$7000 tree change' grant

$7000 'tree change' grant

June 30, 2011

Residents in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong are being offered a one-off $7000 payment to uproot for a tree change as part of the NSW government’s Regional Relocation Grant. But an embarrassing loophole means that you may only have to move one suburb away to cash in.

The four-year scheme, which kicks off on July 1, gives city slickers an incentive to move from their metropolitan home to a regional one. But defining metropolitan boarders is reportedly causing trouble for the government giveaway.

While the government describes Sydney as reaching from the Blue Mountains to the Hawkesbury and the central coast, Newcastle and Wollongong stretch only as far as their local government boundaries. So effectively, moving suburbs or even across the road in the

Hunter or Illawarra could mean you’re eligible for the grant.

Defending the $47 million per year scheme, Treasurer Mike Baird told the Sydney Morning Herald that the NSW Office of State Revenue would be keeping a close eye on the allocation of the money.

“If examples start to emerge where the process is being distorted or people are taking advantage of it, we will look for appropriate opportunities to address these concerns,” he said.
Only 40,000 grants will be made available.

Who can apply?
The grant is designed for people who want to sell their city properties and move to regional NSW, so it’s only available to those intending to live in the regional property for at least 12 consecutive months. Grants will only be given to applicants purchasing properties up to the value of $600,000 and only until June 30, 2015.

At least one of the people purchasing the property must be an Australian citizen and they’ll need to have owned (or had a mortgage on) their metro pad for at least one year before applying for the grant. Finally this must be the only regional relocation grant they’ve received.

Why relocate?
Governments like the idea of decentralisation and last year the NSW government supported the Evocities campaign. It was designed to encourage urbanites to pack up and leave the big smoke for one of seven regional cities: Albury, Armidale, Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange,

Tamworth and Wagga Wagga. Once there new residents would live, work and invest in developing the regional city. The campaign reportedly encouraged 193 families to relocate.

However, as many as 46,000 people move from capital cities to regional areas of Australia each year, according to reports.

If you’re thinking about making the move and require finance to do so, compare home loans online at RateCity, particularly ones with a construction facility if you’re considering building.

For more information about government grants in your area, visit your Office of State Revenue for details.



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How much is the first home buyer's grant?

The first home buyer grant amount will vary depending on what state you’re in and the value of the property that you are purchasing. In general, they start around $10,000 but it is advisable to check your eligibility for the grant as well as how much you are entitled to with your state or territory’s revenue office.

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Home loans spanning 40 years are offered by select lenders, though the loan period is much longer than a standard 30-year home loan. You're more likely to find a maximum of 35 years, such as is the case with Teacher’s Mutual Bank

Currently, 40 year home loan lenders in Australia include AlphaBeta Money, BCU, G&C Mutual Bank, Pepper, and Sydney Mutual Bank.

Even though these lengthier loans 35 to 40 year loans do exist on the market, they are not overwhelmingly popular, as the extra interest you pay compared to a 30-year loan can be over $100,000 or more.

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Can I change jobs while I am applying for a home loan?

Whether you’re a new borrower or you’re refinancing your home loan, many lenders require you to be in a permanent job with the same employer for at least 6 months before applying for a home loan. Different lenders have different requirements. 

If your work situation changes for any reason while you’re applying for a mortgage, this could reduce your chances of successfully completing the process. Contacting the lender as soon as you know your employment situation is changing may allow you to work something out. 

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty is the tax that must be paid when purchasing a property in Australia.

It is calculated by the state government based on the selling price of the property. These charges may differ for first homebuyers. You can calculate the stamp duty for your property using our stamp duty calculator.

What is a line of credit?

A line of credit, also known as a home equity loan, is a type of mortgage that allows you to borrow money using the equity in your property.

Equity is the value of your property, less any outstanding debt against it. For example, if you have a $500,000 property and a $300,000 mortgage against the property, then you have $200,000 equity. This is the portion of the property that you actually own.

This type of loan is a flexible mortgage that allows you to draw on funds when you need them, similar to a credit card.

What is the ratings scale?

The ratings are between 0 and 5, shown to one decimal point, with 5.0 as the best. The ratings should be used as an easy guide rather than the only thing you consider. For example, a product with a rating of 4.7 may or may not be better suited to your needs than one with a rating of 4.5, but both are probably much better than one with a rating of 1.2.

How can I get ANZ home loan pre-approval?

Shopping for a new home is an exciting experience and getting a pre-approval on the loan may give you the peace of mind that you are looking at properties within your budget. 

At the time of applying for the ANZ Bank home loan pre-approval, you will be required to provide proof of employment and income, along with records of your savings and debts.

An ANZ home loan pre-approval time frame is usually up to three months. However, being pre-approved doesn’t necessarily mean you will get your home loan. Other factors could lead to your home loan application being rejected, even with a prior pre-approval. Some factors include the property evaluation not meeting the bank’s criteria or a change in your financial circumstances.

You can make an application for ANZ home loan pre-approval online or call on 1800100641 Mon-Fri 8.00 am to 8.00 pm (AEST).

Does Australia have no cost refinancing?

No Cost Refinancing is an option available in the US where the lender or broker covers your switching costs, such as appraisal fees and settlement costs. Unfortunately, no cost refinancing isn’t available in Australia.

If I don't like my new lender after I refinance, can I go back to my previous lender?

If you wish to return to your previous lender after refinancing, you will have to go through the refinancing process again and pay a second set of discharge and upfront fees. 

Therefore, before you refinance, it’s important to weigh up the new prospective lender against your current lender in a number of areas, including fees, flexibility, customer service and interest rate.