In efforts to assist local home buyers and builders following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government introduced the HomeBuilder Scheme in June. This $25,000 grant is the latest addition to Western Australia’s existing home grant catalogue, and joins the First Home Owners Grant, the Building Bonus Package (which was also introduced in June), and the ZERO Concessional Stamp Duty policy on houses valued below $430,000.

Throwing all of these grants together, certain Western Australians could have access to nearly $70,000 worth of relief. But who’s eligible for these grants, what do they all mean, and how long do Western Australians have left to claim them? Read on for more information, tips and frequently asked questions about the array of home purchasing and building relief on offer for eligible WA locals.

First Home Owners Grant

This once-only, $10,000 payment is intended to assist first home buyers who hope to build a residential property that will serve as their primary place of residence. The grant is only eligible for those who are building a new home, and is not available for those purchasing an established home.

Applicants for this grant must be Australian citizens (or permanent Australian residents), and if successful, recipients of the grant must occupy the property as their primary place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months. On top of this, home buyers must begin residing in the home within 12 months of settlement. The grant doesn’t incur interest, and as it’s a genuine grant, recipients of it won’t need to pay it back.

HomeBuilder Grant

As mentioned above, the HomeBuilder Grant (along with the Building Bonus Package) was introduced to Australians in June of 2020 to combat the harsh impacts of COVID-19 on the nation-wide property market. The grant applies to new home construction and major renovations on contracts signed between June 4 2020 and December 31 2020. On top of this, construction or renovation must begin at within three months from the contract’s sign date.

There are quite a few terms and conditions involved with the HomeBuilder Grant, so it’s best to jump online to view the full list before considering applying. A few of these include the eligibility of Australian citizens over 18 years old, personal income caps, the employment of a registered or licensed builder to complete renovations or builds, the improvement of accessibility, amenity or safety to the main build, and more.

Building Bonus Package

The Building Bonus Package provides $20,000 cash grants to prospective Western Australian homebuyers undergoing residential new builds. This grant aims to promote investment within WA’s residential market, and also to stimulate jobs in the construction industry following the impacts of COVID-19 on the State’s economy and employment rates.

This package is eligible to anyone building a new home in WA for contracts entered into between June 4 2020 and December 31 2020 – so you’ll need to get in quick if you’re hoping to claim it before the year is out.

Stamp Duty Concessions

In Western Australia, first home buyers are exempt from paying stamp duty on a home purchase up to $430,000. Additional concessions can be made on homes valued above $430,001 up to $530,000. The main condition of this stamp duty allowance is that the home purchased must be used as the buyers’ primary place of residence.

If your property is valued at more than $530,000, you’ll need to pay full stamp duty rates. If you’re unsure of how much stamp duty you’ll be owing (whether concessions are applied or not), it’s a good idea to jump online and plug your prospective property’s value into a stamp duty calendar.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much can be spent with the First Home Owners Grant?

If you’re successful in receiving the First Home Owners Grant, the maximum you’ll be able to spend on a new home build or on an off-the-plan home in Perth is $750,000.

2. Does the First Home Owners Grant apply to House and Land Packages?

In Perth, yes it does.

3. Can I use the HomeBuilder Grant and/or the Building Bonus Package towards my deposit?

This depends on your lender’s policy, so it’s best to clarify this before entering into an agreement or signing any paperwork.

4. Can my HomeBuilder Grant be pre-approved?

No, payment of the HomeBuilder Grant won’t occur until after construction has commenced, or at least $150,000 of the contract price for substantial renovations has been made.

Timeframes And How To Apply

If your lender is an approved agent, they’ll be able to process your First Home Buyers Grant application on your behalf. If this is the case, you may receive your approval and grant funds quicker than you would if you applied yourself. But if your lender isn’t an approved agent, you’ll need to file your application yourself in person or by mail. If this is the avenue you go down, you’ll receive the grant (if approved) after you have provided evidence that your name is registered on the Certificate of Title, which will take place approximately three to six weeks post-settlement.

For both the HomeBuilder Grant and Building Bonus Package, you’ll need to apply either online or via mail, and you won’t be able to apply later than 31 December 2020. There’s no approximate timeframe as to when you’ll receive word about these grants, but providing all necessary supplementary documentation is a positive way to ensure you’ll receive correspondence as quick as the office can process it.

Gearing up to buy your perfect Perth property in 2021? When it comes to property settlement, trust the local experts at C&R Settlements. With over 60 years of combined experience, C&R is comprised of a team of passionate Perth settlement agents specialising in commercial and residential property. Call our team today on (08) 6160 6470 or send us an email at admin@crsetts.com.au