I rarely rant on my blog. I don’t think it’s fair you see me wear my heart on my sleeve.
However, I am so angry, I am going to.
And, I know a lot of you who read this are country people. You will understand how difficult it is to educate kids from where we all live. You may have had a similar experience, or I might be able to stop you from going through what we’ve just found out.
Late last year, we bought a house in town. Our youngest is about to start high school and he has a form of autism. The change from a tiny 80-odd student school to a huge 900-odd kid school would have been massive for him. To throw boarding away on top of that, well, it may have caused far too many issues for him. So, we made the call that I would go to town for six months, while he settled into high school and then we would try boarding.
We hunted high and low until we found the perfect house.
We bought this perfect house and claimed the First Home Buyers Grant as we were encouraged to do. As most of you would know, this is a $7,000 grant plus if the house is under a certain amount (I can’t remember how much) you get the stamp duty back.
This is the first part of my rant: We saved for this house and didn’t need a financial institution to help us.
That was the WRONG thing to do – we have been penalised greatly for this. Firstly, we had to claim BACK the stamp duty (which we still haven’t received nearly four months on) and we had to apply to get the $7,000 to be transferred to us. There is also another grant we could have got through using a registered Real Estate Agent, but because there WASN’T a bank involved, we WEREN’T entitled to it. WTF?
Please note: We bought this house to help our kids. That was the only reason. Neither The Boss or I are particularly happy about me being in town for a big chunk of next year, but it’s for our kids so we’re going to do it.
Second part of rant: Being further than 57km away from our local high school, kids are entitled to some funding under the Isolated Children’s section of Centrelink. I went to apply for the kids and was told that because we had been granted the First Home Owners money we weren’t entitled to claim that funding. Again, WTF?
Now the reasoning behind this is because when you claim the first home owners grant, it is your primary place of residency. If you are claiming Isolated Children’s Funding, the house you live in has to be your SECONDARY place of residency.
I guess you could say I didn’t research it enough. Sure, I accept that. But I can tell you I had NO IDEA that something was like could happen. Especially when all we are trying to do, is the right thing by the kids.
So anyone who is thinking about doing something similar, please make sure you get the info from both Centrelink and The First Home Owners Office, because we’ve been shafted “six ways to breakfast” as my Papa would have said. Our quick calculations is that we have probably given up nearly $20,000 by not being able to apply for the Isolated Children’s funding. For a $7,000 grant it’s certainly not worth it. The only thing which might make it bare able is when the government decides to hand over the stamp duty we’re due.
So, in summary: DON’T SAVE every cent for your house. Make sure you borrow SOME AMOUNT, no matter how small.
Don’t expect Centrelink to help out when you’re trying to do the best thing for your kids. You’ll get shafted.
Have you had a similar experience? If you have, I’d LOVE to hear from you.