HomeBuilder exposing buyers to potential rip-offs

By Miranda Brownlee 16 July 2020 | 1 minute read

Home buyers have been warned to watch out for “offers that seem too good to be true” in relation to the HomeBuilder scheme, to ensure they don’t get caught out by dodgy marketing or those looking to rip off the system.

HomeBuilder exposing buyers to potential rip-offs

With over 40,000 home buyers having already expressed their interest in applying for the HomeBuilder grant, Your Property Success director Jane Slack-Smith said any home purchases looking to utilise the grant should carefully evaluate any offers they receive.

“The HomeBuilder Grant has been created to assist the building industry and keep over 500,000 people in jobs. However, those who want to be one of the anticipated 21,000 new builds or 7,000 renovation candidates will have to be wary of offers that seem too good to be true,” the mortgage broker and educator cautioned.

Ms Slack-Smith said she has already heard of instances where potential buyers have been pressured into choosing particular builders on the basis that they might miss out.

“Recently on my monthly Q&A, a caller asked if this situation sounded dodgy. It was suggested that if he applied for the HomeBuilder grant, that due to the huge workload of builders, it would be hard to satisfy the requirement of turning turf and starting the build within the requisite three months. However, if they used a specific builder, he would guarantee that he would start work within the specific time frame,” she explained.

“The fear of missing out on the possibility of $25,000 could potentially drive some people to choose certain builders over others. And without any restrictions on how long the build could take, it makes me wonder if after the first work is done, if the builder would then move on to other sites [to start work] for other clients [in order] to meet the grant prerequisites.”

Any home buyers looking to build, she said, should always obtain three quotes.

“Make sure builders are quoting apples with apples and the specifications are of similar standards,” she advised.

“Don’t feel forced to go with a particular builder just because of the time frame. You could spend years regretting your decision.”

Ms Slack-Smith said buyers should also watch for buyer’s agents, mortgage brokers or other people who recommend a specific builder.

“Some developers have been known to offer $10,000, $20,000 even $30,000 for a referral fee. Certain industries, like mortgage brokers, are required to declare this fee they receive to you,” she stated.

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HomeBuilder exposing buyers to potential rip-offs
HomeBuilder exposing buyers to potential rip-offs
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