A simple guide to the HBAA
WA has several schemes and grants that aim to make home ownership more accessible to first time buyers.
Here, we’ve explained everything you need to know about one of these helpful first home buyer schemes, the Home Buyers Assistance Account.
- First home buyers in Australia may be eligible for a grant of up to $2,000 to cover fees and incidental costs when purchasing a home
- Eligibility depends on several factors, but the main ones are a purchase price of $400,000 or less for an existing or partially built home, being a first time home buyer, working with a licensed real estate agent and a lending institution, occupying the home for at least the first 12 months, and planning to use the home as your primary residence
- The application process is simple and can be completed online and submitted to your lender
- Your lender will then lodge your HBAA application on your behalf
- First home buyers in WA may be eligible for other helpful grants
What is the Home Buyers Assistance Account?
The HBAA scheme provides a grant of up to $2,000 to first home buyers. This grant is meant to help cover incidental expenses that are incurred when purchasing a partially built or established home through a licensed real estate agent. The purchase price must be $400,000 or less.
What are the HBAA eligibility criteria?
The general criteria for HBAA funding is:
- The purchase price must be $400,000 or less
- It must be your first time buying a home
- The home must be established or partially built (the grant does not pertain to vacant land or a ‘house and land’ deal)
- You must live in the home for at least the first 12 months (the home cannot be rented out during this period)
- The home must be purchased through a licensed real estate agent in WA
- The home purchase needs to be financed by a lending institution such as a credit union, building society, or bank (the lending institution will also lodge the application on your behalf)
- The home purchased must be the applicant(s) primary place of residence
- The buyer(s) must not own or have previously owned a home in Western Australia. If you are buying a home with others who own or have owned a home in Western Australia before, you may qualify for a partial grant based on your percentage of ownership of the home
- Your application must be lodged with the Department of Commerce within 90 days after the date of an accepted contract
How do I apply?
Applying for the HBAA is simple. You complete section A of the online application form, follow all instructions, and forward your application form and required supporting documents to your lender.
Your lender will complete section B of the form and lodge the application on your behalf.
For further queries or assistance, applicants can contact the Home Buyers Assistance Hotline on (08) 6552 9484 or 1300 304 054 for country callers.
Alternatively, you can get in touch with us for assistance.
Benefits of the scheme
The HBAA scheme is intended to offer several benefits to first home buyers in WA, including:
- Up to $2,000 to put toward incidental expenses
- Make home ownership more accessible and affordable
- Assist in covering a variety of fees that are incurred when purchasing a home
Here’s an example of what it may look like for first home buyers to apply for the Home Buyers Assistance Account:
Emma and Jack, a young couple in Perth, embark on their journey to buy their first home. They find a perfect two-bedroom house priced at $380,000, well within the $400,000 limit required for the Home Buyers Assistance Account (HBAA) eligibility.
This is their first property purchase, making them ideal candidates for the HBAA, which aims to support first-time homebuyers in Western Australia.
They ensure their purchase is through a licensed real estate agency in Western Australia, another key eligibility criterion for the HBAA. The couple finances their home through a recognised lending institution, aligning with the HBAA’s requirement that the home loan must be from an approved bank, building society, or credit union.
Emma and Jack plan to make this house their principal place of residence for at least the first year, complying with the HBAA’s residency requirements. They are not looking to rent out the property during this period, ensuring their adherence to the program’s rules.
Aware of the HBAA’s application deadline, they promptly submit their application within 90 days after the settlement of their new home. This timely application is crucial for accessing the grant.
Their application is successful, and they receive a $2,000 grant from the HBAA. This grant significantly eases their financial burden, covering incidental expenses such as mortgage registration, settlement agent fees, and loan establishment fees.
Thinking of buying your first home? If you’d like to find out more about what first home buyer grants you may qualify for, please feel free to contact our experts.
We are passionate about guiding you through the process of home ownership and are here to give you the knowledge, assistance, and guidance you need. Browse our first home buyers guide or contact us with any questions. We’d be happy to chat with you!
The HBAA scheme aims to ease the financial burden of some of the incidental expenses that occur when buying a home.
The Home Buyers Assistance Account can first home buyers cover incidental expenses such as:
- Mortgage registration fees
- Solicitor and/or conveyancing fees
- Inspection fees
- Valuation fees
- Mortgage insurance premiums
- Lending institution fees
- Establishment fees
Certain costs and fees that are split between the vendor and purchaser at the time of settlement can not be covered by the HBAA grant.
Examples of fees that are not covered include:
- Postage fees
- Bank cheque fees
- Taxes on the property
The Home Buyers Assistance Account is a scheme run by the State Government and administered by the Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation, and Safety (the Department). The HBAA scheme receives funding through interest paid on real estate agents’ trust accounts.
Along with the Home Buyers Assistance Account, first time home buyers may also qualify for other helpful grants or concessions. Examples include the First Home Owner Grant and the First Home Owner Rate of Duty.
You can learn more in our guides:
If you miss the 90 day application window, you may still get accepted if you provide a letter stating a valid reason explaining why your application was lodged late.
No. Properties are only eligible if they fall below the prescribed purchase limit.
For more information and FAQS about the HBAA, you can visit WA’s Home Buyers Assistance Account guide for first home buyers.