In addition to the more commonly spoken about First Home Owners Grant (FHOG), the WA State Government also offers a home buyers assistance grant, worth up to $2,000!
Eligible first home owners can apply for the Home Buyer Assistance Account (HBAA) scheme, which is administered through Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (Consumer Protection).
The HBAA can reimburse you for up to $2,000 in purchase & settlement costs and is available to eligible buyers in addition to the FHOG.
What kinds of costs does the home buyers assistance grant cover?
The HBAA grant can reimburse eligible buyers for expenses such as:
- Mortgage registration fees;
- Settlement agent fees;
- Inspection fees for conditions such as structural & termite reports;
- Loan establishment fees;
- Mortgage insurance premiums;
- and Bank and financial institution fees.
This sounds too good to be true! Am I eligible?
In order to qualify for the HBAA grant, you must satisfy the following critera:
- The purchase price of the home must be less than $400,000
- You must purchase the home through a licensed WA real estate agent
- The purchase must be financed through a lending institution, such as a bank or credit union.
- You must intend to live in the home for at least the first 12 months and you cannot rent it out during this time.
- If there is an existing tenant already living in the property, the tenancy agreement must finish within six months from the settlement date and you must intend to then live in the premises for at least 12 months after the tenancy expiry date.
- The home must be your first home. If you are buying a home with others who own or have owned a home in WA before, then you can apply for a partial grant based on the percentage of your ownership of the home.
- The home must be established or partially built. Vacant land and ‘house and land’ packages aren’t eligible.
- You must lodge your application for the home buyers assistance grant with the Department no later than 90 days after the date your offer to buy the home is accepted. In certain exceptional circumstances, late applications may be accepted.
I’m eligible, so how do I apply?
Your financial institution or finance broker should be able to provide you with a Home Buyers Assistance Account application form. Alternatively, you can download it here.
Complete Section A of the form and forward the application form and your supporting documents to your bank or lender.
They will complete Section B and lodge application with Consumer Protection on your behalf.
What supporting documents do I need to provide with the application?
As part of your application, you’ll need to gather the following documents.
If you’re unsure about what you need, or have misplaced your copy of any of these documents, speak to the team at Metro Settlements. We’ll be able to forward it to you right away.
- The fully signed copy of the Offer and Acceptance Contract, including any annexures for special conditions;
- A copy of the Final Settlement Statement showing the breakdown of costs and disbursements from Metro Settlements;
- A copy of our final letter to you confirming that settlement has occurred; and
- Any invoices and receipts for inspection fees such as structural and termite reports.
What if my settlement takes place later than 90 days from when I signed my contract?
You can still lodge an incomplete application if you have not yet received your final settlement statement and the 90-day period is coming to an end.
For applications lodged after the 90 day period, you will need to provide a letter explaining the reasons for the delay, for the Department to consider.
How does the home buyers assistance grant get paid to me?
After your lender lodges your application, it can take up to eight weeks to process and pay the grant.
Once approved, a cheque is forwarded to your lender, who will then pay the grant to you. Check with your lender as to their process for paying the grant to you.
How can Metro Settlements help me?
As your settlement agent, we’ll send you your stamped Offer & Acceptance Contract along with your settlement statement immediately upon settlement of your property.
However, as an added service, we also store all of your documents in our secure electronic system.
This way, if you ever need copies of anything to assist you or support your application, we can email it to you before you’ve even hung up the phone!