When the news of the HomeBuilder Grant was first announced back in June this year, many aspiring home owners felt closer to their great Australian dream. However, as more and more details of the HomeBuilder Grant were released, it became apparent that applying for and receiving the grant was not going to be a straightforward process.
The challenges around the HomeBuilder Grant
The $25,000 grant was announced by the Federal Government, but handed over to state and territory revenue offices to administer, meaning different processes across different jurisdictions.
Furthermore, banks and financial institutions have always set up and structured loans in different ways – often depending on the sale of the land (eg. off the plan or ready to build), and the deposit and loan amounts (and whether Lenders Mortgage Insurance is required). With the HomeBuilder Grant, there’s more discrepancy amongst lenders, with some allowing the funds to complete the build, and others treating it as a rebate (meaning further delays in approvals).
Add to this the complexities around the HomeBuilder eligibility criteria itself (you can read some of the eligibility criteria here), and there is literally no straight answer across the board.
How Greenhalgh Pickard is helping to protect our clients
At Greenhalgh Pickard, we have been helping our clients to navigate the HomeBuilder Grant; our key priority has been to ensure our clients are protected. This means:
- Making sure our clients are aware of the grant application process and the implications if they are not successful (including the impact this might have on their final loan amounts and borrowing capacity).
- Assessing individual circumstances against the eligibility criteria (eg. type and location of land purchased, feasibility of on-time construction commencement, etc).
Don’t feel pressured to sign
We have seen some instances of people being ‘pressured’ into signing building contracts, before approval of the Grant. This has often come down to the way the Grant has been set up, with buyers needing to have their land or property registered in their name and lay down a slab within three months of signing the contract.
We would encourage all clients to come and have a quick chat with us first before signing any building contract, especially where you’re relying on a successful grant application. Don’t be caught out having signed a contract which you then can’t meet repayments. We are here to protect you.
How builders can protect themselves
No builder wants to go through the process of dealing with clients who are unable to make progress payments or cause distress to a family who find themselves ‘too deep’ in repayments. We encourage home builders to be aware of some of the intricacies and challenges surrounding the HomeBuilder Grant so, if questions arise, you can provide the correct answers.
How you can protect yourself
Do your research into if the builder has capacity to be able complete the site works within the 3-month time period. Some builders have restricted the amount of contracts they can take on. However it is important to note that this does not qualify you for an extension of time.