In Focus: Queensland's Regional Home Building Boost

By Gerv Tacadena

If you are planning to buy in regional Queensland, make sure to check if you are eligible for the regional home building boost

The Regional Home Building Boost Grant in Queensland aims to hit two birds with one stone — aside from helping first-home buyers break into the housing market, the grant aims to create demand in the states' regional residential building industry.

The $10m Regional Home Building Boost package, according to the state government, is designed to improve housing affordability, promote investment and stimulate construction- industry jobs in regional Queensland during the COVID-19 recovery.

If you are thinking of applying for the grant, here are the things you have to know.

What can you get with the grant?

The support package provides a $5,000 grant after the purchase or construction of a new dwelling. You can apply for other state and federal grants even if you get qualified for this package.

With this and the other grants available, prospective first-home buyers in regional Queensland can get as much as $45,000 in government subsidies for the purchase or construction of a new home. Existing homeowners, on the other hand, are eligible for up to $30,000 in grants.

Are there eligibility requirements for the grant?

For you to be eligible for the grant, you or your spouse must not have received a previous grant under the same support scheme. You must also be buying or building a brand-new home in regional Queensland. To check if your postcode is in regional Queensland, use the tool here.

The home you are building or purchasing should be your principal place of residence within one year of the completed transaction. If you get the grant, you must live in your home continuously for six months.

What are the eligible transactions?

You also have to consider the type of transactions you are planning to enter when applying for the grant. The grant explicitly sets a value cap of $750,000 for applications. This amount includes the value of the house and land.

If you are buying or building a new home, you are eligible to apply for the grant. This includes off-the-plan contracts. Buying a substantially renovated home is also allowed. The contract should be entered between 4 June and 31 December 2020.

You can also apply if you are planning to be an owner-builder. The construction of your home must commence after 4 June.

How can a renovated home be eligible for the grant?

A substantial renovation is when the structural and non-structural components of the house are removed or replaced. Most of the rooms in the house must be affected to be considered a substantial renovation.

Homes that are only cosmetically upgraded are not eligible for the grant. Partial renovations, which focus only on one to two rooms in the house, are also not considered substantial.

If you are planning to buy a renovated home, it is required that no person has lived in it since the renovation. Sellers of renovated homes must be registered for the GST and must be selling the home in the course of their business. They must give you a tax invoice that shows the GST component of the home purchase price.

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