HomeBuilder Explained

In early June, the Federal Government announced a new stimulus package to kickstart the economy via the construction industry. Dubbed ‘HomeBuilder’ this package will see $25,000 cash grants given to homeowners looking to renovate and those looking to build new.

It’s an exciting time for anyone who is thinking about a building project, but as with all things, there is more to HomeBuilder than first meets the eye. In this blog, we’ll take a deep dive into the scheme and share our insights into what we know so far…

What is HomeBuilder?

HomeBuilder is a time-limited, tax-free grant program providing eligible homeowners with $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate or extend an existing home. It’s hoped that these grants will help boost the residential construction industry, providing extra jobs for trades and builders across Australia.

The HomeBuilder package can be used alongside existing homeowner grants, including the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, First Home Super Saver Scheme and First Homeowner Grants.

Am I eligible?

There are a number of criteria you must meet to be eligible for the HomeBuilder stimulus. You must be an Australian citizen aged, over 18 years old, and you must have an annual income below $125,000, or below $200,000 if applying as a couple. This income assessment will be based on your tax return from the 2018-2019 financial year.

Is my project eligible?

Now that you know whether you are eligible or not, it’s time to find out whether your project is too! If you’re looking at a home renovation, your builder will need to be carrying out works between $125,000 and $750,000. Additionally, the value of your existing home must be less than $1.5 million prior to any works being undertaken.

If you’re embarking on a new home build, your project must be valued at or below $750,000. This includes the value of your land. In order to receive the cash grant, your building contract must be signed prior to December 31 and construction works must commence within 3 months of contract signing.

Those looking to build or renovate an investment property are ineligible for the grant.

Which builder can I use?

If you’re an owner-builder looking to undertake a project, the bad news is you’re not eligible for HomeBuilder. For regular homeowners, you’ll have to approach a licensed building contractor and you won’t be able to use a relative to carry out the works.

What’s the fine print?

If you’ve made it this far and you’re still eligible, that’s great news. However, there are a few final criteria you will need to meet before you can apply for HomeBuilder. The most important of these is the type of renovation you’re looking to undertake.

To be eligible for the grant, you will need to be looking at a renovation to the principle structure of your home. This means a kitchen and / or bathroom renovation is completely acceptable, however an outdoor living renovation with an in-ground pool and outdoor spa installation is not valid. Similarly, garage and carport renovations and tennis courts will not qualify for the grant.

Further information about HomeBuilder is expected in the coming days, weeks and months. We also expect to learn more about the stimulus from the Victorian Government soon, as they will be overseeing and handling all HomeBuilder applications and approvals in Melbourne and surrounds.

If you’re interested in learning more about the grant, visit the Government’s HomeBuilder hub. If you’re eligible and ready to get started on your very own Melbourne extension or renovation project, get in touch with the expert team at XL Built today!


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