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Are you a first home buyer ready to purchase your new home? Depending on your state, you may be eligible for a First Home Owners Grant to help you get in to your own home sooner. Many states have recently made changes to the eligibility criteria for their First Home Owner Grants, and we’ve got a quick summary for you below!

Victoria

In Victoria, there is no stamp duty applicable to purchase under $600,000, giving first home buyers a helping hand buying their first home. For properties priced from $600,000 to $750,000 the stamp duty increases slightly. The Victorian government is also giving farmers some stamp duty relief with a stamp duty concession when they purchase their first farm. Regional Victoria will also see their First Home Owner Grant increased if purchasing a property up to $750,000. These home buyers may qualify for a First Home Owner Grant of $20,000, enabling them to buy their first home sooner.

When buying off the plan in Victoria, stamp duty concessions have also changed. Previously both investors and first home owners only paid stamp duty on the land the property is sitting on. This concession is now only available to purchasers who plan to buy a property off the plan that will serve as their main home, or if they qualify for first home buyer stamp duty concessions.

New South Wales

There are two different options available to first home buyers in New South Wales. To qualify for the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme, the value of the home must not exceed $800,000. Purchasers must move into the property within 12 months of purchase and live there for at least six months. New South Wales also offers a First Home Buyers Grant for new homes. This is available to those buying or building their first home, as long as the home’s value does not exceed $750,000 and it’s a new home no one has lived in before.

First Home Buyer

ACT

From July 1, 3019, the First Home Owner Grant has changed in the Australian Capital Territory, and eligible applicants who enter into a transaction with a commencement date on or after this date will not receive the grant. The ACT Government also has the Home Buyer Concession Scheme. For transactions entered into on or before June 30, 2019, the HBCS applies to the purchase of a new home that has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence, a block of land, or an off the plan purchase agreement. Substantially renovated homes are no longer eligible for the HBCS. From July 1, 2019, home buyers will no longer have to pay any duty, allowing them to purchase their first home sooner. Further eligibility criteria for the HBCS apply, including income threshold tests.

Queensland

Depending on the date of the purchaser’s contract of sale in Queensland, they are eligible to receive either $15,000 or $20,000 towards buying or building a new house, unit or townhouse. The property and the land it sits on must be valued at less than $750,000 in order for applicants to qualify for the grant. First home buyers purchasing a home that has been substantially renovated (including the land) may also be eligible for the grant as long as the home was renovated before the purchase was made, and has not been lived in since the renovations were complete.

South Australia

First home buyers in South Australia may be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant if they are purchasing or building a new residential property such as a house, flat, unit, townhouse, or apartment. The amounts available vary between $7,000 and $15,000. Unfortunately, the First Home Owner Grant is not available for established homes from July 1, 2014, but purchases of established homes from July 1, 2000 to November 21, 2012 can receive $7,000, while the buyers of homes established between November 22, 2012 and June 30, 2014 can receive $5,000.

First Home Buyer

Western Australia

A $10,000 grant is available to buyers in Western Australia who are purchasing or building a new home, however homes that have been substantially renovated may be eligible if the home is consequently considered a new home. Western Australia also offers a $5,000 boost payment to first home buyers who enter into a contract between January 1 and June 30, 2017 for the construction or purchase of a new home. Construction commencement and completion date terms and conditions apply. This boost payment is also available to owner builders, and purchasers buying off the plan subject to satisfying the eligibility criteria.

Northern Territory

The $10,000 First Home Owner Grant in the Northern Territory is available to those buying or building a new home. The Northern Territory also introduced the BuildBonus in February, 2019 to assist first home buyers building their new home. The $20,000 BuildBonus is only available to the first 600 applications for home buyers who have entered into a contract to build or buy a home, or have started construction as an owner builder on or after February 8, 2019. The Territory home owner discount of $18,601 off stamp duty is also available to first home buyers purchasing an established home, a new home, or land to build a new home in the Northern Territory.

