If you are thinking of buying property you need to be aware that if your personal circumstances change this may affect your eligibility for home buyer assistance.

In the ACT, first home buyers who purchase a property “off the plan” (that is, a property that has not yet been built) may be eligible for home buyer assistance in the form of a concession on stamp duty as well as a First Home Owners Grant. When applying for either of these, applicants must declare details of their domestic partner, even if that partner is not listed as a buyer on the purchase contract.

The application for home buyer assistance is assessed on your circumstances, as well as the circumstances of your domestic partner. For example, if your partner has owned property then you will not be entitled to receive the stamp duty concession or the First Home Owners Grant.

An unexpected trap arises when a buyer enters into a contract to purchase a unit which is not expected to be completed for another 2 or 3 years. At the time of exchanging contracts the buyer may be single and is eligible to receive the home buyer assistance. However, if the buyer starts a relationship which qualifies as a domestic partnership, and that partner owns property, then the buyer may not be entitled to receive the First Home Owners Grant when the unit is ready and settlement is called. This can severely effect a buyer’s finance, especially if the finance is reliant on the buyer receiving the First Home Owners Grant.

Timing is critical when it comes to ensuring you receive your entitlements. Navigating the minefield of timeframes and eligibility is complex and can have unexpected consequences if you are not properly advised. Chamberlains can guide you through the application process and help ensure you receive the full range of home buyer assistance available to you, although you may need to make a choice between love and money!


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