With interest rates being lowered again this week, the RBA is really trying to get the economy moving, which adds to the already existing government incentives that are in place to assist people with home ownership. These are not restricted to first home buyers either, so if you have the option, it’s well worth looking around to see how the various governments can help, because you may be able to get into a home sooner than you think.
Firstly, the well-known $7,000 First Home Owners Grant offered by all of the states helps people into their first homes. Some individual states even have their own incentives to bolster this amount. In Victoria for example, on top of the $7,000 Grant, for new homes there is the First Home Bonus of an extra $13,000, and then a further bonus if you’re buying a new home regionally. So see what your state government has to offer. With some lenders, these grants can be used as part of or all of your deposit required by the bank, so you could apply much sooner than you think.
Outside of first home buyer incentives, in Queensland there’s the $10,000 Building Boost until 31 January 2012. This lets you buy a new property as either your principal place of residence or for investment, and you may be entitled to receive $10,000 cash deposited into your bank account – and you can get this more than once as well, which is a real bonus. As with the grants above, some lenders allow this to be used as part of the deposit that they require, instead of genuine savings.
In Western Australia, there is also the option for people on low incomes, but also not concerned about location, a shared equity option is available through the government. There are many qualifications with this, plus the rates are higher and you can’t use your equity for anything other than to refinance with a lender to get you out of the shared equity program, but for some people, this is a great step-up.
There are also small funds that assist further with incidentals to the home buying transaction, so that the costs of conveyancing or titles searches for example can be reimbursed, so these can be very helpful as well. It certainly pays to look into all of the possibilities when you’re first looking to buy but then to keep looking throughout the process of buying your home.