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HomeBuilder: Is now the right time to renovate?
By MyBudget Editor

MyBudget founder and director Tammy Barton talks about the HomeBuilder scheme and lays out the steps to finding out if you're eligible, how much you can afford to spend and whether now is the right time.

Watch the video now or read the transcript below.

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re all having a great week! 

Today, I’d like to talk to you about the HomeBuilder scheme. If you haven’t heard about it, it’s a grant program worth $25,000 that the Federal Government recently announced. 

Now, spending money on our homes is usually a pretty good investment… It’s a good way to improve the market value of your property, and it’s also a good way to improve personal value in your home.

I think that aspect—getting enjoyment and comfort from where you live—is more important than ever given that we’ve all been stuck at home during lockdown. 

But that being said, times are a little bit different now. Thanks to COVID-19 and a looming recession, people are feeling cautious about how they spend their money. 

And that’s what I’d like to talk with you about here… 

How do you work out whether HomeBuilder is right for you and your family? 

I won’t go into the details of the scheme here, except to say that the minimum contract price is $150,000 and the maximum income threshold for applicants is $125,000 a year for singles and $200,000 for couples. 

I encourage you to head over to the HomeBuilder website to see if you’re eligible. 

Now, as I mentioned, the minimum contract price is $150,000. Most people won’t have that sort of money sitting in the bank. It means they’ll need to borrow, which means that loan repayments will need to be factored into the equation.

The key question then is not ‘do you qualify for the scheme?’ but ‘Can you afford it?’ And with everything going on in the world, ‘is now the right time?’

On the one hand, interest rates are at record lows, which helps to make borrowing affordable. But on the other, we’re looking at an economic recession. It means that the sorts of investment returns we’re used to getting may not be there for a while.

With all that in mind, my recommendation is that it’s really important to explore how you could work a home renovation project into your budget before you start talking to builders.

Once you’re comfortable with your budget, then it’s time to start talking to banks and lenders, because then you know what sort of repayments are affordable. 

With your bank, you can then work out how much you can afford to spend on your building project. And then you can start talking to builders with confidence. 

It’s the three Bs: Budget first, Bank second, Builder third. 

Now, remember, if you don’t qualify for the HomeBuilder grant—or you don’t feel comfortable committing to a building contract right now—that’s ok too. Keep saving and working towards your goals. 

In fact, we have plenty of MyBudget clients who budget for renovations without needing to take out a loan. It’s all about having a system that makes the most of your money.

If you’d like to talk with a money coach, please don’t hesitate to call MyBudget on 1300 300 922 or you can enquire online.

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