You could use the First Home Super Saver scheme and First Home Guarantee to help you get the keys to your first Queensland property.
Here’s some help on offer for QLD first home buyers.
First home buyer grants
The Queensland First Home Owners Grant can give first home buyers up to $15,000 toward their deposit for properties worth up to $750,000. The property has to be brand new or substantially renovated, and you must move in within a year of being approved.
Upfront cost help
Two ways Queensland residents can potentially lower their deposits and avoid expensive Lenders Mortgage Insurance are the Federal First Home Guarantee and the Queensland Housing Finance Loan.
Plus, the Qld First Home Concession can reduce transfer duty on properties worth up to $550,000 or vacant land worth up to $400,000.
Tax help with saving
The Federal Government’s First Home Super Saver (FHSS or FHSSS) scheme helps you save more for your deposit by using your super fund, where your super is generally taxed at 15%, well below most income tax rates.
Jane wants to buy her first home in the suburbs of Brisbane. After a long search she finally finds a house she loves, but the $700,000 cost is more than she wanted to pay. Jane takes a 5-step approach.
Tip – At step 2, Jane could have chosen the Queensland Housing Finance Loan instead of First Home Guarantee as a way of limiting the deposit, so it is worth considering which suits you and your eligibility.
How does the First Home Super Saver Scheme work?
FHSS offers the opportunity to withdraw up to $50,000 (plus investment earnings) in total from your voluntary super contributions to put towards your first home deposit.
If your home ownership plans are still a few years away, now could be a good time to start adding to your own super, so that you’ll have the funds there ready when you are. What’s more, voluntary contributions can come with tax advantages, so you can potentially save even more.
When you reach the point of buying your first home, your FHSS savings can put you on the front foot while the other federal and Queensland first home programs help to bring the funding target within reach.
How do I save using the FHSS?
Saving for your home deposit via the FHSS is pretty simple. It starts with making voluntary contributions to your super.
This can be done through salary sacrificing or contributing from your earnings and claiming a tax deduction, to take advantage of only being taxed at 15% instead of your normal rate (which is usually higher).
You can also transfer from wages (and savings) you’ve already paid tax on. There are limits to how much you can contribute however.
What is the First Home Guarantee?
The First Home Guarantee (FHBG) is an Australian Government program designed to help eligible first-time home buyers purchase a home with a deposit of as little as 5%, instead of the usual 20% required by many lenders to avoid the need for Lenders Mortgage Insurance.
How does the First Home Guarantee work?
Managed by the Federal Government, the First Home Guarantee (FHBG) gives applicants the chance to avoid the high cost of Lenders Mortgage Insurance, which can add $10,000 to your expenses.
What are the eligibility criteria?
Generally, to access the First Home Guarantee (previously called First Home Loan Deposit Scheme or FHLDS) in Queensland, you must meet the following criteria:
Only residential properties fall under the scheme, but these can be:
In Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast in 2023, only properties valued at up to $700,000 are eligible, and in the rest of Queensland the maximum is $550,000.
Visit the FHBG site for full eligibility criteria.
You can also apply for a Queensland Housing Finance Loan - especially if you’ve been knocked back by retail lenders. Note that the eligibility criteria differ between First home Guarantee and the Qld Housing Finance Loan, so you do need to check this.
What is the Queensland Home Builder Grant?
The Queensland Home Builder Grant and the Home Building Booster Grant are no longer running, but existing applications may still be valid in 2023.