If you have been thinking about building your next home or that next big renovation, now might be the time to put that plan into action, especially as Western Australia has the better deal compared to other states and territories. What is the HomeBuilder scheme? The scheme is tax-free grant program that was implemented by the Federal Government to all Australians and will provide eligible applicants with a $25,000 grant to help renovate an existing home or build a new home. Who is eligible for the scheme? To be eligible for the scheme not only do you need to be an owner occupier that is looking to build a new home up to the value of $750,000 or conduct renovations over $150,000, but you must be an Australian citizen aged 18 years or over. Your annual income needs to be less than $125,000 for individual applicants or less than $200,000 for a couple based on your 2018-2019 tax return and you are not able to access the scheme through a trust or grant. It’s also important to note when renovating an existing property, it needs to be valued at less than the national price cap of $1.5 million and the works must improve the liveability, accessibility or safety of your home. What is not included in the HomeBuilder scheme? Those who are looking to build a home as an investment property or renovate an investment are not eligible for the federal grants. You need to be living in the property or move into it once it has been built. External renovations such as pools, outdoor spas, tennis courts, sheds or garages are also not included. What is the Building Bonus grant? The Building Bonus grant is provided by the State Government and is available to West Aussies who enter into a new contract to build a home on vacant land or purchase a new home being constructed under a single-tier development on a strata plan or other land survey type. If you qualify for the building bonus grant, you will receive a grant of $20,000 towards building your new home. Who is eligible for the state grant? To be eligible applicants must enter into a contract to build a new home or off-the-plan apartment between 4 June and 31 December 2020, with construction commencing within six months of entering into the contract. You must be the registered owner of the vacant land on which the home will be built. However, it is important to note that if there is a house on the vacant land, you will receive the grant after the house has been demolished. Unlike the Federal scheme, there is no cap on the purchase price or value of the contract and investors looking to build are still eligible. One grant will be paid in relation to each lot of vacant land, regardless of how many homes will be built on the land and you will still be eligible for the HomeBuilder bonus. What is not eligible? Unfortunately, you will not be eligible for the WA grant if you are building a house for mixed use, commercial purposes, short stay accommodation or building an additional house onto land with a house already on it. Types of homes eligible While all dwelling types are eligible for both government schemes, such as houses, apartments, house-and-land packages, and off-the-plan purchases, it is also important to take note of other assistance packages which may be applicable to you. If you are a first home buyer, you may be eligible for the First Home Owner Grant which is a one off payment to assist first home buyers to enter the property market. For those looking to purchase an apartment off-the-plan, you may be eligible for the 75 per cent rebate off stamp duty, which is in addition to both the Federal and State Government schemes. Build new or buy an established home? While these bonuses are there to help get people into their homes quicker and provide much needed jobs in WA, there is nothing wrong with buying an established property instead. These initiatives are in play until the 31 December, so take your time and weigh up the pros and cons of both buying an established property or building new to see which option is better for you. For example, while you get to design every aspect of your home from scratch and potentially have a bigger yard if you build in Perth’s outer suburbs, if you work in the city and have to commute each day to work, look at the cost and time associated with commuting to see if you are comfortable with this. More information For details on the HomeBuilder scheme, make sure to visit The Treasury website. More information on the WA Government’s Building Bonus scheme can be found by visiting the WA Government website. Whether you are looking at renovating or building, check out our advice section for tips and inspiration.