Twenty one year old Emily Allwood and her 22 year old partner, Steve O’Donnell are taking advantage of the $15,000 First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) to purchase land at Harvest before the grant reduces to $10,000 next year.
The couple has been living in a granny flat at Emily’s Mum and Dad’s home in Port Stephens for the past three years while saving their deposit.
“We’ve been saving for some time now but the really serious saving has been in the past 12 months! The First Home Owner Grant will definitely be a big help,” said Emily
Before talking with Harvest Sales Consultant, Deborah Wright, the couple didn’t know the details of the grant.
“We knew that the Grant existed but didn’t know too much about the process. Deborah was great. She explained the eligibility criteria, how to apply and that we will receive the $15,000 once the construction of our home commences,” Emily said.
The NSW Government established the First Home Owner Grant (New Homes) Scheme to assist eligible first home owners to purchase a new home or build their home. The Scheme only applies to new homes and will reduce to $10,000 on 1 January 2016.
Although it will be one of the most important financial commitments they will make, Emily and Steve are not nervous about the prospect of having a mortgage.
“It’s exciting! We’ve been together for four years but this is our first major purchase together. We’re looking forward to starting life in our own home,” said Emily.
Emily and Steve were planning on buying an existing home in an established area but soon decided that they would prefer a new home without the maintenance problems of an older home.
The couple came across Harvest by chance when they drove past the site and noticed the signage and construction works underway.
“We both agreed that it is a nice area, quiet and a little bit rural but close to Maitland,” Steve said.
“We had looked at land in other new estates in Newcastle, but they weren’t for us. We want to live in a smaller neighbourhood with plenty of open space and wide streets, and that’s what we’ve found at Harvest.
“When we compared the lot sizes and prices at Harvest with land at these other estates we found Harvest to offer better value for money,” said Steve.
With Emily working in Mayfield and Steve working in Lake Macquarie, Harvest’s location just 28 kilometres from Newcastle and in close proximity to the Hunter Expressway and the M1 also influenced their decision.
“I’ll be able to get to work in around 20 minutes and although it will take Steve a little longer, he can jump on the freeway so it’s an easy commute,” Emily said.
After looking at home designs from several builders, Emily and Steve have chosen to build a four bedroom and two bathroom home with Eden Brae Homes.
“We particularly like the floor plan of the Eden Brae design and their staff has been very helpful. So far, everything’s gone smoothly,” said Emily.