Reap the benefits of the HomeBuilder Grant and WIN a year’s worth of rent

Reap the benefits of the HomeBuilder Grant and WIN a year’s worth of rent

Words by Tehya Nicholas

There’s some sweet government cash on offer to help you put roots down in regional Victoria.

If having your own home just a stone’s throw away from a pristine coastline, expansive vineyard or a lush National Park has always felt like a fantasy, you really haven’t spent enough time in regional Victoria.

From the thriving big city feel of Geelong, to the burgeoning art scene in Bendigo, and the gourmet dining experience on offer in Ballarat, the state’s regional cities have just about everything on offer. Just this year Ballarat ranked number one out of 101 cities in terms of economic growth. There are more and more job opportunities, less reliance on welfare, and far less traffic – not to mention the more relaxed pace. You can see why our cities are being heralded the “Goldilocks” cities; the lifestyle is just right.

Of course, putting down roots can be a tricky task for some, especially if you’re living the life at home with your parents or renting with your pals. There are the hefty deposits, hair-raising mortgages, and sometimes the mammoth task of renovating. Chuck a bit of COVID-19 in and a lot of folks could be feeling like the dream is over.

But in June this year, the Federal Government swooped into the mix. Their weapon? The $688 million HomeBuilder program. Imagine Scomo is a real-life Batman but instead of Gotham, it’s places you actually want to live like Geelong, Ballarat or Bendigo.

Aimed at supporting the construction industry post COVID-19, the HomeBuilder Grant will provide eligible owner-occupiers, including first home buyers, with $25,000 cash (tax-free) to build a new home, substantially renovate an existing home or buy an off-the-plan home/new home. So if you had been eyeing off doing some construction before Miss Rona hit, this grant could very well be for you. And the good news? You don’t even have to be cashed up to do so.

That’s right, penny-savers will be happy to hear the grant can be combined with existing State and Territory First Home Owner Grant programs, stamp duty concessions and other grant schemes, as well as the Commonwealth’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and First Home Super Saver Schemes.

First home owners are actually in prime position right now, with the ability to combine the HomeBuilder Grant with the Regional First Home Owner’s Grant of a pretty sizeable $20,000, while those still wanting to maintain a slither of city life in places like Lara, Werribee and Tarneit can capitalise on the Metro First Home Owner’s Grant of $10,000, resulting in total savings of $45,000 and $35,000 respectively.

That’s a lot of potential dollars you get to keep.

The real cherry on top though, is that first-home buyer specialists Homebuyers Centre have also jumped in with their own sweet offer. They’re currently running a competition, ‘Win a Year’s worth of Rent’, where one budding homebuilder can go mortgage free for an entire year in their first year. That’s a $20,000 discount. Remember that dream we talked about earlier? That just got a lot closer to a reality.

Now look, if you’re thinking of taking advantage of the HomeBuilders Grant and trying your luck at some free rent, but primary building education comes from The Block or Grand Designs, you might be in need of a little help getting this construction thing started. Our mates at the Homebuyers Centre can help you there too.

As leading builders and advisors for aspiring home owners, they have been working hard since 2001 to make the process of buying a home hassle-free. They cover everything from finance, to land, to home design – saving you the trouble of endless Google searches, or dealing with puzzling realtors.

For those looking to apply for the HomeBuilders Grant, you must be over the age of 18 and an Australian citizen. As well as that, you need to meet an income cap of $125,000 per annum for an individual, or $200,000 for a couple – both based on 2018-19 tax return or later. So, grab out that tax return folder and get checking.

Furthermore, a contract between a licensed or registered builder must be signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020. For most of Australia, construction must begin within three months of the contract date, so the end of March 2021 at the latest. But in Victoria, a three-month extension has been introduced thanks to our heavier restrictions. That means that all applicants for the HomeBuilder Grant in Victoria have 6 months from the signing of the eligible HomeBuilder contract, to commence construction.

It’s honestly that easy. Now all you need to do is decide where to live.

Find out more about the HomeBuilder Grant here and enter Homebuyers Centre’s ‘Win a Year’s worth of Rent’ competition here.

*$20,000 value. Competition ends at 11.59pm on 30 November 2020. Eligibility criteria apply. See full Terms & Conditions here.