Outraged': How HomeBuilder has failed this rural Aussie couple

author-avatar By
on June 05, 2020
Outraged': How HomeBuilder has failed this rural Aussie couple

Photo by Greyson Joralemon on Unsplash

One Australian couple have begged the Morrison Government to revise the terms of the HomeBuilder grant.

Announced late Wednesday, the $25,000 grant is available for new home builders building a home worth less than $750,000 (including land) and renovators who are spending between $150,000 and $750,000 on a house valued at less than $1.5 million. 

You must be an Australian citizen to be eligible, and earn less than $125,000 as a single and less than $200,000 as a couple. More details on the scheme can be found here

Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest variable interest rates on the market for owner occupiers.

Lender

Variable
More details
UNLIMITED REDRAWSSPECIAL OFFER
  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
UNLIMITED REDRAWSSPECIAL OFFER

Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 2yr (LVR < 80%)

  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
Variable
More details
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Principal and Interest) (Owner Occupied) (LVR < 60%)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
Variable
More details
ZERO APPLICATION FEESFEE FREE OFFSET
  • We lower your rate based off how much you’ve paid down your loan
  • Automatic rate match
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • The shorter your loan, the less interest you pay in the long run.
ZERO APPLICATION FEESFEE FREE OFFSET

Owner Occupier Accelerates - Celebrate (LVR < 60%) (Principal and Interest)

  • We lower your rate based off how much you’ve paid down your loan
  • Automatic rate match
  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • The shorter your loan, the less interest you pay in the long run.
Variable
More details
AN EASY DIGITAL APPLICATION
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
AN EASY DIGITAL APPLICATION

Neat Variable Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 60%)

  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
Variable
More details
NO APPLICATION FEES
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
NO APPLICATION FEES

Yard Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 80%)

  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
Variable
More details
NO UPFRONT OR ONGOING FEES
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
NO UPFRONT OR ONGOING FEES

Owner Occupier Accelerates - Evaporate (LVR 60%-70%) (Principal and Interest)

  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
Variable
More details
NO UPFRONT OR ONGOING FEES
  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
NO UPFRONT OR ONGOING FEES

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Principal and Interest) (Owner Occupied) (LVR < 80%)

  • No ongoing fees - None!
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Easy online application, find out if you're approved quick!
  • Redraw- Access your additional payments if you need them
  • Use the app to get loan insights to help you pay off your home loan faster
Variable
More details
UNLIMITED EXTRA REPAYMENTS
UNLIMITED EXTRA REPAYMENTS

Basic Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 60%)

    Variable
    More details
    EASY DIGITAL APPLICATION
    EASY DIGITAL APPLICATION

    Neat Variable Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR 70%-80%)

      Variable
      More details
      $0 APPLICATION FEE
      $0 APPLICATION FEE

      Budget Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 80%)

        Variable
        More details
        100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNT
        100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNT

        Offset Package Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 60%)

          Variable
          More details
          LIMITED TIME OFFER
          • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
          • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
          • Extra repayments + redraw services
          LIMITED TIME OFFER

          Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 1yr

          • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
          • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
          • Extra repayments + redraw services

          Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of June 25, 2022. View disclaimer.

          Peter Knobloch told Savings.com.au that he and his wife weren't eligible for the grant due to land value being included in the value of a new home build. 

          The 63 year old was forced to evacuate his home in December due to the horrific bushfires that ravaged rural New South Wales, and said while his home hadn't been destroyed like so many others, it had wiped out his income and caused mental health issues. 

          "We were locked down a long time ago before Corona even hit the streets," Mr Knobloch said. 

          "I have a landscape photography business and I put my prints on canvas and sell them to local tourists.

          "Of course, there's been no tourists, so we've had no income for six months." 

          mrknblc

          Picture: Mr Knobloch and his granddaughter 

          Mr Knobloch said he and his wife had bought a block of land for $350,000, closer to the coast to escape bushfires and planned to build a modest $500,000 home on the block. 

          As the total cost exceeds $750,000, Mr Knobloch doesn't qualify for the HomeBuilder grant, and said he was absolutely outraged. 

          "We qualify on every other front, we've had no money coming in from the Government, not even the $750 grant," he said.

          "We've had no Jobkeeper, nothing from the Government. 

          "And now our opportunity to at least receive $25,000 which would go a long way to helping pay for the $500,000 for the house, has been snapped away because of four little words: This includes land value." 

          Mr Knobloch said he and his wife had to draw from their retirement savings to pay for the land, and didn't understand how someone completing exorbitant renovations to a home they already owned would receive the grant. 

          "How can somebody that has a $1.5 million home be able to do a renovation for up to $750,000, and yet you're trying to build a modest home under the circumstances we find ourselves in and not qualify.

          "It's this disparity which is disappointing, what do we have to do to qualify for something?

          "It's not stimulating the economy." 

          kblchlnd

          Picture: The land Mr Knobloch and his wife bought for $350,000

          Mr Knobloch said the Prime Minister was prioritising metropolitan areas over rural ones, and his community had received almost no support. 

          "In his statement he says, we're really all about helping people in rural areas. Well I'm here to tell you, no you're not mate.

          "There's been a complete lack of support for the people here that have been affected by fire in this community.

          "We don't all live in a capital city." 

          Mr Knobloch said after being ravaged by fires and the pandemic, the mental health of the people in his community was severley deteriorating.

          "There's going to be many, many people in our position so we need to speak up," he said.

          "You worry about mental health issues from the COVID lock-up, I can tell you there's more mental health issues here on the far south coast than you could poke a stick at, after what we've gone through in the last seven, eight months." 

          HomeBuilder grant draws massive criticism

          Mr Knobloch isn't alone in his criticism of the grant.

          The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has also criticised the scheme, saying the plan is a wasted opportunity.

          "There is no argument that the construction sector needs a shot in the arm, but this money will not go where it is most needed," ACOSS chief executive Dr Cassandra Goldie said.

          "It will largely benefit those on middle and higher incomes undertaking costly renovations, without any related social or environmental benefits."

          Read: How the experts reacted to HomeBuilder

          Labor's housing spokesman Jason Clare said the scheme wasn't going to those people who really needed it.

          "This package is one tenth of the size of what the Rudd government rolled out in the GFC and it's arguable that the economy and the construction sector is in a far worse situation now than then," Mr Clare said. 


          Disclaimers

          The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered. Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site. Savings.com.au, yourmortgage.com.au, yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au, and Performance Drive are part of the Savings Media group. In the interests of full disclosure, the Savings Media Group are associated with the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings Media Group manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please visit the web site links at the bottom of this page.

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          author-avatar
          Alex joined Savings.com.au as a finance journalist in 2019. He enjoys covering in-depth economical releases and breaking down how they might affect the everyday punter. He is passionate about providing Australians with the information and tools needed to make them financially stable for their futures.

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