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Renovated houses and the first home owner grant

You may be eligible for the Queensland First Home Owners' Grant if you are buying a substantially renovated home (including the land on which it is situated).

Renovation eligibility

The home:

  • must be substantially renovated before you buy it
  • must not have been lived in since the renovation.

The seller:

  • must be registered (or required to be registered) for the GST and be selling the home in the course of their business
  • must give you a tax invoice that shows the GST component of the renovation (as evidence that the sale is a taxable supply)
  • must give you a statement that confirms the house has not been occupied or sold since the renovation.

You also need to meet the other eligibility criteria.

Substantial renovations

A substantial renovation is when all, or most, of the structural or non-structural components of a building are removed or replaced.

Most of the rooms in the building must have been affected, and the renovations must have affected the building as a whole for it to be considered a substantial renovation.

Non-substantial renovations

A home has not been substantially renovated if:

  • only cosmetic work has been done to the home (e.g. painting)
  • only one part of the building has been renovated (e.g. renovation of one bedroom in a 4-bedroom house; removal and replacement of a kitchen and bathroom with little else being done to the building, apart from minor repair work).

Examples

‘Flipping’ a property

Trudy is a self-employed florist and is registered for the GST. She bought a house, with the intention of doing it up and ‘flipping’ it. She contracted a builder to carry out the renovations.

Even though Trudy might sell the house with a statement showing the taxable supply, the house is not eligible for the grant because she is not selling it as part of her florist business.

Relocated and renovated homes

Henry bought a relocatable house from a business specialising in restored Queenslanders. The business moved the house to the vacant land that Henry had bought the previous month. They installed the home and connected services.

If Henry met the other eligibility criteria, he could apply for the grant as an owner–builder.

Self-employed builders

Nick and Emma are self-employed builders and are registered for the GST. They bought a house and made substantial renovations before putting it on the market.

At the time of sale, they provided a statement as evidence of the taxable supply. The house would be eligible as a substantially renovated home because they sold it in the course of their business.