Unfor­tu­nate­ly, when pur­chas­ing a home, it’s not just the prop­er­ty price that you are pay­ing. One of the more con­sid­er­able fees that buy­ers come across is trans­fer duty (for­mal­ly known as stamp duty), a one-off gov­ern­ment tax on prop­er­ty pur­chas­es. The good news for first home buy­ers in NSW is that you may be eli­gi­ble for a con­ces­sion­al rate or exemp­tion under the First Home Buy­ers Assis­tance Scheme (FHBAS).

Unlike the First Home Own­er Grant, the FHBAS applies to:

  • Exist­ing homes
  • New homes
  • Vacant land on which you intend to build a home

To be eli­gi­ble for the FHBAS your prop­er­ty or land must fit with­in the fol­low­ing thresh­olds:

New homes

Existing homes

Vacant land

  • Buy a new home val­ued at less than $800,000, apply for a full exemp­tion, and pay no trans­fer duty.
  • Buy a new home val­ued between $800,000 and $1 mil­lion, and apply for a con­ces­sion­al trans­fer duty rate. The amount will be based on the val­ue of your home.
  • Buy an exist­ing home val­ued at less than $650,000, apply for a full exemp­tion and pay no trans­fer duty.
  • Buy an exist­ing home val­ued between $650,000 and $800,000, and apply for a con­ces­sion­al trans­fer duty rate. The amount will be based on the val­ue of your home.
  • You won’t pay trans­fer duty if your land is val­ued at less than $400,000.
  • For land val­ued between $400,000 and $500,000, you’ll receive a   con­ces­sion­al rate.

Source: NSW Gov, First Home Buy­er Assis­tance Scheme

How much trans­fer duty do I owe?

If the prop­er­ty you intend to pur­chase is over the no-charge amount, check how much trans­fer duty is owed by using the NSW gov­ern­ment cal­cu­la­tor here.

Are there any oth­er eli­gi­bil­i­ty require­ments?

The oth­er eli­gi­bil­i­ty require­ments include require­ments about you and how you intend to use the prop­er­ty.

For you to be eli­gi­ble for the FHBAS:

  • You must be over 18
  • The con­tract of sale must be on or after 1 July 2017 and must be for the whole prop­er­ty
  • You can­not be a com­pa­ny or trust, you must be an indi­vid­ual
  • At least one buy­er must be an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen or per­ma­nent res­i­dent
  • You have nev­er own­er or co-owned res­i­den­tial prop­er­ty in Aus­tralia
  • You have nev­er received an exemp­tion or con­ces­sion under this scheme
  • You must move into the prop­er­ty with­in 12 months of pur­chas­ing the prop­er­ty, unless you are a mem­ber of the Aus­tralian Defence Force
  • You must live in the prop­er­ty for a min­i­mum of six con­tin­u­ous months, unless you are a mem­ber of the Aus­tralian Defence Force

Even if your part­ner or spous­es’ name is not on the con­tract of sale, you might not be eli­gi­ble if they have:

  • owned or co-owned a res­i­den­tial prop­er­ty in Aus­tralia
  • received an exemp­tion or con­ces­sion under this scheme

There­fore, if your part­ner or spouse has bought a home in their name and received ben­e­fits, you are no longer eli­gi­ble.

Pur­chas­ing your first home doesn’t have to be a stress­ful expe­ri­ence. If you have expe­ri­enced sup­port around you, the process can run smooth­ly and with­out unfore­seen fees.  If you have any ques­tions regard­ing pur­chas­ing your first home and the con­veyanc­ing process, con­tact the expe­ri­enced team at Dono­van Oates Han­naford.

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