Granted their dream home

NICK Armstrong and his partner Emma King are looking forward to finally achieving the Aussie dream of owning their own house, thanks to more than $30,000 in government grants for first-home owners.

The Duranbah couple will not only receive $21,000 from the Federal Government for building a new home, they will also get $10,000 from the State Government if an increase of $3000 to first-home-owner grants is approved in tomorrow's NSW mini-budget.

"The extra money will mean that we can build the house that we want," said Mr Armstrong.

"We had been looking to get into the property market for some time, but were originally looking at buying a duplex because that is what we could afford.

"But now with the first-home-owner grants and the reduction in interest rates, we can have the house that we want."

The couple plans to build a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with study and a large garage on their 689 square-metre block, located in the 22-lot The Rise residential development in Banora Point.

"We have been planning to buy our own place for a year and have been staying with my mum and dad for the last six months and paying little rent so we can save a deposit," said Mr Armstrong.

"Before that we shared a house with friends -- which also helped us save. But we wouldn't be able to afford a house if it wasn't for the first-home-owner grants.

"While the money won't come through until we start building our house, it will help make it easier to get what we want when we start to build next year.

"I'll be able to do a lot of the site works myself, and I work for a builder who said he will help out wherever he can, so we will be able to make some savings there."

First-home owners purchasing existing property will also benefit from $14,000 in federal grants and $10,000 in NSW funding if the increase is approved.

Deferred stamp duty and softening house prices on the Tweed were also helping to attract first home owners back to the rapidly growing area, after being scared off by escalating interest rates and booming house prices, said agent for The Rise, Christian Petersen.

First-home owners will be able to apply for the extra NSW grant from tomorrow, and the scheme is limited to the first 3000 applicants before being reassessed.

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