Written by Jake Brady

Is Your New Home Eligible for a $35,000 Grant?

Have you heard of the Australian Government’s new economic stimulus package? Announced in early June, HomeBuilder will see State Governments offer $25,000 tax-free cash grants to homeowners looking to build a new home or “substantially renovate” an existing one.

For those looking to build in 2020 or early 2021, this is an exciting announcement. It’s particularly helpful for those who are eligible for additional building grants like the NSW First Home Owners Grant. Of course, to be eligible for these grants, there are a number of criteria you’ll need to meet. 

Keep reading to learn how you can access $35,000 for your new home build.

Is your project eligible?

To be eligible for a HomeBuilder grant for a new build, your home must be valued below $750,000, including land. For those looking to renovate an existing home, works must be valued between $150,000 and $750,000 and the property cannot be valued at more than $1.5 million. 

Renovations can only be undertaken to the principle structure of residence, which means outdoor living spaces, swimming pools and freestanding garages are not eligible. Interestingly, a knockdown rebuild project is classified as a “substantial renovation” under the HomeBuilder scheme.

In addition to these requirements, your building contract must be signed before December 31 and construction will need to commence within 3 months of the contract date. Unfortunately, if you were hoping to use HomeBuilder to build or renovate an investment property, your project is not eligible.

You’ll also need to be eligible…

Once you’ve determined if your project is eligible for the HomeBuilder grant, you’ll also need to make sure you, personally, are eligible. This means you’ll need to be an Australian citizen aged over 18 years old and with an annual income below $125,000, or below $200,000 if you’re applying as a couple. This income assessment will be based on your tax return from the 2018/2019 financial year.

Are there restrictions on the builder I can engage?

Yes. You will need to engage a licensed building contractor to undertake construction of your project and this cannot be a relative (even if they are a builder). Owner builders are also ineligible for using the HomeBuilder grant for personal projects.

How can I access an extra $10,000?

The great thing about HomeBuilder is that it can be used in conjunction with the First Home Owners Grant and First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme. Provided you meet the criteria for both schemes, you could receive a total of $35,000 to put towards your new home build. As with HomeBuilder, there are restrictions that apply to the First Home Owners grant – you can learn more about this here.

If you want to make the most of the HomeBuilder grant, you’ll need to act fast. You only have until December 31 to sign a contract and you need to ensure your builder is available to begin construction within 3 months of your contract date.

The design, planning and approvals processes can take quite a few months to work through, so we recommend getting started now. If you’re looking for a South Coast builder to help with your new custom home build, get in touch with the team at Smartbuild South Coast today!