What is the HomeBuilder Grant?
HomeBuilder is a tax-exempt grant program started by the Federal Government to boost the home construction sector in light of the economic recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new grant program will help eligible candidates with a $25,000 grant to renovate an existing home or build a new home. This grant is only accessible if building contracts are signed between 4th June 2020 and 31 December 2020. The HomeBuilder grant further states that the construction work must start inside 3 months of the agreement date.
This new grant program came into existence in the midst of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) notice that the house development sector would confront an all-encompassing time of difficulties as Australia’s economy falls into a downturn – presumably the most noticeably terrible economic recession in 90 years. It has been estimated that this new grant program would support the constructions of at least 30,000 homes by December and also boost 200,000 jobs.
Are You Eligible for the HomeBuilder Grant?
To be eligible for the HomeBuilder grant, owner-occupiers have to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- You are a normal individual (not an organization or trust).
- Your age is 18 years or older.
- You must be an Australian citizen.
- You must fall under one of the following two income caps: a) $125,000 per annum for an individual candidate b) $200,000 per annum for a couple depending on both 2018-19 tax returns or later.
- It is mandatory that you have to lock a building contract between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020.
- You need to either build a new house as a primary place of residence with property estimation (house and land) not exceeding $750,000 or you need to renovate your current home as a principal spot of living, with the remodelling contract somewhere between $150,000 and $750,000. When it comes to renovating your existing home, the value of the current property (house and land) must not exceed $1.5 million.
- Most importantly, the construction work must start within three months of the contract date.
It is important for you to understand that the new $25,000 HomeBuilder cash grant will be given to people on middle incomes. This scheme will be applicable only for new homes and major renovations within a range of $150,000 to $750,000.
In the event that you meet the above-mentioned criteria, you can submit an application for the $25,000 grant between now and December 31, with an obligation to start the construction work within three months of the contract date.
How to Spend the Grants?
- You can build a new home as a primary place of residence esteemed at up to $750,000 (also including the land); or
- You can renovate an existing house as a primary place of residence, with total renovation work esteemed at somewhere in the range of $150,000 and $750,000. The existing home must not have a value more than $1.5m before the renovation.
You need to understand that even in the most minimal renovation under this new scheme ($150,000), you will have to spend at least $125,000 of your own cash. This means that this new scheme is most favourable for individuals who have significant savings or are willing to borrow.
Do You Need to be a First Home Buyer to be Eligible for the HomeBuilder Grant?
No, there is no such obligation that you have to be a first home buyer to obtain the $25,000 HomeBuilder grant, provided you meet the above-mentioned eligibility criteria. However, it is mandatory that the property should be your primary residence and you need to live there in order to meet the criteria. This means that your application can be rejected if the funds are for an investment property.
Homes that are Eligible for HomeBuilder Grant
All home kinds are qualified for this new scheme, including apartments, houses, house and land packages and off-the-plan purchases, only if the owner-occupier is building a new house or substantially renovating an existing house. Most importantly, individuals need to meet the income eligibly criteria.
Gross Income or Net Income?
When it comes to the new HomeBuilder scheme, the income cap is like the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, so your annual income needs to be under $125,000 and as a couple your consolidated income should be under $200,000. You need to understand that the income limit is calculated on your gross income, before tax and excluding superannuation.
The newly introduced HomeBuilder grant is just accessible for building contracts, so it isn’t accessible in the event that you are:
- Renovating or building an investment property.
- Building a new house that has a collective home and land value over $750,000.
- Building a granny flat.
- A visa holder, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident.
- Building anything that is not associated with your home for instance, a tennis court, sauna, swimming pool, outdoor spa, garage, shed or granny flat.
- An owner builder, or developing or remodelling through a registered or licensed builder.
How Can You Access the HomeBuilder Grant?
To get proper clarity on when and how to apply, you have to contact the relevant authority in the state or territory. You can apply for the HomeBuilder grant in the state you currently live or plan to live once it signs or approves the National Partnership Agreement with the Federal Government.
What Documents or Proof You Need To Provide When You Apply for the HomeBuilder Grant?
You will need to provide the following documents when you apply:
- Identity proof.
- A copy of the agreement signed and dated by the applicant and the designated licensed/registered builder.
- Depending upon the state or territory you live, you need to provide a copy of your builder’s license or registration.
- To elucidate your income eligibility (and your partner’s), you need to provide a copy of your 2018-2019 tax return or later.
- You need to provide documents, for example, building contracts, occupation certificates, council development approvals and evidence of land value.
Using Multiple Grants
If you match the criteria of both schemes, you can easily apply for the First Home Owners Grant in your state, and furthermore obtain the HomeBuilder Scheme.
First Home Buyer Schemes – State by State
Victoria: $45,000 for first home buyers
- First Home Owners Grant in VIC:$10,000 urban, $20,000 regional
- HomeBuilder Scheme in VIC: $25,000
More info: Go to the Victorian Government’s first homeowner website.
Northern Territory: $35,000 for first home buyers
- First Home Owners Grant in NT:$10,000
- HomeBuilder Scheme in NT: $25,000
More info: Go to the NT Government’s homeowner assistance website.
South Australia: $40,000 for first home buyers
- First Home Owners Grant in SA:$15,000
- HomeBuilder Scheme in SA: $25,000
More info: Go to the SA Government’s first homeowners website.
New South Wales: $35,000 for first home buyers
- First Home Owners Grant in NSW:$10,000
- HomeBuilder Scheme in NSW:$25,000
More info: Go to the NSW Government’s first homebuyer website.
ACT: $25,000 for first home buyers
- First Home Owners Grant in ACT:None
HomeBuilder Scheme in ACT: $25,000
More info: Go to the ACT Government’s home buyers assistance website.
Tasmania: $45,000 for first home buyers
- First Home Owners Grant in TAS: Up to$20,000
- HomeBuilder Scheme in TAS: $25,000
More info: Go to the Tasmanian Government’s first homeowners website.
Queensland: $40,000 for first home buyers
- First Home Owners Grant in QLD:$15,000
- HomeBuilder Scheme in QLD: $25,000
More info: Go to the Queensland Government’s first homeowner grant website.
Western Australia: $35,000 for first home buyers
- First Home Owners Grant in WA:$10,000
- HomeBuilder Scheme in WA: $25,000
More info: Go to the WA Government’s first homeowner grant website.
The government believes that the HomeBuilder Grant will fund about 27,520 projects (at $25,000 each).