Lending expert talking with client about an FHOG Application

Key Takeaway Table

Key Point Description
Application Process
First, carefully check your eligibility as per your state's criteria. Afterwards, collect all required documents depending on your citizenship, personal circumstances, and property type. Then, carefully fill out the FHOG application form from your state's revenue office website and ensure your application is free from errors before you submit your application.
After Approval
After approval, you are required to reside in your residential property within a certain timeframe, usually around 12 months after settlement. You must live in your home for a continuous period of at least 6 months. It must be your primary residence, you may not live in it intermittently, nor should you lease it out while maintaining a different residence. Failure to comply may result in penalties.
If your application is rejected, some states allow you to submit an objection within a certain period (usually within 6 months). You must submit a written objection and include necessary documents to support your appeal.
Tips for a Smooth Application
Prepare for your application early to avoid any issues. Gather all necessary documents and check if you meet all eligibility criteria. Visit your state's revenue office website to see if any requirements or regulations related to the FHOG have changed. Once you apply, keep a copy of your application and documents in case you need to refer to them later.

In 2000, the Australian government passed a nationwide scheme to assist first homeowners in the process of buying or building their first homes. The First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) is implemented state by state, with the goal of providing a one-time payment to applicants to assist with purchasing their first home. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply.

Application Process

Applying for the FHOG involves several steps, which can vary slightly depending on the specific requirements of each state.:


1. Check Eligibility

Before applying, ensure you meet all the eligibility criteria for the FHOG in your state. Although criteria may slightly vary across territories, the basic criteria are as follows:

  • Applicant must be at least 18 years old
  • Applicant must be a natural person, not a company or a trust
  • Applicants must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Applicants must be a first-time homeowner. The applicant and their spouse should not have owned residential property in Australia beforehand.
  • The applicant or their spouse should not have received a FHOG before.

2. Gather Required Documentation

Prepare the necessary documents to support your application. You may lodge your application yourself or apply through a qualified agent. If applying through an agent, you may not be required to produce as many documents as you have to when applying by yourself.  Generally, here are the documents you may need to prepare:

Proof of Identity

Category 1

  • Australian Citizens:
    • Australian Birth Certificate
    • Australian Citizenship Certificate
  • Citizens of Other Countries:
    • Foreign Passport and Citizenship Certificate
    • Foreign Passport and Permanent Residency Visa
  • New Zealand Citizens:
    • New Zealand Passport (NZ applicants must be living in Australia)
    • Movement Record

Category 2

  • Australian Passport
  • Australian Driver’s Licence
  • Australian Firearms Licence
  • Australian Proof of Age Card

Category 3 (Supporting Documents)

  • Motor Vehicle Registration
  • Copy of Utility Bills
  • Bank Statements
  • Insurance of Current Residence


Marital Documents

  • Marriage Certificate
  • Divorce Certificate
  • Any Proof of Separation
  • Death Certificate of Spouse


Other Documents 

  • Proof of Name Change (if applicable)


Financial Help Documents

  • A declaration that you received or are expecting financial help from another person
  • Proof of financial help in writing


Property Documents

  • Copy of the Contract for Sale
  • Copy of Contracts for Significant Renovation
  • Copy of Contract to Build
  • Confirmation Statement (proof of ownership)
  • Proof that the home is new and has not been sold or occupied beforehand (statement from vendor, etc.)
  • Final Inspection Certificate
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3. Complete the Application Form

Obtain the FHOG application form from the relevant state or territory revenue office or website. Carefully complete the form, ensuring all information is accurate and complete.

Links to Application Forms / Portals: NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA

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4. Submit the Application

Submit your completed application form along with all required supporting documentation. The submission can often be done through your state’s revenue office or your lender, especially if you are using the grant as part of your home loan or settlement process. Each state has a list of approved agents, so ensure that your lender is qualified.

Lists of Approved Agents: NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC


5. Application Processing

Once submitted, your application will be processed by the relevant government office. Processing times can vary, so it’s a good idea to check with the office where you submitted your application for an estimated timeframe.


6. Notification and Payment

You will be notified of the outcome of your application. If approved, the grant will be paid according to the specifics of your transaction. For purchases, the grant is typically paid at settlement. For the construction of a new home, the payment may be released at a specified stage of the construction process.

It’s important to note that the release of payment varies depending on the state and whether you applied directly or through your lender. It’s crucial to check your state’s revenue office website and FHOG lodgement guides yourself to know the timelines better.

After Approval

After receiving the grant, you must comply with all conditions, including the requirement to occupy the home as your principal place of residence for at least 6 months. You must fulfil this requirement within 12 months of settlement or construction completion. Failure to comply with occupation requirements can lead to fines amounting to 100% of the grant plus additional fees.

If you are unable to commit to residing in the home due to emergencies or circumstances out of your control, you must write to your commissioner informing them of your situation before the end of the 12-month period.


Some states allow you to submit objections if you are rejected for the FHOG. Within a set period after rejection, you must create an appeal in writing outlining the reason why you were rejected and your reasoning as to why it’s not valid. You should include all supporting documents that can strengthen your objection. Filing an objection is not a surefire way to get approved, but if you have a strong case, your state might reverse their decision.

Tips for a Smooth FHOG Application

Here are some steps you can take to ensure that the application process goes smoothly:


Prepare for the application early

Discuss your intention to apply for the FHOG with your lender early in the buying or building process. You can also reach out to qualified financial professionals should you need advice. Check your state’s revenue websites early to learn state-specific requirements and processes. Being prepared can help you lodge a solid application that has more likelihood of being approved.

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Regularly check for updates

Regulations and application processes can change, so it's important to refer to the most current information available from your state’s revenue website.


Keep records

Keep copies of your application, all submitted documents, and any correspondence related to your FHOG application for your records. You’ll need them in case there’s an issue in the application process.

Ready to Purchase Your First Home?

If you’re looking to buy your first home in Australia, you can turn to financial experts like Darkhorsefinancial.com.au to help you through the process. We can help you explore your funding options like home loans, grants, and concessions. Talk to us today.