortgage insurance and settlement fees.

Conditions of eligibility include:

  • Applicants must be buying their first home, which is established or partly built (not vacant land, a plan or a ‘house and land’ package).
  • The applicant, spouse or partner of the applicant must not own or have owned any property in Western Australia before (if one of the people the applicant is buying a home with, owns or has owned a home in WA before, then the applicant can apply for a partial grant based on a percentage of their ownership of the home).
  • The applicant must live in the home for at least the first 12 months.
  • The applicant must purchase the home through a licensed real estate agent.
  • The application must be lodged with the Department of Commerce no more than 90 days after the date that the Offer and Acceptance contract is accepted (in exceptional circumstances, a short extension of time for lodgement may be granted by the department if reasonable grounds exist).
  • The home loan must be financed through an authorised lending institution (such as a bank, building society or credit union).
  • The purchase price of the home is $400,000 or less.

First home buyers are an active force in the WA property market, so it would be a pity if some were missing out on government help because they weren’t aware it was available.

For full details of the Home Buyers Assistance Account and to download the application form, visit the Consumer Protection section of the Department of Commerce’s website. Alternatively, you can phone the Department on 1300 30 40 54.