What the HomeBuilder grant could mean for you

In the middle of a pandemic, good news is refreshing. Especially when it involves a cash injection. The federal government’s recently announced HomeBuilder stimulus – designed to boost Australia’s third-biggest industry, construction, during this economic downturn – presents a great opportunity for a select few.

If you are an owner-occupier or a would-be home buyer and earn less than $125,000 (single) or $200,000 (couple), and are ready to spend from $150,000 to $750,000 on a renovation or a house-and-land package, you’re in luck as long as you meet the detailed criteria.

Your home must not be valued more than $1.5 million, but with many local municipalities median house prices all sitting under this magic number as at Q1 2020, including Knox ($819,000), Maroondah ($860,000), Manningham ($1256,000) and Whitehorse ($1217,500), the stimulus presents a ripe opportunity.

It’s the perfect time to have your home valued before construction commences. Just don’t get excited about a pool, tennis court or garage, which unfortunately don’t make the cut under the government’s “livability” and “safety” criteria.

Rather than the fixed three month time frame, the scheme has now been updated to allow the necessary time for home buyers to arrange their finance approvals, building approvals and meet other legal requirements before work is required to commence. So, what could you do with the extra $25,000 if approved?

It is typical for any extra funds to be invisibly immersed into a new build or renovation, but a targeted approach will reward with more bang for your (gifted) buck.

If you are craving luxury, the extra cash travels far in house-and-land packages, with many developers offering extra incentives on top on of the scheme. Now, stone benchtops, ducted heating and cooling, upgraded kitchen gadgetry and freestanding baths are within reach.

Opulence is always tempting, but today people are of course keen to fine tune their abode to be eco-friendly. Owner-occupiers organising a big renovation would do well to funnel the government funds into green technology.

A Tesla battery, which retails for approximately $15,000, is now a dream within reach, but inclusions such as renewable heating systems, solar panels or even something as simple but highly effective as insulation made from wool or cotton is a smart add-on option.

Or how about an integrated window control system, which manages air ventilation and reduces energy consumption? Thanks to the stimulus, the scope has suddenly expanded.

However HomeBuilder recipients spend their extra money, it will no doubt be done with ease.

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