Grants and guarantors
If you’ve done the calculations and the dream of buying a home is feeling too out of reach, you can consider a few avenues like grants and guarantors to get a helping hand.
Make sure you’ve researched whether you are eligible for any first home owner government grants that have been set up to help people enter the property market. The assistance available for first-home buyers differs across states and territories.
- Victoria - If buying a property in regional Victoria, the Government offers grants of up to $20,000. For all other properties a $10,000 grant is available.
The Victorian Government has also introduced the HomesVic scheme which helps to share the upfront costs of purchasing a home. Find out more.
- New South Wales - Offersgrants of up to $10,000 effective from 1 July 2017, plus stamp duty concessions and exemptions from transfer duty on certain property values.
- Queensland - Has offered concessions of up to $20,000 since 1 July 2016.
- Western Australia – Offers grants of up to $10,000 plus additional grants to cover established or partially built homes.
- South Australia – Offers grants of up to $15,000 for new residential dwellings, plus additional stamp duty concessions in some cases.
- Tasmania – Offers grants of up to $20,000 until 30 June 2019, at which time the grant will revert to being a $10,000 payment.
- Northern Territory – Offers grants of up to $26,000 are available when purchasing new homes. The First Home Owners Discount (FHOD) may be available if you are purchasing a home that is not new. This can reduce what you pay on stamp duty.
- Australian Capital Territory- Offers grants of up to $7,000 until June 30, 2019.
If you are unable to come up with a deposit that will make you eligible for a home loan you can consider whether you have a family member that is able to act as a guarantor.
A guarantor can help you borrow a greater portion of the property price (reducing the deposit you need), by acting as security for the loan and lowering the risk to the lender. In many cases, the guarantor only secures a portion of the loan to reduce the loan to under 80 per cent of the property value. This enables the lender to waiver Lenders Mortgage Insurance.
Before going down this route, it’s important to understand the financial impact that guaranteeing a loan can have on guarantors, particularly if you are the guarantor. When a guarantee is signed, you are legally responsible for the mortgage. If you are only guaranteeing a limited portion of the loan, you will only be responsible for paying up to that amount.