Using the First Home Buyers Grant in Brisbane

by | Dec 20, 2022 | Building new, Building tips, First home buyers

Buying your first home is one of the most significant events in your life. It’s also likely the biggest purchase you’ve had to make, and unless you’re one of a lucky few, chances are you’ll need some financial assistance to make it all happen. This can come in the form of loans and also grants, which, as you’ve probably guessed from the title, is the topic of today’s article. You’ve no doubt heard of the first homeowner’s grant, but may be wondering how does it work? How do you apply? Are you even eligible? These are all very legitimate questions to ask, so let’s dive into the details of using the first home buyers grant in Brisbane,

As we are looking at the first home buyers grant in Brisbane, this article will specifically cover applying for the grant through Queensland institutions, government and resources. First-time buyers in other states should check their respective guidelines to find more relevant information.

What is the first home buyers grant in Brisbane?

The first home buyers grant is a government grant specifically designed for those buying their first home. Like all government grants, you are not required to pay the money back. It differs from a mortgage loan or home loan as it won’t incur debt or be affected by rising interest rates. Sounds great right? But how much do you get it and what’s the catch?

The grant is a one-off payment of $15,000 as long as your home has a purchase price or value of less than $750,000. The grant applies per transaction, purchase or block of land, not per person. For example, if there are three applicants on the form, you won’t get three grants.

The grant can be used to purchase a residential property that matches one of the following descriptions:

  • A newly-built house unit or townhouse
  • A house and land package
  • to buy vacant land to build a new home on
  • an established home that has had substantial renovations. If you substantially renovated the house after purchase, this doesn’t meet the criteria. The seller needs to substantially renovate before selling the house.

If you’re looking at previously owned property or investing in the property market, you won’t qualify for the first homeowners grant.

What do I need to know about filling in the application?

Anyone’s who’s made a mistake on a document can tell you what a grind it can be to fix, so let’s see if we can make filling in forms as painless as possible. There are a few details to keep in mind when making your application:

  • You’ll need at least one applicant on the form.
  • Everyone who will be an owner of the new house must be included as an applicant on your application.
  • Your spouse, if you have one, must be included on the application. They can be listed as either an applicant (co-owner) or non-applicant spouse.
  • Regardless of the number of applicants, you only need one application for the house.
  • The grant is paid per house, not per applicant (sorry if you had your hopes up!)
  • The situations of each applicant and their spouse will be taken into consideration when determining the eligibility of the application.

Am I eligible for the first home buyers grant in Brisbane?

The first homeowners grant won’t be just given to anyone, and there are some criteria you’ll need to meet in order to qualify. Any home buyer looking to buy their own home will need to meet the following to qualify for the grant:

  • You must be 18 or over
  • An Australian Citizen or permanent resident.
  • You or your spouse must not have owned property in Australia on or after 1 July 2000
  • You and your spouse can not have already received a first home owner grant in Queensland or any other state or territory in Australia. If you’ve received a grant that you’ve since paid back, it is possible to re-apply for the grant (whether you’ll be approved is another matter).

The Queensland government website has an online eligibility tester to determine whether you’re eligible for a grant. It may be possible to get exemptions in certain circumstances (if you’re under 18 or an Australian Defence Force member for example), but this varies from case to case. You’ll need to discuss your specific situation with your lending agent or the Queensland Revenue Office to see what concessions can be made.

What happens if I become ineligible after being given the loan?

Do you get to keep the money? This will vary on the circumstances and what exactly the infraction is. You may be required to pay back the entire grant or be fined a penalty. Again, this is something that will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Some of the most common reasons someone might become ineligible after being given the loan include:

  • Their house ends up exceeding $750,000 in value
  • They don’t go through with the build.
  • They don’t end up making the house their permanent residence for the required amount of time (see below).
  • There was misleading information in the application and the applicant has since been found out.

Can I use the first home owners grant for an investment property?

No. The first home buyers grant cannot be used for an investment property (ie, somewhere you’re planning to rent out without living there yourself). To put it another way, to qualify for the grant, you must be planning to make the finished house your principal place of residence for at least six months. You can rent rooms out in your new home and still get the first homeowners grant, providing you also live there yourself. That’s the short answer but there are a few details worth diving into.

What if I have an interest in an investment property, but am looking to buy my first home?

Suppose you’ve had an interest (owned or co-owned) in a residential property that has only been used for investment purposes (ie, you’ve never lived in it yourself). In that case, you may actually be eligible for a grant on another property, under the proviso that this new house will be your first home to live in.

As you’ve probably guessed, you’re going to have to prove you haven’t lived in your investment property. This means you need to provide evidence that covers the entire timespan you’ve had an interest in the property. This evidence will come in the form of the following:

  • tenancy or lease agreements
  • electricity and phone accounts
  • tax returns declaring the rental property.

Government sectors are notorious for being sticklers for paperwork, so be thorough in making your case. Remember, your being approved matters a lot more to you than it does to them. Making sure you tick all the required boxes means you’ll be in your new home sooner, so it’s worth doing the legwork.

