What is the HomeBuilder Grant, and do I need a conveyancer’s help?

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What is the HomeBuilder Grant?

While 2020 has been a bit of a rough ride between bushfires and a global pandemic, the Federal Government has stepped in to help home buyers and the building industry.

The HomeBuilder grant is designed to help buyers and builders ride out the effects of COVID-19. It offers $25,000 to either build a new home or substantially renovate an existing one.

Justine Kitchen, co-director of Fastrack Conveyancing, says it’s excellent news. “The HomeBuilder grant is a real boost, particularly for first home buyers. Many have been saving, saving, saving, but still weren’t quite there. HomeBuilder gives them the extra push they need.”

Who is eligible for HomeBuilder?

HomeBuilder is available to owner-occupiers aged 18+ who are Australian citizens, for their principal place of residence. Your annual taxable income must not exceed $125,000 for singles or $200,000 combined for couples.

You must sign a contract with a builder by December 31, 2020. Construction must begin within three months of singing for most Australians, but this was extended by a further three months for Victorians affected by Stage 4 lockdown. So construction must begin within six months.

If used to buy a new-build property off-the-plan, the market value must be $750,000 or less. Significant renovations, including demolishing an existing property to build a new one, must be carried out by a builder, not DIY. The contract must be between $150,000 and $750,000, with the value of your existing home not exceeding $1.5 million.

For new homes, the grant’s paid after construction starts and your nominated builder receives the first payment. For renovations, your builder must have begun work, and received $150,000.

Can I still apply for HomeBuilder if I’m eligible for first home buyer grants and concessions?

Yes. HomeBuilder is great news for first home buyers because it applies alongside existing benefits. That includes the First Home Owners Grant, offering $10,000 for buying or building a new home valued up to $750,000, or $20,000 in regional Victoria.

First home buyers don’t need to pay stamp duty if the house is worth $600,000 or less, or pay reduced duty on properties worth up to $750,000.

They can also take advantage of the federal government-backed First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, which allows first-time buyers to secure a mortgage on a very achievable five per cent deposit, without paying lenders mortgage insurance. You can also withdraw up to $15,000 from superannuation to put towards that deposit through the First Home Super Saver Scheme.

“When you add it all together, it’s a substantial amount of money to help first-time buyers to get into the market,” Justine says. “So for people who felt they were going to be waiting forever, now there’s no reason to wait anymore.”

Do I need a conveyancer?

It makes sense to get all the support you can. Buying a home is complicated enough at the best of times, even more so if it’s your first time. Opting for a Melbourne conveyancer means having a specialist on your team.

Justine and her Fastrack Conveyancing co-director Tammy D’Amore offer 35+ years of expertise between them. “We provide very hands-on support, especially for first home buyers who need extra help,” Justine says.

Fastrack Conveyancing offers a fixed-fee service, so you know upfront what you’ll be paying, which includes a seamless contract review before you sign. The team will talk to your bank, broker, real estate agent and your builder, offering a smooth, stress-free experience. “Our main focus is always customer service,” Justine says. “There are no silly questions. We’re here whenever you need talk, giving you peace of mind.”

For more information about the HomeBuilder Grant guidelines, please check the State Revenue Office website here.

For further advice, talk to a Fastrack Conveyancing expert today on 03 9915 5790 or email us here

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