How You Can Benefit from the Government's HomeBuilder Scheme

10 June, 2020
Have you heard the news? The Federal Government is handing out $25,000 cash grants to people to renovate their properties or build new homes!

The HomeBuilder scheme is designed to stimulate activity in the construction sector — one of the biggest employers in the country.

We’re talking builders, plumbers, painters, electricians - basically anyone involved in the process of building or renovating a home. 

However - there are certain things the grant can be used for, and specific criteria for qualifying. 

Here we breakdown the details - and how you could benefit from the HomeBuilder scheme, to build the home of your dreams, with the help of CWCU.

HomeBuilder scheme - who is eligible?

To qualify, you can't be earning more than $125,000 a year as an individual - or $200,000 as a couple.

This rules out a large chunk of high income earners.

The scheme is also time sensitive. It is intended to support building activity over the next nine months. So (if you meet the criteria) you need to apply between now and December 31, with the work contracted to start within three months of the contract date.

In terms of renovations - the work done will need to improve the accessibility, safety or livability of the home.

There are also other requirements, such as the contract needs to be negotiated at a fair market price and you are not allowed to have a special relationship with your contractor (like a family friend or relative.)

For a full outline of HomeBuilder eligibility, read the government's factsheet. 

What can the HomeBuilder grant be used for?

To receive the $25,000, the money needs to be used to either
  • build a brand new home (which has a maximum value of $750,000) or 
  • make large scale renovations to your existing home - worth between a minimum $150,000 and a maximum $750,000.
The scheme cannot be used to build a 
  • swimming pool
  • new patio 
  • tennis court 
  • outdoor shed
  • garage
  • or small scale renovation of the bathroom or kitchen.

Important things to note

As the building contract is entered into before the grant is approved, it will be important that the grant is not essential to finance the building project, just in case the grant is not approved.

In addition, as the builder needs to commence work within three months of the contract date, it will be important to ensure that the contract recognises the commencement dates.

What does this mean for people wanting to build?

The Housing Industry Association has suggested that states and territories might look at how they can relieve some of the costs involved in the home ownership process - like stamp duty. 

All signs are pointing towards the HomeBuilder scheme giving the sector a boost.

Many builders are already expanding their team in anticipation, which is great news for the local economy.

And for those who have been watching the market, with their deposit ready - now presents a unique opportunity to build your dream home. 

If you’re already in the market - or have been in the past, don’t fret. This scheme is not limited to first home buyers. 

So if you’re wanting to take advantage of this scheme and looking to investigate your loan options, get in touch.

Our loans team can meet in branch, over the phone or via teleconference and walk you through your options. 

We are excited to see our communities get back on track after this tough time!

This article is intended to be of an informative nature only. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone.

If you require assistance, independent advice should be sought.