How to apply for the first home buyers grant in Brisbane?

So, you’ve checked the eligibility checklist and it looks like you might qualify for the grant. Where do you go to make an application? There are two main options when it comes to submitting an application for a homeowners grant:

  • through a bank or lending institution (an approved agent)
  • apply to Queensland Revenue Office

Let’s take a closer look at each of the above, and see what you’ll need and what to expect.

Applying through an approved agent

In most cases, this is the fastest of the two options. The approved bank or lending institution will confirm whether you meet the eligibility criteria and then manage your first home buyers grant application. The Queensland Government Website offers a list of approved agents through whom you can apply for the grant.

You’ll need to take your application form and supporting documents for your agent to process the grant. An agent should be able to accept a scanned application, provided they’re:

  • properly completed
  • signed and dated contract
  • clearly legible

As you no doubt know, there are serious penalties for giving false and misleading information, so be honest. If there’s anything you’re not sure about, your agent should be able to help you with the details.

Applying to Queensland Revenue Office

If you apply directly with the Queensland Revenue Office, you can do so through their website. You’ll need to fill out the application, supplying all requested documents. The grant won’t be paid until your home is completed and all documents have been received. Through your account, you’ll be able to keep track of the status of your application.

When to apply for the first homeowner grant in Brisbane?

Throughout the process, you’ll be required to supply supporting documents within the following timespans

  • Buying a home – you have to apply within 1 year of possessing your new home and your title is registered.
  • Contract to build – you must apply within 1 year of the new home being completed: when the final inspection certificate is issued.
  • Owner-builder – apply within 1 year of your new home being completed.

But when will you get the money? When you’ll receive your grant funds can vary, so it’s best not to rely on this for any first home loan deposit, payments or legal fees you need to cover during the building process. Think of it as money you’ll get back at some point rather than the cash flow that will get the process started.

For those applying through banks or lending institutions, the timeframe of the payment will likely be:

  • at the settlement of buying a new home
  • the first drawdown of funds,
  • upon receipt of the final inspection certificate.

Can I use a first home buyer grant to build a new home?

The first home buyer grant can be used for buying a brand new home or building a new home provided the house, unit or townhouse is worth under $750,000. It cannot be used to buy a previously owned, pre-existing home in which someone has already lived.


As with any agreement, there are conditions you need to meet to obtain the first home buyer grant. Along with the previously mentioned eligibility criteria, there are some conditions you’ll need to meet once you’ve received your payment.

  • you must move into the home you’re receiving the grant for within a year of the completed transaction.
  • Be a permanent resident for at least 6 months

How to build your first home In Brisbane?

It’s worth checking with both your state and federal government benefits to help you on your way.

  • Talk to a personal financial advisor or mortgage broker to organise a home loan deposit scheme
  • Normally you’ll need 20% of the total cost of your home saved before you can realistically start building a house.
  • Find the right builder for your project. This makes the difference between your build being a great experience and being a disaster
  • Don’t be afraid to find help. A building consultant can save you both time and money during your build.

Need Help Picking the Right Builder For You?

How We Can Help You

Building a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make in your life. At Buildi, we’ll be there throughout the entire building process, guiding you step by step so you can avoid any pitfalls. We will help you by following these steps.

  1. Free Consultation – We will sit with you to understand what you are looking to accomplish.
  2. Due Diligence – We work with you to ensure you’re buying the right block of land at the right price without hidden problems.
  3. Builders tender – We will take your requirements out to the market of builders and they will bid to win your business.
  4. Present solutions – We will compile the top 3 options and present you with a comprehensive proposal on builders’ strengths & weaknesses along with prices and specifications.
  5. Contract Signing – We will work with you and your selected builder to ensure there is full transparency in what you are entering into.
  6. Building your home – We work closely with the builder to ensure all service levels are met and your project is on schedule.

Research reputable home builders in Brisbane



McCarthy Homes

Callaway Homes

Research house and land packages in and around the Brisbane area

For first-home buyers, houses and land packages can be a great way to break into the market. Often located in master-planned development estates, a house and land package is often a more streamlined approach to getting a new home.

Visit display home locations in the Brisbane area

Trying to figure out what you want in a home design? Perhaps you’re after some inspiration? A display home can be a great way to get an idea of a builder’s work or how a floor plan looks in real life.

Key takeaways

The first home buyer grant can be a great way to get a leg up when purchasing a new house. You’ll need to make sure you meet the eligibility and follow the guidelines, however, the benefits include not having to pay the money back. For any first-home buyer, any help you can get will make all the difference. Our advice? If you’re looking to build your first home, find out if you’re eligible for the grant and apply if you can. You’ve got nothing to lose and it could make a handy dent in your expenses.

Looking for help with your next building project? Buildi is here to help! Get in touch today for your free, impartial consultation.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Building a Home

Knockdown Rebuild

Home designs

Advice & inspiration

Building a Home

Knockdown Rebuild

Home designs

Advice & inspiration