How to Take Advantage of the New HomeBuilder Grant

In these challenging times, many of us have stopped considering those new building or remodelling plans that we may have had at the start of the year. It’s certainly not an inexpensive undertaking and given the state of the current economy, it might seem nearly impossible. But there is hope! Have you heard of the HomeBuilder grant? It provides eligible owner-occupiers with a grant of $25,000 to substantially renovate or build a new home. And it’s just waiting for you to take advantage of it.

First off – what is HomeBuilder? Never heard of it? It’s a tax-free grant program initiated by the Federal Government to help stimulate the residential construction sector. In the wake of the initial economic downturn caused by COVID-19, the government is hoping this program will encourage more Australian citizens to consider new building plans.

Also, great news – all states and territories are accepting applications for the HomeBuilder grant. Revenue WA is your point of contact for the Commonwealth HomeBuilder grant in Western Australia. There is a two-part application process that you can complete if you want to take advantage of this; you can find more information on the ACT Revenue Office website. Keep in mind that you’ll need to submit the first form (Part A) by 31 December 2020 in order for your application to be considered, so don’t waste any time. The next step is to fill out Part B; this form requires detailed information about yourself (the applicant), the builder you’ve chosen, the type of construction you’ll be undertaking, as well as some additional documentation.

And how do you find out if you’re eligible? First, do a quick scan of this checklist below:

  • You are an Australian citizen over the age of 18
  • Your annual income is less than $125,000 for an individual, or less than $200,000 for a couple (this is based on the previous year’s tax return)
  • If you’re renovating, you need to be spending more than $150,000 on the project and the existing property itself needs to be worth less than $1.5 million
  • If you’re building a new home, it needs to be worth less than $750,000
  • The project must be deemed to improve the safety, accessibility, or livability of your home

You won’t be eligible for the grant if you’re trying to build or renovate an investment property or add property additions that are not connected to the main residence (like a shed, tennis court, or pool).

But if you’re a first-time homebuyer and curious if you’ll be excluded, fear not – you will be eligible! The grant is meant to benefit first-home buyers, as it will be offered in addition to the  $10,000 WA state government grant. This brings the total amount available up to $35,000, which is not too shabby for money that you won’t need to pay back.

If you find you still have more questions, don’t worry about doing some more digging: there are plenty of excellent resources available to you.

For more info on WA specifics, head over to the WA Government’s first homeowner grant website. Still have more questions? You can always email HomeBuilder@treasury.gov.au. Remember that this grant is only around until the end of the year, so if you’ve been feeling a desire to make some changes in your life, now could be the time!

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