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Update: HomeBuilder grant start date extended by 12 months

As a key to the nation’s Covid-19 economic recovery, the federal government launched the HomeBuilder program in 2020 to help Australians get into a new home or renovate an existing property. Eligible applicants in 2020 received a $25,000 cash bonus towards their new build or home renovations. The grant was then extended into 2021, with successful applicants offered a grant of $15,000 up to the end of March 2021.

What has been updated?

While applications for the grant have now closed, the federal government has extended the date by which construction must commence by an additional year. This means that those who were eligible for the grant before it concluded on 31 March 2021 will now have 18 months after signing contracts to commence construction. The decision to extend the start date will create a longer period of economic activity for the building sector and continue to counteract the effects of Covid-19 on the Australian economy.

What is the HomeBuilder grant?

The HomeBuilder grant is a nation-wide, tax-free program created to help boost the residential construction sector which has been impacted by Covid-19. It will provide eligible applicants in 2021 with a $15,000 grant to help build a new home or renovate an existing home.

What about the First Home Owner Grant?

One of the key benefits for first home buyers is that the national HomeBuilder program does not override or negate state or territory First Home Buyer Grants. It is designed to work in tandem with existing grants.

This effectively allows a “double dip” into funding to give first time home buyers a realistic opportunity to enter the property market.

How can Conveyancing.com.au help?

If you’re building a house then we’re here to help. Whether you qualified for the HomeBuilder Grant or not, you can still get the right legal support to see you through the process. There are various rules and regulations the government has in place that must be met by your building contract. We can review the building contract to help make sure everything is in order.

  • For instance, the Australian government has outlined:
    Negotiating a building contract must be made by two parties freely and independently of each other, and without some special relationship, such as being a relative.
  • The terms of the contract should be commercially reasonable, and the contract price should not be inflated compared to the fair market price.
  • Renovations or building work must be undertaken by a registered or licensed building service ‘contractor’ (depending on the state or territory you live in) and named as a builder on the building licence or permit.
  • The renovation works must be to improve the accessibility or safety or liveability of the dwelling.
  • It cannot be for standalone granny flats, swimming pools, tennis courts, and structures that are not connected to the property (i.e. outdoor spas and saunas, sheds or standalone garages).

What happens next?

  • Find your dream block of land
  • Let us review the contract of sale
  • We can help with the stamp duty exemption application (if you’re a first home buyer in NSW)
  • Choose a builder and we can review the contract
  • Engage our partners Rapid Building Inspections to check that your builder is doing quality work and is completing your build according to the plans. They can complete Stage Inspections, which are carried out at each of the four major stages of construction (pre slab, frame, lock up, handover). The inspectors will assess quality and accuracy of each stage of the construction process.

For more information on the HomeBuilder scheme, click here.

Contact our team today to get started.

This article is provided for general information purposes only. Its content is current at the date of publication. It is not legal advice and is not tailored to meet your individual needs. You should obtain specialist advice based on your specific circumstances before taking any action concerning the matters discussed in this article.

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