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Understanding stamp duty and the FHOG

Understanding stamp duty and the FHOG

May 19, 2011

The 2011 Federal Budget left the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) at $7,000 – a nice little booster that can make a difference in your quest to get off the rental merry-go-round. However, some states cap eligibility based on the purchase price of your property. For example, in NSW, first homebuyers paying $835,000 or more for a home do not qualify.

It’s also worthwhile to check if your state offers additional first homebuyer bonuses on top of the FHOG. For example, in Victoria you can receive an extra $13,000 if you purchase a brand new property and, if that property is in a rural area, count on an extra $6,500 – but only until June 30, 2011. For a more comprehensive guide, visit firsthome.gov.au

Stamp duty exemptions and rebates differ by state, but this is where you can really save money. For example, in NSW the First Home Plus scheme gives a 100 percent stamp duty exemption on properties up to $500,000 and blocks of land up to $300,000. If you are borrowing 90 percent of the purchase price on $500,000, the stamp duty would normally be $19,730. The exemption is reduced on purchases over $500,000 and cuts out at $600,000.

Another option for first homebuyers in NSW is to take advantage of the First Home Plus One scheme, which allows the joint purchase of a property.

The homeowner must have a 50 percent stake in the property to receive a 50 percent exemption of half the stamp duty. Again, the threshold is on properties up to $500,000.

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