Last chance for First Home Buyers Grant!

August 24, 2009

With the deadline for the full First Home Owner Boost looming we have some advice on how to make sure you get the home you want.

First homebuyers listen up! Those who sign a contract to purchase or a contract to build before 30 September 2009 may be eligible for the grant totalling $14,000 for established homes or $21,000 for newly constructed homes, in addition to state or territory based incentives available in the
purchase location.

From 1 October 2009 until its expiry on 31 December 2009, the FHOB will
be halved. During this period, first homebuyers may be eligible for
$10,500 for established homes or $14,000 for newly constructed homes, in
addition to any state/territory-based incentives.

On 1 January 2010, the FHOB will no longer exist and first homebuyers
will be eligible to receive only the original $7,000 national First Home
Owner Grant plus any state/territory-based incentives.

Senior corporate affairs manager for Mortgage Choice, Australia’s
largest independently-owned mortgage broker, Kristy Sheppard said “First
timers need to understand the importance of planning ahead in order to
reach their goal of home ownership, especially those aiming to purchase
before the First Home Owner Boost expires completely on 31 December

“With the deadline for the full boost approaching at the end of next
month, there is a sense of urgency among many potential first
homebuyers, which means lots of keen competition for the same types of
properties and within the mortgage market. For this reason, keep in mind
it may take up to four weeks to gain loan approval, depending on the
chosen lender.

“Lenders have been tightening up on borrowing policy for low deposit
loans – typically, loan amounts above 90% of the purchase price – for
some time now. However, the key change is the introduction of genuine
savings policies. Many lenders now require borrowers to contribute at
least 5-10% of the property purchase price towards their deposit in the
form of genuine savings accumulated over a period of at least three
months. This excludes any federal or state government incentives or
grants, such as the First Home Owner Boost.

“However, first time buyers shouldn’t let extra incentives sway them if
they aren’t sure about a property or their ability to make loan
repayments and meet associated property ownership costs, particularly as
interest rates are set to rise. The key is to start planning early so
that they are better prepared to take advantages of opportunities that

“Loan consultants can assist with navigation of the mortgage maze, such
as showing borrowers practical tips for meeting the genuine savings
criteria, helping maximise their borrowing capacity and putting in place
a plan to meet lenders’ requirements so borrowers can take advantage of
first home owner incentives,” said Ms Sheppard.

For more advice call the customer service centre on 13 MORTGAGE or visit

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