The Federal Government has unveiled its HomeBuilder package as a response to the COVID 19 Crisis, offering $25,000 for people to upgrade or build their homes. House Design Solutions explains what Victorians need to know.

The contract must be signed between June 4 and December 31, 2020, and construction must commence within three months of the contract date.

HomeBuilder will complement existing First Home Owner Grant programs, stamp duty concessions and other grant schemes, as well as the Commonwealth’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and First Home Super Saver Scheme, which means you could potentially double the handouts offered.

Am I eligible for the HomeBuilder scheme?

  • You need to be an adult Australian citizen with a taxable income less than $125,000 a year. If you live with your partner, your combined income has to be less than $200,000 per year
  • Before the end of the year, you need to enter a contract to renovate or build your main place of residence, with construction to begin within three months of the contract date (no investment properties)
  • For renovations, you need to spend between $150,000 and $750,000 of your own money, and the house you’re renovating must be valued at less than $1.5 million prior to renovations
  • Renovations need to improve the accessibility, safety or liveability of the home and don’t include external work like swimming pools, tennis courts and sheds
  • For knock down and re-builds, the total value of the build needs to be less than $750,000, and the finished property needs to be valued at less than $1.5m.
  • For new home builds on a vacant block the government limits eligibility to properties that will not exceed $750,000 in value including the land.

There is no limit to the amount of people who can receive the grant. As long as the government’s set timeframe and monetary value conditions are met. House Design Solutions work with clients to help meet this eligibility criteria.

The Government’s Home Builder grant combined with competitive building prices and low interest rates makes now a great time to transform your home.


Construction must be carried out by a licenced or registered builder

Although our network of builders are busy, the crisis has focussed their interest in new projects and strengthened their resolve to help people. We have found a “sharpening” of quote prices industry-wide which when added to the government’s Home Builder bonus and record low-interest rates means now is a great time to renovate or detonate.

From our network of builders compiled over years of experience, we can recommend the one whose style and skill set is most suited to you and your particular project. The best builder for you may not be at the top of the tree for marketing or for having the best website but, certainly perform their best work “On-Site”. Most builders we introduce are boutique, “hands-on” and personalised, usually skilled tradesmen wearing a tool belt as opposed to a tailored suit belt. During the initial design process, it will become obvious which of our experienced craftsmen is best suited to your particular circumstances.

These small personalised builders can really help you take advantage of the grant whereas the higher prices and overheads of the big “marketer type operations” will quickly gobble up any monetary advantages gained. There is no reason to pay so much extra for “the big guys” as our best builders are a fraction of their price and offer a better finish and with a far more personalised and accountable service.

How can the HomeBuilder Scheme help?

This depends on what you want and how astute your approach is.

For example, an extension & renovation of your home that would normally cost more than $240,000 could easily be achievable for $150,000 when you take into consideration competitive builder’s rates and the grant. This requires clever decision making and employing the right kind of builders. The lower interest rates make this opportunity even more affordable.

An extension and renovation of this budget size could transform your home and raise the energy efficiency and comfort levels and in turn reduce energy bills. If well designed and positioned at the front it has the potential to give your façade a major facelift at no real extra cost. A concept like this will preserve your valuable back yard size ensuring the re-sale value dramatically improves.

Our Oakleigh South extension pictured below achieved all of this and more and would easily fit into the $150k category utilising the grants and current market conditions.

HomeBuilder grant, home builder Oakleigh South



With a little higher budget you can start to consider going upstairs in a similar way to our McKinnon Extension Project pictured below. This should totally transform your home whilst preserving your very valuable back yard size. Now is a great time to invest in your biggest asset whichever way is best for you!


The builder of this magnificent extension is one of our favourites although you will never find him on google.

HomeBuilder grant, home builder McKinnon


A new home knock-down and rebuild option may suit your needs. The government has gone out of its way to incentify this particular option for Melbournians by raising the eligibility ceiling to accommodate the higher land values of the inner suburbs.

House Design Solutions can help you assess which option is best for you offering our Renovate or Detonate Report service where we take a detailed brief on your particular requirements and budget. We thoroughly assess your existing home’s “retention value”, its potential for change and the degree of difficulty/cost. House Design Solution’s Renovate or Detonate Report concludes with unbiased expert recommendations and estimates on all possibilities sometimes including options you never thought possible. This will arm you with all the information you need to make the right choice for your particular circumstance.

Our testimonial pages are filled with positive reviews from client’s whose lives and finances have been dramatically improved by our astute and sometimes sweeping recommendations. As we are flexible and we equally cover all aspects of House Design and Development we can offer our 30 years of experience without bias, towards all possible solutions. This, coupled with our great network of builders compiled over the years ensures you have access to the best options without the price tag that accompanies the “big marketing building firms”.

HomeBuilder grant, home builder Berwick

The design and documentation of this “knock down and re-build” new home project was prepared URGENTLY in a few weeks in order to help our clients start building quickly and enjoy the benefits of the grant.

First Home Owners can access other grants and as discussed earlier these can be pooled together and added to the HomeBuilder Scheme.

State first homeowner’s grant: $10,000 – $20,000

Commonwealth first Home Loan Deposit Scheme: Up to $10,000

Combined with HomeBuilder, how much can I access? Up to between $45,000 and $55,000

Eligibility: $10,000 grant is for homes in urban areas, $20,000 for homes in regional Victoria. For homes only up to $750,000 in value and built within the previous five years.

Victoria wide Stamp Duty Savings for first home buyers: Total exemption from stamp duty on properties valued up to $600,000, while a concession is available for properties valued between $600,001 and $750,000.

House Design Solutions can help you by getting your project “shovel ready” to optimise the current market and political situation.


Get a copy of our “Renovate or Detonate” report, showing you how we maximise the value of a real property in Melbourne.

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