Changes have also been made to the First Home Super Saver Scheme offered by the Australian Taxation Office. These changes apply retrospectively to valid FHSS release requests and contracts entered into on or after July 1, 2018. The FHSS can only be applied to homes purchased in Australia. Buyers no longer have to wait until the first FHSS amount is released to them to sign a contract to purchase or construct their new home. They will also have 12 months from the date a valid release request is made to either sign a contract to purchase or construct a home and notify the ATO within 28 days of signing, or recontribute the assessable FHSS amount (less tax withheld) into your super and notify the ATO within 12 months of the valid release request date.

Each state and territory First Home Owner Grant and bonus payments within Australia are subject to further terms and conditions, and further eligibility criteria, so check with your State Revenue Office to find out more information. The Hotondo Homes website also features a First Home Buyers section with a wealth of information to help you through the process of purchasing your first home.

Hotondo Homes is not a registered financial advisory and therefore we recommend you speak to your financial advisor or mortgage broker to receive expert advice before you enter into a real estate contract of sale.

A duplex is a dwelling on one block of land with two separate living quarters and totally separate entrances that can cater for two sets of occupants. Building a duplex can be a great investment for home owners and landlords, so no matter what stage of life you’re in there are so many benefits and potential profits to be had when building a duplex!

First Home Buyers

Duplex
If you’re a first home buyer looking for your first home, why not consider building a duplex? You’ll have a home to live in on one side, and another home to rent out, creating a stream of income to help you pay off your mortgage, while still enjoying living in your own beautifully built first home. The rental income from the second dwelling will significantly reduce the financial strain and save you the hassle of having roommates in your own home!

The Perfect Investment

Duplex
Many duplex designs will fit on a narrow block, so you can fit two homes on one piece of land and get double the return. If you’re looking for a great investment property, building a duplex will give you two separate homes in one spot you can rent out or sell, creating a double stream of income. In the future you’ll be able to choose whether to continue renting out each dwelling, or choose to live in one yourself, while still benefitting from the additional income the rental dwelling provides.

Downsizing

Duplex
Once your kids grow up and move out it can feel like you’re not utilising all the space in your family home anymore, and you may decide it’s time to downsize to a smaller house. Building a duplex will give you enough space to enjoy a contemporary open-plan home to welcome the family and visitors anytime, while providing you with a rental property on the other side to contribute towards your retirement nest egg with additional income you can use later in life.

Multi-Generational Homes

Duplex
If you have family members who require a little more care and attention but aren’t quite ready for assisted living facilities, a duplex is the perfect alternative! Each family will have their own separate living space, but you’ll be neighbours, so the opportunity to check in daily and help out will be a beneficial convenience for both parties. When help is needed, you’re right there to assist, and with young families living next door to grandparents who are still able to lend a hand with childcare, the burden is eased on working parents.

Duplex
Building a duplex gives you so many opportunities for additional streams of income, investment properties and family living arrangements. Our new Elwood duplex designs offer the perfect combination of features to enhance every day living! With different floor plans to choose from, there’s an Elwood design to suit every family, need, lifestyle, and budget! The beauty and practicality of the Elwood not only lies in its design, but also in its possibilities with the ability to mix and match any of the Elwood floor plans to create your ideal duplex! Head over to the Hotondo Homes website today to find out more about our duplex design range.

Building a new home can be an expensive process. With home insurance, conveyancing or solicitor fees, and mortgage insurance, costs start to add up quickly. One of the largest payments you’ll make during this process is stamp duty. Although the added cost is substantial, there’s no avoiding it unfortunately, since every real estate purchase accrues a stamp duty cost. But what is it? We’ve got a quick summary of what stamp duty is and why you need to pay it.

What is Stamp Duty?

Stamp duty is a form of tax written on certain transactions, like real estate, that is imposed by state and territory governments. It is paid by the purchaser of the property. The amount imposed on the transaction will vary from state to state, but each state and territory in Australia imposes stamp duty on real estate purchases.

Stamp Duty

How is Stamp Duty Calculated?

