DIY And Retired: How Boomers Are Accessing The HomeBuilder Grant

Luke Fitzpatrick

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With a lot of new government schemes targeting younger homeowners and builders, you’ll want to know what’s available to you as a senior. You too can cash in on the recent schemes introduced with a little know-how.

The HomeBuilder Grant

With the government’s HomeBuilder grant scheme targeting new homeowners and builders, it’s no surprise that the real estate industry has remained constant throughout the lockdowns and restrictions of COVID-19. The $680 million dollar scheme allows eligible homeowner-occupiers, renovators, and first time home builders a grant of $25,000 to conduct major building or reconstruction work on their homes.

Whilst this scheme has been a ray of hope for younger families and couples who may have previously been priced out of the real estate market, an interesting trend has emerged at the opposite end of the age scale, and Baby Boomers are cashing in.

Strategies for boomers to cash in

For many empty nesters and retirees, it’s common sense to downsize from larger homes and into smaller apartments once the children have grown up and left. What may have before been a family of six, could now be down to only two or even one; and that extra space could be used for another family who needs it, whilst you save some money at the same time.

How are Boomers cashing in on the HomeBuilder scheme? With a $20,000 statewide building bonus, in addition to the HomeBuilder package, First Home Buyers scheme, and $10,000 Home Owner grant, some states are seeing new homeowners and builders amassing up to $70,000 in grants and bonuses alone.

The $20,000 statewide bonus is open to downsizers contemplating a new build, or for those who prefer to stay in the family home and give it massive renovations. This grant can be used for new builds with an unlimited amount of property value.

Understand your eligibility

It’s important to do your research and see what you are eligible for. Downsizing can be a great idea for freeing up equity and having more money for something else. By choosing to downsize, you have the opportunity for an entire lifestyle overhaul, perhaps moving to somewhere quieter, smaller, and with a focus on activities for the older generations. Kit homes and other small ready builds are a fantastic option for this very reason; allowing for inexpensive homes to be built quickly for those who are downsizing. This is a popular solution for seniors due to the fast turnaround and affordability of the homes.

In turn, this helps other families who may have been looking to move into the area. The other advantages of downsizing are numerous - including decreased stress, more free time, increased cash flow, and greater flexibility. Homeowners who have successfully downsized have said they report higher happiness levels once leaving behind the demands of managing a larger home.

Consider renovating

That isn’t to say that renovating isn’t without its benefits for those who would prefer to stay put where they are. Fantastic Handyman renovations point out that older homes may need significant upgrades and repairs, such as major electrical or plumbing overhauls; fresh paint, floors, bathrooms, kitchen, heavy reconstruction work, or even just a list of 100 little jobs that have been needed doing for years.

The costs of these improvements and renovations can add up quickly, which is why the grants and schemes available have been quickly embraced by the senior community. Renovations also help avoid stamp duty costs and sales fees associated with moving into a new home or increase your property’s value before selling it on in the future.

Take advantage by downsizing or renovating

If you’ve been considering a downsize or renovation for a while, now is the perfect time to do so whilst there is a government budget available specifically for this purpose. Not only will you be enjoying the benefits of a new home or fresh renovations, but it will be provided at a time in history that may never occur again.

It’s no surprise then that Baby Boomers are jumping in on what is available whilst they can, as we all look towards our futures. COVID-19 may have shaken up the global routine, but Australians have been given an opportunity to start fresh with an entirely new one.

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Academic Speaker | Freelance Journalist | I have contributed to a variety of publications such as Forbes, Tech In Asia, and The Next Web. I cover a variety of topics ranging from fintech, big data, AI, blockchain, to lifestyle and breaking news stories.

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