A young family’s dream of building their own home was almost washed away when a filled-in stream was found running through the middle of their brand-new block of land in Clyde, Victoria.
By the time Jacqui and her fiancé Scott were told about the issue with their new block of land, their contract was final. Pulling out at this late stage would mean losing their life savings of $17,500, which had been put down as a deposit.
Jacqui told Together Australia of the shock, “in the excitement of becoming landowners we didn’t do our due diligence and read every word of our 357-page contract. It showed the dam and the stream running through our block”.
Suddenly their dreams of raising their two girls in a brand new purpose-built home began to crumble under them.
A cabinet maker for Frenken homes, based in Victoria, Scott was one of the first to hear about the HomeBuilder scheme. While they are yet to apply, the couple meets the criteria for the government’s new residential construction program.
The HomeBuilder scheme provides owner-occupiers with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. The program is designed to encourage Aussies to build their dream home or carry out renovations.
So far, around 7,500 people in NSW have registered for HomeBuilder since it was launched last month, exceeding the Treasury’s forecast of the take-up scheme. In Victoria, 11,000 people have applied for the scheme, while in Queensland, 11,500 have expressed interest.
Eligible applicants must earn less than $125,000 a year as an individual or less than $200,000 a year as a couple. If the applicant is building a new home, the property value must not exceed $750,000 and if the grant is being used for renovations, the value of the works must be between $150,000 and $750,000 and the value of the land must not exceed $1.5 million.
The couple is still thrilled, saying “having this money has taken all the stress away from what seemed like a major roadblock on the way to having our own home”.
The savings will now be going towards creating a stunning alfresco area with a cubby house for their two girls.
Looking to the future, Jacqui pictures herself beside Scott “sitting under our pergola on our big comfy lounge chairs, watching the girls play together in their cubby house. Just looking at everything Scott and I have achieved and what we were able to do thanks to the grant”.
Jacqui and Scott make up just one of the 40,000 registrations since the HomeBuilder scheme was launched in early June by Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar.
Grateful for the grant that saved her family home dream, Jacqui advises others to “research the area you are buying and read those contracts cover to cover no matter how long and boring they may seem”.
The couple, who had bought their piece of land in the newly developed area, said when the grant was announced, they say 56 houses sold within two weeks.
With Scott keeping busy working in kitchens Victoria wide, Jacqui is crossing her fingers for a big walk-in pantry to launch a new cake-baking business.
According to the Australian Government, to access HomeBuilder, owner-occupiers must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- you are a natural person (not a company or trust);
- you are aged 18 years or older;
- you are an Australian citizen;
- you meet one of the following two income caps:
- $125,000 per annum for an individual applicant based on your 2018-19 taxable income or later;
- $200,000 per annum for a couple based on both 2018-19 taxable income or later.
- you enter into a building contract between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 to either:
- build a new home as a principal place of residence, where the property value does not exceed
- $750,000; or
- substantially renovate your existing home as a principal place of residence, where the
- renovation contract is between $150,000 and $750,000, and where the value of your existing
- property (house and land) does not exceed $1.5 million (pre-renovation);
- construction must commence on or after 4 June and within three months of the contract date.
More information can be found on the Australian Government Treasury website.