The amount of stamp duty you’ll pay depends on a number of factors. The location of the land or property being purchased, whether you’re a first home buyer, and whether you’re buying land or a dwelling, and whether you’re purchasing an investment property or plan to live in the property all contribute to the final amount of stamp duty calculated for your purchase. The amount is calculated on either the expected value of the land and buildings or the purchase price of the land and existing dwelling as at the date of the contract of sale, which is the date when the contract of sale is signed and the deposit is paid by the purchaser. Many financial institutions and State Revenue Office websites offer stamp duty calculators so you can estimate how much stamp duty will be applied to your real estate purchase.

Stamp Duty Exemptions

There are some instances where stamp duty may be reduced depending on your circumstances. These include purchases by first home buyers, pensioners, low property value, deceased estates, and off the plan purchases. When you’re ready to purchase land or a home, research the stamp duty exemptions in the state your purchasing in order to see if you qualify for a reduced stamp duty rate.

When is Stamp Duty Paid?

Stamp duty is paid to the State Revenue Office in the state of purchase prior to the lodging of the transfer of land to the land titles office. Usually the purchaser’s lender or legal representative pays stamp duty after settlement, often with funds that the purchaser contributed before settlement occurred.

Stamp Duty

How to Reduce Your Stamp Duty

The most obvious way to reduce the amount of stamp duty you’ll pay is to buy a less expensive property. However, with the cost of real estate fluctuating this isn’t always possible. In most states and territories, stamp duty increases significantly when the purchase price goes over $500,000. You may opt to look for property in a regional area or even in a different state to decrease the amount of stamp duty you’ll pay. If you’ve purchased a house and land package and will be building a new home, the stamp duty is calculated on how much the property is expected to be worth, so reducing the cost of the build by sticking with the standard inclusions offered by your builder will help keep the build costs low and subsequently lower the property’s initial value.

When purchasing a new home, whether it’s land or a dwelling, you’ll be required to pay stamp duty on your purchase. This is something you should budget for when saving a deposit to purchase so there are no nasty surprises. Researching estimated stamp duty costs using online calculators will help you allow for this payment on top of you deposit, ensuring you’re not out of pocket with an expense you weren’t expecting. For more home building tips, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

Hotondo Homes is not a licensed financial expert and we recommend speaking to a licenced financial professional before making a real estate purchase.

Buying your first home and feeling a little confused about what conveyancing is? You’re not alone! This is a vital part of the purchasing process, but is often a service you pay for without really understanding it. We’ve got a simple breakdown of what conveyancing is, why you need to do it, and why it’s an important part of the home buying process.

 

What is Conveyancing?

This is the essential step of transferring the ownership of land or a property from one owner to another. Buyers can handle the conveyancing themselves, though it can be quite time consuming and complex. This is why most people choose to use a licenced conveyancer or solicitor to do the work for them. Conveyancing covers a number of things, such as the payment of the deposit, the balance of the purchase price and competing the correct forms to ensure the land or property is properly and legally transferred to the correct person. It also includes making enquiries about outstanding debts, obligations, potential defects or disputes on the property.

Conveyancing

Buying or Selling?

Legally, a conveyancer cannot carry out any conveyancing work for the buyer until after the contract has been signed. Once you’ve committed to buying land or a property, the conveyancer can then commence their work, and advise you with comprehensive advice about the contract of sale, the Section 32 Vendor’s Statement, and what your rights and obligations are under the contract, as well as any special conditions or issues with the property. As a seller, a conveyancer or solicitor will prepare the legal documents for you, which includes the contract of sale and the Section 32 Vendor’s Statement.

The Conveyancing Process

Once you have signed a contract to purchase a home, the conveyancer or solicitor will commence their work. They will investigate whether a government body has an interest in the land or whether there are any proposed developments or notifications that could affect the property by gathering information and making enquiries about the land and title from relevant authorities to ensure there are no hidden defects, debts, or mortgages on the property. They will also ensure the property is in compliance with council and state regulations and law. They will then draw the relevant documents to ensure the property is transferred to the correct owner at the end of the process, which is the settlement date in the contract of sale. The conveyancer or solicitor will also represent you as the buyer or seller and liaise with the other party directly. This includes the exchange of transfer documents, ask any questions about the property, and communicate with the financial institution involved as well as attend the settlement on behalf of their client.

