first home owner

Client stories in the 2020-21 financial year

Over the past 12 months we have worked side-by-side with many clients to support them in making life changing purchases. We get satisfaction out of securing finance to fund purchases that will never be forgotten.

Below is a review of just some of the people we have helped over the last year and a summary of how we assisted them in securing their new property.

Having the right mortgage advice from an honest adviser makes what can be a daunting process a walk in the park. If you would like assistance in securing finance to fund your next property purchase or refinance please give us a call on 03 5434 7690 or email



Eloise settled on her first home after we assisted her with securing finance and navigating through the range of First Home Buyer benefits available at the time. The First Home Buyer Stamp Duty exemption allowed Eloise to save $15,000 on stamp duty for the purchase of her established home.

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Jake and Laura

We assisted Jake and Laura at the end of 2020 to purchase some vacant land. The couple then begun their build which is now complete. Exciting times ahead! They were able to take advantage of both the regional First Home Owners Grant of $20,000 and the $25,000 New Home Builder Grant which were available at the time.

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Erin and Ryan

Erin and Ryan settled on the purchase of their first home in the middle of this year. This was particularly exciting as we were able to secure them the $20,000 regional First Home Owners grant, even though the house was already built. Pretty good perk for new eligible properties, particularly when you can move in straight away.

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When Tom’s parents decided to move interstate he couldn’t pass at the opportunity to purchase the house he grew up in! Often when a sale happens between family members, the State Revenue Office (SRO) will not allow for the first home buyer stamp duty waiver if the house is sold under market value.

We worked with Tom, his parents and the SRO to ensure the house was purchased at a price which would allow for Tom to still be eligible for the stamp duty waiver.

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Albert and Quynh

We assisted Albert and Quynh by working through their borrowing power and arranged finance prior to attending an auction in a hot market, allowing the newly engaged couple to bid with confidence. Being prepared before the auction proved useful given their complex self-employed income and existing investments.

The couple were successful in winning the auction, a good result for all involved!

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McKinley Builders

Working with McKinley Builders involved “owner builder” which many banks aren’t comfortable with even for self-employed licenced builders. This also involved bridging finance which allows clients to build and move in to their new house before selling their existing house.

Better than living in a rental while you build and needing to move twice!










We guided Tom through the regional Victoria $20,000 First Home Owners Grant and also the $25,000 Home Builder grant to help him finance his new home. He was referred to us by his employer, McKinley Builders, who are in the story above.

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Dill and Georgia

We helped Dill and Georgia take advantage of both the regional Victoria $20,000 First Home Owners Grant and the $25,000 Home Builder Grant. The couple were referred to us by their accountant as Georgia had become newly self-employed.

We worked with her and formed a plan of attack and timing for her and Dill to get their build off the ground.

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Hayden and Tilley

We helped Hayden and Tilley take advantage of the regional Victoria $20,000 First Home Owners Grant as well as the $25,000 Home Builder Grant. The couple were referred to us by their friends Georgia and Dill, the clients in the story above. They recommended Hayden come and talk to us, and we also later found out that we had been recommended to Tilley by one of her colleagues who is also an exciting client! So they knew they were in good hands.

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Tax and the family home

Australians love property and for the property owners among us, it’s been a nice feeling watching market values rise. It’s worth remembering though, the tax man could want a share if you sell.

Unless the property is your primary residence, you could find capital gains tax (CGT) taking a cut of your profits. CGT applies to investment properties, holiday homes and even vacant land.

What is CGT?

CGT is added to your tax bill in the financial year in which you sell an asset. It’s not a separate tax, but is part of normal income tax and is applied at your marginal rate in that particular tax year.  The tax applies to any increase in the value of an asset between the time you buy and sell it. Although most personal assets are exempt from CGT, many property assets are liable.

Calculating the cost

If a property is liable for CGT, the capital gain is determined by subtracting its ‘cost base’ from the sale price. The cost base is calculated as follows:

If you own the property for over 12 months, you receive a 50% discount on the amount payable.

An important factor to consider is the date of your property purchase, as assets bought before 20 September 1985 are usually exempt from CGT when they are sold.

CGT and the family home

When it comes to your ‘main residence’, CGT is generally not payable providing the home has not been used to produce assessable income (such as running a business or renting it out) and if the land is two hectares or less.

If you live in the residence but then choose to rent it out, you may be required to pay CGT on the periods when you were not the occupant. CGT is also payable if a family home is owned by a company or trust, or if the owner ceases being an Australian resident.

The ATO does not clearly define ‘main residence’, but it bases its assessment on a number of factors. For example, it looks at whether you and your family live in the dwelling and have your personal belongings there, if your mail is delivered there, whether you are registered to vote at the property’s address, or if you have phone, gas and electricity connected.

For your family home to remain exempt from CGT, you can only have one main residence at any time, unless you are in the process of selling your old home and buying a new one.

When this happens you are permitted a six month period where you can own two homes, but the second property must become your new main residence. You must also have lived in your original home for at least three continuous months in the year before you sell, and it must not have been used to produce assessable income during that period.

If you purchased your home after 20 August 1996, to be entitled to a full exemption you must have lived in the house when it was first bought and not have rented it out prior to moving in. Otherwise, the ATO will consider you bought it purely as an investment to produce income.

The 6-year rule

Even if you do move out of your family home and choose to rent it, you could still be exempt from CGT under the Temporary Absence Rule. Under this rule you can leave for up to six years, rent it out and not be liable for CGT. However, you must move back in for three months prior to selling.

If you leave your home but do not rent it out, you can claim a CGT exemption for an indefinite period.

When you buy another property and move in, you can elect to keep your original home as your main residence, but your new dwelling will be subject to CGT.

Inheritance and tax

Generally, CGT does not apply if you inherit a main residence and the property is sold less than two years after the owner dies. In some cases, it’s possible to apply to the ATO for an extension to this two-year period.

Take the example of Penny. As an only child, Penny inherited sole ownership of her mother, Shirley’s home when she died.

Shirley had lived in the house with her husband for the entire period since they first bought it in 1950.

Although she loves the home, Penny plans to sell the vacant property as she already owns a house closer to her work. If she sells within two years of Shirley’s death, any profit from the sale will be exempt from CGT. If she fails to sell within two years, Penny could be liable for CGT on the increase in the property’s value from the time of her mother’s death.

CGT is a complex area of taxation law and is dependent on your individual circumstances. If you have any questions about how CGT applies to your family home or assets, please call our office to discuss your situation on 03 5434 7690.