Funding a renovation without the HomeBuilder grant


Credit Union SA

Member Experience Team

29 June 2020

| Home Loan

Are you looking to renovate but don’t want to spend $150,000 to get the HomeBuilder grant? Maybe refinancing is the answer!

If you’re a homeowner, you can now take advantage of the new $25,000 Federal Government HomeBuilder grant. But as always there is criteria to meet, including the big kicker - the renovation contract needs to be between $150,000 and $750,000!

So, what if you’re not looking to spend that kind of money on renovations but would still like to make some changes? Could refinancing your home loan be the answer to freeing up some extra money for renos?

Refinancing for a lower interest rate

With interest rates at an all-time low, plenty of homeowners are using these low rates as a chance to review their existing home loan. Picking a new provider that offers a lower interest rate could potentially reduce your home loan repayments, equaling more money in your pocket to put towards renovations.

There’s no doubt even a small reduction to your interest rate could save you thousands!

Let’s say you owe $300,000 on your mortgage with an average standard variable rate of 4.51% pa, your monthly repayments would be $1,670. If you change your home loan to a rate of 2.70% pa your monthly repayments would drop down to $1,377. That’s a saving of $293 per month and $87,881 over 25 years.

To work out what your monthly repayments might be and how much you could save through refinancing, you can use our Loan Comparison calculator.

Refinancing to unlock equity

When starting the process of refinancing your loan to another lender, you might find that your property has increased in value. The difference between the value of your home and how much is still owed on any loan is known as equity, and you may be able to unlock these funds to help pay for a renovation project. Many homeowners are surprised at the equity that has accumulated over time as a result of rising property values and paying down their loan balance. It can be an easy way to fund that open-plan extension or new bathroom you’ve always wanted.

Refinancing for a cash back incentive

While thinking about refinancing, you might also want to consider a new home loan that offers a cashback incentive. Due to a highly competitive market, some lenders may actually give you money to refinance your home loan with them. And while cashbacks used to be quite low, some lenders are now offering truckloads. It could be a nice little bonus to put towards your renovations.

It’s important to note that if you choose to refinance to fund your renovations, it may come with costs – mainly discharge fees on the old loan and application fees on the new loan. These costs vary between lenders, so you need to do your research and make sure refinancing is the right move for you and your circumstances.

However, don't let a small upfront cost stop you from making a big saving in the long-term, which could help fund your dream project.

Get in touch for an obligation free chat

If you think it’s the right time to refinance your home loan, we’re more than happy to walk you through the process and find the right option for you. Make an appointment with one of our friendly Mobile Lending Managers who can video chat with you or come to your home at a time that suits you. Or call us on (08) 8202 7777, 8am – 8pm weekdays or 8am – 2pm Saturdays.

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