In this blog post, we’ll discuss the nitty-gritty of buying a house in Australia while in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). We’ll include the information you need to take advantage of some loan subsidies and other incentives that are available to you as an ADF member.

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Capital Properties property investment advice experts can help you with these ADF property-buying incentives:

  • Home Purchase Assistance Scheme (HPAS) offers eligible ADF members a lump-sum payment of $16,949 before tax.
  • Home Purchase or Sale Expenses Allowance (HPSEA) compensates for costs accrued when selling/buying in a new area.
  • Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme (DHOAS) improves recruitment/retention by helping ADF members and their families own their own houses.

ADF property investment schemes

Purchasing a property is recognised as one of the best ways to take control of your financial future. A well-designed house in the right location will consistently deliver capital growth.

The Australian Defence Force has provided various incentives to make it easier for its members to own a house. There are multiple loans, grants, and subsidies to enable ADF members to become homeowners.

These ADF property investment incentives come in two categories:

  • Assistance to purchase (HPAS/HPSEA); and
  • Assistance to repay the loan (DHOAS).

Let’s take a closer look.

1. Home Purchase Assistance Scheme (HPAS)

The Home Purchase Assistance Scheme (HPAS) is an ADF property investment assistance scheme designed to help you purchase your home. It comes as a lump-sum payment of $16,949 before tax – not bad!

If you’re considering buying a house while in the defence force, the amount you’re eligible to receive depends on your ownership share. For example, if you’re buying a property with your partner, the amount will be halved.

Criteria for eligibility to receive an HPAS payment include:

  • You cannot have received the HPAS payment before. You only get this payment once in your entire period of service.
  • The home you want to buy must be in your current (or new) posting location.
  • When you sign the purchase contract, you must plan to serve in the post for 12 months after purchase. This means you have to live in the house for the remainder of your tenure at that location.
  • If you are categorised as a member with dependants (unaccompanied) [MWD(U)], then you need to remain in that category for the next 12 months.

Find out more about how Capital Properties can help you secure your HPAS.

2. Home Purchase or Sale Expenses Allowance (HPSEA)

The ADF created the Home Purchase or Sale Expenses Allowance (HPSEA) to compensate ADF members for reasonable costs accrued if they’ve had to sell their house due to being posted to a new location. The allowance also covers any expenses that an ADF member might accumulate if they sell in one posting location and buy again in a new one.

For example, imagine you own a house in Victoria but get posted to Sydney, and you decide to buy a home there. You would be eligible to receive HPSEA to cover the sale of your home in Victoria and the purchase costs of your new home in Sydney.

HPSEA also reimburses you for other reasonable costs such as real estate agent commissions, stamp duty, solicitors fees, mortgage costs, etc.

Find out more about how Capital Properties can help you secure your HPSEA and other property investment advice.

3. Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme (DHOAS)

The Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme (DHOAS) aims to achieve two goals:

  • Helps Australian Defence Force members and their families own their own houses and;
  • Improves recruitment and retention within the Australian Defence Force.

A DHOAS loan subsidises your home loan and does so for a period of time, correlating to how long you serve.

As of last year (2021), it contributes a monthly amount of between $185 and $370 to your home loan. The amount you receive under DHOAS varies and is based on a three-tier system. This table shows the current subsidy tiers and their details as per the DHOAS government website.

Subsidy tier Minimum Permanent service Minimum Reserve service Subsidised loan amount Maximum monthly subsidy*
1 4 years 8 years $310,937 Up to $185
2 8 years 12 years $466,406 Up to $277
3 12 years 16 years $621,874 Up to $370


*Estimated monthly subsidy values based on the April 2022 median interest rate. These monthly subsidy values fluctuate based on changes in the median interest rate.

To be eligible for DHOAS, you must have been a member of the ADF for at least four years. You also must have served within the last five years, undertaken a qualifying period, and accrued a service credit. There are also occupancy requirements, such as having occupied the premises for at least 12 months. Full eligibility criteria are on the DHOAS government website.

There are three banks approved to provide DHOAS loans for people buying a house with the ADF scheme. These are the Australian Military Bank, the Defence Bank, and the National Australian Bank (NAB).

Find out more about how Capital Properties can help you with the DHOAS.  

Property investment advice

If you’re considering buying a house while in the defence force, Capital Properties can help you navigate home loans.

The decision to purchase or invest in a house is one of the best decisions in any person’s life. And thanks to the ADF property investment scheme, buying a house while in the defence force is easier with access to grants and incentives to help you buy your dream home.

Are you an Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force or Australian Navy member? Are you looking to gain financial independence by buying property in Australia? Do you want to leverage government loans and grants? Then look no further; we are here for you. We’ll help you walk you through the entire process of buying a house with the ADF scheme and settling in your dream home in Australia.

Ready to get started? Contact us now!