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Making money with the Home Builder Grant: Top 5 reno tips

With the Morrison Government unveiling its $688 million HomeBuilder scheme in June, thousands of Australians will be eligible for $25,000 to put towards their next renovation or home build.

Planning, budgeting and feasibility must all be considered when planning out the best way to spend the cash injection. So how can you use HomeBuilder to make money on your next build or reno project? We’ve put together five top tips to help get you started.

Tip #1: Know the best locations to build or renovate

Like any package designed to stimulate an industry or the wider economy, there are a few stipulations that come with HomeBuilder. Whether or not you are eligible to receive the $25,000 will depend on your earnings, whether you plan to build or renovate, and the total cost of the project.

For example, if you plan to build a new property then the cost of the house and land combined must not exceed $750,000. If you plan on renovating, then the project must cost a minimum of $150,000 and maximum of $750,000, and the house itself must not be valued above $1.5 million at commencement of the renovations.

These criteria may make it more difficult for homeowners or those who plan to build in the inner suburbs of major cities like Sydney and Melbourne, where the cost of housing is much higher than anywhere else in Australia. For renovators, you just need to make sure you’re not earning more than the cut-off ($125,000 for singles; $200,000 for couples).

The good news is that the criteria isn’t overly restrictive if you’re building or renovating outside of the most affluent areas of major cities, so plenty of Australians will be able to take advantage of HomeBuilder.

Tip #2: Focus on liveability

Any renovation needs to improve what’s already there. So think about your next reno in terms of how it can make your home more accessible, more safe or more liveable. Could an open-plan renovation of your living areas create a more functional and spacious property? Would adding an outdoor deck like HardieDeck™ deliver a new entertaining area to drive up the price of your home?

Also remember that while $25,000 is a lot of money on its own, it can get eaten up quickly when renovations begin. Make sure you plan out your renovations in advance so you can get the most out of the money.

Tip #3: Choose the right builder, architect or design team

There’s no need to rush into a renovation project or new-home build immediately. The HomeBuilder grant will last until 31 December 2020, and you will receive the funds so long as the contract is signed by that date and work begins within three months of signing. So take your time, do your research on the possible builders, and choose one with plenty of experience and knowledge about the type of project you want.

Alternatively, the $25,000 may allow you to invest in an architect to really elevate the renovation. With an architect by your side, you will get greater clarity on how your home can be improved, which materials to use and how to best maximise the space.

Tip #4: Choose fixtures and finishes with longevity

Making money on a renovation means changing your property so its value increases. An easy – and inexpensive – way to do that is to upgrade the most-used areas of your home. This might mean installing a new bath or shower in the main ensuite, or upgrading your appliances in the kitchen.

While $25,000 probably won’t get you a completely new kitchen, investing in high-quality fixtures and finishes will add a touch of class that will still be apparent when it comes time to sell.

Tip #5: Get the best return with a renovated bathroom or kitchen

There’s no denying that buyers are most interested in what the bathroom looks like and how functional the kitchen is – so if you want to make money on a renovation with HomeBuilder then you should focus on those two areas of your home.

The grant could add a second bathroom to your property or fit-out your kitchen with new bench tops and some top-of-the-line appliances. Just take the time to plan out your changes and ensure any renovations complement the rest of your home.

Want some ideas for your next renovation project? Get inspired on our Pinterest page. And when you’re ready to put those HomeBuilder funds to good use, our amazing design ideas will put you on the path to renovation greatness.

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