The HomeBuilder Grant is a new program (announced on 4 June 2020) by the Federal Government to assist eligible
owner-occupiers to build a new home, substantially renovate an existing home, or buy an off-the-plan/new home.

What is the HomeBuilder Grant amount?

A non-taxable grant of $25,000 is available to eligible applicants who substantially renovate an existing home, or buy an off-the-plan or build a new home (where the build contract is signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 inclusive).

Funding for the HomeBuilder Grant is provided by the Australian Government with an arrangement (under a National Partnership Agreement) for the South Australian Government to administer applications and payments for the Grant.

Subject to the eligibility criteria set out below, only one HomeBuilder Grant is payable for each property, even if the property changes ownership.

Am I eligible for the HomeBuilder Grant?

In order to be eligible for the HomeBuilder Grant, all applicants must:

  • be a natural person (not a company or trust);
  • be at least 18 years of age at time of entering the eligible transaction;
  • be an Australian citizen at the time of application (permanent residents are not eligible);
  • not have previously received the HomeBuilder Grant in any other Australian state or territory;
  • meet the following income tests for the full financial year of either 2018-19 or 2019-20:
      • individual applicant: taxable income of less than $125,000; or
      • couples: combined taxable income of less than $200,000.
  • own the land at the time a contract is entered into to build, buy or substantially renovate your home, or become the owner of the land on completion of the contract to build or buy the home.

Couples must be a legally married couple, a couple in a registered relationship (as defined in the Relationships Register Act 2016 (SA)), or a de facto couple living in a genuine domestic relationship. More information can be found at the website sa.gov.au/bdm or by contacting 131 882.

Applicants may be eligible for the temporary HomeBuilder Grant as well as the South Australian Government’s First Home Owner Grant for the same transaction, if the applicant(s) meet the eligibility criteria for both HomeBuilder Grants. For eligibility criteria of the First Home Owner Grant, visit the Revenue SA’s First Home Owner Grant page.

HomeBuilder Grants are provided for properties that are owner-occupied. Investment properties are not eligible. Eligible owner-occupier(s) must be listed on the property’s certificate of title. Lifestyle villages and land-lease communities are only eligible for HomeBuilder if the applicant has a registered interest on the property’s certificate of title.

Does the home need to be my principal place of residence?

Yes, the home must be your principal place of residence, and your residency in the home must commence within a set period of time and last for a stipulated minimum timeframe.

To qualify for the HomeBuilder Grant, you (and any other applicant to your HomeBuilder Grant application) must:

  • retain ownership of the property and occupy it as your principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months; and
  • commence the above period of occupation within 12 months of the date of building or renovation completion.

What are the conditions around eligible types of homes?

The home must:

  • be located in South Australia;
  • be fixed to your land;
  • be able to be lawfully used as a place of residence; and
  • be a suitable building for use as a place of residence.

What types of building or sales contracts are eligible?

  • you must enter into a contract to build, buy or renovate between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 (inclusive);
  • for an off-the-plan/new home purchase a sales contract rather than a building contract is eligible, but must meet the other eligibility criteria. Construction can have commenced prior to the date of the sales contract, however commencement must be on or after 4 June 2020.
  • the building work undertaken on your home must be undertaken by a person who currently holds a relevant licence as required under the Building Work Contractors Act 1995 (but not an owner builder) and held that licence on 4 June 2020;
  • the contract to build, buy or renovate your home cannot include any work undertaken by a family member or related person. ‘Related person’ is defined very broadly and includes your spouse, child, grandchild, sibling, parent, grandparent and collateral relatives (cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles) as well as any company, trust or partnership in which you, or any of your relatives, are a shareholder, director, trustee, beneficiary or partner;
  • no applicant is able to perform work under the contract, whether they are paid or not;
  • contracts must be made at arm’s length;
  • contract prices must be at market rates and cannot be artificially inflated or deflated; and
  • contracts cannot replace a previous transaction entered into before 4 June 2020 that is for the same or substantially similar home (or the same or substantially similar renovation) and is between substantially, or benefits substantially, the same parties.

