Frequently Asked Questions

Some frequently asked questions are listed below. If you can’t find the answer to your question, email [email protected] and we’ll get back to you with two business days.



HomeBuilder is a new Australian Government initiative that will provide eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build or buy off the plan a new home. 

The contract needs to be signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020, and construction commence within 3 months of contract being signed.

More information is available on the HomeBuilder website, and details on how to apply are available on RevenueSA.

Affordable Homes Program


What if I don’t meet some of the eligibility criteria?

If you’re not eligible, you can apply for consideration of 'exceptional circumstances' by emailing [email protected]

Please address the specific eligibility criteria you do not meet, and why you believe your situation should be considered as an ‘exceptional circumstance’ by Affordable Homes.

How do I calculate my income?

When calculating your income, take the following into account.


  • Centrelink Income Statement or letter confirming the benefit and other income paid in the previous fortnight
  • Income or pensions from Department of Veterans’ Affairs


  • Gross salary or wages (including any regular overtime and allowances) as outlined in an employer’s Declaration Form, payment summary/group certificate, pay slips or your last tax return
  • For casual employment, the last four consecutive weeks of gross income averaged over 12 months.
  • Income from your own business
  • Your net business income (before tax income minus expenses) as outlined on your tax return for the previous year

Other income

  • Overseas government payments
  • Workers compensation payments or insurance payouts
  • Spousal maintenance payments
  • Investment dividends
  • Accessed superannuation (superannuation is not included in income calculations unless you are 55 years old or over and have accessed your superannuation)

What is considered an asset?

Assets include:

  • Household and personal effects
  • Cars, boats, and motorhomes
  • Money lodged with a financial institution
  • Shares, bonds and investments
  • Overseas assets converted to Australian dollars
  • Superannuation if you have accessed it.


How do I get financial pre-approval?

Finance pre-approval is approval by a particular lender (bank or financial institution) for a specific type of loan up to a specific amount.  To get pre-approval, generally you will need to contact the lender of your choice, discuss your financial situation, and undertake the appropriate verification process to enable the lender to assess your eligibility for a home loan.


What information will I need when I apply for finance?

This is a list of common documentation and information a lender may need to work through your pre-approval:

  • Details of your income (e.g. net salary and Centrelink income)
  • Your employment type (e.g. full-time, part-time, casual, contract, self-employed)
  • Details of any commitments (e.g. personal/car loans, credit/store cards, childcare/school fees, AfterPay/Zip Pay etc.)
  • Credit history (any paid defaults, insolvency, bankruptcy)
  • Evidence of savings (and/or rent) and your bank/transactional statements
  • Details around your monthly living expenditure (e.g. food and groceries, transport, clothing, rates, utilities, building insurance etc.)
  • Other eligibility criteria may apply, depending on which product or lender you choose.


What sort of homes will be on offer?

Assist Loans are only for specific homes that have been designed to match a land lot size and orientation that they’ll be built on. You’ll only be able to buy the home that’s advertised (not choose another home design to be build on the land). 

What other assistance can I get?

Depending on your individual circumstances you may also be able to access

Can I pay out all, or a portion of, the investment made by SA Housing Authority in my home?

Yes, you can. You will need to contact your home loan lender for a valuation. They will then determine what balance is owing.


How soon can I sell my Assist home?

You can sell your Assist home one year after settlement. All Assist buyers are required to live in their home for a continuous period of 12 months immediately after settlement.


What happens when I’m ready to sell my Assist home?

If you decide to sell your Assist home, you will need to contact your home loan lender for a valuation and then inform SA Housing Authority of your intention to sell.


What if the market value drops to below the initial purchase price?

SA Housing Authority shares in a portion of any gain or loss in an Assist property’s value.



General Information

MoneySmart is a government website that provides general information about finance, including:

managing on a low income
saving for a deposit
choosing a home loan.

What is the best type of housing for me?

The South Australian Housing Services Finder helps you work out what housing services may be available to you.

You can enter basic information including household income, number of children and other details of your household to see a list of housing services you may be eligible for and links to more information.

How much can I afford?

When a lender looks at your home loan application they generally assume about 30% of your gross income can be used to make loan repayments. They then factor in any other debt that you have, assets, and spending to forecast your borrowing capacity. 

Are there extra costs when buying a property?

When buying a property there are a number of costs that you need to factor into your budget. These include

  • Government charges: stamp duty, Mortgage registration fee, Transfer of Title fee
  • Lender Fees: Loan application fees, legal fees, and lenders mortgage insurance
  • Other buying costs: solicitor and conveyancing fees, strata search if applicable, home and contents insurance, pest inspection, moving costs, building/council inspection, connecting utilities, land tax, council rates.


I am on a low income. How do I get started?

There is a lot of information available on how to get started.
One place to start is the Australian Government’s Moneysmart website.
In addition, in South Australia HomeStart Finance focuses on helping low income households into home ownership. HomeStart also run free homebuyer seminars.  You can register for an upcoming seminar on their website.


I am a Housing SA tenant. Can I buy the house I am living in?

If you are a tenant with Housing SA who signed the conditions of tenancy, you may be able to buy your public housing property. Note that not all properties are for sale. Further information is available here.


What is the First Home Owners Grant?

The State Government of South Australia offers a “First Home Owners Grant” of up to $15,000 for the purchase or construction of a new residential property, including a house, flat, unit, townhouse or apartment valued up to $575,000. 


Applications for the first homes owners grant can be made through an approved lending agent or directly through Revenue SA.


For further information please visit the RevenueSA website.


What is the Starter Loan?

The State Government of South Australia offers a Starter Loan of up to $10,000 to help cover the upfront costs for buying or building a home.  It is a secondary loan taken out with a primary HomeStart Finance loan, with a five year term. No repayments are required, or interest charged during those five years. Further information is available from HomeStart Finance.

What is HomeBuilder
HomeBuilder is an Australian Government initiative that will provide eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build or buy off the plan a new home where the contract is signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020.

Construction must commence within 3 months of contract.

Details on how to apply will be available on RevenueSA as they become available. You can also register for updates.  More information can be found on the HomeBuilder website.

What is the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme?

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme is an Australian Government initiative to support eligible first home buyers by providing a guarantee that will allow eligible low and middle incomes to purchase a home with a deposit of as little as 5 per cent.


Under the Scheme, part of an eligible first home buyer’s home loan from a participating lender will be guaranteed by The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC). This is aimed at enabling first home buyers to purchase a home with a deposit of as little as 5 per cent (lender's criteria apply).


For further information and to check the criteria please visit the NHFIC website.


Am I eligible for a concession?

There are several concessions available to South Australians on a low to moderate incomes to assist with living expenses.  Some of those concessions include:

  • Energy Bills Concession
  • Emergency Services Levey Concession
  • SA Pensioner and Low-income Earner Energy Pension
  • SA Medical Concession
  • Cost of Living Concession


For further information on Government Concessions available to you please visit their website