Claiming the HomeBuilder Grant? Here are 5 things to consider before you apply

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The Federal Government recently announced a construction stimulus package, the HomeBuilder Grant, in order to counter the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the construction industry.

Australians, who meet the eligibility criteria and are looking to build a new home or renovate their principal residence can receive a $25,000 cash grant as the government looks to keep the construction sector building.

If you are planning a renovation or considering building a new home and want to take advantage of the HomeBuilder Grant, our team has identified five factors that you need to consider when considering applying for the grant:

1. Know your timeline and be organised

There is quite a bit of administration work that needs to be completed between your builder deposit and when you sign the contracts. This process can frequently take 4-6 weeks. As construction must begin within 3 months of the contract being signed, be aware that timeframes may be extended due to the volume of people in the market wanting to take advantage of the HomeBuilder Grant.

To make the entire process as seamless and stress-free as possible, our advice is to start doing your research and secure a deposit with a builder as soon as possible.

2. Know your budget

Building a new home is one of the biggest financial decisions you can make. It is a complex long-term commitment which should be based on solid information and planning. It is important to understand your financial responsibilities and what help is available to you. Speak to a bank or a broker early in order to assess your borrowing capacity and the lending options that will be best suited for you.

Brokers can also advise you of other existing grants and schemes that you may be eligible for in addition to the HomeBuilder grant. Having a discussion with them early on will help you with your decision of choosing the right house and land package or other off-the-plan options (like apartments or townhouses).

3. Consider the excluded costs

Remember – the advertised home designs for house and land packages may not be the price of a complete build. There are many other elements to consider and factor into your budget – including site costs. Site costs are a fee that is charged by builders and are associated with getting your block of land ready for construction. The land you choose can significantly impact what these costs are likely to be, as essentially it is more work for the builder to create a level building platform for your home.

When speaking to builders and obtaining quotes, be sure to ask them for a site cost estimate for the area you are planning to build within. They can calculate this estimate based on previous builds they have completed in that area.

4. Price isn’t everything!

It is important to not get too caught up in the advertised base house price of a design. For example, when walking through that shiny, spotless display home, remember that they are arranged to showcase the most flattering features of a design and present the very best a builder can offer. It is crucial to evaluate the list of standard inclusions offered.

While what is ‘standard’ inevitably varies with each builder, standard inclusions refer to the range of features and finishes that are included in the base price of a home. When looking at home designs and floorplans, our advice is to do a little more research into each builder and developer's standard inclusions. Bear in mind that features and finishes that aren’t listed on there will only be available at an extra cost.

5. Do’s and Don’ts

– As we mentioned before, it is extremely important to DO your research. Make sure you choose a reputable, licensed builder if your are building or renovating as this is a stipulation for accessing the HomeBuilder Grant.
DON’T rush. Assess your budget carefully and only commit if you are financially ready.
DO use the grant money to add value to your property.

Looking to or buy a new property and take advantage of this scheme?

Now is the perfect time.

Published on 7th of July 2020 by Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich


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