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As many as 66% of Australians were homeowners in 2017-2018. Although few people can afford to buy a home outright, that is where home loans come in. In theory, you should be able to take out a loan to buy a house and pay it back within a reasonable timeframe. The reality of the situation may vary from case to case, and taking the time to make a smart loan decision is worth doing. Since this is a huge purchase (and potentially huge loan you’d be taking out), it pays to do your research. Here’s some information if you are interested in the Australian Government’s First-Time Home Buyer’s Scheme.

It Helps You Sooner, Rather Than Later

The initiative has been constructed in a way to encourage first-time homeowners to purchase homes sooner with home loans by allowing a deposit of as little as five percent of the home’s value. You will still likely find that you will end up needing to borrow less if you make a larger deposit, but if you decide that you are unable to meet the deposit criteria without taking advantage of this home buyer’s scheme, you will find that you are able to acquire your own home more quickly than you might have been able to otherwise.

Scheme Places Can Be Reserved

While all of the scheme places for the 2019-2020 financial year have been reserved, you can still try to get a reservation for this program by interacting with lenders if one of the people who previously had a reservation does not follow through on buying a property for some reason. There will also be an additional 10,000 scheme places available starting on the first of July 2020, so if you haven’t previously gotten a grant through this scheme, you still might have a chance to do so — provided you still meet the criteria.

Applications Are Given To Lenders, Not The Government

One of the important parts of getting this grant as part of a loan is knowing who to submit your paperwork to. Participating Lenders are both major banks and other non-major lenders who are approved for participation in the First-Time Home Buyer’s Scheme. You’ll be communicating with these entities when hammering out all of the details of your loan, so keep that in mind when you compare home loans with iSelect.

You Need to Buy a New or Renovated Property

Among the requirements that you need to meet in order to be eligible for the First-Time Home Buyer’s Grant is the requirement that you buy a new or sufficiently renovated home and live in it for six months. You might even be able to get up to $45,000 in grant funding if you are building a new home in Victoria, so make sure to talk to the lender so you get as much grant money as you can. Regional locations are a major factor in deciding how much grant money you will get, so don’t be afraid to shop around if you think you can get a better deal elsewhere.

Houses are important pieces of land, and getting into the housing market is tricky enough as it is. While the additional requirements and paperwork might be tiresome, you will likely find that the extra effort to get some grant money for your home loan is well worth doing in the long run. The rules of the First Home Owner Grant change fairly often, so if you find that you need to apply for its use more than once at some point in the future, know that you may need to refresh yourself on newly added steps, rules, and regulations.

Kathy Heckle