Conveyancing

What Happens After Settlement?

Once settlement is over, the conveyancing process is typically finished. In some cases, the conveyancer or solicitor may attend to stamping and lodging of the transfer documents. This means they may assist in the preparation of the documents so that a new Certificate of Title is issued in the name of the land or property’s rightful owner.

Conveyancing is an essential step of transferring ownership of property when its being bought or sold. Because this is such a significant financial investment, using a professional to assist you with the process is invaluable during your home purchase or sale. When you build with Hotondo Homes, your local builder will be able to to assist you with your conveyancing needs during the building process. For more building tips and information, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

Hotondo Homes is not a licenced conveyancing service, and we recommend speaking to a licenced professional when you’re buying or selling land or property.

Have you been chatting to a mortgage broker about obtaining finance to buy or build your first home and you’re feeling a little bit confused about all the different loan terms being discussed? Don’t worry, we’re here to help! We chatted to our friends at Professional Mortgage Managers and they have a thorough list of all the loan terms, what they mean, and how they can benefit you!

Variable loans

Variable loans are loans that are subject to interest rate fluctuations. Whenever your bank increases or decreases interest rates, you will end up either paying more or less for your loan, depending on what the bank has decided to do. The benefit to the customer is that often (but not always) once discounts are applied that lower rates, there is the flexibility to pay down loans quicker, you can have 100% offset accounts and can discharge from your loan at any time without breaking fees.

Fixed-rate loans

Fixed loans allow you to lock in a specific interest rate over a set period of time, generally between one and five years. This loan ensures that repayments don’t rise for the fixed rate period. The main risk is that if variable rates fall, you are locked in at a higher rate. The cost of breaking a fixed rate loan contract can be substantial. The benefit to the customer here is the element of repayment certainty in times of rate fluctuation.

Principal and interest repayments

Repayments are based on the principle rate, the amount borrowed from the bank, and the interest, the amount to pay for having borrowed the money.

Interest-only repayments

Repayments are made just on the interest, which is the amount you repay for having borrowed the money, and not on the principle borrowed amount. This is generally available for 1 to 5 years for owner occupied loans, and one to ten years for investment loans.

Split-rate loans

You can take out a mortgage with one portion of the loan variable, and the other fixed. In many ways, this offers the best of both worlds and you have the flexibility to repay more on the variable loan and reduce risk through the fixed loan.

Low-doc loans

This loan is better suited to the self-employed as low-doc loans require less proof-of-income paperwork, but the interest rate levied is often higher than the standard variable rate.

Professional or packaged loans

Some lenders offer mortgages that provide ‘lifetime’ discounted interest rates, fee waivers and linked savings accounts and credit cards. These options are generally offered on high loan amounts.

Construction loans

These loans allow amounts of finance to be drawn down progressively to cover the various stages of a construction project. Repayments (generally only on interest for the first twelve months, then on principal and interest thereafter) are only made on the amount of the loan facility that has been drawn down. However, there are line fees on the undrawn amount, or in most cases on the total facility limit.

Line-of-credit facilities

This is a way of tapping into the equity in an existing home loan and drawing down funds as required for different purposes, such as renovations. Similar to a credit card, repayments are only made on the amount drawn down. Line-of-credit loans are often interest-only for a significant period, but can revert to principal and interest repayments down the track. Most lenders charge extra for line of credit accounts, either through a facility fee, undrawn funds fees and/or a higher interest rate.

Bridging loans

Bridging loans are designed as short-term financing options for borrowers who need funding to buy a new residence before selling their existing home. The interest rates on these loans are higher than the standard variable interest rate.

Now that you’re ready to get finance approval for your first home purchase, having a sound understanding of common loan terms will help you understand the types of loans your broker will suggest that suit your lifestyle and budget. This should also help you in the future in the event that you need to reassess your home loan and make changes where necessary. To find a builder local to you, head to the Hotondo Homes website today. Our builders can assist you with getting in touch with a finance expert to help you start the process of obtaining finance for your new home.

Hotondo Homes is not an authorised financial institution and we recommend home buyers always seek the advice of a registered financial professional before purchasing a home.

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