Eligibility – the value of the property and the transaction:

Transaction and market value limits apply as set out below.
Values are calculated as at the transaction date and are GST inclusive.

Transaction type

Contract to build (house and land package):
  • Consideration for the full house and land contract must be $750 000 or less.
Contract to build on land you already own
  • Combined consideration for the building contract and the market value of the land must be $750 000 or less.
Substantial Renovation

See the Eligibility – substantial renovations section below

  • Consideration for the contract must be between $150 000 and $750 000 inclusive.
  • Market value of the land (including the home) on the date the contract is signed is no more than $1 500 000.
Contract to purchase a new home
  • Consideration for the contract must be $750 000 or less.

For further information and guidance on how your property will be valued, refer to:

 

What happens if there is a change in transaction value?

If the value of your transaction changes from the amount you have declared on your application, and the new value causes you to breach the above market value limits, you must notify RevenueSA within 14 days of the date you become aware of the change. If you have already been paid the HomeBuilder Grant and the transaction value exceeds the above limits, you will be required to pay back the HomeBuilder Grant.

Source: Revenue SA

What is considered a ‘substantial renovation’

A substantial renovation can be either:

  • making a considerable change to your home; or
  • demolishing your home and building a new home on the land.

Substantial renovations are taken to mean that the renovation will:

  • substantially alter the existing dwelling (although this need not involve removal or replacement of foundations, external walls, interior supporting walls, floors, roof or staircases); and
  • improve the accessibility, safety or liveability of the home (or land by building a new home).

Given the above criteria, a substantial renovation does not generally include:

  • stand-alone granny flats, swimming pools, tennis courts, and structures not connected to the building such as outdoor spas, saunas, sheds or stand-alone garages; or
  • renovations that are primarily cosmetic in purpose such as landscaping, painting or re-carpeting.

More information on the HomeBuilder Grant can be found in the following Commonwealth Government publications:

What are the required timings?

New build
  • To qualify for the HomeBuilder Grant, building your home must commence no later than three months after signing the building contract.
  • Building is taken to have commenced when site works including excavation for the approved building works to the top of the base level is complete. Commencement must be supported by evidence such as a statutory declaration from the builder or a mandatory notification form which is used to notify local councils of stages of work
Substantial renovations
  • The renovation of your home must commence no later than three months after signing the building contract. Building is taken to have commenced when the works under the renovation contract commence.
  • Commencement must be supported by evidence such as a statutory declaration from the builder or a mandatory notification form which is used to notify local councils of stages of work
Off the plan/ new home
  • Building of the home must have commenced on or after 4 June 2020 and no later than three months after signing the sales contract.
  • Building is taken to have commenced when site works including excavation for the approved building works to the top of the base level is complete. Commencement must be supported by evidence such as a statutory declaration from the builder or a mandatory notification form which is used to notify local councils of stages of work.

How do I apply?

To apply for the Grant, you’ll need to lodge your completed HomeBuilder Grant application (and all the requested documentary evidence) with RevenueSA.

If you haven’t commenced construction when you apply and you meet all other eligibility criteria, you may be provided conditional approval and will need to provide evidence that construction has commenced within three months of the signing of the contract in order to receive final approval and payment.

How we can assist you, even in the early stages

Even if you’re only just at the stage of potentially considering buying off-the-plan or buying land to build a new home, it actually isn’t too early to start involving a conveyancer, particularly as there are a number of important elements we’re more than happy help with, such as:

  • reviewing contracts before cooling off,
  • answering questions about special conditions in contracts, and
  • assisting with queries before auction.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

And because we know that, for so many buyers the all-important questions about property usually crop up outside of traditional business hours, we’re pleased to offer a dedicated out-of-office communication service for all contract, auction, Form 1 or conveyancing queries.

Whether you’re a current client of ours, or have never before engaged a conveyancer, we’re pleased to offer this service through Eckermann Assist.
Eckermann Assist is available:
Monday to Friday: 7.00am – 9.00pm
Weekends and public holidays: 9.00am – 5.00pm.
You can reach us on Eckermann Assist by calling 8235 3944 or emailing: assist@eckermannconveyancers.com