In an attempt to stimulate the economy, the Australian Government has rolled out HomeBuilder – a $25k grant for those building a new home or substantially renovating their current home.
If you’re planning to build, HomeBuilder might mean you can add that extra en suite or guest bedroom. If you’re renovating, it could be the difference between a basic and a premium kitchen.
But before you start taking a sledgehammer to your bedroom wall, it’s important to understand the key elements of HomeBuilder and who’s eligible.
Main Residences Only
HomeBuilder is only available to those building or renovating their main residence. Unfortunately, this eliminates those who were thinking of using the grant to build or spruce up their investment properties.
HomeBuilder is rolling out with an income cap of $125k for individual applicants and $200k for couples. This is assessed based on your 2018-19 tax return or later.
For renovating, you’ll need to be thinking big. HomeBuilder will only be available for those spending between $150k and $750k. So if you’re wanting a simple bathroom upgrade, you probably won’t hit the $150k threshold. You’ll also need to consider that the total value of your existing house and land cannot exceed $1.5m.
For new builds, the value of the completed house and land cannot exceed $750k.
Aside from financial eligibility, renovations must improve the accessibility, liveability and safety of the property. Unfortunately, if you were looking to do something with your backyard, this excludes building a tennis court, pool or shed for renovators.
You’ll need to sign your building contract between the 4th June and 31st December this year, and the construction or renovations need to begin within three months of the contract date.
To apply, you’ll have to get your papers in order, including council approvals and a copy of the building contract. The grant process is managed, approved and paid by the relevant state or territory where your house is located.
HomeBuilder will complement existing State and Territory First Home Owner Grant programs, stamp duty concessions and other grant schemes, as well as the Commonwealth’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.
For those who were already planning a major renovation or build, the grant is a welcome gift, whilst for those sitting on the fence, HomeBuilder may be a timely push.
To find out more about the HomeBuilder program, click here.
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