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How the $25k HomeBuilder grant will help you

1 month ago 25

There’s no question that this year has been a strange one, both socially and economically. Many of us have been spending a lot of time at home in recent months, which has brought the shortcomings of our living arrangements into sharper focus.

In June, the federal government announced a new scheme aimed at helping homeowners renovate or build a new house, providing stimulus for the housing industry as we power up for 2021 and beyond.

The HomeBuilder Grant offers $25,000 towards the cost of building a new home or substantially renovating an existing home, as long the homeowners meet the criteria.

For new-home builders, the value of the house and land cannot exceed $750,000. For those seeking to renovate, the value of the existing property cannot exceed $1.5 million.

The value of the renovation work must also be at least $150,000 to be eligible.

Grant applicants must also meet income criteria, which is capped at $125,000 for an individual applicant and $200,000 for a couple.

Housing Industry Association managing director Graham Wolfe says those interested in applying should get a move on.

“You should be talking to a builder or builders as soon as possible as to their availability to do the work, as well as site contractors and financial lenders,” Graham says. “This is federal government funding distributed by Revenue NSW and you can do the application online.

“But you need to have a contract signed by the end of the year.”

Work needs to start within three months of the contract being signed, with the grant being paid once evidence is submitted that work has begun and the first payment has been made.

While some parts of the economy have been sluggish during the pandemic, Graham says the building industry has been more of a mixed bag. Occurrences such as the recent storms on the south coast could mean that trades may not be as readily available as you might have thought.

Finding a suitable block of land to build on or getting a development application through council also takes time.

The HomeBuilder grant allows for an extension of the work starting for up to three months if it is due to “unforeseen circumstances”. This could include delays in getting council approvals, delays due to bad weather and difficulties in obtaining materials or subcontractors.

However, for those who have been putting off building work because of the pandemic but have already done the groundwork, Graham says the grant represents a great opportunity to upgrade or build a new home.

“A lot of people have had the time and the motivation to think about their accommodation and ask themselves if it is sufficient,” Graham says.

“If you have been delaying work on your house in NSW, there is capacity to take on this additional work to get a contract signed.”

There are also special considerations for those who lost their homes in last year’s devastating bushfires.

For the purposes of the grant, rebuilding in an area ravaged by the fires is deemed a “substantial renovation”, with the option to access the grant and build a house up to the value of $750,000.

More: revenue.nsw.gov.au/grants-schemes/homebuilder

hia.com.au

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